Quality pays off in fish prices

A rise in value of fish landings to Shetland last year despite a drop in white fish tonnage has been attributed to the quality of catch coming into Shetland.

The turnover from whitefish laid down on quays in Lerwick and Scalloway increased by eight per cent to £27.15m while pelagic landings made £45.16m, up two per cent on 2013.

For the second year in a row more than 300,000 boxes of whitefish were landed – 16,306 tonnes in total – and the amount of pelagic fish brought ashore rose by two per cent to 60,149 tonnes.

Meanwhile the volume of shellfish landings fell by four per cent on the previous year but their value increased, giving a standstill turnover of £3.90m.

The total value of fish landed in Shetland increased by four per cent to £76.2m and the total volume went up by six per cent to 78,365 tonnes.

Shetland Fish Producers’ Organisation chief executive Brian Isbister said many fish stocks were currently more abundant around Shetland than they had been for many years and their quality was very high.

He said “Skippers, some of whom have been at sea for 20-30 years, are catching more good quality fish than they ever have”.

“We are working together in Shetland to make sure all elements of the industry push in the same direction.

“Our shoreside facilities such as the electronic auction and community-based organisations like Shetland Seafood Quality Control, established many years ago, have been integral to our current success where we are achieving premium prices for some stocks.”

The fish figures were compiled by Dr Ian Napier of the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway from UK Marine Management Organisation statistics.


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