Fleet survey researchers visiting Scottish ports in October

Our fleet survey researchers will be visiting ports and harbours across Scotland in the coming weeks.

The fleet survey is a major piece of research into the health of the UK's fishing sector. It looks at the economic performance of the fleet and at the demographics of the people who work in fishing businesses. The data gathered is used to better understand the social impact the industry has on coastal communities. The survey results help both industry and policy makers to understand the challenges and opportunities vessel owners and managers face, as well as the impact of fisheries management measures.

Individual fishing businesses who take part in the survey can opt to receive a free benchmark report. This compares their vessel’s economic performance to similar vessels which can help identify areas where improvements can be made. They can also be used as evidence in grant or loan applications.

Our fleet survey research team will visit the following locations in October 2021:

  • Oscar Wilkie will be in Shetland and Orkney
  • Carlos Esclapez will be in Scrabster, Wick and Ullapool, Buckie, Fraserburgh and Peterhead and then Skye and South Scotland
photos of fleet survey researchers
Fleet survey researchers Oscar Wilkie and Carlos Esclapez will be visiting Scottish ports

 Economist Nick Patience said:

I’m really excited to be involved in the 2021 fishing fleet survey. The data gathered in this annual survey enables us to create a unique dataset on the UK fishing industry with insight at UK, home nation and fleet segment level.

Creating an accurate picture of the industry relies on support and participation from skippers and vessel owners. It’s only by speaking with all types of fishing businesses that we can provide comprehensive data for the industry, which can then be used by fishing federations, government and individual businesses.

I’d encourage fishing businesses across Scotland to get in touch with our team so we can capture their data as we visit ports and harbours across the country in the coming weeks.

Any vessel owners who are happy to take part in the survey are asked to email fleet.survey@seafish.co.uk with your name, email and/or phone number and port of operation.

Find information about the 2021 Fleet survey is available from the link below:

The data from last year’s fleet survey was used to inform the recently published Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet 2020 report. The findings show that:

  • After two years of stability in terms of economic performance, 2020 was a challenging year for the UK fleet. Covid-19 and associated lockdown measures had a considerable impact on fleet operations.
  • Fishing activity (in terms of days at sea) and average prices fell in 2020, resulting in a drop in fishing income and profit for the fleet.
  • Total turnover of the UK fishing fleet was £843 million in 2020, a 17% decrease compared to 2019.
  • Forecasted overall operating profit was £217 million in 2020, an expected 19% fall from 2019 figures.

Data on the Scottish fleet showed:

  • Scottish-registered vessels employed the most people in full time equivalent jobs (FTE) in 2020 (2,919 FTEs).
  • There were 1,714 registered vessels in Scotland, approximately one third of which were over 10m.
  • They spent nearly 135,000 days at sea in 2020, 19% less days at sea compared to 2019.
  • Of all home nations, Scotland-registered vessels landed the largest weight and value in 2020 with 387 thousand tonnes, worth £479 million.

A copy of the full Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet 2020 report is available to download from the link below: