Scotland's marine economic statistics 2018

Statistics on the economic contributions of Scotland’s marine sectors in 2018. Includes a time series of Gross Value Added (GVA), turnover and employment for industrial categories defined as part of the marine sector.

14. References and Glossary


Aquaculture or fish farming is the breeding and harvesting of plants and animals in water. It can take place in natural water bodies such as ponds, lakes, marshland or brackish water and the ocean. It can also be conducted in tanks, commonly found in fish hatcheries.

Aquaculture statistics Marine Scotland

The Marine Scotland aquaculture statistics are based on two annual aquaculture surveys; one on finfish and one on shellfish.  These are the source for production and employment data.

Annual Population Survey (APS

The Annual Population Survey was used as the source for employment statistics. 


Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science annually coordinates the UK collection of  economic data on aquaculture for the DCF.

Data Collection Framework DCF data

The European Commission's Data Collection Framework (DCF) establishes a European Community framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries industry.  The Data Collection Framework (DCF) regulation is EU Regulation 2017/1004 which replaced EC Reg 199/2008. 

Under the regulations, member states are required to compile a wide range of biological and economic data as specified in the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/1251 of 12 July 2016 which sets out the requirements for 2017-19. The requirements include:

  • biological data on stocks caught by Union commercial fisheries and by recreational fisheries;
  • data to assess the impact of Union fisheries on the marine ecosystem;
  • detailed data on the capacity and activity of Union fishing;
  • social and economic data on fisheries;
  • social, economic and environmental data on aquaculture;

The DCF social and economic data provided the source for producing the economic statistics for aquaculture and fishing.  

Fleet Economic Survey

Seafish publication

The Seafish Fleet Economic Performance Dataset contains financial, economic and operation performance indicators for the sea fisheries fleet for the period 2009-2019. 

Food Standards Agency (FSA)

The FSA publish data on Approved Food Establishments.  The data was used to provide the geographic distribution of fish processing plants. 

Full Time Equivalent (FTE)

This allows part-time workers' working hours to be standardised against those working full-time. The standardised figure is 1.0, which refers to a full-time worker.   The SABS data is presented as head counts, i.e. not taking working hours (or seasonal employment) into account.  All employment counts in this publication are presented as head counts to remain consistent with SABS presentation.  

Gross Value Added (GVA)

Approximate Gross Value Added is the value generated by any unit engaged in the production of goods and services less any intermediate inputs into the production process. 

While Turnover measures the value of the goods and services produced, GVA measures the net of inputs used (i.e. turnover less the value of intermediate inputs). GVA is a measure of the contribution the economy made by to the production of goods and services, and as such is a more useful indication of contribution to the economy.

Growth Sector Statistics Database

Scotland's Economic Strategy identifies sectors where Scotland has a distinct comparative advantage, including Food & Drink (including agriculture & fisheries).  Figures from the Growth Sector Statistics Database are not directly comparable with these Marine Economic Statistics due to methodological differences.


SABS reports employment by headcount i.e. the number of individuals working in a sector, not taking account of their working hours (or seasonal employment).  All employment statistics in this publication are presented as head counts to remain consistent with SABS presentation.  See FTE.

Marine Sector

Marine Scotland has defined the SABS industrial categories that make up the marine economy.  These can be seen in Annex A.  They are supplemented by other data in some industry sectors.  

Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

The MMO licences, regulates and plans marine activities in the seas around England so that they're carried out in a sustainable way.  It is also manages fisheries data collection for the UK.  

National Accounts Scotland

Scottish GVA, taken from the National Accounts Scotland.  

Processing sector statistics  Seafish publication

Annual financial surveys of UK fish processors and a census of all UK fish processing businesses every two years.  This survey is referred to but is not used in this report as the SABS data was more consistent.

Quarterly National Accounts of Scotland 

The Quarterly National Accounts of Scotland provided national-level GVA estimates.  The 2016 statistics for Scotland's onshore economy were used. 

Scottish Annual Business Statistics (SABS)

SABS provides the core data for this publication.  

SABS contains data mainly on the Production (including Manufacturing), Construction and Service Sectors in Scotland. The SABS data is published in tables that include information on businesses' employment, turnover, purchases, estimates of approximate gross value added and labour costs. Businesses in the survey are classified according to industry group, geographical area and ownership.

Scottish Marine Regions

Scottish Marine Regions were introduced by The Scottish Marine Regions Order 2015.   The boundaries identify the areas for preparing and adopting regional marine plans. A map of these regions is shown below:   

The boundaries identify the areas for preparing and adopting regional marine plans

Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics

Marine Scotland publication

This is an annual statistical bulletin that provides detailed statistics on the Scottish fishing fleet, fishers employment, and the quantity and value of fish landings for the year previous to publication year.


Seafish is an industry funded body that supports the seafood industry to work for a sustainable, profitable future. It offers regulatory guidance and services to the seafood industry, including catching and aquaculture, processors, importers, exporters and distributors of seafood. It also collects and publishes economic and social data on seafood sectors  

Shipbuilding profile SABS analysis

SABS specialist analysis of Scottish shipbuilding figures in the SABS excel tables.

Standard Industrial Classification -  SIC Codes

A Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) is used for  classifying business establishments and other statistical units by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged. The classification provides a framework for the collection, tabulation, presentation and analysis of data, and its use promotes uniformity in defining and identifying industries. In addition, it can be used for administrative purposes and by non-government bodies as a convenient way of classifying industrial activities into a common structure. 

The current codes were introduced in 2007 and are the reason that the reporting in this publication runs from 2008 onwards.  

SIC 2007: structure and explanatory notes

Sustainable Tourism by Local Authority Area 

SABS Analysis 

SABS specialist analysis of Scottish tourism by local authority in the SABS excel tables.

Transport Scotland

Transport Scotland produce transport activity statistics.  The passenger and freight activity data was extracted from Scottish Transport Statistics – No 38 – Datasets.  Chapter 9 Water Transport.  The data was supplied by ferry operators and is not classified as National Statistics.



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