Value of Scot­tish seafood catch at record high

The Oban Times - - News -

THE value of fish land­ings is at a record high, ac­cord­ing to the Scot­tish Govern­ment’s sea fish­eries sta­tis­tics.

Mack­erel con­tin­ues to be the most valu­able stock, ac­count­ing for £169 mil­lion of Scot­tish land­ings.

Over­all, the quan­tity of fish landed by Scot­tish-reg­is­tered ves­sels in 2016 rose by three per cent from the pre­vi­ous year to 453,300 tonnes, and the to­tal value surged 29 per cent to £ 563 mil­lion.

Sim­i­larly, the to­tal value of shell­fish also climbed by 26 per cent to £169 mil­lion in 2016, with the vol­ume in­creas­ing 10 per cent to 63,600 tonnes. The num­ber of ac­tive Scot­tish fishing ves­sels also in­creased – just, at one per cent – to 2,038, em­ploy­ing 4,823 fish­er­men, roughly an equal num­ber to 2015.

Mack­erel ac­counted for 30 per cent of the to­tal value of Scot­tish land­ings. But the vol­ume fell six per cent to 188,000 tonnes. The av­er­age price of Scot­tish mack­erel landed abroad in­creased 40 per cent to £936 per tonne, whereas the av­er­age price of mack­erel landed into Scot­land in­creased 35 per cent to £885 per tonne.

Her­ring’s value shot up 121 per cent to £47 mil­lion, due to a 98 per cent rise in the av­er­age price to £719 per tonne, and the vol­ume landed by Scot­tish ves­sels in­creased 12 per cent to 66,000 tonnes.

The value of cod also rose 21 per cent to £ 27 mil­lion, with the av­er­age price in­creas­ing by seven per cent to £2,103 per tonne, and the vol­ume landed also went up by 13 per cent.

Monk­fish value surged 32 per cent to £ 35 mil­lion, driven by a 16 per cent rise in av­er­age price per tonne to £2,743, and the vol­ume also in­creased 14 per cent to 13,000 tonnes.

The value of plaice climbed 65 per cent to £7 mil­lion, due to a 31 per cent in­crease in the vol­ume landed and a 26 per cent in­crease in the price per tonne. Both ling and megrim land­ings had a value of £6 mil­lion, a 38 per cent and 29 per cent in­crease from 2015, re­spec­tively.

Hake’s value also rose 16 per cent to £18 mil­lion, due to an 18 per cent in­crease in the vol­ume landed to 8,000 tonnes. Saithe land­ings also rose £8 mil­lion in value, up 14 per cent, but the vol­ume de­creased by four per cent. Whit­ing value dropped six per cent to £8 mil­lion, and the vol­ume landed de­creased by eight per cent, with the price per tonne in­creas­ing by three per cent.

Lan­gous­tine, or nephrops, are the most valu­able shell­fish stock, ac­count­ing for 47 per cent of shell­fish land­ings, and over­all the sec­ond most valu­able stock, to the Scot­tish fleet. The to­tal value of nephrops was £79 mil­lion in 2016, 30 per cent higher than 2015, due to a 27 per cent in­crease in vol­ume landed to 21,000 tonnes, and a two per cent rise in av­er­age price to £ 3,766 per tonne.

Scal­lops are the sec­ond most valu­able shell­fish stock to the Scot­tish fleet, mak­ing up 22 per cent of the value of shell­fish land­ings. The vol­ume of scal­lops landed in 2016 de­creased four per cent to 15,000 tonnes. How­ever, the value of scal­lops in­creased 12 per cent to £ 37 mil­lion, due to a 17 per cent in­crease in the av­er­age price to £ 2,416 per tonne.

Fish­eries sec­re­tary Fer­gus Ewing said: ‘These lat­est sta­tis­tics show the value of Scot­tish catch is at a record high with Scot­land’s fishing fleet and sea fish­eries con­tribut­ing £ 563 mil­lion in rev­enue to our econ­omy.

‘It is en­cour­ag­ing to see in­creased land­ings of nephrops, shell­fish and de­m­er­sal fish like cod, had­dock, whit­ing and monk­fish. These pos­i­tive fig­ures re­flect the hard work of all those in­volved with our fishing sec­tor.’

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