Marine Scotland publishes the Marine and Fisheries Compliance: Boardings of fishing vessels statistics for Scottish waters
Marine Scotland has published the Marine and Fisheries Compliance: Boardings of fishing vessels in Scottish waters stats from June 2021 to June 2022.
The stats show that fisheries control officers have boarded a proportionally higher number of fishing vessels in the last half of 2021 compared to the first six months of 2022. Overall, in the first six months of 2022, Scottish fishery patrol officers boarded 178 fishing vessels, with the highest number of boardings taking place in June where 63 fishing boats were boarded. This shows an increase in from June 2021 when 59 fishing vessels were boarded for inspection.
Compared with the last seven months of 2021, 296 fishing vessels were boarded with 79 boats alone being boarded in August 2021.
On average over 42 boats per month were boarded between June 2021 and the end of December 2021. Compare that to the average of 29.5 boats per month for January to the end of June 2022.
There are many factors involved in the reduction of boardings, which include the time of year, weather factors and the number of fishing vessels operating in the Scottish territorial waters.
Winter and early spring months mean rougher seas when there are less vessels operating at sea and boarding vessels is more difficult and dangerous. Also, the number of fishing vessels operating in Scottish waters has become more conservative due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has caused fuel costs to rise, making long distance trips more expensive.
The statistics show that 220 UK fishing vessels have been boarded in the last seven months of 2021. In the first six months of 2022, 150 UK registered fishing boats were boarded.
In June 2021, 13 Danish boats were boarded for inspection. In June 2022, only one Danish registered fishing vessel was boarded. Up until the end of June 2022, only to Dutch registered fishing vessels have been boarded for inspection and four vessels in the six months to the end of December 2021.
Between June 2021 and the end of October 2021, 12 Irish registered fishing vessels were boarded by Marine Scotland fishery control officers, compared to four at the end of June 2022.
All stats are relevant on the number of fishing vessels each country has registered which are operating in the Scottish EEZ (200-mile zone) at any given time of the year.
This is the publication of the numbers of vessels from both the UK and third countries boarded in Scottish waters by Marine Protection Vessels (MPVs) crews. The figures need to be seen in the context outlined in the accompanying text with the table.
|Nationality||January 2022||February 2022||March 2022||April 2022||May 2022||June 2022||Grand total|
|Nationality||June 2021||July 2021||August 2021||September 2021||October 2021||November 2021||December 2021|
- the publication of this enforcement information will help increase transparency around the work we are doing to promote compliance with regulation; prevent and deter illegal activity, and respond with enforcement action when required to, in waters up to 200 nautical miles offshore of Scotland
- Marine Scotland Compliance has three Marine Protection Vessels and two inshore Rigid Inflatable Boats that regularly undertake boardings of vessels operating in Scottish waters
- our boardings are undertaken following a rigorous risk-based process
- vessel nationality does not play a significant part in this risk-based process
- on any given day, it is worth noting that the UK fishing fleet accounts for approximately 80% of vessels actively fishing in Scottish waters, therefore the proportion of UK vessels boarded is always likely to be more.
- a number of the boarding’s of UK vessels will have occurred within territorial waters, where only UK vessels can legally fish. All boarding’s by the inshore patrol vessels and a number by the offshore vessels, will be within territorial waters and are therefore unlikely to involve non-UK vessels, this will also result in the proportion of UK vessels boarded being higher
- this continues our commitment to ongoing publication of this data. We are publishing data from one month (September) in order that we align future publication of data with the financial year. Publication of September data concludes the data for the second quarter of the year. The next publication will be in six months’ time