Age Profile of Scottish Fishing Crews
The ages of the 753 crew on the sampled vessels ranged from 15 to 78 years, with an average age of 39.8 years. Figure 4 shows the age distribution of crews on the vessels sampled in 2013 and in 2015. Broadly, the age distribution in the 2015 survey is comparable to that of the 2013 survey when one takes into account differences in sample sizes. The only notable difference between the 2013 and 2015 data is in the 21-30 year old age group which shows a slightly lower proportion of crews in 2015 than 2013.
Figure 4: Age profile of Scottish fishing crew in 2013 (n = 844) and 2015 (n = 753)
The average age of crew on the sampled Scottish fleet and the total Scottish and UK labour force are comparable at around 40 years old. The age distribution of crew on the sampled Scottish vessels is also comparable to that of the UK and Scottish labour force ( Figure 5). The exceptions are the 35-49 and the 50-64 age groups which are larger and smaller respectively for Scottish fishing crews.
Figure 5: Age distribution of total UK and Scottish workforces with the sampled Scottish crew. Labour force data sourced from NOMIS (Office of National Statistics) 2015
Figure 6: Proportion (%) of crews by nationality in 2013 (n = 838) and 2015 (n = 749)
The nationality of crews in the sample varies across age groups. Crew from the EEA and non- EEA account for a relatively large share in the age categories 21-30, 31-40 and 41-50, when compared to the younger (below 21) and the older (above 51) age categories ( Figure 6). The age distribution of crew by nationality in 2015 is comparable to that in the 2013 survey. The only notable difference is the presence of non- EEA crew under 21 years of age and a slightly smaller share of non- EEA crew in the 51-60 age groups in 2015. It would appear that young Scottish crews are still coming into the industry as demonstrated in the <21 groups in both 2013 and 2015.
Figure 7: Age profile of crew by key sectors in 2013 (n = 810) and 2015 (n = 735)
Figure 7 shows age distribution by fishing sector in 2013 and 2015. For pot and trap vessels the 21-30 and 31-40 age groups account for a larger share of the crew in the 2015 sample when compared to 2013, while the 61+ group is relatively smaller. The 21-30 age group also accounts for a larger share of crew on scallop dredge vessels in 2015 when compared to 2013. The 31-40 year age group accounts for a larger share of crew in 2015 compared to 2013 for both dermesal sectors and the Nephrops trawl. The 41-50 years age group also accounts for a larger share of crew on demersal under 24m and Nephrops trawl in 2015 compared with 2013.
Table 4: Mean ages of crew by position and sector in 2013 (n = 838) and 2015 (n = 735)
|Pots and Traps||Demersal (>24m, seine, pair trawl)||Demersal (<24m)||Nephrops trawl||Scallop dredge|
|Mean All Crew||40.1||39.3||39.2||41||38.1||40.3||39.8||39.8||37.8||37.8|
Table 4 presents the mean ages of the sampled crew for the 2013 and 2015 survey by sector and crew position. The mean ages for the two demersal sectors are higher in the 2015 sample relative to 2013. In the 2015 survey, the average age of crew on dermesal over 24m was 41 years, compared to 39.2 in 2013. The mean age of crew on the dermesal under 24m was 40.3 years in the 2015 survey compared to 38.1 years in the 2013 survey. On pot and trap vessels the mean crew age was 40.1 years in the 2015 sample, compared to 39.3 years in 2013. The mean ages for Nephrops trawl and scallop dredge sectors are comparable between the two samples.
Overall, the mean ages of crew on the sampled vessels increases with positions of authority, responsibility and level of skill. Across all sectors skipper/owners tended to be older, followed by skippers, whilst deckhands were the youngest overall.