Seafood supply and food security in UK seafood | Seafish

Seafood supply and food security in UK seafood

We’ve conducted horizon scanning reviews of seafood supply and food security relating to the UK seafood industry.

Why we’ve looked at seafood supply and food security 

The UK has an open and diverse seafood economy worth £10 billion. Its supply chain draws on both farmed seafood and wild caught seafood from around the world. A growing world population in need of food, and the requirement to produce food within environmental constraints, creates food security challenges. 

Our horizon scanning work explores how developments in the supply base might affect the UK seafood industry. We’ve also set out to gain a better understanding of food security for seafood in the UK. 

photos showing person working with fillets in factory, ariel view of port, crates being loaded into van, and crates of fish on pier beside vessel
We’ve looked at how developments in the seafood supply base might impact our seafood industry.

Reviews on UK seafood supply 

Cross-ownership in the Icelandic seafood industry  

This review was commissioned by us and the Grimsby seafood cluster. It aimed to get a better understanding of connections and dependencies in ownership of the largest Icelandic seafood companies. It also considered how this might affect supply to the UK.  

The report was produced by Matis. It gives a brief overview of cross-ownership and dependencies between the largest Icelandic seafood companies and how these may affect supply of fresh whole fish supplies to the UK. The report also provides information on how major investments over the last few years are likely to affect supply of fresh whole fish. 

Cod to 2030  

This short review looks at the UK’s cod supply base with 10-year forward view. It considers the changing prospects of seafood supplies to the UK with a focus on Atlantic cod as a touchstone species. It looks at imported cod as the UK and EU are not self-sufficient in cod with limited cod resources in European waters. 

This report is based on an exploratory exercise with key importers. It aimed to understand the supply routes to the UK market for cod and identify major changes on the horizon. It identifies trends and changes in key supply chains over the last 10 years and looks at how this may play out for cod supply to 2030, and industry implications. 

UK seafood supply base to 2030

This review focuses on the UK seafood supply base covering both domestic and international sources of supply. It looks at how the supply base has evolved over the long-term and how supplies may look towards 2030. It also identifies major impacts arising and areas of response. 

Seafood supply is highly uncertain; with ongoing near-term volatility, this report provides a degree of due diligence on longer term developments. The report helps stakeholders understand the breadth of the UK seafood supply base, identifies the significant species and sources, and explores major changes experienced, and anticipated, in supply. 

covers for Cod to 2030 and UK seafood supply base to 2030 reviews with report titles and colourful abstract graphics
Our reviews on UK seafood supply have looked at Cod to 2030 and the UK seafood supply base to 2030.

Podcast: Can seafood feed the world?  

After completing our review on the seafood supply base to 2030 we produced a podcast on seafood supply. We spoke to industry stakeholders about how the seafood supply base is changing to meet the needs of a growing population. The podcast featured contributions from:  

  • Mike Berthet from Aquasea Limited 
  • Dave Little from the Institute of Aquaculture at Stirling University
  • Alex Olsen from Espersen 
  • Huw Thomas from Offshore Shellfish 

Review on food security in UK seafood 

Our seafood supply reviews build on an earlier exploratory exercise looking at food security in UK seafood. Findings from this review included:  

  • The term food security in seafood is open to a wide range of interpretations depending on stakeholder location in the industry landscape, but there are common aspects to these interpretations and in a general sense food security is an issue of concern.  
  • Food security presents different challenges, opportunities, threats and pathways to those in the domestic and international parts of the industry, as well as those in different subsystems.  
  • There are important longer-term developments relating to food security which also differ between domestic and international stakeholders.  
  • Although food security is considered an issue, industry action is already underway and future priorities should focus on continuing and enhancing this. 

You can get a copy of the report on this review from the link below: 

Get in touch 

For further information on this review or our wider seafood horizons work please contact: 

Dr Angus Garrett
Head of Horizon Scanning and Long Term Issues
0131 524 8697