Outlook improves for profitability of UK fishing

New data from trade body Seafish suggests that the majority of UK fishing fleets were profitable in 2014, with a similarly optimistic outcome likely for 2015 buoyed by lower fuel prices.

Fishermen land their catch at Peterhead as Seafish figures paint a 'positive picture' for the industry. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The group said the average operating profit per vessel in 20 out of 31 fleets identified improved in 2014 from the prior year, while one fleet showed a stable operating profit.

An improved operating performance is expected for 2015 once the figures are finalised.

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Arina Motova, senior economist at Seafish, said: “This is a positive picture for most of the UK’s fishing fleet and, with fuel prices remaining low and landings increasing, we expect a better picture for 2015.

“However, the final impact will depend on the availability of the fishing resources and productivity of each particular fishery.”

Seafish, which has some of its core activities in Edinburgh, added that it has improved its data to become “easier to understand and more detailed”.