Coronavirus (COVID-19): marine sectors - business survey

Survey developed and carried out in order to understand the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Scottish aquaculture businesses, sea fisheries businesses and recreational fishing businesses.

7. Key Messages – Recreational Fisheries Businesses

For context, 77% of the respondents represented Salmon/Sea Trout recreational fisheries, 24% represented the District Salmon fishery board, 14.5% Rivers/Fisheries Trust and 11% represented the Wild Trout/Coarse fisheries, 89% are micro businesses.

Around 60% of recreational fishing businesses reported to have temporarily closed or paused their operation during the lockdown. All the businesses reported turnover to have decreased during this period with almost half reporting a decrease of more than 50%. 95% reported Covid19 to be the main reason for the business's turnover being outside the normal range. 92% were unable to find new markets and only 7% were able to diversify their businesses by finding new markets within the UK and 3% found new markets in Scotland.

While access to finance increased for only 10% of the businesses, 57% reported to have had the same access to financial resources as before, while 16% saw a decrease in access. 63% of the businesses were able to cover their fixed and variable costs during the Covid19 period with the majority being fairly confident that their business has the financial resources to continue operating for at least the next 12 months.

The financial position of some recreational fisheries businesses has been affected by Covid-19. 46% reported to have partly relied on government support to survive during this period. 44% reported business being financially viable without government support. The majority of respondents applied and received support from the Job Retention Scheme followed by Government Funded Small Business Grants, Business Rates Holiday and Deferring VAT Payments Schemes. 35% of business did not apply for any government support scheme.

Availability of workforce was typically not an issue with 75% reporting that they had the workforce to meet the business demands. 86% of the businesses sourced their workforce locally, 23% within Scotland and 10% from the rest of UK (multiple answers possible).

52% of businesses reported to have furloughed their staff in order to cope with the impact of the coronavirus and 15% reported decreasing working hours for their staff.

Only 37% of these businesses reported to have made some changes to the businesses practices due to Covid19 and only 26% reported to have made some preparatory plans to their businesses in anticipation of the a second wave of Covid-19.

Full results for recreational fishing businesses are available at Annex 3.



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