White fish prices excellent in Scottish fishing sector – Fishupdate.com

White fish prices excellent in Scottish fishing sector Published:  05 September, 2011

WHITE fish prices are excellent, herring returns have been “astonishing” and prospects for the newly open mackerel fishery are very encouraging.

This highly optimistic view of the current state of the Scottish catching sector came today from Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation chief executive Iain MacSween who said that the current market position across the board was unquestionably good.

 “The white fish market is excellent across the board and herring has been astonishing with prices up to £600 a tonne and we are obviously now looking forward to the mackerel fishery which is now open.

“All the indications are that white fish prices at present are particularly good, with shellfish prices the same.

“The economic returns for fish in general are gratifying and in line with expectations.”

But he underlined that prices needed to be good, given the increase in operating costs and reduced availability of fishing opportunities.

And he said that  in white fish  terms  at present,  there was no species  which was  causing  concern in price terms .

“Saithe is good and haddock and whiting and nephrops are as well. In general prices are buoyant.”

Mr MacSween said that both the North Sea and West Coast herring fisheries were running down with prospects for the mackerel fishery encouraging with good anticipated demand.

Meanwhile he said the indications were that the quality of mackerel taken by the Faroese fleet had been “relatively poor” whereas the Scottish fleet was targeting the quality end of the mackerel market with its accredited fishery.

“We target the top end of the global market but I think that from all accounts, the fish seen from Faroe has been of poor quality.

“The prospects for the Western mackerel fishery which is now open are encouraging with indications of increased demand from the Far East.”

But he underlined that the fleet need the current level of prices to remain viable.“Prices are definitely better than last year, but you never know when you are going to hit the buffers.”