Helping our fishermen bring exceptional and sustainable seafood from sea to plate


Helping our fishermen bring exceptional and sustainable seafood from sea to plate

SWFPO members fish some of the most prized and high quality seafood around.

The seas around the UK are rich and diverse, with an abundance of fish and shellfish stocks meaning that UK waters are some of the most desirable in the world for sea fishing, both in terms of quality and quantity. Regular SWFPO catches include Dover sole, plaice, anglerfish, cuttlefish, King scallops, Queen scallops, lemon sole, whelks and sprats. A number of the fisheries targeted by our members are very seasonal. These stocks are managed through quotas, technical measures, days at sea, or a combination. As quotas fluctuate over each year’s allocations, SWFPO members have become more reliant upon non-quota species to maintain their incomes. Many members continue to swap between beam trawling and scallop dredging on a seasonal basis, bringing welcome additional income and production of other species.

Our catch

Lemon sole
Dover sole
King scallops
Queen scallops

Sustainable fishing

Sustainability is at the heart of all our fisheries management strategies at the SWFPO. Sustainably harvested seafood ensures the future success of our members.

Members take steps to minimise discards of unwanted catches, including fishing with nets with larger meshes or installing escape panels in their nets to reduce unwanted bycatch.

We are involved in the development of robust evidence bases, in particular for data poor non- quota species, required to allow for improved fisheries management based on sound scientific evidence. We work collaboratively with industry and regulators, in order to develop responsive fisheries management measures which are fundamental for sustainable fisheries.

SWFPO is also involved in a number of initiatives to put the fisheries our members depend upon on a more sustainable footing. These include playing an active role in Project UK fishery improvement projects and being involved in the development of fishery management plans required under the new UK Fisheries Act.

You can read more about how we work with industry, regulators and the scientific community on sustainability initiatives in our Partnerships page.

Economic returns

13,500 tonnes of fish were sold by SWFPO members in 2021, generating a first sale value of £24 million.

We support initiatives that help and train our vessel owners in fishing business management. We also engage in scientific and technical campaigns aimed at reducing overall operating costs, to benefit our membership and increase their profitability.

SWFPO vessels landed

15,100 tonnes of non-quota species worth £23 million (2023)

SWFPO vessels landed

1,049 tonnes of quota species worth £5.1 million (2023)

Management of fishing opportunities

Quotas are an important tool for sustainable fisheries and set in line with the best scientific advice issued by ICES.

They are the maximum amount of fish that can be landed by species from a geographic area. Quotas ensure fishing effort matches the availability of stock. This avoids over-fishing and allows stocks to successfully regenerate.

The majority of our members make use of their own fixed quota allocation (FQA), fishing against individual transferable quotas.

A small proportion of members fish against a ‘pool’ of quota managed centrally by us. We monitor individual quota uptake and facilitate domestic and international quota swaps when required.

Following the UK’s departure from the EU on 1 January 2021, SWFPO also monitors members uptake of non-quota species in line with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU. As quotas fluctuate over each year’s allocations, SWFPO members are relying more on non-quota species to maintain their income levels.

Important quota species for SWFPO

Dover sole




Important non-quota species for SWFPO

Scallops (King & Queen)


Lemon sole


What's for dinner?

Our fishermen catch some of the most delicious, high quality fish in the world. Why not tempt your taste buds and see what they fish here..


The majority of wet fish landings made by SWFPO members are sold through the auction markets in Brixham and Plymouth where they sell to the highest bidder.

Many of the SWFPO member’s vessels are solely or part owned by vertically integrated companies with their own processing facilities, where their production is kept “in- house’.

Scallops are mostly marketed by direct sales to processors at contracted prices. A small amount of scallop production, specifically from the SWFPOs day- boat members, is placed on the auction market and sells to the highest bidder. These scallops are mainly for the fresh’ market in small high-street shops.

“West Coast Seafood Products has been a member of the SWFPO for over 20 years and intends to remain a member for many years to come. The SWFPO has always served us well for fish related matters, as well as in recent years, becoming a prominent voice for UK fishermen with the many challenges facing the modern era fishing industry.”

Stuart King, WCSP Director