Headline figures show that the total value of fish landed by Scottish fishing vessels in 2012 was £466 million, a real term value drop of nine per cent compared with 2011, with volume landed up slightly at two per cent.
The number of active fishing vessels in Scotland was 2,046 at the end of 2012, representing a decline of 49 vessels (two per cent), with the number of fishermen employed falling by five per cent.
Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said: “These final confirmed fisheries statistics for 2012 serve to highlight the major challenges faced by our fishing fleet. In particular, the fall in value comes at the time when the Scottish fleet is facing rapidly increasing operational costs set against the background of incredibly tight restrictions on the number of fishing days allowed.
“Perhaps most worrying of all is the continuing decline in the number of fishermen employed. While it is important that we have a fleet size that is in line with the available catching opportunity, we are now at a stage where the majority of fish stocks are increasing. This is why it is so vital that the correct management and support measures are secured to ensure that there is a healthy fleet in place to ensure the continuing harvesting of this incredibly important and sustainable food resource.”