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This topic covers catch and trade statistics for the UK fishing industry. The catch and landings data available include information on the quantity, value, species and area of capture by UK vessels landing into the UK and abroad, and foreign vessels landing into the UK. The overseas trade statistics bring together the data on the fish and fish products available for consumption, imports, exports and household consumption.

Publications

Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey
Department: Scottish Government
Production, employment and escapes figures for fin fish aquaculture.
Scottish Salmon and Sea Trout Fishery Statistics
Department: Scottish Government
A detailed overview of catch and net fishing effort based on returns from proprietors/occupiers/agents of salmon fisheries throughout Scotland.
Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey
Department: Scottish Government
Production, employment and valuation figures for shellfish aquaculture in 2011.
Sustainable Development indicators
Department: Office for National Statistics
These indicators provide an overview of progress toward a sustainable economy, society and environment. Published alongside the headline and supplementary indicators are assessments of change, both short and long term.
The UK Fishing Industry: Landings
Department: Marine Management Organisation
This publication brings together information on the quantity, value, species and area of capture of fish landings. Data are provided for UK vessels landing into the UK and abroad and for foreign vessels landing into the UK.
The UK Fishing Industry: Structure and Activity
Department: Marine Management Organisation
This report brings together information on the size and composition of the UK fishing fleet and its activity. Numbers of fishermen and statistics on accidents involving fishing vessels are included.
UK Sea Fisheries Statistics
Department: Marine Management Organisation
A comprehensive compendium of statistics relating to the UK fishing industry. It includes information on the size of the UK fishing fleet, the number of fishermen and the quantity and value of sea fish landings, imports and exports. Comparisons are made with the fishing industries in Europe and the rest of the world. The level of exploitation and biological status of the main EU quota stocks is also considered.

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Overview

Catch and Landings

Catch and landings statistics bring together the information available for quantity, value, species and area of capture by UK vessels landing into the UK and abroad, and foreign vessels landing into the UK. The landings data are given in terms of live weight.

Overseas Trade

Overseas trade statistics bring together the information on the fish and fish products available for consumption, imports, exports and household consumption. The landings data are given in terms of landed weight. The trade data are shown in terms of actual product weight.

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Technical Data

Organisation of the national system of fisheries statistics

Fisheries data are mostly collected by officers in the Sea Fisheries Inspectorates and processed by officials of the various Fisheries Administrations in the UK. These are namely, the Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) (for England and Wales), the Marine Directorate, the Scottish Government, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for Northern Ireland (DARD) and Departments in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
The MFA collates the information compiled by Fisheries Administrations in the UK for this publication.

Method of collecting, processing and compiling the data on catches, landings and average prices

Sources of data

The sources include logbooks, landing declarations, sales notes and personal contact with fishermen and merchants. The method used for collecting data depends upon the size of vessel and location of landings. Legislation covers the supply of data on log sheets for all vessels over 10m overall length in respect of catches of all species.

Much information on the value of catches is provided by the industry in the form of sales notes. For vessels under 10m overall length, there is no statutory requirement under either EU or national legislation for fishermen to declare their catches. Historically, information for this sector has been collected with the co-operation of the industry. It comprises of log sheets and landing declarations voluntarily supplied by fishermen as well as sales notes and assessments of landings derived from market sources and by correspondents located in the ports.

This collection of data has now been replaced after the introduction in September 2005 by UK Fishery Departments, of a scheme of registration for buyers and sellers of first sale fish and designation of fish auction sites. This requires sales notes related to these sales to be reported to Fisheries Administrations, which are used in addition to the voluntary information from fishermen.

Landings abroad

UK vessels that land at foreign ports are required under EU legislation to dispatch copies of log sheets and landing declarations covering their trips to the vessels' home ports within 48 hours of landing. When these data are received at the home port, they are entered on the systems used for UK landings.

Value of landings and average price data

Sales note information has been routinely provided for landings into Scotland. For landings into England, Wales and Northern Ireland, much information was already supplied by fishermen. This has increased with the introduction of requirements for buyers and sellers of fish to report sales notes (see sources of data), including details on the grade and freshness as well as the quantity and value of fish sold.

Data capture and processing

The inspectors at port offices carry out a mix of manual and automatic checks on the information provided by vessel operators. These include a check between logbook information and that given in the sales notes or observed as landed, as well as checks against other sources of information (for example, satellite position reports as well as sales notes provided by buyers of fish).

The reliability and completeness of the data

Completeness

The collection system for all vessels over 10m attempts a complete coverage of all main fishing activity. Sales note information is used for Scottish 10m and under vessels and from 2006, has been used in England and Wales (see sources of data). In the past, estimates of the fishing activity by vessels under 10 metres, and for some shellfish related activity, were made on the basis of local knowledge.

Reliability

The reliability of the statistics is dependent upon the veracity of the documentation provided by fishermen. There are systems of surveillance using sightings by aircraft and by fisheries protection vessels and by satellite monitoring. This information is employed in checking the data.

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Glossary

  • Demersal

    The term demersal fish covers species living on or near the sea bed.

  • Exports

    Exports consist of the outward movement of goods produced by businesses in the UK, plus goods, which after importation, move outward from bonded warehouses or free zones without having been transformed, that is, both exports and re-exports. Export statistics exclude fish caught by domestic fishing craft, whether or not processed on board, landed in foreign ports.

  • Fishing areas

    Fishing areas are defined by international convention. The immediate waters around the UK are subdivided into ICES Sub-areas IV (North Sea), VI (West of Scotland) and VII, and its divisions (Western Approaches, VIIg,h; the Irish Sea, VIIa;  and the Channel, VIId,e).

  • Imports

    Imports consist of all goods moving into a country, including goods for domestic consumption and goods into bonded warehouses or free zones. In accordance with the internationally recommended practice, import statistics include fish caught by foreign fishing craft, whether or not processed on board, landed in domestic ports.

  • Nominal catches

    Nominal catches consist of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic animals, taken for all purposes (commercial, industrial and subsistence) except recreational, operating in inshore, offshore and high seas fishing areas (marine fishing areas). Inland waters, both fresh and brackish, are excluded. In view of the difficulty of distinguishing in many cases between recreational and subsistence fishing, figures may include recreational catches. Nominal catches refer to the landings converted to a live weight basis. There are many instances where the catches on board fishing vessels or factory ships are gutted, filleted, salted or dried or reduced to meals or oil. The data on the landings of such species and products require conversion by accurate yield rates (conversion factors) to establish the live weight equivalents at their time of capture.

  • Pelagic

    The term pelagic fish covers species found mainly in shoals in midwater or near the surface of the sea.   

  • Seining

    Seining is a method used exclusively for demersal fishing. The net, lighter than for trawling, is set on very long ropes designed to herd or contain the fish for capture in the net. After the fish have been surrounded by the ropes, the net is slowly hauled back to the vessel.

  • Shellfish

    The term shellfish covers all crustaceans and molluscs.

  • Trawling

    Trawling may be used either for bottom-dwelling (demersal) or mid-water (pelagic) species, the net being of a basic funnel-shaped construction and towed behind a vessel or between two vessels (pair trawling).

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Statistics and Analysis Team

Email: statistics@marinemanagement.org.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7270 8071

Statistics and Analysis Team Marine Management Organisation Ergon House Horseferry Road London SW1P 2AL

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