Seafish is encouraging seafood processing businesses across the UK to complete a short survey that will help to capture vital industry data, reports Paul Scott.

From now until June, Seafish will be contacting processors across the UK to conduct the confidential survey, which it says gives processing businesses the opportunity to ‘make their voices heard’. The more data businesses provide, ‘the more accurately the sector will be represented and understood’.

Jimmy Buchan, CEO of the Scottish Seafood Association, said: “We should never underestimate the importance of clear statistical and financial data on the sector. When the Scottish government was developing the Scottish Seafood Business Resilience Fund, it was data from previous Seafish processing surveys that they turned to.

“While we can debate whether the right support was provided, we will always be better placed to make our case to governments if we have the data to support it. I would strongly encourage seafood businesses of all sizes, wherever you are in the UK, to fully engage with Seafish to complete the survey and provide the requested financial data.”

The survey, which consists of a five-minute call and short follow-up email, collects data which Seafish says helps the government understand how businesses and communities are impacted by local, national and international events. The information can also be used by businesses to provide evidence to government of challenges within the industry.

The survey findings also provide evidence for trade agreements and import and export guidance, as well as demonstrating jobs supported by the sector to schools and prospective workers.

Simon Dwyer of the Seafood Grimsby and Humber Cluster Group said: “When the government was developing free trade agreements, they relied on data from previous Seafish processing surveys.

“This really illustrates to me and the Grimsby Seafood Cluster that we will always be better placed to make our case to governments if we have the data to support it.”

Arina Motova, chief economist of Seafish, said: “The processing census is extremely important for our understanding of the seafood processing sector. The financial data collected as part of the processing survey in particular helps us to build a comprehensive picture of economic performance of the industry, costs and economic challenges it faces over time.

“We use this evidence in discussions with the industry and government, and to help our valued stakeholders make informed decisions with accurate data.

“I would strongly encourage businesses to use this opportunity to engage with our researchers and ensure their voice is heard.”

The Seafish Economics Team can be contacted at: processingenquiries@seafish.co.uk or on: 07870 894 035.

Further information is available on the Seafish website.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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