Scotland is situated at the centre of some of the most productive fishing grounds in the world and is one of Europe's most important fishing nations. It has a long and proud heritage of fishing and the industry remains the mainstay of many of the most remote and fragile rural communities. Marine Scotland Policy is an integral part of the UK team negotiating fishing opportunities with other countries. SGMD manages quota
for fish stocks, and controls the activities of fishing vessels and fishing effort (days at sea
) in the North Sea, West of Scotland and Faroese waters, plus all inshore fisheries within the 12 mile territorial water limit.
In 2007, nearly 71% of all landings by the UK fishing fleet were landed into Scotland. If landings of foreign vessels are taken into account, then this proportion rises to 73.1%.
In 2007 Scottish vessels landed a total of 299'700 tonnes of fish into the UK with a value of over £343 million; this accounted for 55% of all fish landed in Britain.
The uptake of quota for the main demersal stocks of the North Sea and West of Scotland are illustrated in the graph below. The picture remained broadly similar for 2006 and 2007; however, despite the quota for NS haddock being reduced by 6%, uptake of quota fell from 83 to 73%.
For langoustine, quota caught remained at around 85% for the NS and 76% for the WS. However for WS quota rose between 2006 and 2007 by 14.6% and in real terms landings increased by just over 2500 tonnes.
All data illustrated sourced from Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics, 2007. Scottish Government, Sept. 2008.