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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Statistics about fishing in the UK and beyond



Where to find information online about fishing activity in UK waters and by UK and EU fishing vessels.


EU flag harbour
Following the decision to leave the EU the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has seen an increase in the number of people and organisations asking for statistics about fishing activity in UK and EU waters.
We’re committed to publishing any relevant information we hold on our website. We’ve put together this round-up of the questions we’re commonly asked, and links to where you can already find the relevant information online.

Amount and type of fish caught in UK waters

The annual fisheries statistics published by the MMO include a wide range of information about the structure and activity of the UK fishing fleet. This includes type, amount and value of fish landed, broken down by major ports in the UK.
They also cover the activities of UK vessels overseas (Table 3.15 - landings abroad by UK vessels by country of landing) and vessels from other countries landing into the UK (Table 3.16 - landings into the UK by foreign vessels by vessel nationality).
The statistics for 2016 are due to be published on 28 September 2017.

Fishing activities of EU vessels in UK waters

In 2015, EU vessels caught 683,000 tonnes (£484 million revenue) in UK waters and UK vessels caught 111,000 tonnes (£114 million revenue) in Member States’ waters. Further information is on the MMO website.
This provisional information was also included in the White Paper – The United Kingdom’s exit from, and new partnership with, the European Union.  It will be followed by a more detailed final form statistical release as part of the UK Sea Fisheries Statistics annual publication in September 2017.

Employment in the UK fishing industry

Figures on people employed as fishermen in the UK are included in the annual statistics publication (Table 2.6), this also includes historical information.
In 2015 around 10,000 people were employed full-time as fishermen, compared to 39,000 in 1938.
There are around 6,000 UK fishing boats. Further details are in Table 2.3 of the annual statistics.


UK vessels with foreign owners

The MMO is responsible for licensing vessels for commercial fishing activity in England. We publish a list of all UK licensed vessels on our website. This can be searched by home port.
We do not take owner nationality or residency criteria into account as part of our fisheries management functions.
However, from 1 January 1999 all UK registered fishing vessels over 10 metres in overall length and landing 2 tonnes or more of quota stocks have had to demonstrate an economic link with fishing communities in the UK. This licence condition was introduced to ensure that British coastal communities dependent on fisheries and related industries derived economic benefit from vessels fishing against UK quotas.


Fish imports and exports

Chapter 4 of our annual fisheries statistics covers trade in fisheries products. The most commonly imported fish from the EU in 2015 was salmon. The most commonly exported fish to EU countries was mackerel.
Other market data may be available from Seafish.

Access by other vessels to UK waters

Historical fishing rights to access UK waters are outlined in a document on the EC website.
historical fisheries statistics

Historical fisheries information

The annual fisheries statistics document dates back to Victorian times. The MMO holds archive statistics with information relating to fishing activity dating back to the 1830s. These are available online.



Need further information? Send us your query by email or contact us on Twitter