Fishing Income at Record Levels

Lucy Towers
14 September 2012, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - Statistics published by Scotlands Chief Statistician show that the value of fish landed by Scottish vessels increased by 13 per cent in real terms in 2011 to reach the highest level in the century.

The figures show that 359,000 tonnes of fish were landed by Scottish vessels with a value of 501 million. The figures update the Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics, published in April 2012.

Landings by Scottish based vessels

The total value of fish landed by Scottish vessels in 2011 was 501 million, an increase of 13 per cent in real terms compared with 2010 and the highest value achieved in real terms this century. The main reason for this is a 39 per cent increase in real terms in the value of pelagic landings, to 184 million in 2011. There was a five per cent increase in real terms in the value of shellfish to 164 million while the value of whitefish landings at decreased slightly in real terms (two per cent) to 152 million. This record value of landings was achieved from 359,000 tonnes of fish, the lowest volume landed in the decade.

Pelagic landings are dominated by mackerel, which saw a 40 per cent increase in value in real terms in 2011. This stems from a 30 per cent increase in real terms in the price obtained for mackerel combined with an eight per cent increase in volume. Herring, the other key pelagic species, also experienced a marked increase in price in 2011, 57 per cent higher in real terms than 2010 leading to a 42 per cent increase in real terms value, in spite of a decrease in the volume landed.

Quota uptake by vessels in Scottish Producer Organisations

In 2011, landings of North Sea haddock, North Sea cod, North Sea whiting, and North Sea saithe nearly exhausted the quota available. Quota uptake for the important pelagic stocks was exhausted for North Sea herring and slightly exceeded the quota allocation for West of Scotland mackerel and West of Scotland herring.

Scottish fishing fleet

The number of active fishing vessels based in Scotland was 2,095 at the end of 2011, representing a decrease of 55 vessels (three per cent) on the previous year and the smallest number of vessels ever recorded.

Since the end of 2010, the number of over 10m vessels has decreased by 40 vessels to 625 vessels. The demersal sector consists of 229 vessels, a decrease of 27 vessels, while the shellfish sector reduced by 13 vessels to 372 vessels. The pelagic sector, with 24 vessels, was unchanged compared to 2010. There are 1,470 vessels in the under 10m fleet, a decrease of 15 vessels since 2010.

Fishermen employed

The number of fishermen employed in the Scottish catching sector was 4,996 in 2011, this represents a decrease of four per cent compared to 2010 and is the lowest number ever recorded.