Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2015

National Statistics Publication for Scotland

Statistics published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show that the value of fish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2015 decreased by 15 per cent in real terms from 2014. The quantity of fish landed decreased by eight per cent from 2014.

These figures published today update the Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics that were published in May 2016

Landings by Scottish registered vessels

There were 440 thousand tonnes of sea fish and shellfish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2015, with a value of £437 million. The 15 per cent decrease in the real term value of landings was driven predominantly by a decrease in value and quantity of landings of pelagic species. Shellfish landings also experienced a decrease in value and quantity, while demersal species had a small decrease in value and an increase in the quantity of landings:

  • Pelagic – decreased in value by 27 per cent to £160 million, decreased in quantity by 12 per cent to 292 thousand tonnes
  • Demersal – decreased in value by one per cent to £143 million, increased in quantity by two per cent to 91 thousand tonnes
  • Shellfish – decreased in value by 11 per cent to £134 million, decreased in quantity by six per cent to 58 thousand tonnes

Mackerel remains the most valuable stock to the Scottish fleet, accounting for 30 per cent (£131 million) of the total value of Scottish fish landings. In 2015 mackerel landings decreased in value in real terms by 33 per cent, driven by the 17 per cent decrease in the quantity of mackerel landed. Nephrops remain the most valuable shellfish species to the Scottish fleet, accounting for 14 per cent (£61 million) of the total value of all Scottish fish landings. Both the value in real terms and quantity landed of Nephrops decreased by 19 per cent from 2014, while the price per tonne increased by one per cent.

Quota Uptake by vessels in Scottish Producer Organisations

During 2015, quota uptake for:

  • North Sea monkfish exceed 100 per cent, while North Sea cod reached 100 per cent
  • North Sea saithe, North Sea whiting and West of Scotland monkfish exceeded 99 per cent
  • North Sea Nephrops reached 73 per cent
  • North Sea haddock was 83 per cent
  • West of Scotland haddock and saithe exceeded 96 per cent
  • West of Scotland Nephrops exceeded 84 per cent
  • North Sea herring and West of Scotland herring and mackerel exceeded 100 per cent

Scottish Fishing Fleet

The number of active fishing vessels registered in Scotland was 2,015 at the end of 2015, representing a decrease of 15 vessels (0.7 per cent) from 2014. At the end of 2015, the number of vessels in:

  • The 10 metre and under fleet increased by two to 1,449 vessels
  • The over 10 metre fleet decreased by 17 to 566 vessels

- demersal fleet reduced by 11 vessels to 183 vessels

- shellfish fleet reduced by five vessel to 363 vessels

- pelagic fleet reduced by one vessel to 20 vessels

Fishermen Employed

The number of fishermen employed on Scottish registered vessels was 4,823 at the end of 2015. Compared to 2014, there are 27 more people employed on Scottish registered vessels, representing a one per cent increase.

Notes to editors

The Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2015 can be accessed at:

The main source for Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics is Marine Scotland’s FIN (Fisheries Information Network) administrative data base containing information on sea fishing activity and catch details, including sales details from Registered Buyers and Sellers (RBS), input by Marine Scotland Compliance, based on information supplied by fishing vessels, buyers and sellers. Where necessary, this is supplemented by information from the equivalent “Rest of UK” administrative system, FAD, using data held in the UK data warehouse, IFISH. FIN holds details of all fish landings into Scotland and landings abroad by Scottish registered vessels. Voyage and landings information is supplied by skippers who, for vessels over 10 metres, are required by EU legislation to maintain logbooks and provide landings declarations. Although this EU legislation does not require vessels of 10 metres and under to provide this information; in Scotland they provide equivalent information on the FISH1 forms. Data on first sales of fish, which provides information on the value of landings, is provided by fish buyers and sellers under EU legislation and is collated and entered at port offices and then transmitted to the FIN central server.

Data on employment within the Scottish fishing fleet is collated by Marine Scotland in an annual survey distributed to port offices in each of the 18 Scottish fishing districts.

The Sea Fisheries Data Team will regularly update certain management information such as levels of quota uptake and fish prices. Further information is available on Agriculture and Fisheries statistics within Scotland. National statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff.


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