Best Practice Guidance for Assessing the Financial Performance of Fishing Gear

Although there has been significant investment in new gear design, and research and analysis of gear effectiveness, very few studies have addressed the financial impacts of the Landing Obligation for vessel operators. Uncertainty surrounding the costs and benefits of gear modifications may make vessel owners reluctant to make gear changes due to potential losses in time and revenue during trial periods. Before gear modifications are adopted, it is important to assess the financial effectiveness of gear modifications to make sure fishing operations remain profitable with new gear.

Seafish has developed Best Practice Guidance for industry and scientist-led gear trials to help vessel owners choose the right gear for their business. Seafish has also developed a Financial Assessment Calculator spreadsheet for vessel owners and trial supervisors (to use alongside the Best Practice Guidance), to provide a straightforward, standardised way for users to collect, analyse and compare gear trial results and assess the financial effectiveness of fishing modifications.

The Financial Assessment Calculator spreadsheet calculates trip level fishing revenue based on catch composition and market prices, and it considers fishing expenses, such as fuel and crew costs, in financial calculations. The spreadsheet generates a trip level financial assessment of the gear, which can be compared across trips and scaled up to estimate longer term financial impacts of gear modifications, such as annual financial gains or losses from using modified gear.