Fleet makes £2.6m net gain for fleet

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A total of 867 tonnes of fish were landed at Eyemouth harbour in 2016, 97% of that catch being shellfish, valued at £2.6m.

That was a slight drop in both volume and value from the previous year, when 993 tonnes, worth £2.7m were landed in the town, the harbour trust explaining that this could partly be attributed to the loss of two fishing vessels, Bonaventure and Supreme, from the local fleet after they were sold.

One new vessel, Our Catherine, joined the fleet, though, and it currently consists of 10 trawlers and 11 creel boats.

“As well as the local fleet, there are a number of visiting fishing vessels that use the facilities in the port and land their catch, which contributed 44% of the total landings last year,” added an Eyemouth Harbour Trust spokesperson.

“The total number of visiting vessels in 2016 was 55, compared to 43 in 2015.”

The value of fish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2016 increased by 25% in real terms, according to the latest statistics published by the Scottish Government.

Some 453,000 tonnes of sea fish and shellfish was landed by Scottish-registered vessels, with a value of £557m.

Scotland’s fishing industry is divided into 18 areas, with the Eyemouth district stretching from Burnmouth in the south up to East Lothian ports in the north of the district.

Fishing landings for the district last year totalled 2,249 tonnes, valued at £7.2m.

There were 112 vessels registered in the district, the majority of those being smaller boats under 10m which fished mostly for nephrops and some demersal fish.

Across Scotland’s ports, nephrops rose in real terms value by 24% in 2016 to £77m, the second most valuable species, accounting for 14 per cent of the total value of Scottish landings.

However, the price per tonne in real terms decreased by 3% from £3,761 in 2015 to £3,645 in 2016, while all other shellfish species rose in price per tonne over the same period.

Scottish Government Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “These latest statistics show the continuing success of Scotland’s fishing fleet and sea fisheries that play such a key role in our rural and coastal economies.

“The fishing industry contributes significantly to Scotland’s world-class food and drink success story, so it is encouraging to see continued increased landings of nephrops, shellfish and demersal fish like cod, haddock and monkfish.”