Latest figures show that in 2018, Scottish-registered fishing vessels landed 445 thousand tonnes of sea fish and shellfish with a value of £572 million. This represents an decrease of 20 thousand tonnes (4%) and an increase of £12 million (no significant change in real terms) from 2017.
There were 2,087 active Scottish registered fishing vessels in 2018, an increase of 1% from 2017. The number of fishers working on these vessels was 4,857, which is 58 (1%) higher than in 2017 (4,799).
Scottish fishing fleet
The number of active Scottish registered fishing vessels in 2018 was 2,087, an increase of 19 vessels (1%) from 2017. The change in vessel numbers was
largely due to 20 additional creelers of under 10m.
At the end of 2018, the number of vessels in:
• The under 10m fleet increased by 32 to 1,538 vessels
• The 10 metre and over fleet decreased by 13 to 549 vessels
In keeping with other European nations, the Scottish fishing fleet has generally been reducing in number over the past ten years, down 89 vessels (4%) in 2018 compared to 2009. There have been changes in composition of the fleet, with 144 fewer 10m and over vessels and an increase of 55 under-10m vessels, which are primarily engaged in creeling.
In 2018, the overall number of fishers working on Scottish fishing vessels was reported at 4,857, which is 1% up on the figure reported in 2017. However, the number of regularly employed fishers increased by 100 (3%), irregularly employed fishers decreased by 41 (5%) and the number of crofters reported decreased from 6 to 5. This shift from irregular to regular employment continues the differences seen in 2017.
Ten Year Trends
Compared to 2009, in 2018 the tonnage of fish landed was up 18% and real terms value was up 11%.
NOTE the 10 year trends (during the SNP Scottish Govt terms – and the much maligned (by tories) EU Common Fisheries Policy) – since 2009 there has been an increase in tonnage of 18% and in value of 11%.
NOTE the increase In smaller vessels eg creelers. (These smaller vessels often represent directly involved family businesses rather than the large international corporations and rentier groups).
NOTE the increase in regularly employed fishers and decrease in the irregularly employed fishers. Again, indicative of parts of the fisheries being gradually restored to directly involved family businesses rather than the international rentier corporations.
Slow, difficult changes to engineer and push forward – but, under the SNP Scottish Govt (and the EU Common Fisheries for all its various faults), some real progress is being achieved.