A look at the Scottish fishing industry in Aberdeenshire

Fishermen's Tales

Bob Jones

Statistics on the fishing industry on Scotland's North East coastline

The North East coastline has a strong fishing heritage. From the herring boom of the early 1900s to the devastating decommissions at the end of the century, the towns and villages that hug this beautiful coastline have shaped and been shaped by the ups and downs of the fishing industry. It’s one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, but most fishermen who have been born into the industry see it as a way of life rather than a job. The rows of fishergirls gutting herring have now given way to the large modern vessels and processing plants of today.

Here are a few vital statistics:

● During the herring boom, in 1907, 250,000 tons of fish were exported.

● In 2011, 155,471 tons of fish were landed in Aberdeenshire ports, with a value of £208 million. Almost 130,000 tons of this were landed at Peterhead, more than any other port in the UK.

● In 1913 more than 10,000 boats were involved in the Scottish herring industry.

● Today, there are almost 3000 active fishing vessels in the Scottish fleet.

● In 1938, over 17,000 people were employed on fishing boats in Scotland.

● Today, fishing boats only employ around 5000