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Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2015

Published: 12 May 2016 09:30

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries statistics published today by Scotland's Chief Statistician show that the quantity of fish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2015 was 439,900 tonnes with a value of £437 million, a decrease of eight per cent and 15 per cent respectively since 2014.

The number of active Scottish registered fishing vessels in 2015 was 2,017, a decrease of one per cent from 2014. The number of fishermen employed on Scottish fishing vessels was 4,828, a one per cent increase from 2014.

Landings by Scottish registered vessels

The decrease in value of fish landings in 2015 was driven by a 12 per cent decrease in the volume of pelagic fish landings. The value of pelagic landings decreased by 27 per cent. Shellfish landings decreased in value and volume and the demersal landings increased in volume, while the value remained stable:

• Pelagic – 27 per cent decrease in value, 12 per cent decrease in volume
• Demersal – value remained stable, two per cent increase in volume
• Shellfish – 11 per cent decrease in value, six per cent decrease in volume

Mackerel is the most valuable stock to the Scottish fleet, accounting for 30 per cent (£131 million) of the total value of Scottish landings. The volume of mackerel landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2015 was 200,000 tonnes, 17 per cent lower than in 2014. Nephrops (Norway Lobster/Langoustine) are the most valuable shellfish stock, accounting for 45 per cent of the value of shellfish landings, and the second most valuable stock overall to the Scottish fleet. In 2015, the total value of Nephrops decreased 19 per cent to £61 million. This is due to a 20 per cent decrease in volume landed to 16,000 tonnes and a one per cent increase in average price to £3,688 per tonne.

Scottish Fishing Fleet

The number of active Scottish registered fishing vessels in 2015 was 2,017, a decrease of 13 vessels from 2014. At the end of 2015, there was:
• Five more vessels in the 10 metre and under fleet to 1,452 vessels
• 18 less vessels in the over 10 metre fleet to 565 vessels
- Demersal sector reduced by 12 vessels to 182 vessels
- Shellfish sector decreased by five vessel to 363 vessels
- Pelagic sector reduced by one vessel to 20 vessels

Employment

In 2015, the number of fishermen employed on Scottish fishing vessels was 4,828. This represents an increase of 32 (one per cent) compared to 2014. Both the number of regularly employed and irregularly employed fishermen increased, to 3,985 (less than one per cent) and 792 (four per cent) respectively. There was a four per cent decrease in the number of crofters to 51.

Quota Uptake by vessels in Scottish Producer Organisations

Quota uptake was 97 per cent and above for the key demersal fish stocks in the North Sea, with the exception of North Sea haddock (above 83 per cent), North Sea plaice (above 66 per cent) and North Sea megrim (above 53 per cent). North Sea Nephrops quota uptake was 64 per and was lower than the uptake in 2014. This is due to a decrease in quota as well as a decrease in quantity landed. Quota uptake for North Sea herring and West of Scotland mackerel exceeded 100 per cent in 2015.

Notes to editors

The Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2015 can be accessed at: www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Agriculture-Fisheries/provisionalfishstats

The main source for Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics is Marine Scotland's FIN (Fisheries Information Network) administrative data base containing information on sea fishing activity and catch details, including sales details from Registered Buyers and Sellers (RBS), input by Marine Scotland Compliance, based on information supplied by fishing vessels, buyers and sellers. Where necessary, this is supplemented by information from the equivalent "Rest of UK" administrative system, FAD, using data held in the UK data warehouse, IFISH. FIN holds details of all fish landings into Scotland and landings abroad by Scottish based vessels.

Voyage and landings information is supplied by skippers who, for vessels over 10 metres, are required by EU legislation to maintain logbooks and provide landings declarations. Although this EU legislation does not require vessels of 10 metres and under to provide this information; in Scotland they provide equivalent information on the FISH1 forms. Data on first sales of fish, which provides information on the value of landings, is provided by fish buyers and sellers under EU legislation on the Register of Buyers and Sellers. Information is collated and entered at port offices and then transmitted to the FIN central server.

Data on employment within the Scottish fishing fleet is collated by Marine Scotland in an annual survey distributed to port offices in each of the 18 Scottish fishing districts. The total burden on all respondents for this small survey is estimated to total no more than £1 thousand each year, based on information obtained from each office on the time taken to complete the return and the grades of staff involved.

The Sea Fisheries Data Team will regularly update certain management information such as levels of quota uptake and fish prices on their web site –which can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Agriculture-Fisheries/Datasets

Further information on Agriculture and Fisheries statistics within Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Agriculture-Fisheries

National statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of National statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About