The UK marine fishing market has seen a combination of low catch volumes, the rapidly deteriorating economic climate and unpredictable seafood prices cause volatility during the last five years.
However, significant growth in 2008-09 and 2009-10 has seen the marine fishing industry through as it grew by an annualised rate of 4.6% over the five years through 2012-13 to reach a market value £731.1 million.
In 2011 the UK had 6,444 registered fishing vessels, 17% fewer than in 2001. Over the same period, the number of fishermen on UK registered vessels has fallen by almost 2,600 to 12,400. The number of days spent at sea by vessels over 10 metres in length has fallen by 42%.
The UK exports most of the seafood it catches. Foreign seafood markets greatly value UK species such as langoustine, crab and mackerel, while domestic consumers continue to focus mainly on a smaller range of species such as cod, salmon and haddock.
In 2011, just over 435,000 tonnes of seafood worth £1.458 billion was exported from the UK. Total UK seafood exports showed price driven value growth of 9.9%, volume fell by -15%
Overall the most popular species of seafood in retail is salmon, followed closely by tuna, cod, haddock and warm water prawns then cold water prawns.
The industry will be impacted by plans to reform the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). CFP fishing quotas has come under fire for contributing to overfishing and encouraging the practise of discarding. The European Parliament is expected to introduce reforms to the CFP aimed at eliminating overfishing and banning discarding.
A successful ban on discarding or other reforms that curb overfishing would likely British fishermen's incomes in the short term but would benefit the industry in the long term if it helped replenish fish stocks.
For more information on the UK marine fishing market, see the latest research: UK Marine Fishing Market
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