Fishing income at record levels

Provisional statistics published this week by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show that the value of fish landed by Scottish vessels increased by 15% in 2011 to reach the highest level in the decade.

The figures show that 358,000 tonnes of fish were landed by Scottish vessels with a value of £500 million.

The total value of fish landed by Scottish vessels in 2011 was £500 million, the highest value achieved in the last decade. The main reason for this is a 43% increase in the value of pelagic landings to £184 million in 2011. There was a 6% increase in the value of shellfish to £164 million while the value of whitefish landings at £152 million remained the same as 2010.

The increase in the value of mackerel ensures mackerel remained the most valuable species to the Scottish fleet in 2011, at £163 million, while nephrops remains the second most valuable stock at £83 million.

The number of active fishing vessels based in Scotland was 2,096 at the end of 2011, representing a decrease of 54 vessels (three per cent) on the previous year and the lowest number in the past decade.

There are 1,470 vessels in the under 10m fleet, a decrease of 15 vessels since 2010.

The number of fishermen employed on Scottish fishing vessels at the end of 2011 stood at 5,005. This represents a decrease of 231 (4%) compared to the previous year and, as for the number of fishing vessels, is the lowest number in the past decade.

Uptake of quota was high for the major pelagic fish stocks; uptake reached just over 100%for; North Sea Herring, West of Scotland Herring, and West of Scotland Mackerel, while North Sea Mackerel approached 100%.

Quota uptake reached 95 per cent or above for the key whitefish stocks in the North Sea, except North Sea Monkfish where just above 85% uptake was achieved.