Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2016

A 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 2016 increased by 25 per cent in real terms from 2015. The quantity of fish landed increased by three per cent from 2015.

These figures published today update the Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics that were published in May 2017.

Landings by Scottish registered vessels

There were 453 thousand tonnes of sea fish and shellfish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2016, with a value of £557 million. The 25 per cent increase in the real term value of landings was mainly driven by an increase in value of pelagic species. Shellfish and demersal species landings also experienced an increase in value and quantity of landings:

  • Pelagic – increased in value by 36 per cent to £222 million, increased in quantity by one per cent to 294 thousand tonnes
  • Demersal – increased in value by 16 per cent to £169 million, increased in quantity by five per cent to 95 thousand tonnes
  • Shellfish – increased in value by 21 per cent to £166 million, increased in quantity by ten per cent to 64 thousand tonnes

Mackerel remains the most valuable stock to the Scottish fleet, accounting for 30 per cent (£169 million) of the total value of Scottish fish landings. In 2016, the value of mackerel landings increased in real terms by 27 per cent, while the quantity of mackerel landed decreased by six per cent and the average price of mackerel increased by 35 per cent. Nephrops remain the most valuable shellfish species to the Scottish fleet, accounting for 14 per cent (£77 million) of the total value of all Scottish fish landings. In 2016, Nephrops landings increased in real terms by 24 per cent and the quantity increased by 27 per cent, however the average price of Nephrops decreased by three per cent.

Quota Uptake by vessels in Scottish Producer Organisations

During 2016, quota uptake for:

  • North Sea monkfish exceed 100 per cent,
  • North Sea cod and North Sea whiting both reached 99 per cent
  • North Sea saithe exceeded 98 per cent and North Sea Nephrops reached 84 per cent, while North Sea haddock was 59 per cent
  • West of Scotland monkfish and saithe exceeded 98 per cent
  • West of Scotland Nephrops exceeded 88 per cent and West of Scotland haddock was 71 per cent
  • North Sea and West of Scotland herring and mackerel all exceeded 100 per cent

Scottish Fishing Fleet

The number of active fishing vessels registered in Scotland was 2,033 at the end of 2016, representing an increase of 19 vessels (0.9 per cent) from 2015. At the end of 2016, the number of vessels in:

  • The 10 metre and under fleet increased by 16 to 1,464 vessels
  • The over 10 metre fleet increased by three to 569 vessels
  • demersal fleet increased by four vessels to 187 vessels
  • shellfish fleet maintained level at 363 vessels
  • pelagic fleet reduced by one vessel to 19 vessels

Fishermen Employed

In 2016, the overall number of fishermen employed on Scottish fishing vessels was reported at 4,823 which is consistent with the figure reported in 2015.

The Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2016 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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