Fishing data and insight

We collect and analyse data on the economic performance of the UK commercial fishing fleet.

Our annual Fleet Survey is live from 11 July 2022, follow the updates below:

Covid-19 impacts on the UK catching sector

This report presents results of the additional questions our researchers asked in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of our annual fleet survey in 2020.  

Key findings of this report were:   

  • During the period January to September 2020, UK landing value fell 18% (comparing January to September 2019).   
  • Total landings volume by UK vessels was 1% lower in January to September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.   
  • Overall average landings prices dropped 17%.  
  • Government support was crucial for many fishing businesses. In the survey, vessel owners representing 57% of all vessels sampled reported the use of at least one government support measure between January and September 2020.   

You can download a copy of the full report below to read a detailed analysis of the findings:

Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet 

This report presents economic estimates at UK, home nation and fleet segment level for the UK fishing fleet. 

Key findings of the 2020 report were:  

  • In 2020 there were 4,301 active fishing vessels in the UK. Around 61% of these vessels were under 10 meters in length and tended to operate in inshore waters (less than six miles from the shore).  
  • In 2020 turnover of the UK fishing fleet was £843 million. Operating profit was £217 million. 
  • The UK fishing fleet landed 620 thousand tonnes of fish and shellfish in 2020.  
  • In 2020 76% landings by the UK fleet (by weight) were made in the UK. Peterhead, Lerwick and Fraserburgh were the main UK landing ports. UK landings abroad were mainly to ports in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland.  

You can download a copy of the full report below to read a detailed analysis of the findings: 

Employment in the UK Fishing Fleet

This report presents a snapshot of employment in the UK fishing fleet.  

Key findings of the 2021 report were:     

  • Overall, most workers in the sample (64%) were from the UK.   
  • Most workers in the sample (99%) were male.  
  • The most common work pattern of onboard workers in the sample (69% of them) was full-time, all year-round work.
  • Most UK and EU workers in the sample (92%) were paid by crew share.
  • Among workers from outside the UK, the most common remuneration methods were fixed salaries and agency contracts (73% of these workers).  

You can download a copy of the full report below to read a detailed analysis of the findings:

Fleet Enquiry Tool

Our economics team have captured summary data on the size, structure and economic performance of the UK catching sector. Find out more using the link below:

Quay Issues magazine

Quay Issues is our annual magazine, exploring the stories behind the data. Articles cover the challenges facing the fishing industry and showcase the creative and innovative ways that owners and managers are finding to make the industry more sustainable, efficient and safe.

Access the latest news and find out more using the link below:

Get in touch

Economics Team
Processing Enquiries
07870 894 035