Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Economics of the UK fishing fleet - 2018.

Turnover of the UK fishing fleet was close to £1 billion in 2018, a very
similar figure to 2017. Total operating profit was £268 million, 4% lower
than in 2017. This decrease in operating profit in 2018 was due mainly to
an increase in fuel prices.

• The average price of fuel increased by 19% from 2017 to 2018. Total spend on fuel of the fleet in 2018 was an estimated £136 million, 20% higher than in 2017.• Crew costs were £251 million in 2018. This figure is a 5% decrease from 2017: it is likely that the increase in fuel price reduced the amount of money available to distribute among the crew.• Total operating costs of the UK fleet were £759 million in 2018, a 2% increase from 2017.• Total fishing income of the fleet was £978 million in 2018. This was a similar figure to 2017, although the total weight of landings decreased by 5% in 2018. An increase in the average price of the catch in 2018 helped offset this decrease in weight landed.• The total number of active fishing vessels was 4,512 in 2018. Of these active vessels, around 1,600 were classed by Seafish as low activity vessels with a fishing income of less than £10,000.• Seafish researchers interviewed around 400 skippers and vessel owners during the summer of 2018. These interviews touched on the main factors impacting the financial performance of their businesses, such as the abundance of fish, access to quota, fuel price, the age and health of fishermen and the weather.  • Interviewees reported a mixture of ambitions for the next few years.Possible opportunities included increases in the price of catches, moredirect access to buyers, better infrastructure and expected improvements in fish stocks and quota access. There were mixed views on the future political and trade landscape in the event of EU exit, with some interviewees perceiving it as an opportunity while others felt it was a potential risk to their businesses.

NB: 2018 financial estimates will be revised when vessel accounts for that year are available in
early 2020. A new version of this annual report will be published based on updated estimates.

The full publication is available for download here: Economics of the UK fishing fleet - 2018