Scottish Sea Fisheries Employment 2015

Second Scottish Sea Fisheries report providing information on the structure of employment and key characteristics of Scotland's sea fishing fleet.

Annex 1: Data Collection

Survey Design: Data for the 2015 survey was collected using a face-to-face interviews with skippers and fishers on the quayside in all major ports and the majority of small harbours throughout Scotland (see Section 2 for the geographic distribution of surveyed vessels at the time of interviews). Marine Scotland developed the question used to collect data for the survey with input from Seafish. The questionnaire was tested in Peterhead and Fraserburgh at the start of September 2015. The survey used a revised final questionnaire to collect data throughout September and October of 2015.

Survey Methods and Approach: Seafish managed all the survey fieldwork and data entry. Four researchers were recruited and trained by Seafish on general survey skills and by Marine Scotland on use of the questionnaire. Seafish provided each researcher with a contact list for target vessels that used the ports and harbours they were assigned to interview from, and logistical support for the survey.

Participants were selected using a stratified purposive sampling approach by fleet segment. A random element was introduced at the port or harbour to select vessels that were present at the time of the interviews, although participation in the survey was purely voluntary. The survey targeted vessel skippers for information about the vessel and crew. Where skippers were not available, owners were interviewed.

The researchers carrying out the interviews shared with all survey participants the objectives of the data collection exercise, and assured them that all data collected would be anonymised before being delivered to Marine Scotland for analysis. Researcher only proceeded with the survey after respondents had given informed consent. Participants for the survey were mobilised using the Seafish Twitter feed and through a range of fishing industry contacts.

Areas visited included the following;

  • Shetland and Orkney
  • North and South Hebrides
  • Ullapool, Kinlochbervie and Scrabster
  • Wick and North East coast
  • Skye and Kyle of Lochalsh
  • Mallaig and Oban
  • Tarbert, Campbeltown and Port Ellen
  • Troon, Ayr, Ballantrae.
  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • East Lothian and Fife
  • Arbroath to Aberdeen:
  • Peterhead to Inverness

Final sample size by fishing segment, gear type, main fishing area and length class.

Annex 1A: Tables on sample breakdown.

Fishing segments Population Sample size % of population
Demersal over 24m 30 10 33%
Demersal under 24m 37 13 35%
NS Nephrops 98 22 20%
Pair Trawl and seine 29 11 34%
Scallopers 98 23 22%
Under 10m demersal trawl/seine 60 15 20%
WOS Nephrops 123 34 26%
Total NS Pots and Traps 578 58 10%
Total WOS Pots and Traps 463 51 10%
Grand Total 1,516 237 15%
Gear type Sample size
Mobile 129
Static 108
Grand Total 237
Length Class Achieved Sample Size
VL0010 113
VL1012 17
VL1218 50
VL1824 38
VL2440 18
VL40XX 1
Grand Total 237
Main Fishing Area Achieved Sample Size
NS 125
WOS 100
Unknown* 1
Grand Total 237

Fleet Classifications: Vessels were clustered into high-level gear groups to ensure the sample for the survey was representative of: (a) vessels targeting different species and; (b) vessels of different length classes. This provided five fishing sectors for the survey:

1. pot and trap known as creel fishing;

2. demersal vessels under 24 metre;

3. demersal vessels over (>) 24 metre, seine and pair trawl;

4. Nephrops trawl and;

5. scallop dredger.

Vessels outside of these sectors (e.g. pelagic, gillnets etc.) were not included in the survey.

The analysis of remuneration costs in Section 9 disaggregated two of the sectors, Nephrops and pot and trap, each into two length classes to account of variations in earning potential between vessels in these sectors.

Data Entry: Researchers returned all completed questionnaires to the Seafish Office at the end of each week for data to be electronically captured. Seafish made extensive efforts to ensure data was of the highest possible quality. This included applying various data validation checks. Entries in the final dataset were anonymised by Seafish prior handing data over to Marine Scotland for analysis.

Data Cleaning: Overall, the quality of data delivered to Marine Scotland was high, which minimised effort expended on data cleaning. Data cleaning by Marine Scotland focused mainly on the remuneration cost data to:

1. ensure that vessel fishing variable costs (fuel, quota leasing, boxes, food, etc.), boat share (to vessel owner for, e.g. - legal fees, repairs, insurance, gear, etc.) crew share and payments to contract crew summed up to vessel gross earnings. Note this assumes none of the sampled vessels borrowed to fund fishing operations.

2. include all reported bonus payments in total crew remuneration costs. For contract crew, all expenses related to crew recruitment (e.g., payment for flights, agency fees, etc.) were included as crew remuneration costs.

3. to close gaps due to missing information. In a few cases where information on boat costs was missing, the analysis estimated the missing information using simple models based on data from vessels in the same segment. In the pot and trap sector a number of skippers reported that their crew remuneration came from vessel operating profits. Given the survey did not collect data on operating profit, the analysis modeled operating profit estimates for relevant vessels from Seafish Economic Fleet survey data.

Annex 1B: Crew share, estimated ( Est.) salary and contract salary by position. Median and max/max ( italics) values in the range are presented. Estimates are calculated using the mean gross earning for an average vessel in each sector.

Variable Pots and Traps <10m Pots and Traps >10m Demersal <24m Demersal >24m, seine and
pair trawl
Nephrop <18m Nephrop >18m Scallop dredge
Mean Gross Earning £5,746 £20,213 £93,556 £116,526 £22,338 £48,331 £19,407
Allocation by position of crew share (%)              
Skipper - Crew share 73% (33-100%) 49% (30-100%) 33% (20-52%) 20% (15-50%) 33% (25-100%) 50% (20-100%) 61% (33-100%)
Engineer - Crew share 0% 0% 33% (20-50%) 17% (14-25%) 25% (23-50%) 20% (20-25%) 46% (33-50%)
Engineer - Contract n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Deckhand - Crew share 44% (22-76%) 39% (18-50%) 23% (22-48%) 20% (14-50%) 32% (22-50%) 24% (20-50%) 37% (20-50%)
Deckhand - Contract n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Distribution (Est.) by position of crew (£)              
Skipper - Crew share £1,447 (£655-1,986) £3,071 (£1,873-6,242) £7,667 (£4,647-12,081) £5,318 (£3,855-13,294) £2,207 (£1,672-6,688) £4,548 (£1,819-9,096) £3,369 (£1,831-5,547)
Engineer - Crew share £0 £0 £7,667 (£4,647-11,616) £4,500 (£3,802-6,647) £1,672 (£1,538-3,344) £1,819 (£1,819-2,274) £2,542 (£1,831-2,774)
Engineer - Contract £0 £0 £1,733 (£900-2,500) £1,477 (£1,250-2,000) £0 £1,591 (£1,000-3,000) £0
Deckhand - Crew share £887 (£437-1,330) £2,437 (£1,124-3,121) £5,344 (£5,111-11,152) £5,318 (£3,616-13,294) £2,140 (£1,471-3,344) £2,183 (£1,819-4,548) £2,072 (£1,109-2,744)
Deckhand - Contract £0 £1,475 (£1,200-2000) £1,182 (£900-1,400) £1,341 (£1,000-1,667) £1,272 (£900-2,000) £1,394 (£980 - 2,700) £1,100 (£950-1,200)

Annex 1C: Example of survey tool used to collection remuneration information from vessels.

Annex 1C: Example of survey tool used to collection remuneration information from vessels.


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