The UK fishing industry

Source: For the latest statistics on the UK fishing industry visit  DEFRA

For more retail focused information visit Seafish's website and conduct a search on UK Fishing Fleet Statistics for a selection of what's available. Here are examples of what you may find:


In 2012, there were 6,406 registered fishing vessels, a reduction of 15% since 2002. Of these vessels, around 4,600 were active during 2012 and of those, around 1,800 had annual value of fish landings below £10,000. The list of registered vessels in 2012 comprised 5,032 under 10m vessels and 1,374 over 10m vessels.

There were around 12,450 fishermen in the UK in 2012, down 12% since 2002. Of these, 5,900 were based in England, 1,100 in Wales, 4,700 in Scotland and 800 in Northern Ireland (up 32%).

All UK fishermen have to operate under strict management regimes. Many of the stocks around the country’s coastline are currently very healthy; for example, stocks of herring and shellfish such as langoustine. However, many of the most abundant species are exported and there is scope to increase UK consumption of them.
In recent years, new alliances have been built between government, fishermen, statutory bodies, conservationists and scientists to work towards a sustainable future for the seas around the UK. As these new partnerships develop there is scope for buyers to change their specifications, building in commitments to better conservation practices by fishermen. The Head of Environmental Responsibility at Seafish is helping the seafood industry build on this.