The Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics for 2021 has been published by Marine Scotland
Marine Scotland has published the Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics for 2021 showing an increase of 11% in landings of sea fish and shellfish from 2020.
The Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2021 contains a summary of provisional data on fish landings by Scottish registered vessels, the size of the Scottish fishing fleet, numbers of fishers working in Scotland and UK quota uptake in 2021.
Total landings and value
Most recent figures show that in 2021, Scottish-registered fishing vessels landed 437 thousand tonnes of sea fish and shellfish with a value of £542 million.
This represents an increase of 38 thousand tonnes (10%) and an increase of £54 million (11%) in real terms from 2020
Compared to 2012, in 2021 the tonnage of fish landed was up 20% and real terms value was down 2%.
Overall in 2021, the pelagic sector saw increases in tonnage and value compared to 2020, driven by an 8% increase in landings of mackerel.
Mackerel remains the most valuable stock to the Scottish fishing fleet, accounting for 36% (£196 million) of the total value of Scottish landings in 2021.
In 2021, Scottish-registered vessels landed 8% more mackerel by weight (185 thousand tonnes in total) and 8% more by value in real terms compared to 2020.
Of the total weight of mackerel landed by Scottish vessels, 46% was landed into Scotland and 54% was landed abroad.
The value of demersal landings in 2021 saw a small decrease (1% decrease in real terms) compared to 2020.
Monkfish, haddock and cod are the most valuable demersal species to the Scottish fleet.
Thirteen thousand tonnes of monkfish worth £34 million were landed in 2021, an increase in landings of 10% (Table 3a) and in value of 12% (in real terms) compared to 2020.
The value of haddock landings in 2021 decreased by 11% in real terms to £29 million (Table 3b) compared to 2020, while tonnage landed decreased by 14% to 20 thousand tonnes.
The value of cod landings in 2021 fell by 17% (in real terms) to £20 million compared to 2020 as tonnage landed decreased by 31% to 6 thousand tonnes.
Overall, the shellfish sector in 2021 saw large increases in tonnage (18%) and value (28%) compared to 2020.
In 2021, most main shellfish species saw increases in both tonnage and value when compared to 2020. In particular, there was a 41% increase in the landings of Nephrops (Norway lobster or Langoustine).
Coronavirus and the lockdowns associated with it had a large impact on the shellfish sector in 2020, and these increases indicate signs of recovery in 2021.
In 2021, the total value of Nephrops was £70 million, 50% more (in real terms) than in 2020.
The number of active Scottish fishing vessels in 2021 was 2,086, a decrease of 2 vessels from 2020.
The methodology used to calculate the number of fishers has changed since the previous publication. If a vessel is registered as an active fishing vessel but has not made any landings in the year in question, their employment figures are not counted.
Information on whether fishers are crofters is also no longer collected and information on crofters from earlier years is now included with irregular fishers.
These changes have been applied to all years from 2013 onwards and have resulted in a reduction of around 10% in the total number of fishers in each year when compared to the 2020 Sea Fisheries Statistics publication.
In 2021, the overall number of fishers working on Scottish fishing vessels was reported at 4,241, which is 2% down on the revised figure for 2020.
Compared to 2020, there has been a 2% decrease in those regularly employed with irregular employment increasing by 2%.
UK Fish Quota Uptake 2021
Uptake of quota was high for mackerel for the West of Scotland at 102%, but lower for the North Sea at 60%.
Quota uptake for herring was high in the North Sea at 103% but fairly low in the West of Scotland at 32%.
Haddock quota uptake varied from 45% in West of Scotland VIb to 68% in the West of Scotland VIa, Vb.
Cod quota uptake was high in both the North Sea (98%) and West of Scotland VIa, Vb (99.9%).
Quota uptake for Nephrops was high in the North Sea at 88% and lower in the West of Scotland at 60%.