Publication - Statistics

Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2006

Published: 19 Sep 2007
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9780755967452

Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2006

39 page PDF

727.8 kB

39 page PDF

727.8 kB

Contents
Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2006
1. Overview of the Scottish Fishing Fleet

39 page PDF

727.8 kB

1. Overview of the Scottish Fishing Fleet

1.1 The regulation of the UK Fleet

The structure and capacity of the UK and Scottish fishing fleets has, since 1983, been dictated primarily by the EU Common Fisheries Policy ( CFP). Between 1997 and 2002, fleet structure was managed within the CFP through the fourth Multi Annual Guidance Programme ( MAGP) designed to tailor fleet capacity to available fish stocks across the EU. Under this programme the UK fishing fleet was divided into eight segments, defined primarily by broad fishing method 1, and capacity limits or effort reduction targets set for each segment. MAGP IV has now ended and has been replaced by global effort ceilings at member state level controlled through a system of entry/exit controls. In simple terms, a vessel can only enter the fleet when equivalent capacity has exited the fleet.

At a UK level to date, restrictive licensing has been the main Government instrument to bring the activities of the UK fishing fleet into line with MAGP and UK aims on fleet and catch management. Aside from a few limited exceptions, all vessels engaged in commercial sea fishing are required to hold a licence issued by UK Fisheries Departments. There are a finite number of licences in existence and no new licences are made available. This places a ceiling on the total number of vessels in the UK fishing fleet. In order to license new vessels, fishermen must acquire one or more existing licences from other previously licensed vessels. Capacity penalties are applied when licences are transferred, or aggregated to form a larger licence unit, and these, together with the restricted number of licences on issue, form a mechanism resulting in reductions in the capacity of the UK fleet.

The UK restrictive licensing controls, in combination with successive decommissioning schemes (1994-1997; 2001-2002 and 2003-2004), explain many of the fleet trends in recent years and the figures presented here are interpreted in this context where appropriate.

1.2 Fleet size

2006 saw a continuation of recent changes to the Scottish fleet, either directly or indirectly prompted by measures designed to conserve vulnerable whitefish stocks, particularly cod. The most important of these measures in recent years have been the two successive decommissioning schemes in 2001-2002 and 2003-04, under which 165 vessels were removed from the demersal fleet.

During 2006, it was discovered that the UK Core Vessel file, the official source of information on UK vessels, had been notified of Scottish vessels becoming inactive. while they were still recorded on FIN as active. An exercise was conducted to take this information on board into FIN, leading to an appreciable drop in the number of active vessels recorded. Because this issue affected the figures for earlier years, figures have been revised.

There were 2,224 active fishing vessels based in Scotland at the end of 2006, a net reduction of 62 (3 per cent) since 2005 ( Table 1). There were reductions in the number of active vessels in 12 out of 18 districts (Table I below) with the losses mainly in the North West including the isles. The number of active vessels did increase in three districts Buckie (+6 vessels), Fraserburgh (+4 vessels) and Peterhead (+1 vessel).

Table I: Changes in numbers of active Scottish based vessels 2005-06, by district.

District

Number of active vessels

Change

2005

2006

Eyemouth

110

98

-12

Pittenweem

102

101

-1

Aberdeen

93

93

0

Peterhead

98

99

1

Fraserburgh

217

221

4

Buckie

73

79

6

Wick

123

120

-3

Orkney

161

153

-8

Shetland

195

185

-10

Stornoway

311

303

-8

Lochinver

18

18

0

Kinlochbervie

26

26

0

Ullapool

69

67

-2

Mallaig

84

71

-13

Oban

140

132

-8

Campbeltown

162

161

-1

Ayr

161

158

-3

Portree

143

139

-4

Total

2,286

2,224

-62

Source: Table 6 and revised equivalent 2005 figures

The under 10 metre segment of the fleet decreased by 49 vessels (3 per cent) to 1,518 over the year to December 2006 and has decreased by 11 per cent since 1996 ( Table 1). The over 10 metres fleet decreased by 13 vessels (2 per cent) in 2006. This segment is now 39 per cent smaller than in 1996, a trend which has affected the demersal (down 46 per cent), pelagic (down 60 per cent) and shellfish (down 31 per cent) sectors.

1.3 Vessel Capacity

1.3.1 Overall length

The average overall length of vessels in the over 10m fleet was 19.05 metres in 2006, a shortening of ten centimetres on the 2005 figure. Average vessel length observed has been decreasing since 2000. Since 2000, the average length within the over 10m segment has fallen by a metre and is now at the lowest length in the decade ( Table 1).

1.3.2 Engine Power

Engine power statistics in earlier years have been underestimated to an unknown degree, due the inclusion of vessels with engines operating at a higher power than permitted on their licences. In November 1999, in response to this problem, Fisheries Departments introduced special (concessionary) licensing arrangements and a timetable for compliance with engine power controls. Under the compliance timetable licence holders who have admitted to under declaration, had until the end of 2004 to ensure that either: (i) their true engine power is registered and to have acquired enough licence entitlement to cover this, or (ii) to have de-rated their engine to the figure on their licence. In practice, most have chosen to acquire extra licences to cover their operational engine power. Consequently, it needs to be borne in mind that after 1999, the trends in average engine power shown in Table 1 are complicated by the effect of an increasing number of owners declaring their true, higher, engine power. Nevertheless, while this bias makes the actual rate of change unclear, it is clear that Scottish based vessels are now fishing with greater engine power on average than in the past. However recent years show that this may have stabilised.

The total registered engine power of the over 10m Scottish fleet was 324 thousand kilowatts in 2006 ( Table 1) a fall of four per cent since 2005 and 20 per cent lower than 1996. However, average engine power, at 459 kW, has increased by 32 per cent since 1996. The opposing trends of decreasing total fleet engine capacity and increasing average engine power per can be explained by a combination of factors: (i) the 39 per cent reduction in the number of vessels in the over 10 m fleet since 1996 (Section 1.2); (ii) the "natural wastage" of licensed engine power that often accompanies the aggregation of several licences onto a single vessel 2 and; (iii) since 1999, the progressive correction of under declared engine power, in line with the concessionary licensing arrangements noted above.

1.4 Employment

The 2005 employment figures have been revised because they were affected by an understatement in the figures recorded by Peterhead Fisheries Office. The 2005 figures for Peterhead have been estimated as being the same as the 2006 figures.

Total employment in the catching sector increased by one per cent to 5,205 between 2005 to 2006 ( Table 11), while the number of fishermen regularly employed on Scottish based vessels at 4,109 was four per cent higher than in 2005 ( Table 13). The number of irregularly employed (mainly part time) fishermen in 2006 decreased by 111 to 999.

At a district level, the largest increase in the recorded numbers in regular employment occurred at Stornoway (+61) jobs. Once again Fraserburgh has the most fishermen in regular and total employment.