INCREASE IN VALUE AND TONNAGE FOR SCOTTISH FISHING FLEET
Increase in value and tonnage for Scottish fishing fleet
Latest figures show that in 2017, Scottish-registered fishing increase in value and tonnage for the Scottish fishing fleet when vessels landed 464 thousand tonnes of sea fish and shellfish with a value of £559 million. This represents an increase of 10,600 tonnes (2%) and £2.6 million (4,823).
Mackerel remains the most valuable stock to the Scottish fleet. It accounted for 29% (£162 million) of the total value of Scottish vessels’ landings. In 2017, Scottish registered vessels landed 5% less mackerel by weight and 4% less by value than in 2016. Of the total weight of mackerel landed by Scottish vessels, 48% was landed into Scotland (51% of tonnage in 2016) and 52% was landed abroad.
Mackerel prices are now higher in Scotland than abroad, on average, a reversal of the previous trend. The average price of mackerel landed abroad decreased 4% to £894 per tonne in 2017, whereas the average price of mackerel landed into Scotland increased 6% to £907 per tonne. In 2017, the weight of herring landed by Scottish vessels decreased by 14% to 56,300 tonnes, and the value decreased by 45% to £24 million. The average price dropped by 36% to £427 per tonne.
Haddock, monkfish and cod are the most valuable demersal species to the Scottish fleet. The value of haddock landings increased by 13% in 2017 to £42 million, with a 14% increase in average price from 2016 to £1,512 per tonne. Tonnage landeddecreased 1% to 27,900 tonnes.
The value of monkfish landings increased 4% to £36 million driven by a 1% increase in average price to £2,778 per tonne and a 3% increase in tonnage to 13,100 tonnes. The tonnage of cod landed in 2017 was 13% higher than in 2016 at 14,700 tonnes. The value of cod increased 24% to £34 million and average price increased by 10% to £2,320 per tonne.
Nephrops (Norway Lobster/Langoustine) are the most valuable shellfish stock, accounting for 42% of shellfish landings, and overall the second most valuable stock to the Scottish fleet. In 2017, the total value of Nephrops was £74 million, which is 3% lower relative to 2016. There was a 2% increase in tonnage landed to 21,500 tonnes and a 5% decrease in average price to £3,460 per tonne.
Scottish fishing fleet
The number of active Scottish registered fishing vessels in 2017 was 2,068, an increase of 41 vessels (2%) from 2016. The change in vessel numbers was largely due to 37 additional creelers of 10m and under.
At the end of 2017, the number of vessels in:
- The 10 metre and under fleet increased by 45 to 1,506 vessels
- The over 10 metre fleet decreased by four to 562 vessels – demersal fleet decreased by two vessels to 184 vessels – shellfish fleet decreased by three to 358 vessels – pelagic fleet increased by one vessel to 20 vessels
The longer-term trend indicates that in 2017 there were 108 fewer vessels (5%) than in 2009. This change is composed of 131 fewer over-10 metre vessels (19%) and 23 more 10-metre and under vessels (2%).
In 2017, the overall number of fishers employed on Scottish fishing vessels was reported at 4,799, less than 1% decrease to the figure reported in 2016. However, the number of regularly employed fishers increased by 98 (3%), irregularly employed fishers decreased by 77 (8%) and the number of crofters reported down from 51 to six (88% decrease). This may be partly due to recategorisation between ‘crofters’ and ‘irregularly employed’. The longer-term trend shows that the total number of fishers in the Scottish fleet decreased by 610 (11%) since 2009. The change in regularly employed fishers shows 471 fewer (11%) and 85 fewer irregularly employed fishers (9%). The number of crofters decreased from 60 to six (54 fewer, 90%).
Fish Quota Uptake
Uptake of UK quota by Scottish-registered vessels was high overall for the major pelagic fish stocks at over 90%. West of Scotland mackerel was the only stock over quota, at 101%, while West of Scotland herring uptake was at 93%. Uptake of North Sea mackerel and herring was over 98%. For demersal species, West of Scotland quota uptake for haddock (area VIb) was over 97% and for areas VIa and Vb it was 74%, monkfish at 90%, and cod (area VIb) at 72%. For other West of Scotland demersal stocks quota uptake was varied, ranging from 26% (plaice) to 100% (whiting). North Sea monkfish quota uptake was at 94%, with haddock and cod both at 91%. Other North Sea demersal stocks ranged from 43% (megrim) to 87% (whiting). Quota uptake for West of Scotland Nephrops was 66%, while uptake for North Sea Nephrops was 74%.