Reconciling the Fisheries Act 2020 Climate Change Fisheries Objective with a £150-180 M per year fuel tax concession – new Study

In a world first, the UK government introduced a climate change fisheries objective into its new Fisheries Act 2020.  This objective (one of eight) states that:

(a) the adverse effect of fish and aquaculture activities on climate change is minimised, and

(b) fish and aquaculture activities adapt to climate change.




A new peer-reviewed journal paper explores the extent to which the UK fishing industry avails itself of Fuel Tax Concessions (FTCs) and investigates the profitability of the different fleet sections if the concession were to be removed.  The findings identified that:

  • Foregone government revenue via fisheries fuel subsidies ranged between £ 150–180 m. per year.
  • UK fleet segments unprofitable without fuel subsidies assuming no changes in fuel use, engine efficiency or activity.
  • The most fuel intensive fleet segments are more likely to become unprofitable if fuel tax concessions were removed.

Understanding how FTCs support the profitability of the fleet will be key if FTCs are revisited in the future (they have been removed for other sectors) and the industry is supported in its transition to a low carbon operating model.

Further information:

Thanks to Duncan Vaughan, Natural England, Principal Adviser for words and images.

The peer-reviewed journal article can be read here.

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