Fleet survey will measure health of the fishing sector

Fleet survey researchers will be visiting ports and harbours across the country in the coming weeks.

The annual survey of the UK fishing fleet is carried out by Seafish, the public body that supports the UK seafood industry.

A team on board the vessel Oscar Wilkie will be visiting the isles later this month.

The fleet survey is described as a major piece of research into the health of the fishing sector.

It looks at the economic performance of the fleet and at the demographics of the people who work in fishing businesses.

The data gathered is used to better understand the social impact the industry has on coastal communities.

The survey results are designed to help both industry and policy makers understand the challenges and opportunities vessel owners face, as well as the impact of fisheries management measures.

Individual fishing businesses who take part in the survey can opt to receive a free benchmark report. This 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.

Economist Nick Patience said: “Creating an accurate picture of the industry relies on support and participation from skippers and vessel owners.

“It’s only by speaking with all types of fishing businesses that we can provide comprehensive data for the industry, which can then be used by fishing federations, government and individual businesses.”

Data from last year’s survey on the Scottish fleet showed there were 1,714 registered vessels in Scotland, approximately one third of which were over 10 metres.

They spent nearly 135,000 days at sea in 2020, 19 per cent down on 2019.

However, of all home nations, Scotland-registered vessels still landed the largest weight and value, with 387,000 tonnes, worth £479 million.


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