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Fishing industry buoyant

The value and volume of fish landed by Shetland boats between 1996 and 2014.

THE TURNOVER of the local fishing fleet increased by 40 per cent last year, according to new figures complied by Dr Ian Napier of the NAFC Marine Centre.

Shetland boats landed more than 134,000 tonnes of fish worth £112 million in 2014.

More fish is landed in Shetland than in England, Wales and Northern Ireland together - Photo: SSPO

That was up on the 2013 figures of 82,000 tonnes worth £79 million – a 64 per cent rise in volume and a 42 per cent rise economically.

More fish and shellfish was landed in Shetland in 2014 than any other port in the UK, apart from Peterhead.

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Most of the increase can be attributed to a rise in mackerel landings following quota increases introduced in a bid to end a long-running dispute between the EU and Norway on one hand and Faroe and Iceland on the other.

However, whitefish and shellfish landings by Shetland boats also increased in weight and value.

Shetland Fish Producers’ Organisation (SFPO) chief executive Brian Isbister said: “We’ve seen a steady improvement in most of the key stocks of fish over the past few years.

“Meanwhile, the constituent parts of the industry in Shetland have been working together to ensure we have modern, fit-for-purpose shore-side facilities and quality control systems in place, as well as a good evidence base about stocks from local scientists.

“These factors help to explain why we are seeing such positive landing figures. There is a confidence back in the industry. You can also see that in the investment that is taking place in modernising the fleet.”

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