‘Scotland punches well above its weight in the European fishing sector’

From Ludo Thierry

Updated numbers available on Scottish Fisheries. Beeb Scotland did carry news but (largely) missed the important stuff in the small, but welcome, 1% increase in those employed and the continuing (also welcome) trend for smaller vessels (under 10m) which often represent working family owned businesses. (Rather than large scale rapacious capital interests – home grown or international).

My understanding (in possession of precisely less than zero knowledge in this field) is that the noticeable reduction in larger vessels in the shellfish sector is helpful as the larger vessels often apply a seabed ‘dragging’ technique which can result in damage to the sustainability of the eco-system involved).

news.gov.scot link and snippets below (Note – a variation to John’s meme about 8% – apparently the Scottish fishing fleet account for 8% of the EU’s TOTAL landings).


Latest figures show that in 2018 Scottish-registered fishing vessels landed 446 thousand tonnes of sea fish and shellfish with a value of £574 million. This is a four per cent decrease in tonnage and a one per cent increase in real terms value (adjusted for inflation) from 2017.

There were 2,089 active Scottish registered fishing vessels in 2018, an increase of 24 vessels from 2017 due to growth in the ten metre and under fleet. The number of fishers working on these vessels was 4,860, which is up one per cent on 2018.

Landings destination
In 2018, Scottish vessels landed 62 per cent by tonnage and 74 per cent by value of their landings into Scotland. Scottish vessels’ landings into the rest of the UK accounted for only 3 per cent by tonnage and 5 per cent by value and the remainder was landed abroad (36 per cent by tonnage and 21 per cent by value). The top three destinations abroad were Norway, the Republic of Ireland and Denmark.

Scottish Fishing Fleet
The number of active fishing vessels registered in Scotland was 2,089 at the end of 2018, representing an increase of 24 vessels (one per cent) from 2017. The number of vessels in:

The 10 metre and under fleet increased by 36 to 1,539 vessels.

The over 10 metre fleet decreased by 12 to 550 vessels: (Note: shellfish fleet decreased by 11 to 347 vessels).

Fishers Employed
In 2018, the overall number of fishers working on Scottish fishing vessels was reported at 4,860 which is up one per cent on 2017. Employment in the sea fishing fleet accounted for 0.2 per cent of total employment in Scotland.

Welcoming the latest figures, Scottish Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“For a small nation, in an EU member state operating within the Common Fisheries Policy, Scotland punches well above its weight in the European fishing sector. We have one of the largest white fish markets in Europe in Peterhead, our boats catch 8% of the total EU landings and the industry turnover exceeds half a billion pounds each year. Much of that money is the lifeblood of some our most vulnerable coastal communities, and so what these statistics tell us is very important.”

PS – For attention of B.Johnson Esq – That’s called Doing The Day Job (You should try it sometime).

Published by johnrobertson834

Retired Professor of Media Politics Not-for-profit independent political analysis

2 thoughts on “‘Scotland punches well above its weight in the European fishing sector’

  1. Only if there is a statement from the orangemen of the small clique of large fishing boat owners does BBC Scotland report it. When Mr Johnson made his recent rip to Scotland it was to these people’s boats he went for the photo-ops.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It would be interesting to know the amount of foreigners ( non EU ) working in the fishing industry, fishermen from Africa, and the Far East are flown halfway round the world to crew the larger vessels, not as share fishermen tho, minimum wage for them. I believe there is some loophole allowing the employers to do this.


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