Value of Scottish seafood catch at record high
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.’