Seafood processing businesses are being encouraged to participate in the annual Seafish processing survey, which was launched last week.

A research team will be contacting processing businesses across the UK between now and June. Consisting of a five-minute call and short follow-up email, the survey will collect data which helps the government ‘understand how businesses and communities are impacted by local, national and international events’.

Ana Witteveen, senior economic advisor at Seafish and the project lead on the processing survey, said: “The processing survey underpins all our data and insight on the seafood processing sector. An initial call allows us to ensure that we have accurate information on processing sites across the UK, and when financial data is shared, this allows us to build up a comprehensive picture of the industry’s economic performance.

“We apply strict confidentially rules so businesses can be assured that their information is protected,” she added. “This data is used to provide evidence for discussions with industry and government. I’d encourage all processing businesses to engage with our researchers during the survey to make sure their voice is heard.”

Last year, data collected through the survey was used by Seafish to support the seafood processing sector’s inclusion in the Energy Bills Discount Scheme.

Jimmy Buchan, CEO of the Scottish Seafood Association, said: “When seafood processing businesses began facing rising energy costs, we turned to Seafish to gather the data needed to provide evidence of our industry’s energy use.

“This insight helped us make our case for government support, resulting in the sector’s inclusion for additional support under the Energy Bills Discount Scheme in 2023. I’d encourage all seafood processing businesses to complete the survey, as the more data we have, the stronger our ask is.”

Seafish says that supplemental data collected in 2022 is also being used by the Migration Advisory Committee to inform policy decisions around labour shortages.

Daniel Whittle from Whitby Seafoods said: “Recruitment and access to labour is challenging for many seafood processing businesses, so we’re happy to provide data to Seafish. We know that they can produce the insight needed to help understand the full picture and make our case, such as by providing evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee.

“We’ll be completing the processing survey again this year, and would recommend that other businesses do the same.”

More information about the survey can be found here.

The latest Seafish processing sector reports and data are available here.

Businesses can also contact the processing survey research team by email at: processingenquiries@seafish.

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

Sign up to Fishing News’ FREE e-newsletter here


Subscribe to Fishing News magazine today; never miss an issue and save 55%!