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Plymouth has a long fishing tradition, boasting a uniquely diverse fleet with a wide range of different types of vessels and gears deployed. Over 80 different species of fish are landed in Plymouth. Prior to Covid, approximately £25m of fish was landed annually in the Plymouth region. The fishing industry brings over £12m Gross Value Added (GVA) to Plymouth, directly employs in excess of 480 fishers, and supports around 1,540 jobs in the wider supply chain. Plymouth Fish Market is a crucial element of the regional fishing industry and is vital for the sustainability of some of the smaller fishing communities who send their catch through the Market.

Around 300 
landing fish in Plymouth

The COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 have had a severe effect on the industry. The closure of the hospitality trade both in the UK and on the continent, devastated the market for many of the higher value species landed in Plymouth that would normally be sold to pubs, restaurants and hotels.

The sector has remobilised following lockdowns, however there are still significant challenges, including those associated with leaving the EU which resulted in increased paperwork and associated costs. There are still many exciting opportunities for the future of our industry, including sustainability initiatives, modernisation of the fleet and onshore facilities, improvements in working conditions and strengthening supply chains.

tonnes landed in Plymouth 2019
(8.5% of all England)
Around 480 directly employed and 1540 indirectly employed in supporting industries 
Opportunities/Challenges to address
  • The fishing industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The closure of hospitality businesses at home and lockdowns across Europe reduced export opportunities as well as domestic demand

  • We need to promote a strengthened local and regional supply chain which supports the whole chain including the processors and merchants

  • The future development of the sector in Plymouth is being held back by the current infrastructure – there is a need to urgently drive forward the remodelling of Plymouth Fish Quay and Market

  • Plymouth must be enabled to derive optimum benefit from fishing opportunities following the UK’s exit from the EU

Anchor 1
Identified courses of action
Anchor 2

Complete fish quay feasibility study, including consultation with sector

Outcome: Ready to bid for funding for build when it becomes available

Continue to support Call4Fish

Outcome: Stable route to market should another lockdown occur and/or demand falls after EU transition period

Supporting the sector to access public and other local bulk procurement contracts

Outcome: Drive up demand for local product, reduction in air miles. Investigate Flash freezing facility .

Support ILO188 training

Outcome: Ensure minimum standards of safety and wellbeing at sea

Review the quota and other fishing opportunity needs of the vessels landing to Plymouth and appraise the potential gains and risks arising when the UK leaves the CFP UK’s departure from the EU.

Outcome: Ready to respond to Government consultation on quota

Make representations to the UK Government on behalf of Plymouth and its fishing industry, and stand ready to respond to consultation exercises launched by the Government

Outcome: Plymouth receives its fair share of quota allocation, balancing economic and environmental benefits

Successes/Results to date
Anchor 3
DSC_0770 copy.jpg


Outline plans for the remodelling of the fish market and quay have been drawn up and consultation with key stakeholders is ongoing.

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