Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Seafish survey seek fishermen in Cornwall this week.

Fishermen in Newlyn will be visited this week as part of an annual survey of the UK’s fishing fleet.

Researchers from Seafish will be visiting fishing ports between St Ives and Ilfracombe, Porthleven and Looe and Newlyn and Sennen from today through until Sunday.

They want to hear from all vessel owners and skippers in Cornwall and Devon over the state of the fishing industry, for its 13th annual economic survey. They will particularly be looking at the financial and operational performance of the fishing industry.

With the UK preparing to exit the European Union, the organisation says it is “vital” that fishers provide accurate data to paint a clear picture of the performance of the industry for policy makers.

Economics Project Manager at Seafish, Steve Lawrence, said: “We have to find out from those on the front line of the fishing industry how their economic performance has been over the past 12 months.

“This insight means we can keep all those in the sector fully informed on the health of the fleet. For us to be able to keep policy makers informed with our reports we need as many skippers and vessel owners as possible to be involved and have their say.”

Last year proved to be a mixed year for the fishing fleet, with operating profit seeing a four per cent decrease, but total fishing income rising by £38 million to reach £984 million.

In the 2017 survey, many skippers raised the uncertain political and trade landscape, the availability of fish, oil and fuel price and quota as some of their main concerns. The 2018 survey is a chance for the industry to give up to date information on their successes and upcoming challenges, helping their voices be heard.

This year will also include a social demographic section, asking fishers about their age, qualifications and working arrangements, providing more insight in to the individuals in the catching sector.

“Collecting this social data helps us to build up a much more detailed picture of the UK fishing industry. This rich information is vital to ensure decision makers This rich information is vital to ensure decision makers understand how communities and livelihoods are affected by changing management measures, particularly now as we head towards EU exit and a new fisheries policy.

“We appreciate the continued support of the fishing industry in Cornwall and Devon and encourage all skippers and vessel owners in the area to speak to our researchers,” added Mr Lawrence.

The findings from this years’ survey, to be published in 2019, will help uncover the direction the industry is moving in and give an insight on how fishers see the future of their industry.

All vessel owners who take part in the survey can request a free financial performance benchmark report, which allows comparisons with the average performance of similar vessels.

information provided is treated as confidential and no individual vessel figures will be revealed in any report.

Anybody interested in taking part in the survey should contact Steve Lawrence at Seafish on 0131 524 8663 or email steven.lawrence@seafish.co.uk.