Seafish, the public body that looks after Britain’s seafood industry, is to carry out a confidential survey of companies in the seafood processing sector.

Seafish said the data is designed to help the government understand how businesses and communities are impacted by local, national and international events – and there have been plenty of those in the past year or two.

The survey, which starts next month and runs until June, will consist of a short phone call followed up by a similarly short e-mail.

The survey findings also provide evidence for trade agreements and import/export guidance, as well as demonstrating the value of jobs supported by the sector to schools and prospective workers.

Industry leaders are calling on processors across the UK to take this opportunity to provide data by speaking with the Seafish Economics team.

Jimmy Buchan, CEO at Scottish Seafood Association, said“We should never underestimate the importance of clear statistical and financial data on the sector. When the Scottish Government was developing the Scottish Seafood Business Resilience Fund, it was data from previous Seafish processing surveys that they turned to.

“While we can debate whether the right support was provided, we will always be better placed to make our case to governments if we have the data to support it. I would strongly encourage seafood businesses of all sizes, wherever you are in the UK, to fully engage with Seafish to complete the survey and provide the requested financial data.”

Simon Dwyer of Seafood Grimsby & Humber cluster group, added: When the government was developing free trade agreements, they relied on data from previous Seafish processing surveys. This really illustrates to me and the Grimsby Seafood Cluster that we will always be better placed to make our case to governments if we have the data to support it.”

Arina Motova, Chief Economist at Seafish, said: “The processing census is extremely important for our understanding of the seafood processing sector. The financial data collected as part of the processing survey in particular helps us to build a comprehensive picture of economic performance of the industry, costs and economic challenges it faces over time.”

She added: “We use this evidence in discussions with the industry and government, and to help our valued stakeholders make informed decisions with accurate data. We also value our data providers confidentiality and stick to strict confidentiality rules when publishing the data collected. “

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