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To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the quality of data that it receives regarding fishing activity in the sea lochs of the west of Scotland.

Answered by Richard Lochhead (09/01/2015):

In terms of data available, Marine Scotland has logbook and landings data for all vessels in excess of 10 metres. Furthermore, we also have this data for under 10 metre vessels in membership of a producer organisation. This data is supplemented by vessel monitoring system data for all vessels in excess of 15 metres, as well as being available for some vessels in excess of 12 metres. Marine Scotland recognises that the data that it has is good but less than complete, in particular in relation to smaller vessels.

Under 15 metre vessels working in west coast sea lochs were subject to survey in 2012 as part of the ScotMap project. This project recorded information on the location and value of fishing as well as details about the vessel, crew, gear and target fisheries between 2007-11 and is mostly useful for assessing the socioeconomic effects of marine management decisions on fisheries. The data collected is the best available for this part of the Scottish fleet and is now at least three years old. The ScotMap project covered 55-86% (values shown below) of vessels from these areas (representing 47-87% of the value of the reported landings). Vessels working west coast sea lochs will generally be operating from the following ports:

Kinlochbervie (55%)

Lochinver (62%)

Mallaig (49%)

Oban (57%)

Portree (65%)

Stornoway (86%)

Ullapool (55%)

In addition to this, the Scottish Government is also actively engaged in a European Fisheries Fund project to improve data collection on inshore fisheries activity to support management decisions.

Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 09/01/2015
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