Skippers across Essex are being asked to take part in a major research project to better understand the UK’s fishing operation ahead of Brexit.

Researchers from Seafish, the public body that supports the £10 billion UK seafood industry, will be visiting ports along the county’s coastline.

They will be talking to skippers and owners of fishing vessels to collect data on the financial and operational performance of vessels.

The team will visit Clacton, Brightlingsea, Wivenhoe, Colchester and West Mersea next week.

The results of the annual survey play a vital role in painting a picture of the UK fishing fleet, its economic performance and the challenges it faces as it prepares for life outside of the EU.

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said: “I would encourage every skipper and vessel owner to assist Seafish by taking part in the UK fleet survey.

“By sparing the small amount of time required to take part, you will be helping to create the most accurate picture possible of the UK fishing fleet, across boats of all sizes and the entire country.”