Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2013

Statistics on the Scottish fishing fleet and its catches in 2013

Key Points

Landings by Scottish vessels

The total value of fish landed by Scottish vessels in 2013 was £430 million, a decrease of nine per cent in real terms compared with 2012. This decrease in the overall value of landings was reflected in reductions in the value of all species types. The real term value of pelagic landings decreased by nine per cent to £153 million. Demersal landings had a value of £140 million, a reduction of four per cent from 2012, and the value of shellfish landings decreased by 14 per cent to £137 million. Despite the nine per cent decrease in overall value from 2012, there was little change in quantity of catch landed. A total of 367 thousand tonnes of fish was landed in 2013, an overall increase of half of one per cent from 2012. In terms of species types, the quantity of pelagic and demersal landings increased by one per cent and seven per cent, respectively, whilst shellfish landings decreased by ten per cent.

Reductions in the price obtained for many key species drove the overall decrease in the value of landings between 2013 and 2012. Mackerel is the most valuable stock to the Scottish fleet, accounting for 29 per cent (£126 million) of the total value of Scottish landings. In 2013 mackerel decreased in value by five per cent in real terms from 2012, driven by a five per cent fall in price per tonne and a less than half of one per cent decrease in the quantity landed to 134 thousand tonnes. The value of herring, despite an increase of six per cent in quantity landed in 2013, fell in real terms by 23 per cent to £23 million. The overall value of demersal species reduced because of price reductions in the majority of key demersal species since 2012. Demersal species that increased in price in real terms were haddock (up 19 per cent), whiting (up four per cent) and plaice (up 48 per cent). The combination of price decreases and the reduction in quantity of shellfish landings drove the 14 per cent reduction in the value of shellfish landed.

Quota uptake by vessels in Scottish Producer Organisations

Quota uptake for important demersal stocks was high in 2013. Landings of North Sea haddock, North Sea cod, North Sea whiting, and North Sea saithe were close to 100 per cent uptake of the quota available. Uptake for North Sea monkfish and North Sea Nephrops was relatively low, 65 per cent and 48 per cent respectively, and lower than 2012's uptake. In the case of Nephrops, this was down to poor availability in the fishing grounds. Quota uptake for the important pelagic stocks reached or exceeded 100 per cent for North Sea herring and West of Scotland mackerel, similar to 2012.

Scottish fishing fleet

The number of active fishing vessels based in Scotland was 2,020 at the end of 2013. This is a decrease of 26 vessels (one per cent) on the previous year and represents the smallest recorded fleet size.

In 2013, the number of over ten metre vessels was 594, a loss of 4 vessels from 2012. The over ten metre demersal sector consisted of 204 vessels, a decrease of nine vessels, while the shellfish sector increased by eight vessels to 367 vessels. The number of vessels in the over ten metre pelagic sector was reduced by one to 23 vessels, compared to 2012. There were 1,426 vessels in the ten metre and under fleet, a decrease of 22 vessels since 2012.

Fishermen employed

The number of fishermen employed on Scottish based vessels was 4,992 at the end of 2013. Compared to 2012, there are 245 more people employed on Scottish based vessels, representing a five per cent increase. An improvement on how the data was collated was introduced in 2013 and so any inference made from this result must take into account this change. No definitive reason could be found for the rise so any interpretation is confounded with the change of process.


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