Seafish researchers prepare to return to Peterhead and Fraserburgh ports

Fishing vessel owners and skippers in Peterhead and Fraserburgh are encouraged to take part in the annual survey of the UK fishing fleet.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 8:51 am
Seafish researchers Juan Carlos Paredes Esclapez, Oscar Wilkie and Joe Cooper in Peterhead in 2019. They'll be returning again this summer.
Seafish researchers Juan Carlos Paredes Esclapez, Oscar Wilkie and Joe Cooper in Peterhead in 2019. They'll be returning again this summer.

This year’s survey started this week and will run throughout the summer. The survey is carried out by Seafish, the public body that supports the UK seafood industry.

The annual socio-economic survey asks questions about the financial performance of fishing businesses and demographics of their crew.

It gives owners and skippers the chance to share how their business has faired in the last 12 months through changes such as the pandemic and Brexit.

Vessel owners at Fraserburgh harbour will be asked to take part in the annual survey.

All responses are treated as confidential, with no figures from individual vessels revealed.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant that last year’s survey had to take place by post and online.

However, the easing of restrictions means that field researchers Juan Carlos Paredes Esclapez, Oscar Wilkie and Joe Cooper will visit ports and harbours over the summer.

Marta Moran-Quintana, economic analyst at Seafish, said: “We’re delighted that our fleet researchers will be able to meet owners and skippers face to face again. Normally about 70 per cent of the fishermen we meet in ports agree to complete the survey. We hope that owners and skippers will again be willing to spare some time to chat with Carlos, Oscar and Joe about their businesses and crew.

“The fleet survey provides data which is useful to the industry at all levels. From national federations seeking to influence government to individual owners making decisions for their business. It’s only by speaking with all types of fishing businesses that we can provide accurate, comprehensive and current data for the industry.”

Seafish’s Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet report for 2020 will be published later in the year. The full economic performance dataset has already been released and shows that the total operating profit of the fleet last year fell by almost a fifth (from £264 million in 2019 to £214 million in 2020.)

Turnover, which had been above the £1 billion mark for the previous three years, fell to £843 million. The results are based on last year’s survey results as well as preliminary landings data.