Just over 54,000t of fish and shellfish, worth some £72m, were landed in Shetland in 2020, representing an increase in weight from 2019 but a fall in value.

The Shetland Fisheries Statistics 2020, published by Shetland UHI, are based on an analysis by Dr Ian Napier of the recently released figures from the Scottish and UK governments and provide a detailed breakdown of landings in Shetland and by Shetland boats during 2020.

The report shows that although the weight of pelagic fish landed in Shetland increased by more than one-third in 2020, that was partly offset by a substantial fall in landings of whitefish such as cod, saithe and hake.

The decrease in whitefish landings is thought to be primarily a result of the 50% cut in cod quota in 2020, which affected boats’ ability to catch not just cod but a range of other species also. The quantity of shellfish landed in Shetland increased slightly in 2020 but its value was substantially less, which the report says is probably due to the impact of the Covid pandemic.

Shetland boats landed approximately 94,000t of fish during the year with a value of £105m, again showing an increase in weight but a drop in value.

More fish and shellfish was landed in Shetland than in any other port in the UK, except Peterhead, and more fish was landed in Shetland than in all of England and Wales. Lerwick, Scalloway and Cullivoe were all in the top 15 UK ports for whitefish landings in 2020.

Overall, there does not appear to have been a large impact on fish landings in Shetland from the Covid-19 pandemic. The biggest probable impact was on the prices of shellfish and, to a lesser extent, of some whitefish species.

The full report is available here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here. (Image credit: Sydney Sinclair)


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