High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: September 2013
The graph below displays the value of all landings by Scottish based vessels for the years 2008 – 2012 (in 2012 prices).
The total value of sea fish and shellfish landed by Scottish vessels in 2012 was £466 million, a decrease of nine per cent in real terms compared with 2011, which had the highest recorded value of the century. The quantity of sea fish and shellfish landed was 365 thousand tonnes, two per cent more than in 2011.
The decrease in the total value of landings was a result of reductions in the overall value of all species types. There was an 11 per cent decrease in real terms in the value of pelagic landings (£166 million) in 2012, compared to 2011, whilst the value of demersal landings (£143 million) experienced an eight per cent decrease and the value of shellfish landings (£157 million) decreased by six per cent. In 2012, pelagic species accounted for 36 per cent of landings by Scottish vessels in terms of value. Shellfish species accounted for 33 per cent and demersal species represented 31 per cent.
The Scottish Government has set a National Indicator to improve the state of Scotland’s marine environment. The indicator measures the proportion of key Scottish commercial species landed by Scottish fishing vessels where the total allowable catch (TAC) limit is consistent with the scientific guidance. Some of our key stocks have been at historically low levels in recent years and we want to ensure that fish stocks are healthy and sustainable for future generations.
In 2012, the proportion of Scotland's key commercial fish stocks where the total allowable catch was set in line with scientific guidance was 65 per cent. In 2011, 84 per cent (revised from 77 per cent)* of the TAC of Scotland's key commercial fish stocks was set in line with scientific guidance. The 18.3 percentage point decrease in the proportion of fish stocks where TAC was set in line with scientific guidance observed for 2012 compared with 2011 was a substantial change (out with three percentage points) indicating performance worsening. (The 18.3 per cent decrease is based on the unrounded figures).
The main reason for this decrease is due to the mackerel crisis, where both Iceland and the Faroe Islands have increased their traditional allocation of the TAC without agreement with other coastal states with the result that the total level of fishing for mackerel is above the level recommended in the scientific guidance. As mackerel accounts for over 40% of the total value of stock landed, when the guidance can not be followed the percentage will be adversely affected.
The proportion of Scotland's key commercial fish stocks where the TAC was set in line with scientific guidance currently stands at 65 per cent. This is above the 2006 level of 60 per cent, and five percentage points below the 2015 target level.
* Policy colleagues have re-assessed previous years’ the stocks for which the TAC was set in line with scientific advice which has resulted in some changes to previous years’ indicator values.
Note (1): Stocks for which there was no available scientific advice for the year, or where the advice was unclear, have been counted as if the TAC was not consistent with the advice.
Note (2): For each year, the calculation of the proportion of fish stocks used data weighted by value for that year. Landings data for 2013 was estimated by 2012 landings data.
Note (3): Each point on the graph refers to the proportion of fish stocks where the TAC was set within scientific advice calculated over the three year period centred on that year.