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 businesses.

The 2022 fleet survey will begin on Monday 11 July and will continue until the end of September.

What is the Fleet Survey?

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 itself and at the demographics of the people who work in fishing businesses. This allows us to better understand the social impact the industry has on coastal communities. The results of the survey 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.

Creating an accurate picture of the industry relies on support and participation from skippers and vessel owners.

What happens during the survey?

Our researchers visit ports and harbours across the UK to speak with vessel owners and skippers. They follow local guidance and health and safety protocols as they travel and meet with fishermen.

The survey asks a series of questions about the financial and operational performance of fishing vessels and questions about the demographics of the crew. It's an opportunity to share how fishing businesses have fared in the last 12 months through challenges and changes.

All information shared with Seafish is treated in the strictest confidence. No figures relating to any individual or specific vessel are revealed in any outputs.

How can I take part?

Vessel owners interested in participating should email with their:

  • name
  • email and/or phone number
  • port of operation

Our researchers will arrange to meet you in port or schedule a telephone or video call if that is more suitable.

Our researchers

Our researchers this year will include some faces which are now familiar in ports around the UK, as Juan Carlos Paredes Esclapez and Oscar Wilkie return for their fourth year. Fresh faces will also be in the mix with Rebecca Spain, Euan Newgreen, Sheriene Murphy and Udara Nagodavithana joining the survey team. 

Fleet survey researchers Rebecca, Sheriene, Udara, Euan, Oscar & Carlos

When will the survey be in my area? 

The approximate plan for our researchers location visits can be found below:

 Week Commencing Udara   Sheriene  Euan Rebecca   Oscar  Carlos
18 July


St Andrews to North Queensferry


Peterhead to Arbroath  

North Kent  South Kent  n/a   n/a
25 July


Edinburgh to Eyemouth

Yorkshire and Humberside:

Hartlepool and Grimsby 

Suffolk and Essex:

Great Yarmouth to Leigh-on-sea 


Newhaven to Selsey 

n/a  n/a 
01 August


Nairn to Inveralloach

Northumberland and Durham:


Hampshire and East Dorset:

Portsmouth to Poole  

The Wash and Norfolk:

Boston to Cromer  


Argyl and Bute (inc. Islay):

Campbelltown to Criana

08 August


Nairn to Inveralloach

East Sutherland:

Inverness to Scrabster


Lancashire and Cumbria

North Wales


Dumfries & Galloway + Ayrshire  

15 August



North Sutherland

North Wales + South Wales

Isle of Man

22 August  Shetland Lochaber and Mull Shetland  South Wales n/a  n/a 
29 August n/a  West Highlands West of Glasgow

South Cornwall: 

Looe to Porthleven

n/a  n/a 
05 September  Newlyn

Northern Ireland: 

Kilkeel to Portrush

Northern Ireland: 

Kilkeel to Portrush


South Cornwall: 

Looe to Porthleven

n/a  n/a 
12 September  South Devon 

Yorkshire and Humberside:

Hartlepool and Grimsby

Outer Hebrides:

Lewis & Harris to Southern Outer Hebrides


North Cornwall and North Devon 

East Devon:

Exeter to Brixham

Outer Hebrides (inc. Isle of Skye):

Lewis & Harris to Southern Outer Hebrides

19 September 

West Dorset




Fraserburgh / Buckie



East Devon:

Exeter to Brixham

Outer Hebrides:

Lewis & Harris to Southern Outer Hebrides

Benchmarking reports for vessel owners

Owners who take part in the survey can request a free financial performance benchmark report. The report 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.

Industry support

Various industry representatives from across the country have called on vessel owners to take part in the survey. Find out more, by accessing our YouTube videos on the links below.

Mike Park from the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA) on why fishing businesses should take part.
Jerry Percy from the New Under Ten Fishermen's Association (NUTFA) on why to take part in the Fleet survey.
Harry Wick from the Northern Ireland Fish Producers' Organisation (NIFPO) explains how Fleet Survey data helps him to represent fishermen better.