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Statistics Show Landings Up But Employment Down

SCOTLAND, UK - Over 430 million worth of fish was landed in Scotland last year, according to the latest statistics.

Among the key findings in Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics are:

  • 367 thousand tonnes of fish - with a value of 435 million - were landed by Scottish vessels in 2010. With the exception of 2009, the value of landings is higher than in every year in the last decade.
  • 2,150 fishing boats were based in Scotland in 2010 - the smallest fleet size ever recorded.
  • The number of fishermen employed on Scottish boats in 2010 was 5,218 - down four per cent since 2009.

Commenting on the statistics, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Scotland's fisheries sector plays a vital role in our economy and it's heartening that the statistics show the value of landings remains high."

"Despite extremely challenging times - including reduced catching opportunities for key stocks and an effort scheme which has severely restricted vessels' activities - the Scottish fleet has enjoyed another successful year."

"While the value of landings has dropped slightly compared to 2009, we had seen a particularly large increase in value between 2008 and 2009. This year's landings - worth 435 million - is still five per cent higher, in real terms, than the value of 2008 landings."

"Looking ahead, there are a number of crucial issues which must be addressed to ensure Scotland's fishing fleet can continue to operate successfully. These include resolving the mackerel dispute with Iceland and Faroes and achieving the best possible outcome for Scotland in the reform of the flawed and damaging Common Fisheries Policy."

The Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics publication contains data on the quality and value of sea fish landings, as well as information on the structure of the Scottish fleet and number of fishermen employed in Scotland.

Commenting on the publication, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermens Federation, said: Although these statistics show a slight downturn in the value of fish landed, as well as the size of the fleet and number of people employed, they do highlight the crucial role that Scotland's fishing fleet plays in the country's economy, providing a marvellous food resource that is healthy to eat and underpins an important export market."

A number of our key fish stocks such as West coast of Scotland haddock and North Sea cod are undergoing recovery, and with other stocks such as herring being in a healthy state thanks to conservation initiatives spearheaded by the Scottish fleet, we are hopeful that the fishing industry will be able to reap the benefits in the near future, provided the constraints of ill-fitting regulations are removed under the reform of the CFP.

the Fish Site Editor

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