News: UK Fisheries – protecting our team, our business and the UK’s food supply

02 April 2020

UK Fisheries has implemented a series of measures to protect crew and other colleagues from coronavirus infection and to maintain continuity of our onshore and offshore operations to guarantee supply of cod and haddock to the UK. Measures include:
•    Avoiding crew changes where possible
•    Implementing self declaration schemes for fitness to work, including details on travel and exposure to those with symptoms of Covid-19
•    Temperature checks on boarding vessels and on a daily basis thereafter
•    Ensuring the protocol for infectious diseases is understood throughout the crew and staff
•    Ensuring that the government advice on Coronavirus prevention is easily accessible, understood and practised 
•    Office-based colleagues working from home where possible. All staff are accessible through their normal office or mobile phone numbers
•    Visits to vessels and offices tightly controlled and only of an essential operational nature

Jane Sandell, CEO, said: 

“Our vessels are at sea and fishing, and we have no reports of any our crews showing virus symptoms.

“At any given time we have around 60 crew and colleagues working either onshore or at sea. Our culture is that of an extended family and we always look out for each other. During the Covid-19 pandemic it is more important than ever for all of us to do the right thing. This includes social distancing, looking out for early symptoms, self-isolating when and where necessary, and, of course, making sure we adhere to government and NHS advice.

“The officers of each crew will report to me on a daily basis, and if any of our crew shows symptoms that person will be given all appropriate care and quarantined on board until disembarkation, until the appropriate quarantine time has been observed or, if symptoms continue after this time, according to appropriate medical advice. We have long-standing arrangements with the medical authorities in all relevant jurisdictions for evacuation should that be necessary. 

“Onshore, we will work remotely and from home. Regular staff meetings will continue remotely.

“Safety and well-being continues to be our priority. We will continue to review the situation and make all necessary adjustments to minimise the risk of viral infection, prioritising the health and safety of our staff while recognising the role we need to play in the supply of fish to the UK.

For more information please email

Notes to editors:

UK Fisheries supplies one in every twelve portions of fish for the UK’s 10,500 fish & chip shops. Our cod and haddock is freshly frozen to guarantee that it gives consumers across the country enjoyable and nutritious meals at an affordable price. We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety and well-being of our crews, on shore staff and valued supply chain as they continue to deliver high-quality food in a sustainable manner.

Our crews work through the winter in hostile conditions in northern distant waters near the Arctic Circle, more than 1,500 miles north of our base in Hull, catching cod and haddock. Our state-of-the-art vessels adhere to very strict standards in terms of both safety and sustainability.


Kirkella tour
Kirkella in Hull
Kirkella on the Humber
Kirkella Port 2
Kirkella Bow 2
Kirkella Birdseye 2
Kirkella Naming Ceremony and VIP Reception
Kirkella lunch party at Cutty Sark Museum
Kirkella Great British Fish & Chips event at Greenwich
Kirkella speech by HRH The Princess Royal
Kirkella passing through Tower Bridge
Kirkella BBC News
HRH The Princess Royal names Kirkella
Kirkella cutaway animation
Sir Barney White-Spunner, UK Fisheries Ltd, Interview
Kirkella General Tour
Kirkella Factory Tour


Kirkella trawling
Kirkella on Humber
Kirkella drone footage
Kirkella drone footage
Kirkella drone footage
The Kirkella Naming celebration lunch at the Cutty Sark Museum
The Fish Fryers free fish & chip event at Cutty Sark Gardens for 2,500 locals
The City of Hull Brass Band at Cutty Sark Gardens
Sir Barney White-Spunner, Chairman of the Advisory Board, UK Fisheries, at the Kirkella Naming celebration dinner at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Kirkella sailing upstream through Tower Bridge
Kirkella sailing downstream through Tower Bridge
HRH The Princess Royal with Graham Barney, Factory Manager, Kirkella
HRH The Princess Royal with Charlie Waddy, First Mate, on the bridge of Kirkella
HRH The Princess Royal unveiling a model of Kirkella presented by UK Fisheries to the National Maritime Museum
HRH The Princess Royal Naming Kirkella at Greenwich
HRH The Princess Royal meeting Stig Maersk, Musical Director, and players in the City of Hull Brass Band
HRH The Princess Royal making her address at the Kirkella Naming Ceremony in Greenwich
2,500 local people in Greenwich enjoying free Kirkella-caught cod & chips
Sir Barney White-Spunner, Chairman of the Advisory Board, UK Fisheries Ltd
UK Fisheries infographic
Kirkella poster
Cutaway illustration of Kirkella
UK Fisheries Ltd logo