The economic performance of the EU fishing fleet during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent public health interventions have depressed demand and disrupted supply chains for many fishing businesses. This paper provides an analysis of the COVID-19 impacts on the profitability of the EU fishing fleets. Nowcasting techniques were used to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic performance for the EU fishing fleet in 2020 and 2021. Our results show that the economic impact of COVID-19 on this sector was smaller than initially expected and overall profits remained positive. This was in part due to low fuel prices that reduced operating costs of fishing, and the early response from governments to support the sector. The results vary by fishing fleet, revealing that small-scale fleets and the fleets in the Mediterranean and Black seas have been more impacted than large-scale fleets and the fleets in the Northeast Atlantic.