Sampled crew had various working patterns. The majority (95%) worked all year round with the remaining working seasonally (5%). The majority of crews surveyed in 2015 (92%) worked full time hours  when they were active in the fishing industry with the remaining 8% working part-time hours  . Pot and trap vessels had the highest proportion of crew (22%) that worked part-time. However, part-time crews were also notable on demersal under 24m vessels (9%) and demersal over 24m, seine and pair trawl (3%) ( Figure 22).
Figure 22: Proportion of crew working full time ( FT) and part time ( PT) by sector (n = 725)
Figure 23 shows a breakdown of seasonal work by sector and whether this was full or part-time employment. 'Seasonal' was described as between 6 to 9 months per year or as summer months only. Both the pot and trap and Nephrops sector had seasonal crew, while the demersal vessels or scallop dredge had none. Pot and trap vessels had the highest proportion of seasonal workers (90%) working part-time. Nephrops vessels also have seasonal workers, although all of them worked full time when employed.
Figure 23: Crew working seasonally and whether they worked full or part-time (n = 41)
Table 5 presents an estimate of working hours by sector if days at sea were spread throughout the year and compared to the national average of 40 hours per week  . This is calculated from the descriptive data given on work patterns and therefore is only illustrative of working patterns for crew on commercial fishing vessels. The average (median) working hours per week was over 40 hours for the two demersal sectors, scallop dredge and Nephrops trawls. Crew working on vessels in the two demersal sectors on average worked 4.3 to 7.8 hours over the standard 40 hour week. Crew working on scallop dredge vessels worked 1.3 hours above the 40 hour week, and crew on Nephrops trawls over 0.6 hours per week. The hours worked per week by pot and trap vessels varied considerably (from 4 to 16 hour days) given the variations of working patterns in the sector. The equivalent average (median) hours equated to 19.8 per week. This is most likely due to low activity vessels and seasonal fishing patterns in this sector which have lowered the average working hours per week for a full time pot and trap vessel.
Table 5: Working day/week per sector from reported min and max hours, for comparison to an average 40 hour week (plus 20 days holiday and 10 days bank holiday). Figures estimated from qualitative data and are therefore a guide only.
hrs per day
|Fishing days per year (2015) *||
hours per day
hours per week
|Pots and Traps||4||16||8||119||2.0||7.9||4.0||9.9||39.7||19.8|
(>24m, seine, pair trawl)
*obtained from Seafish's annual fleet survey 2015.
Crew were asked if their vessel had undertaken any work outside fishing in 2015. All sectors had vessels that had worked outside of fishing with the exception of scallop dredge. In the case of the demersal over 24m, seine and pair trawl sector, 95% of vessels had undertaken work outside fishing, compared to 45% in the 2013 sample. There was also differences in work outside of fishing between the 2013 and 2015 samples for demersal under 24m vessels - 69% in 2015 compared to 53% in 2013, and for Nephrops trawl - 26% in 2015 compared to 17% in 2013 ( Figure 24). All of these vessels were undertaking guarding duties for the oil and gas industry. Two pot and trap vessels had worked outside of fishing in marine tourism.
Figure 24: Proportion of vessels involved in work outside of fishing in 2013 (n =243) and 2015 (n = 222)