The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) launched its UK Sea Fisheries Statistics 2018, providing details on the British fleet, the number of fishermen, the quantity and value of UK landings, international trade, worldwide fishing and the state of key stocks.
According to the report, the UK fishing industry consisted of 6,036 fishing vessels, 112 vessels fewer than in the previous year. The fleet in 2018 comprised 4,760 10 metre and under vessels and 1,276 over 10 metre vessels.
Also, the fishermen were estimated to be 11,961, 5% less since 2008 and 269 more than in 2017.
From that number:
- 5,057 were based in England
- 1,193 in Wales
- 4,857 in Scotland
- 854 in Northern Ireland.
Part-time fishermen accounted for 20% of the total in 2018 compared with 17% ten years ago. Active Fishermen were about 12,000, from which 2,400 were part-time.
Also, the report adds that the quantity of sea fish landed by British ships lowered by 4%, whereas the value of landings rose by 1% in value, compared to 2017.
Another finding was that the UK vessels landed 698 thousand tonnes of sea fish into the UK and abroad with a value of £989 million. UK fleet landings abroad fell to 272 thousand tonnes compared with 291 thousand tonnes in 2017, almost entirely down to a decrease in mackerel landings. Mackerel landings fell to 191 thousand tonnes from 227 thousand tonnes in 2017, but still made up a substantial 27% of UK fleet landings.
The Scottish and Northern Irish fleets caught mainly pelagic fish. The English landed mainly demersal species and the Welsh caught mostly shellfish.
The UK fishing fleet remained seventh largest in the EU in terms of vessel numbers, with the second largest capacity and fourth largest engine power. Moreover, 74% of the quantity landed by the UK fleet was caught by vessels over 24 metres in length which accounted for 4% of the total number of UK vessels.
Imports of fish were down by 31 thousand tonnes to 674 thousand tonnes. Exports also fell, by 12 thousand tonnes to 448 thousand tonnes.
In line with the UK fisheries statistics, a report launched in August focused on the turnover of the UK fishing fleet, which was close to £1 billion in 2018, a very similar figure to 2017.
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