EU fishing fleet is getting smaller; Greece retains largest number

Eurostat data shows a reduction of the fishing fleet size across the European Union

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EU fishing fleet is getting smaller; Greece retains largest number

The EU fishing fleet continues to shrink, according to the latest figures released today by Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU, but Greece retains the largest number of fishing vessels, while Spain has the highest gross tonnage and France most power.

“Greece retains the largest number of fishing vessels, while Spain has the highest gross tonnage.”

 

According to Eurostat, the number of active vessels registered in 2018 was 81 860. They had a combined capacity of 1.5 million gross tonnes and a total engine power of 6.2 million kilowatts. Compared with 2008, the number of vessels was down by 4%, the overall gross tonnage was down by 17% and engine power was down by 10%.

Eurostat says that the EU fleet is very diverse, with the vast majority of boats being no more than 10 meters long, and a small number of vessels exceeding 40 meters in length. The average size of an EU fishing boat in 2018 was 19 gross tonnes and the average engine power was 75 kilowatts.

“Eurostat says that the EU fleet is very diverse, with the vast majority of boats being no more than 10 meters long, and a small number of vessels exceeding 40 meters in length.”

When measured by gross tonnage, Spain had by far the largest fishing fleet among EU Member States (21 % of the EU total). The fleets of the United Kingdom and France, the next largest, were almost half the size of that in Spain. When measured by engine power, however, the largest fleet was that in France (16% of the EU total), followed by Italy (15%) and Spain (13%).

When measured by the number of vessels, the largest fleet in the EU was in Greece (18% of all vessels), followed by Italy (15%) and Spain (11%). Greek vessels were small on average, however, with an average size of 5 gross tonnes, and an average engine power of 29 kilowatts in 2018.

“The largest fleet in the EU was in Greece (18% of all vessels), followed by Italy (15%) and Spain (11%).”

Finally, the total EU catch in 2018 was an estimated 5.3 million tonnes of live weight, similar to that in 2017. Among Member States, there were higher catch levels in France (a provisional +11%), the Netherlands and Germany (both +14%) but lower levels in the United Kingdom (-4%) and Denmark (an estimated -13%). The fishing fleets of Spain, Denmark, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands caught about two-thirds of all catches in the EU in 2018.

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