‘The situation for fishers has been virtually ignored’: SIA shines spotlight on mental health

10-Oct-2018 5:30 AM

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry, has urged fishers, their families and friends to start a conversation about mental health to mark World Mental Health Day on October 10.

“Today is an important day where we look to start conversations on mental health and work together to break the stigma associated with it and seeking help,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.
 
“Sadly, research shows that Australia’s commercial fishers experience twice the base-rate of psychological stress of any other sector.

“Significant contributing factors to these mental health problems are the ongoing attacks against our well-managed fisheries and the continued threats to resource access that can lead to chronic job insecurity.

“Seafood is the most sustainable protein source in the world and Australia’s fisheries are extremely well managed, which makes it difficult to understand why some in our community continue to try to shut our professional fishers out. What people must realise is their comments have very real consequences on the people putting meals on our tables.

“SIA takes this issue very seriously and has been lobbying the Federal Government to provide fisheries specific programs, just like they have for so many other sectors including farmers and builders. The situation for fishers has been virtually ignored.
 
“What’s strikingly different for wildcatch fishers is that they don’t privately own the resource they work. The ocean is a public resource managed by the governments. This introduces a very different level of insecurity for our sector.

“We know our fishers are stoic and self-reliant, making them less likely to seek help, so we are urging fishers, their families and friends, to be on the lookout for signs of depression and reach out if you think yourself or someone needs help.”

If you, or someone you know, is seeking crisis support please call:
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 22 463
  • Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
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To organise an interview with SIA CEO Jane Lovell please contact
Jessica McInerney, Media and Communications Manager, Seafood Industry Australia
E: jessica@seafoodindustryaustralia.com.au M: 0420 695 431