The Shetland midwater trawler Altaire LK 429 was the first boat to land mackerel at Peterhead last week, on Tuesday, 5 January, reports David Linkie.

A few hours after starting to pump fish ashore to the Northbay Pelagic processing factory, Altaire was followed into Peterhead by the local pelagic vessel Pathway to land to Lunar.

Altaire pumping mackerel ashore to Northbay Pelagic.

The following morning, Artemis BF 60 (ex Resolute) replaced Altaire at the Northbay.

Towards the end of last week, the majority of midwater trawlers from NE Scotland and Shetland were at sea in unusually fine weather for early January, when a good spread of fish from Sule Skerry towards the Butt of Lewis, with an average weight of 410-430g, was being reported.

Sea conditions had begun to deteriorate rapidly as Fishing News was being prepared for print, with severe northerly gales expected to disrupt fishing over the weekend.

The first shots of mackerel landed to Norwegian processors were reported to be securing around £1,000 per tonne, although the current global pandemic makes it difficult to predict how prices will move as the season progresses.

Main Image: Pathway returning to Peterhead early last Tuesday afternoon. (Photos: Ryan Cordiner)


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