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Landing Figures Show Importance Of Fishing Sector

Economics +1 more

SCOTLAND, UK - Provisional statistics suggest that 366 thousand tonnes of fish were landed by Scottish vessels in 2010, with a value of 428 million.

Scottish landings

This is a three per cent decrease in the value of fish landed in 2010 compared to 2009 figures.

The main reason for the decrease in the total value landed by Scottish based vessels is an 18 per cent decrease in the value of pelagic landings to £124 million in 2010. There was a six per cent increase in the value of shellfish to £152 million and a two per cent increase in the value of whitefish landings to £152 million. However, in overall terms these increases were outweighed by the decrease in the value of pelagic landings.

Nevertheless, the value of fish landed by Scottish vessels remained over £400 million, higher than in every year in the last decade other than 2009. The fall back in the value landed by Scottish vessels follows a large (12 per cent) increase between 2008 and 2009; the value landed in 2010 was still eight per cent higher than the value landed in 2008.

The decrease in the value of pelagic landings stems from a nine per cent decrease in the price obtained for mackerel, combined with a 11 per cent decrease in mackerel landings due to a decrease in quota resulting from the long term management plan for this species.

Uptake of quota

Uptake of quota was high for the major pelagic fish stocks; approaching 100 per cent for all the four stocks; North Sea Herring, West of Scotland Herring, North Sea Mackerel and West of Scotland Mackerel.

Quota uptake reached above 100 per cent for North Sea Plaice and North Sea Whiting and uptake was nearly 100 per cent for three other key North Sea demersal stocks, namely North Sea Cod, North Sea Haddock and North Sea Saithe. Quota uptake of West of Scotland key demersal stocks was generally well below 100 per cent.

Quota uptake was just over 80 per cent for North Sea Nephrops and near to 70 per cent for West of Scotland Nephrops.

Commenting on the provisional statistics for fish landings in 2010, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation said: “These figures underline the important role Scottish fishing plays in the Scottish economy - in particular through the industry’s crucial support of many fragile communities around our coast.

“However, the fish landing statistics have to be taken in the context of significantly increased operating costs for the fishing fleet, most notably large increases in the cost of fuel and leasing of fishing days and quota, which means that many boats are operating on the edge of economic viability.

“The landing figures also highlight the importance of mackerel to the Scottish economy and why Iceland and the Faroes must be brought to account for their totally unacceptable and irresponsible behaviour in massively increasing their quotas for 2011.”