Eyemouth port fish landings down 5% in 2015

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Fish landings at Eyemouth port in 2015 were 5% down on the previous year’s value at £2.7 million and shellfish still remains the main catch brought into the harbour.

Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries statistics show that the quantity of fish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2015 was 439,900 tonnes with a value of £437 million, a decrease of eight per cent and 15 per cent respectively since 2014.

Scotland’s fishing industry is divided into 18 districts - one of them being Eyemouth which stretches from Burnmouth to South Queensferry and the total value of catches in the Eyemouth district was £6.5 million last year.

For Eyemouth fishermen shellfish remain their biggest catch.

Christine Bell, Eyemouth Harbour Trust business manager, confirmed that 75% of fish landed in Eyemouth were nephrops (prawns), 8% lobster, 8% scallops, 2% crabs with the remainder demersal mixed.

Nephrops (Norway lobster/langoustine) are the most valuable shellfish stock for the Scottish fleet, accounting for 45 per cent of the value of shellfish landings, and the second most valuable stock overall to the Scottish fleet after mackerel. In 2015, however, the total value of nephrops dropped 19 per cent to £61 million - a 20 per cent decrease in volume landed to 16,000 tonnes and a one per cent increase in average price to £3,688 per tonne.

The total value of shellfish landed by Scottish boats decreased by 11 per cent to £134 million, and volume down by six per cent to 57,600 tonnes.

The Eyemouth fleet last year numbered 10 trawlers and nine creel boats - 68 people were directly employed as fishermen in 2015 down from 73 in 2014. The fleet had one fewer trawler than 2014 but two additional creel vessels from the previous year.

Visiting fishing vessels into Eyemouth harbour fell from 50 to 43 last year.

The number of active Scottish registered fishing vessels in 2015 was 2,017, a decrease of one per cent from 2014 but the number of fishermen employed on Scottish vessels went up by one per cent.