NAFC analysis highlights value of fishing to Shetland Published: 07 February, 2008
There were cuts to the key pelagic quotas of herring and mackerel
AN analysis of official statistics by the NAFC Marine Centre in Shetland has revealed that almost 111,000 tonnes of fish – worth some £58 million – were landed in Shetland in 2006.
Of these, local fishing vessels landed about 38,000 tonnes (34 per cent of the total), worth £29 million (50 per cent). In addition, local fishing vessels landed a further 51,000 tonnes of fish, worth almost £15 million, outside Shetland. This brings the total landings by the Shetland fishing fleet to 90,000 tonnes, worth £44 million, and the overall total value of fish landed in Shetland and by the Shetland fleet to about £73 million.
The analysis, by NAFCs fisheries development manager, Dr Ian Napier used data supplied by the Scottish Governments Environment and Rural Affairs Department. He commented: These figures show that despite the difficulties experienced in recent years, the fishing industry continues to make a substantial and important contribution to the local economy.
Welcoming the analysis, chief executive of Shetland Fish Producers Organisation, Brian Isbister, said: These figures clearly demonstrate the significant contribution that the fishing industry makes to the Shetland economy. Of particular note is the direct comparison with the oil industry a sector that was worth £70 million to the local economy in the same year.
What is particularly pleasing to see is the high proportion of the value relating to members of Shetland Fish Producers Organisation landing in Shetland. This clearly demonstrates the commitment and effort of our organisation and other local industry bodies in establishing recognised high value markets in Shetland, prime examples of which are Shetland Seafood Auctions and Shetland Catch.
Huge strides have been made over the last few years by Shetland Seafood Auctions, the local fleet and buyers working hard to create a highly competitive market here in Shetland. We can look forward with some confidence to a continued improving trend in 2008.
Despite this years cuts to the key pelagic quotas of herring and mackerel, Shetland Catch is already looking to develop markets for Atlanto Scandian herring and blue whiting that will ensure extra landings and value for Shetlands pelagic sector.
Explaining his results in more detail, Ian Napier continued: Pelagic species such as mackerel and herring accounted for the greatest proportion of landings, followed by whitefish such as haddock, monks, whiting and cod, and shellfish such as crabs, lobsters and scallops. However, pelagic landings also had the lowest unit value at £340 per tonne, compared to almost £1,500 per tonne for whitefish, and £2,600 per tonne for shellfish.
According to the analysis, pelagic species accounted for almost 90 per cent of the weight of landings in Shetland, but only just over 60 per cent of the value. Local fishing vessels accounted for almost 30 per cent of the weight of pelagic landings and 40 per cent of their value. Pelagic species also accounted for 97 per cent of the fish landed outside Shetland by local vessels.
Whitefish represented just over 11 per cent of the weight of landings in Shetland, but over 30 per cent of their value. Two thirds of these landings were made by local fishing vessels.
Shellfish accounted for only one per cent of the weight of landings in Shetland, but six per cent of their value. About 90 per cent of these landings were made by local fishing vessels.
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