The Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group (SPSG) has produced a ‘Pelagic Industry Briefing Document’ aimed at politicians and other interested parties to ensure there is informed understanding of the sector.
The document includes the historical development of the pelagic fleet to its current status and highlights the important contribution the pelagic processing sector makes to the national economy. It also focuses on the sustainability of Scotland’s pelagic industry and its pioneering scientific work to enhance knowledge of stocks and ensure a sustainable future.
The document briefs readers that the Scottish pelagic Industry is Scotland’s single most valuable fishery in terms of volume and value, representing 64% of all Scottish landed fish with a sale value of £221 million in 2020.
The market for Scottish pelagic fish shows that the annual turnover of the Scottish Pelagic processing sector is up to £250m, with export sales accounting for £150m of that figure.
The Scottish mackerel fleet today consists of 21 modern state-of-the-art fishing vessels and there are fice major primary and secondary processing facilities located in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Aberdeen, and Lerwick. With the vessels in the Scottish pelagic fleet wholly crewed by Scots from places such as the north-east of Scotland and the Shetland Islands.
The document also says that Scotland’s herring and mackerel fisheries are among the most sustainable around with Scottish pelagic catchers and processors forming the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group in 2007 with the aim to ensure continued Marne Stewardship Council certification.
Ian Gatt, chairman of SPSG, says: “Discussion and debate about the pelagic sector is often misinformed, which is why we felt it important to produce a user-friendly document that provides a comprehensive overview of the industry.
“The Scottish pelagic fleet is operated by families with a fishing lineage of several generations, and they are rightfully proud of the low carbon footprint, climate-smart food they put on our plates. The sector is committed to sustainability and is at the forefront of spearheading a range of initiatives to ensure responsible harvesting of a highly nutritious food resource.”
The ‘Pelagic Industry Briefing Document’ can be viewed at by clicking below: