Record high profits for EU fishing fleet linked to use of sustainable methods

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Record-peak levels in economic performance of the EU fishing fleet

The 2018 Annual Economic Report on the EU Fishing Fleet shows record-peak levels in economic performance of the EU fishing fleet in 2016 and closely links this achievement to the use of sustainable fishing methods.

While marginally profitable in 2009, the EU fleet registered record-high net profits of EUR 1.3 billion in 2016, a 68% increase compared to 2015. Continued improvements into 2016 were mainly a result of continued low fuel prices and higher average fish prices (more value for less quantity landed).

The positive economic development of the EU fishing fleet is also closely linked to the sustainable exploitation of fish stocks. The report indicates that economic performance stagnates where fleets depend on stocks that are still overfished or overexploited. Fleets that fish sustainably, ever growing in numbers, have seen clear improvements in their profitability.

In 2016, the EU fleet’s gross added value, (i.e. the contribution of the fishing sector to the economy through wages and gross profit) amounted to EUR 4.3 billion, a 15% increase compared to 2015.

This has led to an increase in the average salaries of the EU fleet employees.

Since the large majority of vessels operate in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way, fuel consumption has decreased. In 2016, fuel costs were 12% of the total revenue, compared to 24% in 2008, largely reflecting the low fuel prices seen over most of the period analysed.