Port authority bosses delighted by buoyant six-monthly figures

Lerwick Harbour is having a busy year, with figures released today for the first six months showing increases in cargo, oil-related cargo, passenger traffic and the tonnage of vessels handled.

Cargo for January to June was up six per cent at 402,224 tonnes, compared to the same period in 2010, including oil-related cargo up 56 per cent to 41,348 tonnes.

The number of passengers using the port rose four per cent to 69,373, with ferry passengers increasing by 1.5 per cent to 57,588 and cruise passengers by 20 per cent to 11,785.

The tonnage of shipping, at 5.2 million gross tonnes, was 19.2 per cent higher, with the increases including fishing, cruise, oil-related and roll-on/roll-off vessels. The tonnage of shipping servicing the offshore oil and gas industry was up 59 per cent at 820,277 gross tonnes, with the number of arrivals jumping 48 per cent to 221. Overall arrivals were down 7.7 per cent at 2,553, due to reductions in fishing vessels, yachts and workboats.

There were 510 pilotage movements, up 4.5 per cent, with a nine per cent increase to 3,077,197 gross tonnes in the vessels piloted.

Lerwick Port Authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson said: “The statistics again reflect the larger vessels now making regular use of the harbour, with the oil and cruise industries particular examples, confirming the value of our investment in the deep-water infrastructure.

“The strong half-year performance included a significant contribution from activity in the second three months, with the trend expected to continue in the current quarter. Fish landings, however, continue to reflect the particular circumstances in the industry, including a quieter winter mackerel season, with quota remaining to be taken in the autumn.”

Total fish landings were 24,632 tonnes, valued at £26.1 million, down 24 per cent on volume and down 0.9 per cent on value. White fish landings of 4,958 tonnes were valued at £8.7 million, down 1.4 per cent on volume and up nine per cent on value, with the price per tonne increasing 10.6 per cent to average £1,764 per tonne.


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