RiseUp: Resilience of the UK seafood system to COVID-19 disruption

The UK seafood industry is under unprecedented pressure to deliver on national food security during the COVID-19 pandemic, while trying to adapt in order to remain socio-economically viable. However, no data exists on the systemic impacts to the UK seafood industry, adaptation actions employed by businesses and their potential effects on seafood supply.

RiseUp brings together the expertise of SAMS, the University of Manchester and Seafish to explore pathways to increase resilience at the system and business levels and provide policy-relevant recommendations and stakeholder-specific advice to address challenges. The project investigates the impacts of disruption caused by the pandemic and how businesses within the UK seafood industry are adapting to manage these impacts.

A mixed-method approach combines data collection through interviews and surveys, modelling of the industry supply network, and in-depth case studies to investigate business model adaptation and circularity. The project runs for 18 months and will provide evidence for decision-making, outlining areas for immediate action and informing strategic changes to increase the resilience of the UK seafood industry to future shocks. RiseUp will contribute to understanding the routes to increased resilience, sustainability and security of the UK’s seafood system.

Researchers at SAMS lead the data collection on the effects of the COVID-19 disruption on seafood businesses, their responses and relevant seafood supply-chain network flows, and are responsible for the analysis of the seafood sector industry network resilience. Researchers at the University of Manchester will lead the work on business model adaptation, resilience, and circularity, through the analysis of in-depth business case studies.

 

Duration

July 2020 – January 2022

 

Funders

ESRC

 

Project value

£317k

 

Project Partners

Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS; lead partner)

University of Manchester

Seafish

 

Other Information

How to contribute with information if your seafood business has been affected by COVID-19 disruption?

RiseUp started in July 2020 and the team is beginning the process of data collection. In the first instance, we will be contacting businesses across the seafood industry to conduct interviews gather evidence on the effects of the COVID-19 disruption across the sector, the response from seafood businesses and the uptake of existing support mechanisms (e.g. government support measures). We are interested to hear the experiences from UK fisheries and aquaculture operators, seafood processors, upstream supply chain, logistics, wholesale, retailers and foodservice (including fishmongers and restaurants). RiseUp will also be conducting a survey, on the supply-chain structure and flows within the UK seafood industry, to allow a deeper look into the systemic impacts of the COVID-19 disruption and how these have propagated.

Please contact the project lead (sofia.franco@sams.ac.uk) if you would like to share your experience of how COVID-19 has affected your business and how you are responding to this, and contribute to the interviews or RiseUp’s wider data collection. Any business information shared with the team will be fully anonymised and will only be used in the study with your explicit consent, in full compliance with ethical standards. RiseUp is also working in collaboration with Seafish, which is collecting real time data on the impact of COVID-19 on the UK seafood sector through seafish@seafish.co.uk, to inform weekly government updates.
 

https://www.sams.ac.uk/science/projects/riseup/

 

Image source: https://www.needpix.com/photo/1322645/seafood-food-healthy-sea-fresh-fish-restaurant-dinner-gourmet  (creative commons)