Record year for whitefish landings
A new report from the NAFC Marine Centre says 2017 was a record year for whitefish landings in the isles
According to the annual ‘Shetland Fisheries Statistics’ report, more than 21,000 tonnes of whitefish (species such as cod, haddock, whiting, monks and plaice) worth about £42 million were landed in Shetland in 2017, compared to just under 19,000 tonnes in 2016.
Author of the report, Dr Ian Napier, said that “last year’s landings of whitefish in Shetland exceeded the previous record of 20,700 tonnes which was set in 1972, and it is 30 years since landings last exceeded 20,000 tonnes.”
Whitefish landed in Shetland in 2017 included more than 30 different species, and more than three-quarters of it was landed by local boats.
Overall, the report found, weight of fish landed in Shetland in 2017 was somewhat less than in the previous year, although the overall value was only slightly less.
It said this decline was mainly due to falls in landings of mackerel, which continued to be affected by difficult global market conditions and to a lesser extent landings of queen scallops by visiting fishing boats.
Despite this overall decline, the NAFC said Shetland retained its position as one of the UK’s premier fishing ‘ports’, with more fish and shellfish landed in Shetland than in any other port except Peterhead, and more finfish landed in Shetland than in all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.
Cullivoe in Yell was the 12th ranked UK port for landings of whitefish, Scalloway was 8th and Lerwick 4th.
More in Friday’s Shetland Times