Fishing boss hits out at BBC for new ‘fisherpeople’ guidelines: ‘Just call us fishers!’

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Barrie Deas, the CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, has branded the term “cumbersome” and suggested to instead use “fishers”. He explained it loosely related to the bible verse where Jesus met two brothers in the Sea of Galilee and said he would make them “fishers of men”. Mr Deas also said there are very few women who go out to catch fish.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Deas said: “Females work in the fishing industry on the shoreside, processing, and management side. Also the policy side at a pretty senior level.

“In the past, we’ve had a female president and chair.

“It’s absolutely true to say there are very, very few females go to sea in the casting side.

“My thoughts on ‘fisherpeople’ is it’s a bit cumbersome and there’s a better word which is ‘fishers’.

“That’s a term that has always been used in the northeast of Scotland.

“The biblical connections are when Jesus meets the fishermen in the Sea of Galilee and says ‘make you fishers of men’.

“It’s got long roots and that’s why it’s used in some parts of the fishing industry already.

“But it’s a lot less cumbersome than ‘fisherpeople’.”

His comments BBC’s Katya Adler referenced “fisherpeople” while discussing Brexit on BBC Radio 4 on Monday.

ITV’s Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan had hit out at BBC for replacing the word “fishermen” with “fisherpeople” in a bid to take out the word “men” from job descriptions.

Female fisherman Ashley Mullenger revealed that she hasn’t asked fellow females in her profession if they have an issue with the word because it does not “feel relevant”.

Piers said: “You’re actually on a boat fishing so you are one of these rare female fishermen and you quite like being called a fisherman.”

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Ms Mullenger said: “I love it.

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“I don’t see the issue with being called a fisherman if you’re a female.”

Co-host Susanna Reid asked: “How many of you are there?”

Ms Mullenger continued: “I’m in Norfolk and I work on a boat that is a potting boat so we fish for whelks, crabs and lobsters. I think there’s about six in the UK that I can think of.

“I’ve got a few of them on my Instagram doing various different types of fishing but there’s really not many.”

Piers asked: “Do any of the six have a problem with being called fishermen?”

Ms Mullenger replied: “I’ve not asked them because I don’t feel it’s that relevant.”

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