Value of fish landings in Scotland reaches record high

Mackerel being landed
Image caption Mackerel is still the most valuable catch, worth almost a third of the £563m total

The value of fish landings in Scotland reached a new record last year.

In 2016 the value of the country's catch hit more than half a billion pounds to stand at a new £563 million high.

That represented a 29% rise in value on fish landings in 2015, driven by a 41% jump in the value of landings for pelagic fish such herring and mackerel.

The latest figures, which show the total volumes up by 3%, were welcomed by Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing.

Compared with 2015, the total volume of landings in 2016 rose by 3% to 453,300 tonnes, while total value rose 29%.

There was a 26% rise in the value of shellfish landings, while the total worth of demersal fish caught such as cod or haddock rose by 18%.

Coastal communities

Haddock was the most valuable demersal stock in 2016, bringing in £38m.

But Mackerel continues to be the most valuable stock brought to shore and accounts for £169m or 30% of Scottish landings, the Scottish Government statistics showed.

The figures show the shellfish or nephrops category, which includes Norway lobster and langoustine, was valued at £79m, 30% higher than in 2015.

Mr Ewing said: "The fishing industry plays a key role in our rural economy.

"It supports jobs and businesses at sea but also in our coastal communities, and contributes significantly to Scotland's world-class food and drink success story."

He added: "These positive figures reflect the hard work of all those involved with our sea fishing sector."

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