Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

image of a fishing ship

EU fishing fleet was profitable in 2010© EU, 2012

EU fishing fleet made an economic recovery in 2010


After two consecutive years of declining profitability, the EU fleet made a recovery in 2010, moving from an overall loss making position to one of profit. This is one of the findings of the 2012 Annual Economic Report (AER) on the European Fishing Fleet carried out by the JRC. This growth occurred despite higher fuel costs in 2010, which is one of the major expenditures for the fishing fleet. The most significant factors that contributed to this increase in net profit in 2010 compared to 2009 were an increase in landings value and average first-sale prices, an increase in the total weight caught and a decrease in labour costs.

Analysis of economic performance by Member State revealed a mixed picture. The data suggest that only 11 out of 21 Member States generated a net profit in 2010, compared to 12 in 2009. In addition there are differences between regions, countries and fleet segments concerned. For example, fish caught in the Mediterranean and Black Sea fetched the highest average price per kilogramme of fish, at 4.80 €/kg compared to 0.34 €/kg of fish for the Baltic Sea.

Profit margins in the EU fishing fleets are in general very low. According to the data submitted by EU countries, total operating costs were higher than total income for several fleets and were, on average 92% of total income in 2010. This is in fact an improvement compared to the situation in 2008 (96 %) and 2009 (95 %).

The 2012 annual economic report on the EU fishing fleet provides a comprehensive overview of the latest information available on the structure and economic performance of the EU Member States fishing fleets. The report is jointly coordinated by the JRC and the Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. It was produced by a working group of experts convened under the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) and economic experts of the JRC.