This week’s publication of the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Annual Fisheries Report for 2021 highlights several important developments impacting the industry, ranging from changes in profitability to shifts in effort and employment.
One of the significant findings is that the profitability of the Irish fleet has experienced a decrease since 2020 of -3% to €313 million. This has been driven primarily by the war in Ukraine, rising energy costs, inflation and quota reductions linked to Brexit.
The report reveals that in 2021, the Irish fishing fleet spent 52,763 days at sea of which 80% were fishing days. This represents a decrease in effort of 22% and 25% respectively from the previous year (2020). The reduction in fishing days signals a change in the fleet’s operations, influenced by a variety of factors such as quota reductions as a result of the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and voluntary tie-up schemes.
In terms of landed volume and value, the fleet landed over 207,400 tonnes of seafood in 2021, valued at €294 million. While there was a decrease of 5% in live weight compared to 2020, the landed value experienced an increase of 11%. These figures highlight the importance of managing resources sustainably while also maximising economic returns for the sector.
The fishing industry is continuing to play a crucial role in generating direct employment. In 2021, it contributed an estimated 2,776 jobs, equivalent to 1,911 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs). This indicates the industry’s significant impact on job creation and its contribution to the overall economy.
Looking ahead, preliminary forecasts for 2023 suggest a more positive economic performance compared to 2022. These forecasts anticipate a slight increase in landings weight combined with a higher value of landings, which could contribute to an overall improved economic outlook for the industry.
The full report is available by visiting bim.ie