Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2015

Details of landings of sea fish, the Scottish fishing fleet and the number of sea fishermen employed.

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Key Points

Landings by Scottish vessels

The total value of fish landed by Scottish vessels in 2015 was £437 million, a decrease of 15 per cent in real terms compared with 2014. This decrease was mainly driven by a decrease in value of pelagic species, although the other two species types also had a decrease in value. In real terms, the value of pelagic landings decreased by 27 per cent to £160 million. Demersal landings had a value of £143 million, a decrease of one per cent from 2014, and the value of shellfish landings decreased by 11 per cent to £134 million.

The quantity of fish landed also decreased between 2014 and 2015. A total of 440 thousand tonnes of fish was landed in 2015, a decrease of eight per cent from 2014. In terms of species types, the quantity of pelagic and shellfish landings decreased 12 per cent and six per cent respectively, while demersal landings increased by two per cent.

Mackerel remains the most valuable stock to the Scottish fleet, accounting for 30 per cent of the total value of Scottish landings. In 2015 the value of mackerel decreased by 33 per cent in real terms compared to 2014. This was due to a 17 per cent decrease in the quantity of mackerel landed from 2014, as well as a 20 per cent decrease in the average price, from £816 per tonne in 2014 to £653 per tonne in 2015.

Although the quantity of demersal landings increased, the overall value of demersal species reduced because of price reductions in the majority of key demersal species since 2014. Demersal species that increased in price in real terms were hake (up seven per cent), ling (up four per cent) and plaice (up one per cent). The six per cent reduction in shellfish landings drove the 11 per cent decrease in value in real terms of shellfish landed in 2015.

Scottish fishing fleet

The number of active fishing vessels registered in Scotland was 2,015 at the end of 2015, representing a decrease of 15 vessels (0.7 per cent) on the previous year.

In 2015, the number of over ten metre vessels was 566, a decrease of 17 vessels from 2014. The over ten metre demersal sector consisted of 183 vessels, a decrease of 11 vessels, while the pelagic sector decreased by one to 20 vessels. The number of vessels in the shellfish sector decreased by five to 363 vessels. There were 1,449 vessels in the ten metre and under fleet, an increase of two vessels from 2014.

Fishermen employed

The number of fishermen employed on Scottish registered vessels was 4,823 at the end of 2015. Compared to 2014, there were 27 more people employed on Scottish registered vessels, representing a one per cent increase.


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