NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Best year for Shetland fish landings since 1987

Resilient Image copyright Paul Riddell / Platform Shetland

Shetland has had its best year for fish landings in almost 30 years, it has been announced.

More than 357,000 boxes have been brought ashore between the markets in Lerwick and Scalloway.

It was the strongest year since 1987 when 390,000 boxes were traded through the market.

More than 300,000 boxes have now been landed in each of the last four years, with more than 303,000, 306,000 and 307,000 in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Martin Leyland, of Shetland Seafood Auctions, said: "It has been an extremely busy year, with a large volume of high quality fish and good prices, so the value figures will be up too.

"The electronic auction system has resulted in steady growth in landings since it was introduced in 2003."

'So healthy'

Brian Isbister, chief executive of the Shetland Fish Producers' Organisation, said: "I can't remember a time during my career when stocks have been so healthy and quotas have more or less reflected the stocks.

"Confidence is high in the industry and as we have seen again this year that's leading to investment in the future by crews, whether in new or improved boats or in training.

"It's vital that this confidence is maintained to sustain the communities around Shetland that are dependent on fishing and the islands economy in general."

Simon Collins, executive officer of Shetland Fishermen's Association, added: "More than anyone else, fishermen themselves have worked hard to turn their industry into the sustainable entity it is today."

Image copyright Platform Shetland

Shetland is the second biggest port in the UK for whitefish landings after Peterhead.

In October, it was revealed more fish were landed in Shetland in 2015 than in all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland put together.

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