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Scotland Reports Lowest Rod Salmon Catch Since 2003

29 September 2014

SCOTLAND, UK - The latest Scottish Salmon and Sea Trout Fishery Statistics 2013 show the lowest reported rod salmon catch since 2003.

Salmon

Total reported rod catch (retained and released) for 2013 is 67,468. It is the lowest reported catch since 2003 and is 76 per cent of the previous 5-year average.

The proportion of the rod catch accounted for by catch and release is the highest reported since these figures were first recorded in 1994. In 2013, 92 per cent of rod caught spring salmon was released, as was 80 per cent of the annual rod catch.

Trends in rod catch vary among individual stock components. Reported catch of spring salmon shows a general decline since records began and, although there is some indication that catch has stabilised in recent years, it remains at a historically low level. Overall catch of salmon and grilse in later months, on the other hand, has generally increased over the same period.

Catch and effort for both fixed engine and net & coble fisheries remain at historically low levels. Reported catch in each fishery was 16,734 and 7,636; seven and three per cent of the maximum reported in the respective time series. Fishing effort in these fisheries was 238 trap months and 59 crew months; the sixth lowest and lowest, respectively, since records began in 1952.

Sea Trout

The total reported rod catch of sea trout (retained and released) for 2013 is 16,078. Catches have declined over much of the period since 1952, when our records began and the 2013 catch is the lowest in the time series.

The proportion of the rod catch accounted for by catch and release in 2013 is 77 per cent, the highest reported since these figures were first recorded in 1994.

Catch and effort for both fixed engine and net & coble fisheries remain at historically low levels. Reported catch in each fishery was 2,681 and 3,435; four and two per cent of the maximum reported in the respective time series.

Fishing effort in these fisheries was 238 trap months and 59 crew months; the sixth lowest and lowest, respectively, since records began in 1952.

Commenting on the fact that overall quayside value of sea fish and shellfish landed by Scottish vessels in 2013 decreased by nine per cent compared with the previous year, yet the volume of seafood landed remained broadly the same, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “This startling drop in the quayside value of seafood landed highlights the huge pressures faced by our fishing fleet. The decrease in value of landings comes as no surprise and reflects the market, whilst the small but significant drop in vessel numbers is a worrying sign of the difficulties that lie ahead."

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

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