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Moray Firth Fish and Shellfish Species

The following information is extracted from the Marine Scotland Science publication Fish and Shellfish Stocks 2010 (5.5 MB pdf) which gives an assessment of the state of Scottish fish stocks and includes International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) advice on management for the stock species. The links to more species information takes you to the Seafood Scotland key species info-sheets (information also provided by Marine Scotland Science).

herringHerring
By weight herring is the second most abundant species landed by the pelagic fleet and spawns in North Moray Firth (Scrabster fishing district). Many autumn hatched larvae spend their first winter drifting towards nursery areas on the eastern side of the North Sea, around the Moray Firth.  More facts on herring....

haddockHaddock
By weight haddock is the most important bottom living species landed, located predominantly in the Northern and Central North Sea (outer moray firth).  More facts on haddock...

 

Cod Cod
By weight cod is the 3rd most abundant demersal species landed and is caught both inshore and offshore.  The Moray Firth provides spawning ground.  More facts on cod....

 

whitingWhiting
Spawning grounds around Fraserburgh and Buckie districts to the outer Moray Firth.  More facts on whiting....

 

Nephrops
Nephrops is currently the most valuable species landed in Scotland (£95.5 million in 2008). There are Nephrops fisheries on grounds around Scotland, the largest being the Fladen Ground in the North Sea. Most Nephrops are caught by trawlers. Scotland is allocated the majority of the Total Allowable Catches (TAC) in both the North Sea and Scottish west coast and takes approximately one third of the landings.  Approx 260 tonnes are landed in the Moray Firth with a value of £775,937.  More facts on Nephrops....

brown crabCrab
In the Moray Firth, landings for Brown Crab are about 410 tonnes and Velvet Crab about 205 tonnes.  More facts on crab....

 

lobsterLobster
The earliest records of lobster fishing in Scotland date back to the 12th century when lobster was caught by hand using 'crooks' and hoop nets. With the development of baited traps, exploitation on a more commercial basis was developed, and today creel fishing for European lobster supports very important local fisheries around the Scottish coast. Lobster landings taken by Scottish vessels increased substantially from 290 tonnes in 2001 to about 920 tonnes with a value of over £9.8 million in 2008. In recent years, the majority of lobster landings have come from the South East, Hebrides, Orkney and South Minch. Moray Firth landings are about 175 tonnes with a value in excess of £1,864,130.  More facts on lobster....

scallopScallops
The scallop is the second most valuable shellfish species in Scotland with total landings from the fishery of 10,086 tonnes worth £25.1million in 2008, representing about half the total UK scallop landings. The commercial scallop fishery originated in the Clyde during the early 1930s but developed rapidly during the late 1960s and early 1970s, expanding to other west coast grounds. Fisheries around Shetland and in the Moray Firth also developed over this period, followed by those off the east coast of the Scottish mainland in the 1980s.  More facts on scallops....