Shetland’s fishing industry booming

Fish landings at Lerwick have increased. Picture: complimentary
Fish landings at Lerwick have increased. Picture: complimentary
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FISH landings at Lerwick, Shetland’s main harbour, have soared in both volume and value in the first three months of this year, according to a report issued by the Lerwick Port Authority.

The total landings of 23,182 tonnes were valued at £20.8 million – up 55 per cent on volume and 48 per cent on value compared with the same period last year.

In the pelagic sector, mackerel landings increased substantially following low volumes in the 2012 season. But white fish, at 2,348 tonnes, was valued at £3.2 million – down 20 per cent on volume and 29 per cent on value.

Total cargo handled at the port has also increased by eight per cent to 222,195 tonnes, due mainly to higher frozen fish exports and imports of materials by roll-on/roll-off ferries operating to Shetland.

Passenger numbers on the Lerwick-Kirkwall-Aberdeen routes totalled 20,874, up 21 per cent compared to the first three months of 2012, when both roll-on/roll-off ferries underwent scheduled dry-docking for biennial servicing.

Sandra Laurenson, Lerwick Port Authority’s chief executive, said: “The broad spread of activity, adding up to an encouraging start of the year, underlines the importance of the harbour’s versatile facilities and continuing development. With the cruise season now underway and healthy bookings already for 2014, and support for offshore operations continuing to build, the future remains positive.”