22nd September 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Value of fish caught in Scotland reaches 10-year high

A 10-year high in landings by Scottish fishermen last year masks major problems in the industry, especially the plundering of mackerel stocks by Iceland and Faroe.

That’s the view of Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong, who today welcomed figures showing a 15 per cent increase in the value of landings in 2011 to £500 million.

Ironically mackerel, worth £164 million, was the main driver of the increase, according to Scottish fisheries minister Richard Lochhead.

He said: “It’s encouraging that the value of the Scottish catch has hit the highest level in a decade.”

“The seafood landed by our fishermen is increasingly sought after, with most prices on the up.

“The value of whitefish landings – led by cod, haddock and monkfish – was generally stable year-on-year, while a modest reduction in fleet size reflects trends towards greater productivity and higher landings value per vessel.

“With mackerel accounting for nearly a third of the overall total, it underlines how important this stock is to Scotland.

“That’s why the EU must urgently progress plans for sanctions to address the reckless overfishing of mackerel by Iceland and the Faroes. Otherwise this valuable fishery may not be there in the years to come.”

There were 54 fewer boats (2,096) based in Scotland last year than in 2010 and 231 fewer fishermen (5,005).

Mr Armstrong said: “We welcome the increase in the value of the catch landed by the Scottish fleet, which is good news for the industry and the Scottish economy as a whole.

“However, it would be wrong to conclude that all is well with the industry – for example on the international scene a chill wind is blowing in the shape of the gross over-fishing of the valuable north-east Atlantic mackerel stock by Iceland and the Faroes, which provides an uncertain future for our mackerel fishermen.

“For other fishing industry sectors, the figures also mask underlying problems such as increased operating costs and the continual tightening of control restrictions, particularly the number of days that vessels can put to sea. For example, all of our vessels are enduring dramatically increased fuel prices, which have a huge impact on profitability. Indeed, some whitefish skippers are reporting their highest ever turnover yet lowest ever levels of profitability because of this soaring fuel expenditure, combined with the ever increasing costs of leasing extra quota to try and make their boats viable.”

One comment

  1. Ron Stronach

    The value of fish may well be on the increase, but that just means “it cost more money” it has no real reflection on quanity of fish landed. Are fish stocks on the increase or is it, we are having to pay more for the fish landed?
    To me the only real measure should be the amount of fish available and the quantity landed. If this has increased during the last 10 years then the fisheries policy might be working after all, if not, then Brussels needs to think again.

    Reply

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.