Market summary

Below is an overview of the seafood industry in facts and figures including retail and food service sales, imports and exports and landing figures.

Seafood Industry Overview

The latest estimate for total annual seafood purchases in Great Britain is £6.24bn, which is 1.3% more than the previous year. In the year ending 5 November 2016, around 97%* of GB households purchased seafood from retail outlets, worth a total of £3.13bn**. Over a similar period, diners purchased seafood worth an estimated £3.11bn*** from commercial foodservice outlets in GB. 

*AC Nielsen HomeScan, **AC Nielsen ScanTrack (excludes discounters), *** NPD Crest (52wks ending September 16)

 

UK Retail Sector 


  • In the year ending 5 November 2016, we bought 329,592 tonnes of seafood for £3.13bn from major multiple retail outlets.
  • Overall volume sales increased by 0.3% (875 tonnes) when compared with year ending 7 November 2015. Overall inflation of 0.8% raised the average price to £9.49 per kg, driving sales value growth of 1%, (£32.5m).
  • Only the chilled sector experience growth of volume (3.7%, 5,570 tonnes) and value sales (3.1%, £61.2m) and a slight price deflation of 0.6% to £13.03 per kg. The frozen sector saw sales value growth of 0.5%, (£3.2m) driven by 2.3% inflation, as sales volume declined 1.8% (1,949 tonnes). Ambient seafood (shelf stable tins, jars, pouches) sales value declined 7.0% (£31.9m) due to a decline in sales volume of 3.8% (2,746 tonnes), compounded by price deflation of 3.3% bringing the average price per kg to £6.08.
  • The top species by sales value remain the same as in 2015 with salmon, cod, tuna, warm-water prawns, haddock and cold-water prawns maintaining their top six positions.

Source: AC Nielsen ScanTrack YE 05.11.16 (excludes discounters)

Chilled vs frozen seafood retail sales 1993 - 2016

Chilled vs Frozen seafood retails sales

Source: Nielsen Scantrack

top 35 species by value and volume

 

Seafood sales 2006 - 2016

Seafood sales

Source: AC Nielsen ScanTrack 05.11.16

 

Share of trade between major retailers - total fish

Total fish - 52 week - share of trade by valueShare of trade total fish

Source: AC Nielsen ScanTrack 05.11.16

Consumers and Consumption


  • 72% of UK adults do not know that it is recommended that they eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily (1).
  • Almost a third (32%) of UK adults who eat one or less portions of fish a week claim that it is the cost of fsh that prevents them from eating more fish(1).
  • Of those UK adults who eat at least one portion of fish a week, 43% are doing so as they "try and have a balanced diet" and 35% do so because of the "general health benefts of eating fish"(1).
  • Amongst UK adults who ever eat fish, 47% claim to regularly (at least once a month) eat cod, 39% regularly eat salmon, 37% tuna, 26% haddock and 23% prawns(1).
  • Almost a quarter (24%) of UK adults spontaneously (i.e. without prompting) know that omega-3 is one of the health benefts of eating fish. 15% say that it is good for you because it is low in fat and 15% mention fish oils / oils or essential oils. 13% say it is a good source of protein and 11% describe fish as brain food(1).
  • When prompted, 50% of UK adults see fish as having healthy heart benefits. 49% say that fish contributes to healthy skin, hair and nails and 48% that it helps contribute to the maintenance of normal brain function. 28% associate fish with maintaining healthy blood pressure and 23% that it helps maintain healthy vision(1).
  • When told of the multitude of health benefits of fish 66% of UK adults agree that they are encouraged to eat more fish than they already do and 78% agree that they feel encouraged to specifcally eat two portions of fish a week. This demonstrates that once people are made aware of the many health benefts of eating fish they are encouraged to up their intake(1).
  • The top five seafood species in the 52 weeks to 21 May 2016 in retail by volume were salmon, cod, tuna, warm-water prawns and haddock(2).
  • Over the long term (eight years to 21 May 2016) out of the top ten species only salmon, warm-water prawns, mixed seafood pollock and seabass were in true growth. Traditional species like cod, tuna, haddock, cold-water prawns and mackerel were in volume decline(2).
  • Salmon consumption has continued to grow over the past eight years despite a 36% increase in price(2).
  • In retail chilled seafood was the only seafood sector consistently in growth throughout austerity. In the eight years to 21 May 2016 chilled seafood value grew by 29% and volume by 10%. In the same period frozen seafood value fell by -5% and volume by -22% and ambient seafood fell by -7.8% by value and -37% by volume(2).
  • The market share of chilled seafood in the year to 21 May 2016 by volume was 46% and 64% by value followed by frozen and ambient(2).
  • A variety of sources place seafood consumption in GB at 8.2kg per person per year. This would extrapolate to 8.5kg per person per year for the UK(2).

Source:
1 YouGov 2 a Week study December 2016
2 Seafood Consumption factsheet October 2016

Trends in UK household purchases of fish Data from 1974 - 2014Trends in UK household purchases

Source: DEFRA Family Food 2014

UK Seafood Industry


  • In 2015, there were 6,553 registered fshing vessels, a reduction of 5% since 2006.  Of these vessels 2,017 are classifed as inactive and 1,710 are classifed as 'low activity', referring to vessels with average landings of less than £10,000 per year.
  • Excluding inactive vessels, the fleet in 2015 comprised 3,301 vessels under 10m in length and 1,235 over 10m.
  • There were an estimated 12,107 fshermen in the UK in 2015, down 6% since 2005.  Of these, 5,569 were based in England, 851 in Wales, 4,828 in Scotland and 859 in Northern Ireland. Part-time fshermen accounted for 16 percent of the total, down 2% since 2005.

Source: UK Sea Fisheries Annual Statistics Report 2015 (MMO)

UK Landings


  • In 2015, UK vessels landed 708,000 tonnes of seafood into the UK and abroad with a value of £775 million. Compared with 2014, this represents a 7% decrease in quantity and a 10% decrease in value and was mainly driven by the pelagic sector.
  • Average first sale price of demersal (whitefish and flatfish) and shellfish species fell 2% and 5% respectively between 2014 and 2015, while the price of pelagic (oily) species fell 15%.
  • 60% of fish caught by the UK fleet was landed in the UK. Landings in the UK made up 71% of fshing income for UK vessels.
  • By quantity landed, pelagic species accounted for around 55% of all landings by UK boats in 2015, with demersal fish and shellfsh making up around 24% and 21% respectively. The quantity of pelagic fish landed decreased by 11% between 2014 and 2015. Demersal and shellfish landings were largely static in 2014 and 2015.
  • By value, demersal fish accounted for almost 40% of total landings with shellfish comprising just over 35 and pelagic fsh at 27%.

Source: UK Sea Fisheries Annual Statistics Report 2015 (MMO)

UK landings by UK and foreign vessels 2010 - 2015 

UK landing by UK & Foreign vessels

MMO: The Fishing Industry In 2015 - Landings

Landings into the UK by UK vessels: 2010 - 2015(a)
_ QUANTITY ('000 TONNES) VALUE (£ MILLION)
_ 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Bass 0.7 0.8 0.8 1.0 0.6 5.4 5.6 5.6 7.3 5.3
Brill 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.7 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6
Cod 12.7 12.7 13.0 14.0 15.4 27.5 24.9 25.8 27.8 29.5
Dogfish 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.6 1.6 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.3
Gurnard 1.5 1.8 1.8 1.3 1.6 1.1 1.2 1.2 0.9 1.0
Haddock 28.3 34.0 38.7 35.4 32.4 34.6 35.7 43.5 49.4 44.2
Hake 6.7 6.5 6.5 8.5 8.8 12.5 13.5 16.1 19.7 20.9
Halibut 0.1 0.1 .. .. 0.1 0.9 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.4
Lemon sole 1.6 2.5 2.5 2.3 1.8 5.9 6.7 7.6 7.9 7.3
Ling 4.2 4.1 4.0 4.4 4.1 6.2 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.3
Megrim 3.2 3.3 4.0 3.3 3.1 10.5 8.7 9.1 8.6 7.6
Monks or anglers 11.8 10.3 10.1 11.4 14.3 39.5 31.9 30.3 31.4 34.8
Plaice 3.0 3.4 4.1 3.5 3.5 3.6 3.7 4.0 3.6 3.6
Pollack (lythe) 1.9 1.8 1.6 1.9 1.6 4.4 3.9 3.4 3.4 3.1
Saithe 12.7 11.0 12.9 11.1 9.9 13.4 11.3 11.0 10.2 8.5
Sand eels .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Skates and rays 2.7 2.6 2.6 2.4 2.4 3.9 3.5 3.3 2.7 2.8
Sole 1.9 1.7 1.8 1.8 1.4 16.3 13.9 12.7 12.4 10.3
Turbot 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.5 4.2 3.6 3.7 4.2 4.2
Whiting 9.7 10.8 12.0 11.1 10.7 11.3 10.9 11.5 11.8 11.0
Witch 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.6 1.1 1.1 0.8 0.7 0.7
Other demersal (b) 3.9 3.4 3.9 34.2 3.4 5.8 4.8 5.5 5.7 6.2
TOTAL DEMERSAL 108.5 112.9 122.6 119.9 118.3 209.8 193.0 202.9 215.2 208.8
Blue whiting 1.6 6.4 8.2 9.7 12.1 0.6 1.8 1.8 1.3 2.0
Herring 31.3 38.2 37.5 38.3 38.6 15.3 18.6 13.6 10.5 13.4
Horse Mackerel 8.9 8.9 2.5 3.1 2.9 3.1 2.8 0.9 1.1 1.3
Mackerel 94.4 67.8 78.2 128.2 94.8 106.8 63.8 70.1 105.5 60.6
Sardines 3.5 4.3 3.7 3.4 4.2 0.9 1.1 1.0 0.8 1.6
Other pelagic 4.8 6.8 4.8 5.7 3.8 1.1 1.5 1.0 2.1 0.8
TOTAL PELAGIC 144.3 132.3 134.9 188.4 156.4 127.7 89.5 88.4 121.4 79.6
Cockles 3.2 2.2 10.1 10.2 11.2 2.7 1.5 5.3 7.9 5.7
Crabs 28.8 29.7 29.1 32.5 29.1 38.4 38.6 38.9 44.2 39.2
Cuttlefish 3.3 5.3 3.7 3.1 6.0 8.8 10.7 6.5 6.5 10.6
Lobsters 3.2 3.1 3.0 3.4 3.1 32.4 31.0 29.9 33.3 32.1
Mussels 1.9 0.7 0.5 0.2 1.0 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.8
Nephrops 34.3 32.6 28.3 30.3 25.7 111.1 110.4 86.0 98.2 81.8
Scallops 53.0 53.6 48.7 38.5 40.7 62.8 67.4 62.6 58.2 64.0
Shrimps and prawns 0.4 1.0 0.9 0.6 0.3 0.7 2.4 2.4 1.4 0.8
Squid 2.9 1.8 1.8 2.9 1.8 11.6 6.4 7.0 9.2 6.4
Whelks 13.9 16.4 20.0 19.7 20.9 8.9 11.1 13.7 16.2 18.6
Other shellfish 2.5 2.4 1.8 1.1 1.3 5.6 6.1 5.4 3.6 4.0
TOTAL SHELLFISH 147.4 148.8 147.9 142.5 141.0 283.3 286.0 257.8 278.8 264.0
Hide demersal
Show pelagic
Show shelfish
TOTAL ALL SPECIES 400.2 394.0 405.4 450.8 415.7 620.8 568.6 549.0 615.4 552.4

Source: MMO: The Fishing Industry In 2015 - Landings

(a) Landings data include transhipments and Islands figures.

(b) Includes fish roes and livers.

UK Ports


Top 10 UK ports - landings by UK vessels: 2015 By volume

Top 10 UK ports landings by UK vessels by volume

Source: MMO: The Fishing Industry In 2015 - Landings

 

Top 10 UK ports - landing by UK vessels: 2015 By value

Top 10 UK port landings by UK vessels 

Source: MMO: The Fishing Industry In 2015 - Landings

 UK Seafood Imports


  • In the UK* approximately 66% of the seafood value, 52% of the seafood volume which enters the supply chain is imported from abroad or landed in the UK by foreign ships.
  • In the year ending September 2016 a total of 717,583 tonnes of seafood worth £2.9bn was imported. In comparison to 2015, this was 4.1% more in terms of volume and 7.6% more value.
  • The average price per kg of imported seafood has increased by 3.3% from £3.91 in 2015 to £4.03 in September 2016.
  • In terms of species import values, with 21.1% growth salmon has reclaimed first position from cod which experienced 8.9% growth. Tuna has maintained its third position with 0.4% growth in sales value. The species that have experienced an increase in their import value of more than 10% are: scallops (85.9%), lobster (27.1%) and monkfish (18.7%). Whilst the following species imports have declined more than 10%: nephrops (18.9%), crabs (15.3%) and cold water prawns (15%).
  • This shift in species ranking is reflected in the performance of the countries who import to the UK. Looking at the top importing counties by value, Iceland has maintained number one position and the Faroe Islands are now in second place (was sixth last year). Germany has maintained third position, whilst China is now fourth (was second last year). Denmark still holds fifth position. Vietnam increased its imports moving up one place to sixth, whilst Sweden has moved up two places and is now the seventh largest importer. Canada's imports fell, moving it down four places to eight. The Netherlands improved position to ninth (from tenth last year) and India is now ranked tenth which is two places higher than 2015.

* Marine Management Organisation 2015, Finalised 2015 HMRC data via BTS, Cefas 2013-2014 data.
Source: HMRC via British Trade Statistics year ending September 2016

 top import species

 

top 20 import countries

UK Seafood Exports


  • In the year ending September 2016 export volumes fell 5.6% to 444,151 tonnes whilst the value has increased 8.7% to be worth £1.5bn, due to 15.2% inflation raising the average price per kg to £3.41. These figures include a large proportion of our domestic catch which gains a higher price in foreign markets. 
  • Salmon maintained its position as the UK's top export despite a 1.2% fall in volume, as 4.5% inflation drove a 3.3% increase in its value. The growth of scallop exports has continued in terms of value (27.8%) and volume (17.4%), it is now the UK's second largest export species. Inflation drove nephrops growth as volume exports declined (0.2%) so nephrops are now in third position. Mackerel and crabs maintained fourth and fifth positions respectively.
  • The top eight export markets for the UK remain the same with no changes in value ranking: France, U.S.A., Spain, Irish Republic, Italy, China, Netherlands and Germany. All of these countries have bought more seafood by value except the USA which spent 5.6% less than in 2015. Denmark climbed three places to be ninth, replacing Nigeria which is now fourteenth. South Korea maintained tenth position.

Source: HMRC via British Trade Statistics year ending September 2016

top export species

top 20 export countries

UK Sea Fish Processing Sector


  • In 2016 the UK sea fish processing industry provided around 13,554 full-time jobs across 307 units. The industry is consolidating with the number of sites reducing and average employment per site increasing over the last five years.
  • Humberside and the Grampian region of Scotland dominate the sea fish processing industry in terms of full-time equivalent employment (over 60% of total industry employment in 2016 located within these regions).
  • In 2014 the industry had an estimated turnover of over £3 billion of which £184 million was operating profit.
  • In 2014 the industry contributed over £550 million in Gross Value Added to the UK economy.

Source: 2016 UK Seafood Processing Industry Report (Seafish)

UK Foodservice Sector


  • In total, consumers spent £53.3bn on eating out of home in the year ending September 2016, an increase of 3% on the previous year. The industry has remained buoyant through a 1.3% increase in visits combined with a 1.6% increase in the number of servings and a 1.9% increase in the average eater spend, driven by higher prices.
  • All channels experienced this positive performance trend except work / college / university canteens. These outlets experienced a fall in sales value despite charging higher prices, as consumers visited them less often.
  • Consumers spent approximately £3.1bn on eating seafood out of home, an increase of 1.5% on the previous year. Seafood servings increased 6.8% this year driven by positive performance in all channels, except work / college / university canteens which saw a 9% decline in their seafood servings.
  • Fried fish has increased its dominance of the sector by 1.2% to hold 36.8% share of seafood servings. The share of servings held by fish/seafood sandwiches also increased to 29.2%.
  • Cod increased its lead in the out of home market and now accounts for 31.7% of all fish servings, 14.8% share of all seafood servings. The other seafood items that experienced an increase in servings are prawns, haddock, scampi and mussels. In contrast, the number of mackerel, calamari, tuna and salmon servings declined.

Source: NPD Crest 52-Weeks Ending Sept'16

UK Fish and Chip sector


  • There are approximately 10,500 takeaway fish and chip shops in the UK, collectively serving around 380 million meals per annum.
  • It is estimated that in the region of 80,000 people are employed in the takeaway fish and chip shop sector.
  • The most popular species of fish consumed via the fish and chip shop sector are cod and haddock, followed by a range of other species such as plaice, hake, coley, whiting, and lemon sole. Many species of shellfish are also increasingly available via fish and chip shops - principally breaded or battered scampi but also species such as scallops and prawns. Haddock is  the usual fsh of choice in Scotland, Yorkshire, other parts of northern England and many parts of the Midlands - while cod is the usual fish of choice in most other parts of the UK. Plaice is regularly enjoyed by an older demographic of consumer.
  • Most (approximately 95%) of the cod sold by UK fish and chip shops is caught in the Arctic waters of the Barents Sea and Iceland. In England, most of the haddock eaten comes from the Barents Sea and Iceland - both of these being supplied in FAS (frozen at sea) fllet format. In Scotland, haddock is much more likely to come from the North Sea via landings into the port of Peterhead.
  • The largest ever portion of fish and chips weighed 47.75 kg and was served by Fish and Chips@London Road, Enfeld, Middlesex, London on 30 July 2012.
  • Popular accompaniments to fish and chip meals include mushy peas, salt and vinegar, tomato ketchup, curry sauce and pickled onions.
  • It is estimated that 80% of the UK population visit fish and chip shops at least once a year, while 22% of people visit a fish and chip shop every week. Friday is still the busiest day of the week for most fish and chip shops.
  • 56% of UK consumers buy fish and chips from a takeaway outlet to eat in the home as a family meal.
  • Fish and chips is one of the least adulterated prepared foods that we can eat; wild caught fsh, freshly harvested potatoes, some flour for batter and an oil or fat for the cooking medium.
  • A serving of fish and chips provides a third of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins for a man and nearly half for a woman. A portion of fish and chips provides the body with carbohydrate, vitamins B6 and B12, vitamin C, iron,
    calcium, phosphorous, as well as the trace elements iodine, fluorine, zinc and some important dietary fibre.

Source: Seafish

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