UK Fishing Fleet Survey

Every year we talk to fishing vessel owners around the UK to capture economic and employment data. We also ask about the issues affecting business.

The Fleet Survey is the major piece of research into the health of the UK's fishing sector, both in terms of the economic performance of the fleet itself but also the social impact it has on coastal communities. The results of the survey help both industry and policy makers to understand the challenges and opportunities the fleet faces as well as the impact of fisheries management measures. 

But creating an accurate picture depends on the support and participation from skippers and vessel owners. With the UK's exit from the EU among the changes on the horizon it has arguably never been more important that the fleet survey can show the most complete picture of the catching sector as possible. 


Due to the current coronavirus pandemic the 2020 UK Fishing Fleet Survey was held by post, telephone or online. 

We'll give more details of the 2021 survey later in the year. You can contact us by emailing


How to take part

It should take no more than 15 minutes for skippers and owners to take part in the survey. 

Our researchers will ask a series of questions about the financial and operational performance of the fishing vessel, with all answers and any other information provided treated in the strictest confidence.

No figures relating to any individual or specific vessel are revealed in the fleet report or any other outputs.

Benchmarking reports for vessel owners

Owners who take part can request a free financial performance benchmark report. This provides an indication of how well their vessel is performing compared to similar vessels. This can help to inform business and financial decisions. 

Industry support

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) have recently asked skippers and owners to take part with Barrie Deas, NFFO chairman, saying: 

“I would encourage every skipper and vessel owner to assist Seafish by taking part in the UK fleet survey. By sparing the small amount of time required to take part, you will be helping to create the most accurate picture possible of the UK fishing fleet, across boats of all sizes and the entire country.”

Our researchers

Our fleet researchers are Oscar Wilkie, Joe Cooper and Juan Carlos Paredes Esclapez.

Photo of the fleet survey researchers at a port
Fleet survey researchers