Scottish landing values increase, stocks in good shape
The value of fish landed into Scottish ports have increased by almost 20 percent this year with revenues now exceeding GBP 500 million (EUR 709.6 million; USD 769.3 million), confirmed Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s fisheries secretary.
Speaking at the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation annual dinner in Edinburgh, the minister said that as the industry prepares for the implementation of the discard bans on whitefish and prawn stocks in January 2016, the scientific advice that will inform quotas for next year is very positive across many of the country’s key stocks:
- North Sea cod has a recommended increase of 15 percent
- Haddock is set to increase by at least 30 percent
- Monkfish is advised to rise by 20 percent
- Megrim is expected to increase by 26 percent
- Rockall haddock is advised to rise by 25 percent
- West coast nephrops (prawns) are recommended to rise by 15 percent
“Increasing stocks bring confidence and increasingly I am hearing about thriving businesses, about plans to invest and young skippers coming through. However, we know there is more to do, which is why the Scottish government will continue to support our fishing industry and their communities as they seek to overcome a variety of challenges,” said Lochhead.
“The discard ban is foremost among these. No one wants to see dead fish being thrown back into the sea – least of all our fishermen. This is why I’ve consistently supported the ban. For me it’s a no-brainer if we’re to be serious about managing our natural resources, conserving fish stocks, and playing a meaningful role in improving global food security.”
The Scottish government has been working closely with the fishing industry to ensure the discard ban is implemented effectively, and to help make sure fishermen are fully prepared.
To help the Scottish fleet adapt to the introduction of the whitefish and prawn discard bans next year, extra quota will be allocated to reflect the unique challenges of the discard ban. For example, there will be an additional top-up for haddock over and above the advised 30 percent increase, which will potentially result in a bumper increase of 56 percent.
This quota will be allocated once the relevant industry groups have submitted a discard ban management plan outlining how they will encourage fishermen to make positive changes to their fishing practices, said Lochhead.