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Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2012

Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2012

Thursday, September 12, 2013

ISBN: 9781782568124

A detailed overview of landings of sea fish; the Scottish fishing fleet; and the number of sea fishermen employed.

Executive Summary


Statistics published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show that the value of fish landed by Scottish vessels in 2012 decreased by nine per cent in real terms from 2011, which was the highest value of the century. The quantity of fish landed increased by two per cent.

These figures published today update the Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics that were published in April 2013.

Landings by Scottish based vessels

There was 365 thousand tonnes of sea fish and shellfish landed by Scottish based vessels in 2012, with a value of £466 million. Compared to 2011, a record high year for landings value, real term value dropped by nine per cent although a two per cent increase in the quantity of fish landed. This decrease in the overall value of landings was driven by reductions in the value of all species types. The value of:

• Pelagic landings decreased by 11 per cent to £166 million

• Demersal landings decreased by eight per cent to £143 million

• Shellfish landings decreased by six per cent to £157 million

Many of the decreases in the value of key fish species stem from reductions in price. Mackerel is the most valuable stock to the Scottish fleet, accounting for 28 per cent (£131 million) of the total value of Scottish landings. In 2012 it decreased in real terms value by 21 per cent from 2011, driven by a 14 per cent fall in price and an eight per cent decrease in the quantity landed to 134 thousand tonnes. However, the value of herring, the other key pelagic species, increased by 68 per cent in real terms to £29 million.

Quota Uptake by vessels in Scottish Producer Organisations

Landings of North Sea haddock, North Sea cod, North Sea whiting, and North Sea saithe exceeded 90 per cent quota uptake. In comparison to 2011, uptake for North Sea monkfish and North Sea Nephrops was low, 62 per cent and 54 per cent respectively. The reduction in quota uptake of Nephrops is a result of its poor availability in fishing grounds. Quota uptake for North Sea herring, West of Scotland herring and West of Scotland mackerel all reached or exceeded 100 per cent.

Scottish Fishing Fleet

The number of active fishing vessels based in Scotland was 2,046 at the end of 2012, representing a decrease of 49 vessels (two per cent) from 2011, and the smallest recorded fleet size. From the end of 2011, there was:

• A loss a of 22 vessels in the 10m and under fleet to 1,448 vessels

• A loss of 27 vessels in the over 10m fleet to 598 vessels

-Demersal sector reduced to 215 vessels

-Shellfish sector reduced to 359 vessels

-Pelagic sector remains the same with 24 vessels

Fishermen Employed

The number of fishermen employed on Scottish based vessels was 4,747 at the end of 2012. Compared to 2011, there are 249 less people employed on Scottish based vessels, representing a five per cent decrease, bringing the 2012 fisherman employment figure to the lowest recorded level.