New report shows UK fishing fleet recorded third year of £1 billion pound turnover in 2019 — Seafish

New report shows UK fishing fleet recorded third year of £1 billion pound turnover in 2019

Performance of the UK fleet revealed as Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet 2019 report published and Fleet Enquiry Tool launched.

The UK’s fishing fleet recorded another year of £1 billion turnover in 2019, our latest publication shows. The Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet 2019 follows the release of the Fleet Economic performance dataset earlier this year and includes economic analysis. We have also launched a new online tool allowing users to access and explore the underlying data more easily.

The Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet 2019 report reveals that the total operating profit for the UK fleet in 2019 was £240 million. This is similar to the previous year as a decrease in total costs helped to offset a decrease in income from fishing. The total fishing income of the fleet decreased from £1.01 billion in 2018 to £980 million in 2019, as the total weight of landings decreased by 12%. Crew costs also decreased from £266 million in 2018 to £258 million in 2019, with the drop in fishing income likely reducing the amount of money available to distribute among crew.

While these figures are averaged across the fleet as a whole, the picture can vary considerably for different sections of the fleet and some individual vessels will have found 2019 to be a challenging year. To allow this underlying data to be accessed and analysed more easily Seafish has launched its new online Fleet Enquiry Tool.

The tool includes data for fleet economic performance, landings and activity as well as showing the performance of different classes of vessel over time. It allows users to easily filter and compare data relating to the UK fishing fleet as well as generate graphs and visualisations. Built in the Tableau system, Seafish is holding a webinar demonstrating how to use the tool on Friday 30 October at 10.30am.

Commenting on the report’s publication and the launch of the Fleet Enquiry Tool, our Chief Economist Arina Motova said:

“Accurate economic data from the fishing fleet helps to inform policy decisions and improve fisheries management. We saw earlier this year how significant this data can be when the UK government and devolved administrations used it to inform the Covid-19 support packages they created for fishing businesses.

“We hope that this latest report and our new Fleet Enquiry Tool will be of value to government, the industry as a whole, and to individual vessel owners and skippers. While these both provide users with easy access to a large amount of data, those in industry are of course welcome to continue to contact us with specific questions or with requests for detailed enquiries and analysis.”

The economic data for the report and the fleet enquiry tool are collected during annual surveys of the fishing fleet conducted by Seafish. Vessel owners and skippers are asked about the main factors impacting the financial performance of their businesses, such as access to quota, fishing grounds, infrastructure, markets and labour, the abundance of fish and investment decisions.

The 2020 survey is due to conclude shortly. We have contacted all owners of UK registered vessels with information on how to complete the survey by post, online or phone. Vessel owners who have not yet completed the survey but would still like to take part should refer to their information pack or get in touch with us as soon as possible. This year respondents are also being asked about the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses and how effective government support measures have been for them.

The Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet 2019 report and the Fleet Enquiry Tool can be accessed here. The underlying dataset and full methodology (explaining where estimates and forecasts have been used) are also available.