EEZ-Report-2016-12-16

Fish Landings by UK Fishing Boats from the European Exclusive Economic Zone content

Fish Landings by UK Fishing Boats from the European Exclusive Economic Zone

16th December 2016

Following previous analyses, this analysis of available fisheries data was carried out at the request of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) to determine, so far as possible using the available data:

  • The quantities of fish caught by UK fishing boats in the European Union EEZ by area and species, with a view to identifying areas of the EU EEZ and/or species that are of particular importance to the UK fishing fleet.
  • The quantities of fish caught by EU fishing boats in the United Kingdom EEZ by area and species.
  • The balance between UK boats’ catches in the EU EEZ and EU boats’ catches in the UK EEZ.
Summary content

Summary

Summary

A further analysis of fisheries data has been carried out to provide additional information on the quantities of fish caught by United Kingdom fishing boats in the European Union’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), by species and area, in comparison to the quantities caught by European Union fishing boats in the UK EEZ.

Overall, three-quarters of the fish and shellfish landed by UK fishing boats over the years from 2009 to 2014 were caught in the UK EEZ, and only 15% elsewhere in the EU EEZ. The proportion caught in the EU EEZ varied only slightly between the different UK fisheries administrations, being highest (18%) for English boats.

Pelagic fish, and especially mackerel, accounted for the largest proportion of the fish and shellfish landed by UK boats from the EU EEZ. Other important species caught in the EU EEZ included plaice, monks and scallops. The most important areas for UK boats fishing in the EU EEZ were in the central North Sea (ICES division IVb) and West of Scotland area (VIa).

The overall quantity of fish and shellfish landed by UK fishing boats from the European Unions’ EEZ was only one-seventh of the quantity landed by EU boats from the UK EEZ. For almost all individual species EU boats landed more from the UK EEZ than UK boats did from the EU EEZ.

This pattern held across individual areas: the central and southern North Sea (ICES divisions IVb & IVc), English Channel (VIId & VIIe), Irish Sea (VIIa) and West of Scotland (VIa). Although the make-up of the landings varied between these different areas, in every case the total amount of fish and shellfish landed by EU boats from the UK EEZ was greater than that landed by UK boats from the EU EEZ. The magnitude of the difference varied from two, in the Irish Sea, to more than 12 in the central and southern North Sea.

The results of this analysis suggest that, overall, the quantities of fish and shellfish landed by UK fishing boats from elsewhere in the European Union’s EEZ were substantially outweighed by the quantities landed by EU boats from the UK EEZ. This held true across individual areas. Where UK boats did land more of individual species from the EU EEZ than did EU boats from the UK EEZ, the differences were generally relatively small, and were invariably outweighed by landings of other species where the balance was substantially the other way.

Contact content

Contact

Please direct enquiries to Dr Ian Napier (ian.napier@uhi.ac.uk).