Catch value by UK fleet exceeds £1bn for the first time
Provisional statistics released by the MMO last month indicated that the annual catch value for the UK fleet exceeded £1bn for the first time in 2018, when vessels landed 696,318t for a record value of £1,004,812,000, reports David Linkie
The initial estimated 2018 totals represent a 3% rise in annual value, and a 4% drop in tonnage, compared to the respective 2017 totals of £980m from 724,333t.
Of the 2018 catches from UK vessels, 424,075t for £731.4m was landed into British ports. These figures represent an increase of 1% on the 2017 total value of £720.7m, and a 2% reduction on the annual tonnage of 434,057t, and reflect a 4% rise in the average price (£/t) to £1,731 for 2018, compared to the previous year’s value of £1,663.
Landings by UK vessels abroad totalled £273.5m from 272,243t last year, and represent a rise of 5% in catch value and a 6% reduction in tonnage on the 2017 totals of £259.4m and 290,276t. The average price per tonne for all species landed abroad was 12% higher at £1,009. The pelagic sector recorded the biggest average price rise of 22%, double that of demersal species at 11%. The average price for shellfish landings abroad dropped by 3%. In terms of individual species, plaice showed the biggest percentage increase of 37%, followed by Nephrops (35%), mackerel (33%) and crabs (13%).
|Table 1: 2018 top 20 species by value landed into the UK and abroad by UK vessels|
|Species||Value 2018||Value 2017||Value % change 2018/2017||Tonnage 2018||Tonnage 2017||Tonnage % change 2018/2017||Price £/t 2018||Price £/t 2017||Price £/t % change 2018/2017|
|Total all species||£1,004,812,000||£980,065||3%||696,318t||724,333t||-4%||£1,449||£1,358||7%|
|Source: Fisheries administrations in the UK|
With a value of £358.6m from 134,850t, shellfish landings by the UK fleet were slightly ahead of demersal catches worth £349.3m (175,780t), while pelagic species contributed a further £296.9m (385,688t).
A similar ranking order by species, but with a wider differential, applied to landings by UK vessels into UK ports, with shellfish totalling £325.1m, demersal £285.7m and pelagic £120.5m. Under this criteria, mackerel (£94.5m) is the single most valuable species, followed by Nephrops (£78.6m), scallops (£69.6m), crabs (£68m), cod (£54.4m), haddock (£50.9m), monkfish (£47.3m) and lobsters (£43.6m).
The pattern changes significantly when the focus is landings abroad by UK vessels, with pelagic catches of £176.5m well ahead of demersal (£63.5m) and shellfish (£33.5m).
By value, mackerel (£226m/191,077t) was the single most important species landed by UK vessels into the UK and abroad in 2018, followed by Nephrops (£83.1m/25,473t).
As a result of a 32% increase in quayside prices, associated with high levels of demand from markets in China, crabs (£79m/34,692t) moved into third position, replacing scallops (£70m/29,216t) which dropped to fifth place. A 14% price rise kept cod (£70.3m/34,507t) in fourth place in the value table, therefore being the most valuable demersal species, ahead of monkfish (£59.1m/18,673t) and haddock (£51.5m/35,544t). Herring (£45.3m/103,573t) moved from 10th to eighth place, ahead of lobsters (£44.1m/3,048t) and hake (£27.9m/12,742t).
In terms of annual value, shellfish again occupied three of the top five places in the 2018 catch value table, with Nephrops, crabs and scallops contributing to an aggregate total of £232.1m.
The characteristic mixed nature of catches by UK vessels was further illustrated by the fact that outside of the top 10, a further nine species – squid, plaice, whelks, sole, blue whiting, cuttlefish, megrim, whiting and saithe – all returned values in excess of £10m. (Table 1)
Of the £731.4m from 424,075t that UK vessels landed into harbours in England, N Ireland, Scotland and Wales last year, the under-10m fleet contributed £112.4m from 36,045t. Of this total, shellfish (£89.8m) accounted for 80%.
|Table 2: UK top 25 ports in 2018 by value of landings from UK vessels|
|Port||Value 2018||Value 2017||Value 2016||Tonnage 2018||Tonnage 2017||Tonnage 2016|
|Scalloway and isles||£16,169,000||£15,844,000||£12,769,000||7,804t||7,896t||7,872t|
|Total all UK ports||£731,356,000||£705,626,000||£691,400,000||424,075t||428,807t||445,069t|
|Source: Fisheries Administrations in the UK|
Lobsters (£29.2m/2,026t) were the most valuable species when viewed from the perspective of under-10m fishermen, followed by crabs (£25.9m/10,852t), Nephrops (£12.1m/2,678t), whelks (£8.6m/6,741t) and scallops (£5.6m/2,591t). Sole (£5m/573t) was the top demersal species for the under-10m fleet, followed by bass (£4m/396t), pollack (£1.6m/574t), plaice (£1.4m/817t) and skates and rays (£1.2m/872t). Some of these species were separated in the annual value table by mackerel (£2.2m/1,676t), cuttlefish (£1.3m/338t) and squid (£1.2m/872t).
In terms of annual catch value, crabs and herring recorded the biggest increases, of 27%, followed by cod (18%), whiting (17%), blue whiting (15%) and saithe (14%).
Cuttlefish (-40%) was subject to the biggest drop in terms of value, followed by Nephrops (-13%), hake (-11%) and scallops (-10%).
The average price per tonne for all species landed by the UK fleet increased by 7% to £1,449 last year, compared to £1,358 for the previous year. The £/t for landings into the UK rose 4% to £1,731 from £1,663, while landings abroad rose from £899 to £1,009 per tonne, an increase of 12%.
Within the UK, British boats landed catches totalling £207m/92,728t into England, £25m/18,642t into N Ireland, £473.8m/300,368t into Scotland, and £15.2m/7,341t into Wales.
Shellfish (£139.1m/58,022t) accounted for 58% of landings in England, including scallops (£36.7m/15,240t), crabs (£33.1m/14,459t), lobsters (£22m/1,558t), cuttlefish (£14.8m/3,931t), whelks (£13m/10,787t) and Nephrops (£7m/2,087t). In terms of demersal species, totalling £62.5m/22,180t, sole (£15.8m/1,534t) occupied first place, well ahead of monkfish (£6.5m/1,988t), hake (£4.8m/1,890t), plaice (£4.6m/2,413t), turbot (£4.2m/391t), bass (£3.6m/355t) and lemon sole (£3.4m/666t). Sardines contributed £2.8m/8,016t to the pelagic total of £5.6m/12,526t.
Nephrops (£11.9m/5,061t) dominated landings in N Ireland, well ahead of scallops (£2.3m/965t) and crabs (£2m/1,245t). Demersal species contributed £3.7m to the annual total, of which haddock accounted for £2.1m from 1,578t and monkfish £0.5m from 188t. On the pelagic front, mackerel (£2.3m/2,379t) led the way, ahead of herring (£1.8m/5,236t).
Catch value in Scotland was more evenly balanced, with demersal species accounting for £217.1m, shellfish £145.9m and pelagic £110.8m. Mackerel (£91.2m/76,956t) was the most valuable species, ahead of Nephrops (£59.5m/17,506t). Cod (£50.6m/21,648t) replaced haddock (£47.7m/32,614t) as the main demersal species landed in Scottish ports, ahead of monkfish (£40m/12,706t), hake (£20.1m/9,266t), whiting (£13.5m/10,345t), saithe (£10.6m/13,284t) and ling (£8.5m/5,441t). Crabs (£30m/11,228t), scallops (£21.5m/8,657t), lobsters (£17.7m/1,157t) and herring (£15.9m/43,416t) also made significant contributions.
In Wales, shellfish accounted for £12.8m (6,516t) of the total annual catch value of £15.2m (7,341t). Whelks (£5.8m/4,493t) were the top species landed, ahead of lobsters (£2.5m/192t), scallops (£2.3m/192t) and crabs (£1.6m/781t). From the demersal totals of £2.3m from 824t, at £0.7m/211t, megrim had almost double the value of monkfish (£0.37m/124t), followed by bass (£0.7m/73t) and skates/rays (£0.23m/198t).
The top four ports in Scotland by catch value from UK vessels, Peterhead (£179m/152,670t), Lerwick (£45.8m/41,772t), Fraserburgh (£41.8m/27,034t) and Scrabster (£37.1m/17,505t), also occupied the first four places in the listing of the UK’s top 25 ports for landings by UK vessels only. (Table 2)
Other leading Scottish landing centres were Ullapool (£17.9m/8,861t), Kinlochbervie (£16.7m/7,915t), and Scalloway and isles (£16.2m/7,804t).
Brixham (£35.7m/12,346t) was the leading port in England, followed by Newlyn (£29.8m/19,939t), Shoreham (£16.9m/7,644t), Plymouth (£11m/6,255t) and Bridlington (£10.3m/3,521t).
In Northern Ireland, Kilkeel (£8.5m/4,491t) led the way from the neighbouring Co Down ports of Portavogie (£5.2m/2,460t) and Ardglass (£4.8m/2,275t).
|Table 3: 2018 top 12 species by value landed by UK under-10m vessels|
|Price £/t 2018||Price £/t 2017||Price £/t 2016|
|Skates and rays||£1,210,000||£1,067,000||£942,000||872t||734t||663t||£1,390||£1,460||£1,430|
|Source: Fisheries Administration in the UK|