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Fisheries: Bankruptcy

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what proportion of commercial fishermen in (a) England, (b) the north-west and (c) Copeland have been declared bankrupt over the last 20 years. (175939)

The closest available estimates for bankruptcies among fishermen are the numbers of trader bankruptcy orders made under the category “forestry and fishing” according to the Insolvency Trade Classification (ITC). The following table provides the numbers of such cases for England and Wales as a whole, which are available from 1992 through to September 2006.

The ITC is not consistent with the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), which is used to classify businesses held on the Companies Register by Companies House, and elsewhere. Additionally, a bankruptcy order would, only cover those business insolvencies among sole traders (and some partnerships) not among registered companies, which would be the subject of a company liquidation. It is not, therefore, possible to provide estimates of the proportions of fishermen becoming bankrupt. Bankruptcy statistics for the period covered are classified regionally according to the locations and areas of responsibility of official receivers' (ORs’) offices, each of which covers a number of courts having insolvency jurisdiction, and are not directly comparable with administrative geographies, such as government office regions or districts. Additionally, statistics broken down by both detailed industry and regionally are not readily available.

Bankruptcies in England and Wales in the Forestry and Fishing sector, January 1992 to September 2006

1992

98

1993

71

1994

72

1995

52

1996

91

1997

75

1998

65

1999

47

2000

76

2001

68

2002

88

2003

60

2004

51

2005

43

20061

37

1 Up to September. Figures from October 2006 are not available due to development work to update the classification to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2003. These will be available for new cases from July 2007.

Note:

Reliable figures are not available prior to 1992.