Quality brings added value to Shetland landings

THE value of fish landings in Shetland soared last year as the quality of catches increased significantly.
The turnover from whitefish laid down on quays in Lerwick and Scalloway increased by eight per cent to £27.15 million, while pelagic landings made £45.16 million, up two per cent on 2013.
For the second year in a row more than 300,000 boxes of whitefish were landed – 16,306 tonnes in total – and the amount of pelagic fish brought ashore rose by two per cent to 60,149 tonnes.
Meanwhile, the volume of shellfish landings fell by four per cent on the previous year but their value increased, giving a standstill turnover of £3.90 million.
The total value of fish landed in Shetland increased by four per cent to £76.2 million, and the total volume went up by six per cent to 78,365 tonnes.
The figures were compiled by Dr Ian Napier of the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway from UK Marine Management Organisation statistics.
Brian Isbister, chief executive of Shetland Fish Producers’ Organisation, said many fish stocks were currently more abundant around Shetland than they had been for many years and their quality was very high.
‘Skippers, some of whom have been at sea for 20 to 30 years, are catching more good quality fish than they ever have,’ he said.
‘We are working together in Shetland to make sure all elements of the industry push in the same direction.
‘Our shoreside facilities, such as the electronic auction and community based organisations like Shetland Seafood Quality Control, established many years ago, have been integral to our current success where we are achieving premium prices for some stocks.’