Annual Survey of the Fishing Sector

Seafish researcher Oscar Wilkie will be in Orkney to meet with the fishing sector.

Seafish Researcher Oscar Wilkie

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

The fleet survey is a major piece of research into the health of the UK’s 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 help both industry and policy makers to understand the challenges and opportunities vessel owners and managers 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.

Any vessel owners who are happy to take part in the survey are asked to email with your name, email and/or phone number and port of operation.

Find information about the 2021 Fleet survey is available on the Seafish website:

Data on the Scottish fleet showed:

  • Scottish-registered vessels employed the most people in full time equivalent jobs (FTE) in 2020 (2,919 FTEs).
  • There were 1,714 registered vessels in Scotland, approximately one third of which were over 10m.
  • They spent nearly 135,000 days at sea in 2020, 19% less days at sea compared to 2019.
  • Of all home nations, Scotland-registered vessels landed the largest weight and value in 2020 with 387 thousand tonnes, worth £479 million.

A copy of the full Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet 2020 report is available to download from the Seafish website  

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