UK lands less fish, but value up –

UK lands less fish, but value up Published:  20 October, 2010

LESS fish was landed in the UK last year

But the value was well up, according the latest figures from the Marine Management Organisation. The MMO has just published  its UK Sea Fisheries Report Statistics for 2009, which  also provides the latest scientific assessments of the state of key fishing stocks and their sustainability. This important fisheries management tool includes detailed data about the UK fishing fleet, the number of fishermen and the quantity and value of fish landings, imports and exports. The statistics will influence and complement government policy and, in conjunction with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), help inform changes to the Common Fisheries Policy.

 The MMO reports that in 2009:-

* UK vessels landed 581,000 tonnes of fish with a value of £674 million –  one per cent less than 2008 in quantity but a 6 per cent increase in value.* UK vessels landed 23,000 tonnes of cod (down 67 per cent since 1994, the earliest year for which comparable data is available) and 36,000 tonnes of haddock (down 61 per cent  over the same period). 172,000 tonnes of mackerel were landed, a decrease of 28 per cent  since 1994.* 43,000 tonnes of nephrops (also known as langoustines) were landed, a 41 per cent  increase since 1994. Landings of crabs have increased by 28 per cent since 1994, to 27,000 tonnes. The quantity of scallops landed was 34,000 tonnes – more than double the amount landed in 1994.* Around 12,200 fishermen were reported as active in the UK.* 37 per cent  of all fish landed by value was demersal fish (such as cod, haddock and sole) compared with 55 per cent  in 2000. Pelagic (such as herring and mackerel) and shellfish comprised 28 per cent  and 35 per cent  respectively.* In terms of quantity, over half (54 per cent ) of the Scottish fishing fleets landings comprised pelagic fish. 90 per cent  of the Welsh catch and 54 per cent  of the Northern Irish catch was shellfish (such as crabs and lobsters) while England’s fleet landed 44 per cent  pelagic fish.* UK fish exports rose 15 per cent  compared with 2008, with the main species being mackerel, salmon and herring. The largest quantities were exported to the Netherlands, France and Russia. Fish imports fell by 8 per cent  to 720,000 tonnes. The main species imported were cod, tuna and shrimps and prawns.

The MMO’s Chairman, Chris Parry, said “The annual statistics are a valuable resource for all those who have an interest in our fishing and offshore industries. They highlight important trends that help fisheries managers in the MMO and other devolved administrations to ascertain and secure sustainable fishing stocks for the future. The data enables us to forecast uptake and improve the management of our fisheries, especially in relation to more sensitive enforcement of the Common Fisheries Policy.”