Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 22 March 2023.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask His Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the health of the fishing industry in England.

Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Data from the Seafish annual fleet economic survey shows that in 2021 there were 2,017 fishing vessels in England. This figure is stable year-on-year but represents a 10% decrease on pre-Covid levels (2015-2019 average). The top three species landed, by value, by these vessels were crab, lobster and mackerel with an average Gross Value Added (GVA) of £66,000 per vessel in 2021 (2021 prices). Average GVA contributions per vessel in 2021 differ between vessels which are under 10m (£20,000) and over 10m (£237,000). Around 77% of the English fishing fleet are under 10m.

The average GVA per English vessel was stable year-on-year but saw a 12% real terms reduction compared to pre-Covid levels. This decline was driven by a 19% real terms reduction in average GVA per vessel for the English over 10m fleet, while the under 10m fleet experienced an 7% increase. In 2021, there were 2,683 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) crew members on English fishing vessels. Like the number of vessels in the English fleet, this figure is stable year-on-year but represents a 13% decline on pre-Covid levels. This decline is more significant in the under 10m fleet than the over 10m fleet who saw a reduction in FTE crew members of 32% and 6% respectively.

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