Aquaculture for all

New Seafish Resource shows UK Fleet Fuel Costs Rising

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

UK - Seafish has launched a new Excel-based dataset containing estimates of the financial and business performance of the UK fishing fleet and fleet segments. Seafish hopes that the dataset, which is now available to download from the Seafish website (, will become an invaluable resource for industry, the wider research community and other interested parties.

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The Seafish economics team, with the support of the UK Fisheries Economics Network (UKFEN), has been busy fine tuning their financial performance estimation techniques and have now applied a standard technique to data from all years so that comparisons between years are valid and trends in key indicators such as total earnings, fuel costs, fuel consumption per day at sea, profit margin and gross value added (GVA) can be observed over time.

The dataset contains annual estimates of a variety of business and financial indicators for the years 2005-2012 for around 30 different UK fleet segments. The data used to produce the estimates are based on official landings, vessel and activity data for every vessel in the UK fleet and on sets of accounts supplied voluntarily by vessel owners to Seafish. There is also an early estimate of the outcome for 2012 based on official data, 2012 fuel prices and 2011 cost structures.

John Anderson, Economist at Seafish said: "We receive many requests for fleet economic performance data so we are really pleased to make these data available in a simple spread sheet and publish them online.

"Results suggest that the UK fishing fleet's fuel bill hit an all-time high in 2012, amounting to around £182 million, an increase of approx. 20 per cent from 2011. Average fuel cost as a proportion of total turnover increased from 22 per cent in 2011 to an estimated 27 per cent in 2012.

"Although we estimate that the UK fleet made an overall operating profit in 2012, operating profit decreased by around £36 million compared to 2011. Average operating profit as a proportion of total turnover decreased from around 18 per cent in 2011 to around 15 per cent in 2012, driven primarily by lower fish prices and higher fuel prices.

"The time series aspect of the dataset is particularly useful in highlighting the fact that some vessels switch fleet segment from one year to the next as vessel owners attempt to maintain and improve profitability in the face of changing fishing opportunities, fish prices and management measures. We can clearly see this happening in the North Sea and West of Scotland demersal and nephrops segments."

The economics team is already planning improvements to the data included in this new spread sheet and are keen to hear from anyone with ideas for other metrics that could be made available.

The new dataset can be downloaded here: /about-seafish/news/seafish-publishes-multi-year-fleet-economic-performance-dataset

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