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Part I Statistics and main indicators

  1. Country brief
  2. General geographic and economic indicators
  3. FAO Fisheries statistics

The Profile (2004)

    Additional information

    1. FAO Thematic data bases
    2. Publications
    3. Meetings & News archive

    Part I Statistics and main indicators

    Part I of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile is compiled using the most up-to-date information available from the FAO Country briefs and Statistics programmes at the time of publication. The Country Brief and the FAO Fisheries Statistics provided in Part I may, however, have been prepared at different times, which would explain any inconsistencies.

    Country briefUpdated 12-2016

    The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the major fisheries and aquaculture nations in Europe. Total capture production by the UK in 2015 was about 705 000 tonnes, worth about USD 807 million with a fleet of 6 279 vessels. Inland waters are mainly exploited for recreational purposes and contribute little (747 tonnes) to domestic food supplies.Aquaculture production stands at 206 834 tonnes in 2015 and forms an important part of the UK seafood industry. Aquaculture production is dominated by Atlantic salmon, followed by marine molluscs and rainbow trout, while many other species are farmed in small volume. Employment in the sector was reported as 3 310, with 12% of the workforce women in 2014.

    In 2015, total employment was estimated at 12 107 people, with 2 000 of these employed part time. Sex-disaggregated data was not supplied. Employment has being decreased decrease in the last decades, with the total number of employed persons falling by just 6 % since 2005. The major factors causing the employment drop relate to the declining number of fishing vessels and a continued substitution of labour capital.Impressive productivity gains achieved over the last decade reflect innovations in production technology and biology as well as the increasing importance of economies of scale.

    The UK is a net importer of fish and fishery products and USD 4.1 billion of fish and fishery products were imported in 2015. In the same year, total exports of fish and fishery products were worth USD 2.5 billion. In 2013, fish consumption per capita per year was estimated at 20.8 kg. Over the period from 2007 to 2016, fish retail prices have increased by 28%2.

    Managing fisheries is a devolved responsibility within the country and carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (England), the Scottish Executive (Scotland), the Welsh Assembly Government (Wales) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland.

    The Operational Programme (OP) "Fisheries and Maritime 2014-2020" for support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in the UK aims at achieving key national development priorities along with the "Europe 2020" objectives. The OP addresses the general reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the development of the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP). For that, the European Commission has adopted a key investment package for the UK's maritime sector and especially its fisheries and aquaculture industry. Roughly USD3 329 million will be made available under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for that period (2014-2020), from which UDS3 258 million are EU funds.

    The UK is Party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement. The UK has transferred competence to the European Community in respect of certain matters governed by the Agreement. Through the European Community, the UK is Party to the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement.
    General geographic and economic indicators

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data – United Kingdom

    Shelf area 10 525 km2 Sea around us: http://www.seaaroundus.org/
    Length of continental coastline 18 000 km

    European Commission:


    Fisheries GVA (2013) USD1 515 million

    European Commission:


    *Value converted by FAO as per UN currency exchange rate
    (1) UN Operational Rates of Exchange (1st Dec 2016)

    Key statistics

    Country area243 610km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area241 930km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Inland water area1 680km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.65.303millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area3 224 820km2VLIZ

    Source: FAO Country Profile

    FAO Fisheries statisticsTable 2 in this section is based on statistics prepared by the FAO Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit and disseminated in 2016. The charts are based on the same source but these are automatically updated every year with the most recent statistics.

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2013 2014 2015
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 0.00 0.00 15.65 15.30 15.32 15.16 15.42
      Aquaculture 2.60 3.08 3.31 3.31
      Capture 15.65 12.70 12.24 11.85 12.11
        Marine     15.65 12.70 12.24 11.85 12.11
    FLEET(thousands vessels) 7.65 6.42 6.40 6.38 6.19
    Source: FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics
    1) Due to roundings total may not sum up

    Please Note:Fishery statistical data here presented exclude the production for marine mammals, crocodiles, corals, sponges, pearls, mother-of-pearl and aquatic plants.


    Updated 2004The Profile

    This country profile provides statistics and indicators produced through FAO’s Statistics programmes, supplemented with information derived from national and other sources and valid at the time of compilation.

    Full text of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile available at http://www.fao.org/fishery/docs/DOCUMENT/fcp/en/FI_CP_UK.pdf

    Additional information

    FAO Thematic data bases

    Meetings & News archive


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