Value of fish caught by Scots fleet at century high
THE value of fish landed by Scottish vessels has soared to its highest level this century, according to a new report by Scotland’s chief statistician.
But the government’s annual sea fisheries report has also revealed that the number of vessels in the Scottish fleet and the number of fishermen in the industry have both fallen to the lowest levels ever recorded.
Last year, the number of fishing vessels based in Scotland fell by three per cent to 2,095 and the number of fishermen employed in the Scottish catching sector fell by four per cent to 4,996.
According to the report, a total of 359,000 tonnes of fish were landed by Scottish trawlers in 2011, with a value of £501 million – a 13 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure.
The main reason for the record-breaking value was a 39 per cent increase in real terms in the value of landings of mackerel and other pelagic species, totalling £184m in 2011.
There was a five per cent increase in the value of shellfish to £164m while the value of whitefish landings, such as cod and haddock, decreased slightly by two per cent to £152m. Landings of mackerel reached a record £163.1m – a 40 per cent increase on the 2010 value of £116.1m.
Bertie Armstrong, the chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, warned that the new statistics masked the huge economic difficulties still being faced by the fishing fleet
He said: “Although these statistics show an increase of 13 per cent in the value of fish landed, the main reason for this is down to the strong, and very welcome, global demand for mackerel.
“However, income and profitability are two very different things. The reality is that most of our fleet is facing severe economic and cost pressures, including the soaring price of fuel, the extra costs required to meet complex technical regulations.”
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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