Peterhead Is Ahead Of The Game –

Peterhead Is Ahead Of The Game Fishing Monthly Published:  22 April, 2003

WHITEFISH value may be down at Peterhead, but overall, fish business at the key fishing centre is ahead of last year.

Figures issued by Peterhead Harbour Trustees show that white fish handled for the first three months of this year totalled 9,650 tonnes worth £8,864,669 compared with 9,205 tonnes worth £9,904,590 in the same period of last year.

Shellfish business was up again, with 1,020 tonnes worth £1,223,270, compared with 711 tonnes worth £1,036,242.

Meanwhile mackerel trade continued its rise with 24,566 tonnes worth £11,973,335 handled over the three month period, compared with 20,977 tonnes worth £9,064,273.

Total fish business at the port for the three-month period this year stands at 35,236 tonnes worth £22,061,274 compared with 31,003 tonnes worth £20,029,819.

Harbour trustees’ chief executive John Paterson said today that the white fish price was down 14.6% so far this year with white fish volume up by 4.6% although there appeared now to be some signs of improvement in market price levels.

But it was clear that pelagic business returns would play a key role in filling any earnings gap caused by lower white fish revenues although he was not hearing very good news over this year’s herring price.

But Mr Paterson agreed that the increasing mackerel business underlined the importance of both port diversification and the investment commitment from processors in the port.

“Compared with last year, in overall fish business we are ahead of the game,” he said.