The Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2021 show the value of landings in Peterhead rose by nearly 7 percent despite a fall in tonnage landed

The Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2021 show the value of landings in Peterhead rose by nearly 7 percent despite a fall in tonnage landed

The value of landings in Peterhead rose by nearly seven percent despite a fall in tonnage landed, reveals Tony Mackay, an Economist who has closely examined the Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2021.

Marine Scotland have just published their annual report on Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2021, which gives detailed statistics on the landings of fish in every port/district in the country, including Peterhead. The numbers are disaggregated by species, tonnage and value.

The value of fish landings at Peterhead rose by +6.7% to £172.8 million last year, although the tonnage fell slightly by -1.7% to 151.6 million tonnes.

In Scotland as a whole the value of landings in 2021 was up +8.4% but the tonnage down -1.5%. The Peterhead value rise was therefore slightly less than the national average and the tonnage fall also slightly worse.

Peterhead is by far the biggest fishing port in the country. The landings value was 39.5% of the Scottish total and the tonnage 53.7%.

In terms of value, the breakdown was:

  • pelagic fish £92.8 million (54% of the total; up +12% on 2020),
  • demersal/white fish £59.2 million (34%; down -15%); and
  • shellfish £20.9 million (12%; up +107%).
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The most valuable species landed were mackerel at £75 million (43% of the overall total), nephrops (10%), haddock (9%), herring (8%) and cod (8%). In terms of tonnage, pelagic fish accounted for 73% of the Peterhead total (up +11% on 2020), demersal/white fish 22% (down -32%) and shellfish 5% (up +64%). The biggest landings were of mackerel (44% of the total), herring (15%), blue whiting (14%) and haddock (8%).

There was a big increase in pelagic landings but a relatively bigger fall in demersal landings. There was also a large rise in shellfish landings but they only account for small proportions of the Peterhead totals.

The Marine Scotland report shows that there were only 95 registered fishing vessels at Peterhead at 31 December 2021, which was just 4.6% of the Scottish total of 2082. There were just 370 fishers, who were 8.7% of the national total. Those percentages are much lower than those for the weight and value of landings, so clearly most landings in Peterhead are made by vessels registered elsewhere.

Nevertheless, 2021 was obviously a better year for the local fishing industry because of the easing of the covid lockdowns and restrictions. Peterhead continues to be by far the most important fishing port in Scotland.

The annual report gives statistics on landings by Scottish vessels in Scotland and abroad. The former accounted for 74% of the value of landings by the Scottish fleet in 2021 and 61% of the weight; landings abroad accounted for 26% by value and 39% by weight.

The tables on the attached two pages give the landing statistics for each of the 18 fishery districts/ports in Scotland.

The fishery district/port statistics disaggregate the landings by Scottish and non-Scottish vessels, including vessels from abroad and elsewhere in the UK. My comments relate to the total landings in each district/port and not just those by Scottish vessels.

The Summary of the Marine Scotland report states that “There are signs that some parts of the fishing industry are recovering from the impacts of Covid-19, however, there hasn’t been a return to pre-pandemic levels:

  • Compared to 2019, whilst there has been an 11 per cent increase in the tonnage landed, the real value of these landings has fallen by nine per cent.
  • The long-term trend for the value of the fish landed by Scottish vessels has been generally positive since 2016, with 2020 being an exception.
  • The 15 per cent increase in real value landed by Scottish vessels between 2020 and 2021 was driven by shellfish and pelagic species.
  • The 10 per cent increase in tonnage landed by Scottish vessels between 2020 and 2021 results from an increase in shellfish and pelagic fish landings; Shellfish landings rose 18 per cent by tonnage and pelagic landings rose 14 per cent; Demersal landings decreased by 10 per cent.
  • Key species: Mackerel remained the most valuable species in 2021 worth £210 million, making up 37 per cent of the total value of Scottish vessels’ landings; Monkfish became the most valuable demersal species and represented six per cent of the total value of Scottish vessels’ landings.”

Scottish vessels accounted for 90% of the value of total landings in 2021, vessels from elsewhere in the UK (RUK) 7% and foreign vessels 3%. The foreign vessels’ share fell from 7% in 2020. Scottish vessels also accounted for 90% of the tonnage landed in 2021, RUK 6% and foreign 4%.

Scotland accounted for 62% of the total value of fish landings in the UK in 2021 and 68% of the tonnage. The report also shows that Scottish vessels landed £393 million (70%) of their fish in Scotland in 2021. The other landings were in Norway £114 million (20%), Denmark £21 million (4%), Rest of UK £20 million (4%), Ireland £8 million (1%) and in other countries £6 million (1%).

The number of active Scottish vessels has remained stable at 2,082, increasing by two per cent compared to 2012. The Scottish fleet is dominated by vessels that are ten metres and under in length with a total of 1,573 vessels falling into this category in 2021. There are 509 over 10 metre vessels

In 2021, 4,241 fishers were working on Scottish vessels, down 70 fishers compared to 2020. Since 2013, employment on Scottish vessels has fallen six per cent.

Scottish fish landings statistics 2021

Rankings by value
District £ million % of Scottish total
  1. Peterhead
172.9 39.5
2. Shetland 70.0 16
3. Scrabster 34.2 7.8
4. Fraserburgh 29.8 6.7
5. Ullapool 22.3 5.1
6. Lochinver 13.1 3.0
7. Campbeltown 12.4 2.8
8. Stornoway 12.2 2.8
9. Ayr 11.1 2.5
10. Kinlochbervie 10.2 2.3
11. Oban 9.7 2.2
12. Portree 8.1 1.9
13. Orkney 7.8 1.8
14. Eyemouth 6.9 1.6
15. Mallaig 4.8 1.1
16. Anstruther 4.8 1.1
17. Aberdeen 4.4 1.0
18. Buckie 3.3 0.7
Scotland total £438 million

Value changes 2020-21

 

District % change
1. Mallaig +37.7
2. Campbeltown +35.9
3. Portree +28.7
4. Scrabster +25.9
5. Ullapool +25.3
6. Ayr +24.1
7. Anstruther +22.7
8. Oban +22.1
9. Stornoway +20.9
10. Eyemouth +20.2
11. Fraserburgh +20.0
12. Aberdeen +18.3
13. Orkney +9.3
14. Peterhead +6.7
15. Shetland -3.4
16. Buckie -14.5
17. Kinlochbervie -17.4
18. Lochinver -25.1
Scotland total value +8.4

Rankings by Tonnage

 

District Tonnes % of Scottish total
  1. Peterhead
151.6 53.7
2. Shetland 48.8 17.3
3. Scrabster 17.3 6.1
4. Fraserburgh 14.1 5.0
5. Ullapool 11.2 4.0
6. Lochinver 9.2 3.2
7. Kinlochbervie 5.7 2.0
8. Ayr 2.9 1.0
9. Campbeltown 4.8 1.7
10. Stornoway 2.9 1.0
11. Orkney 2.6 0.9
12. Oban 2.3 0.8
13. Eyemouth 1.8 0.6
14. Anstruther 1.4 0.5
15. Mallaig 1.4 0.5
16. Buckie 1.1 0.4
17. Portree 1.1 0.4
18. Aberdeen 1.1 0.4
Scotland total 283,000 tonnes

Tonnage by changes 2020-21

 

District % change
1. Ayr +29.8
2. Campbeltown +23.7
3. Aberdeen +19.5
4. Scrabster +13.6
5. Eyemouth +13.6
6. Ullapool +13.3
7. Stornoway +13.0
8. Oban +12.2
9. Anstruther +10.7
10. Portree +10.5
11. Orkney +2.6
12. Fraserburgh -1.7
13. Peterhead -4.7
14. Mallaig -5.7
5. Shetland -9.3
16. Lochinver -14.6
17. Kinlochbervie -15.0
18. Buckie -20.1
Scotland total tonnage -1.5%

Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2021 show value of Peterhead fish landings up

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