Seafish researchers return to the North East for annual fishing fleet survey

This years survey will travel the length and breadth of the UK
This years survey will travel the length and breadth of the UK

Seafish is calling for vessel owners and skippers in the North East to participate in its 12th annual economic survey of the UK fishing fleet.

This year’s survey will travel the length and breadth of the UK. Researchers will be in ports from Arbroath to Fraserburgh from 31st July to 4th August.

Researchers are looking to gather data on fishing and vessel costs in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the financial and operational performance of the fishing industry.

The 2017 survey hopes to uncover a similar success story to last year, which saw the UK fishing sector experience its best economic performance since 2008.

The most recent results published found that the total UK fleet income increased by 19 percent, while the operating profit increased year-on-year by an estimated 22 percent.

The researchers will also canvass fishermen’s views on a range of current and future industry issues.

Despite last year being positive for the sector, a number of skippers and vessel owners expressed concerns about the future. Uncertainty in regulation and political developments, issues around quota availability and affordability and market prices made the list.

The next round of research, to be published in 2018, is crucial for uncovering the direction the industry is moving in. With the UK set to exit the EU in 2019, the survey will capture the mood on the ground and provide an insight in to the expectations and concerns of the fishing industry.

Steve Lawrence, Economics Project Manager at Seafish, said: “Our annual survey provides us with a detailed picture of the UK fishing fleet’s economic performance. The insight it provides means we can keepall those involved in the sector fully informed on the health of the fleet. The report is also made available to policy makers and it is a good opportunity for fishermen to voice their opinion on the big issues affecting them.”

“We had a great response to last year’s survey, with over 700 skippers and vessel owners taking part. We hope to increase the number of people we speak to this year so that the insight we gather is as accurate as possible.

“We appreciate the continued support of the fishing industry in the North East and encourage all skippers and vessel owners in the area to speak to our researchers.”

All vessel owners can benefit directly from participation by requesting a free financial performance benchmark report which allows comparisons with the average performance of other similar vessels.

The survey is supported by the national federations and local associations around the UK. All information provided is treated as confidential and no individual vessel figures will be revealed in any report.

As well as the UK fleet report to be published next year, Seafish will publish its annual Quay Issues magazine later this year which includes stories and features gathered by the researchers as part of the survey.

Anybody interested in taking part in the survey should contact Steve Lawrence at Seafish on 0131 524 8663 or email To view the results of last year’s report, visit the Seafishwebsite.