Vessel activity, landings and employment
During the third year of the razor clam electrofishing trial 22, out of 27, eligible participants were actively participating in fishing , running from 1st of February 2020 to 31st of January 2021. Active vessels were estimated to have landed around 543 tonnes of razor clams, worth around £4.1 million.
Compared to the previous year of the trial, landings were reduced by more than a third - reflecting the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. As seen on Figure 1 and 2. below, razor clam landings significantly dropped before the beginning of the third year of the trial, likely due to the Covid-19 restrictions limiting access to the Chinese markets.
While prices fluctuate between vessels, buyers and months, the average price per kilogram (kg) achieved by the trial vessels during the third year of the trial was estimated to be around £7.6 per kg (Figure 3.). This is the lowest average price per trial year yet. The lowest monthly average prices were seen after the first lockdown with the price in August being £6.8 per kilogram. The highest prices were generally seen at the end of the trial year, potentially due to the recovery of the market but also routinely coincides with Chinese new year markets.
The trial also supports further economic activity and employment for people in the wider supply chain supporting participating vessels, and transportation of the product to market. Vessels active during the third year of the trial provided employment for around 105 people, of which around 95 were regularly employed