One million pounds-worth of fish and shellfish were landed from the waters around Shetland every day in 2016 on average, but only a small proportion of it by Shetland fishing boats.

Above: Whitefish vessels in Shetland netted a record catch value in 2016. Since being photographed lying off Burra to clear the last haul of the day before landing at Scalloway, the seiner Comrades has left Shetland, after being sold to Macduff a few weeks ago.

An estimated 420,000t of fish and shellfish, worth some £365m, were landed from the Shetland part of the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone by British and EU fishing boats in 2016. More than half of it by EU boats, according to an analysis of official fisheries statistics by Dr Ian R Napier of the NAFC Marine Centre UHI.

Adenia heading into Lerwick to land herring. (Photo: Ivan Reid)

The results were published last week in Shetland Fisheries Statistics 2016, which contains a wealth of facts and figures on fish landings in Shetland and by Shetland fishing boats, and from the waters around Shetland.

Dr Napier’s analysis also showed that Shetland fishing boats caught less than 15% of the fish and shellfish landed from the Shetland part of the UK EEZ in 2016, while almost 25% of all landings from the UK EEZ were caught within 50 miles of Shetland.

In total, Shetland fishing boats landed a record £118m-worth of fish and shellfish in 2016, reflecting a small increase in the weight, but a large increase in the value of landings compared to 2015.

There was also a large increase in the value of fish and shellfish landed in Shetland, to some £79m, with more than half landed by local fishing vessels.

More fish and shellfish were landed in Shetland in 2016 than in any other UK port, except Peterhead, and more finfish were landed in Shetland than in all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland put together.

The landings in Shetland included almost 19,000t of whitefish worth about £33m, more than three-quarters of it landed by local boats, and substantially more than in 2015.

Lerwick ranked fourth in the UK for whitefish landings, Scalloway eighth, and Cullivoe (Yell) 13th.

Shetland fishing boats landed almost 16,000t of whitefish in 2016, worth a record £29m, most of it in Shetland.

The landings in Shetland in 2016 also included 50,000t of pelagic fish for £41m, and 3,000t of shellfish with a value of almost £5m.

The full report Shetland Fisheries Statistics 2016 and a summary Shetland Fishing Facts 2016 are available here.


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