Low Fuel Prices Help Improve UK Fishing Fleets Economic Performance

Lucy Towers
22 March 2016, at 12:00am

UK - The latest fleet economic performance data, published annually by Seafish, estimates that most of the UKs fishing fleets remained profitable in 2014 and are forecasting a similar performance for 2015.

According to the data, the average operating profit in 2014 per vessel in 20 out of 31 fleets identified in the Seafish data has improved compared to 2013 whilst one fleet showed a stable operating profit. The remaining 10 Seafish defined fleet segments saw operating profit deteriorate.

The reduction of the fuel price in 2014 and 2015 contributed to the improvement of the economic performance. The nominal fuel prices in 2015 dropped to the same level as 2009, and Seafish are forecasting further improvements in 2015 performance with an increase in operating profit for 22 fleets. An increase in average wages is expected due to the reduction of the fuel price.

Arina Motova, Senior Economist at Seafish, says: “This is a positive picture for most of the UK’s fishing fleet and with fuel prices remaining low and landings increasing, we expect a better picture for 2015. However, the final impact will depend on the availability of the fishing resources and productivity of each particular fishery.”

Seafish has been making improvements to the annual economic datasets to make the information both easier to understand and more detailed, with the inclusion of groupings of vessels based on profitability. Employment statistics have also been included for the first time to give a clearer picture of the current status of the UK’s fishing fleet.

Arina continues: “The new format along with the additional information and analysis will help people to understand the basic drivers of each fleet’s economic performance as well as follow the development of employment and the productivity of the work force.”