Economic and financial performance of the UK English Channel fleet

Pascoe, Sean, Robinson, Catherine, & Coglan, Louisa (1996) Economic and financial performance of the UK English Channel fleet.


The English Channel fishery is a multispecies multigear fishery that can be considered to be an amalgam of numerous separate sub-fisheries. Commercial activity in the fishery is predominantly undertaken by fishers from the UK and France.

The purpose in this paper is to present the results of a cost and earnings survey carried out on the UK fishers in the English Channel. These results were used to assess the financial and economic performance of boats in the various component fisheries. Performance was examined in terms of both boat size and main fishing activity.

From the results, it was estimated that most operators covered their cash costs during the 1994-95 financial year. However, the level of cash profits varied significantly between boats depending on size class and main fishing activity. About 11 per cent of fishers interviewed were not covering their cash costs.

Most operators also covered their economic costs during the survey year. Economic costs include non-cash costs such as the opportunity cost of capital and labour, the returns that could be earned by these factors of production if they had been employed in the next best alternative activity. These non-cash costs are not included in a financial analysis but are explicitly included in an economic analysis. On average, economic profit in the fishery was negligible. Again, this varied significantly between boat size and main fishing activity. In total, around 29 per cent of the fleet were earning negative economic profits.

The fishery as a whole was not earning positive economic profits in 1994-95. From experiences in other fisheries around the world, fisheries are capable of earning substantial economic profits provided they are effectively managed. This implies that the English Channel fishery was not being managed to its full potential in 1994-95. Fisheries management has many objectives, of which increasing economic performance is but one.

Fisheries managers can manage their fisheries either directly through imposing restrictions or indirectly through offering incentives and thereby influencing the behaviour of fishers. Fishing behaviour is largely driven by economic incentives. While considerable attention has been paid to the assessment of the biological status of the fishery, little attention has been paid to the economic status of the fishery. This study is the first stage in addressing this imbalance. The assessment of economic performance is a key element in furthering the understanding of the economic incentives that exist in the fishery.

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ID Code: 8315
Item Type: Other
Refereed: No
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the hypertext link or contact the author. Author contact details:
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Keywords: fisheries economics, resource rent
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Environment and Resource Economics (140205)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1996 (Please consult authors)
Deposited On: 27 Jun 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:45

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