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Fisheries - Sea Fisheries

High Level Summary of Statistics - Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2017

The graph below displays the tonnage and value of all landings by Scottish vessels for the years 2008 to 2017.Ten Year Trend


The total value of fish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2017 was £560 million, a decrease of one per cent in real terms compared with 2016. The tonnage of fish landed increased three per cent to 466,000 tonnes.  The change in value from 2016 to 2017 is given in real terms (after adjusting for inflation) at 2017 prices to allow meaningful comparisons over time.

Tonnage, value of Scottish vessels’ landings and percentage change since 2016




Value (£ mil.)






















The Scottish fishing fleet increased by 32 vessels (two per cent) to 2,065 vessels at the end of 2017. There were 1,503 vessels under ten metres in length and 562 over ten metre vessels.

There were 4,799 fishers working on Scottish vessels at the end of 2017, a decrease of less than one per cent (24) since 2016. Compared to 2016 there were more regularly employed fishers and fewer irregularly employed fishers and crofters.

National Performance Framework Indicator – Marine Environment

In 2017, the percentage (calculated as a three-year moving average) of Scotland's key commercial fish stocks where the quota (Total Allowable Catch (TAC)) was set in line with scientific guidance was 67 per cent. In 2016, this figure was 66 per cent. The one percentage point increase in the proportion of fish stocks where quota was set in line with scientific guidance observed for 2017 compared with 2016 suggests performance has been maintained. The target for the indicator of 70% by 2016 has not been met. 

TACs for the 13 stocks that inform the indicator are set at international negotiations each Autumn. In 2017, TACs for ten of the stocks were set in line with scientific advice, while for the remaining three stocks – (North East Atlantic Mackerel, North Sea and West of Scotland Herring), alternative TACs were set at the negotiations after careful consideration of stock trends and other catch options within the advice.

This is the last time this indicator will be reported. The new indicator on the state of commercial fish stocks will be based on Fishing mortality Maximum Sustainable Yield (FMSY) and will be reported in due course.


Note (1): Stocks for which there was no available scientific advice for the year, or where the advice was unclear, have been counted as if the TAC was not consistent with the advice.

Note (2): For each year, the calculation of the proportion of fish stocks used data weighted by value for that year. Landings data for 2018 was estimated by 2017 landings data.

Note (3): Each point on the graph refers to the proportion of fish stocks where the TAC was set within scientific advice calculated over the three year period centred on that year.