Skip to main content

Fishing: Tonnage

Volume 716: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total tonnage of fish caught by the United Kingdom-registered fishing fleet from species regulated by Common Fisheries Policy quotas in the past year for which the figure is available; and what was the total tonnage of those fish that were discarded. [HL833]

UK fisheries laboratories send observers to sea to record the quantity of fish discarded and retained by fishing vessels. This sampling is intended to provide estimates of discards of the main commercial species, but at present is not representative of all UK fisheries. It is also only possible to sample a proportion of the vessels participating in any fishery. As a consequence, estimates of total discards are subject to uncertainty.

Around 440,000 tonnes of quota stocks were landed by UK vessels in 2008. These were caught in a wide range of different areas and fisheries, many of which were not sampled by scientific observers. Estimates of discards for 2008 are available for the following fisheries:

Fleet—English and Welsh vessels over 10 metres in length.

Areas—North Sea (ICES area IV), and waters to the south and west of England and Wales (ICES area VII).

Species—Demersal quota species (Cod, haddock, plaice, sole, anglerfish etc.).

Estimated 2008 catches—37,000t, of which 27,600t were landed and 9,400t discarded.

Fleet—Scottish vessels over 10 metres in length.

Areas—North Sea (ICES area IV), and west of Scotland (ICES Division Vla).

Species—Cod, haddock, whiting and saithe.

Estimated 2008 Catches—91,700t of which 56,600t were landed and 35,100t discarded.

Fleet—UK vessels fishing for pelagic species.

Areas—All areas.

Species—Mackerel, horse mackerel, herring, sprat, blue whiting.

Estimated 2008 Catches—203,200t of which 198,300t were landed and 4,900t discarded.

In total these fisheries are estimated to have caught around 332,000t of the relevant species in 2008, of which 283,000t was landed and 49,000t were discarded.