Strategically located at the heart of Europe’s richest fishing grounds, Lerwick is the second busiest fishing port in Britain. In 2014, 69,973t of fish, with a value of £61.2m, were landed at Lerwick.
Above: Stormbound – the Norwegian 80m pelagic vessel Christina E looms large over the Killybegs midwater trawlers Colmcille and Westward Isle berthed on the inside arm of Victoria Pier.
The size of Lerwick harbour, which is served by north and south entrances and protected to the east by the island of Bressay, is illustrated by the fact that it features almost 4,000 metres of quays, including 1,300 metres of deep-water berthing, and 130,000m. of laydown space.
Pelagic fish is landed directly at Europe’s largest processor, Shetland Catch. The geographical location means mackerel and herring often being discharged within hours of being caught. The modern factory’s discharge berth, with 9m water-depth and one of the most advanced discharging systems in the world, allows the largest pelagic trawlers to land catches at up to 100 tonnes an hour.
A temperature-controlled white fish market, served by an electronic auction, operates five days a week, regularly attracts visiting vessels.
Lerwick Port Authority is continuing its well-established policy of large-scale development and investment in the future of the fishing industry with the £16.4 million new Holmsgarth North deepwater quay, which in turn will facilitate the building of a new customised fishmarket.
The following selection of photographs taken last month provides an example of the diversity and scale of fishing activity by local and visiting vessels.
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