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Strong prices offset drop in Scottish landings

Scottish fishing landings dipped 4 percent in volume during 2018.

Overall volumes landed by the Scottish fleet were down to 445,000 metric tons compared to 2017, but sales value remained stable at £572 million (€654.8 million/$734.1 million) driven by stronger prices, according to the latest provisional Scottish sea fisheries statistics.

Mackerel -- the most valuable pelagic species stock to the Scottish fleet -- accounted for 29 percent of the total value of landings.

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Catches for the species dropped 15 percent to 153,000 metric tons because of a total allowable catch (TAC) decrease, but the value was up 1 percent due to higher prices, averaging £1,000 (€1,145/$1,283) per metric ton.

Volumes of herring landed by Scottish vessels climbed 15 percent to 65,000 metric tons along with a slight increase in value to £24 million (€27.5 million/$30.8 million), indicating falling prices.

The uptake of quota for pelagic fish stocks was high, however, demersal stocks quota varied for area and species.

The value of cod landings of £44 million (€50.4 million/$56.5 million) overtook that of haddock in 2018 for the first time in several years.

Volumes of both species rose by a quarter compared with 2017.

Shellfish landings, on the other hand, sunk 16 percent in volume and 18 percent in value to £63 million (€72.1 million/$80.9 million), driven by lower landings of langoustine, scallops and velvet crabs.

Quota uptake for West of Scotland nephrops -- langoustine -- was 65 percent, while uptake for North Sea nephrops was only 50 percent reflecting the low uptake quota for shellfish over the past years.

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