Trawlers and seine-netters returned more than 7,000 tonnes of undersized haddock to the sea in 2021 says the Scottish Rural Secretary

The Scottish government estimates that more than 7,000 tonnes of undersized haddock were discarded in 2021 by UK trawlers and seine-netters

UK fishing trawlers and seine-netters returned more than 7,000 tonnes of undersized haddock to the sea in 2021 according to Scottish government estimates. 

Scottish Rural Secretary Mairi Gougeon was replying to a question from Scottish Labour MSP, Mercedes Villalba who had asked a written question about how much juvenile fish had been returned to the sea. 

Her question was: 

“To ask the Scottish Government what the total volume, in kilograms, was of below Minimum Conservation Reference Size (a) cod, (b) haddock, (c) herring, (d) whiting, (e) sole, (f) plaice and (g) saithe that was discarded by Scottish boats in 2021, in ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) areas (i) 4 and (ii) 6a. 

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The Fisheries Minister answered: 

The total quantity of discards below Minimum Conservation Reference Size from Scottish vessels is not currently estimated. Marine Scotland estimates the total weight of unwanted catch (catch that was not considered suitable for commercial sales) below Minimum Conservation Reference Size for demersal trawlers and seine netters for each year, using data collected by scientific observers on-board fishing vessels. (Fishing trips by vessels using other gears are not surveyed.) The estimates for 2021 are given in the following table. These estimates are for fishing trips by UK vessels landing into Scotland and Scottish vessels landing abroad. 

Estimates of the total weight of unwanted catch (kg) below Minimum Conservation Reference Size caught in 2021 in ICES subarea 4 and division 6a by UK vessels landing into Scotland and Scottish vessels landing abroad, fishing with demersal trawls or seines. 

Species  ICES region 
(i) 4  (ii) 6a 
(a) Cod  338,000  1,000 
(b) Haddock  4,087,000  3,048,000 
(c) Herring  1,000  42,000 
(d) Whiting  271,000  84,000 
(e) Sole  0  2,500 
(f) Plaice  30,000  47,000 
(g) Saithe  4,000  0 

 

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Scottish Government estimates 7,000 tonnes of undersized haddock discarded in 2021

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