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Harbour activity down

Offshore construction traffic making good use of quayside support for oil and gas projects at Greenhead Base - Photo: Alexander Simpson/LPA

ARRIVALS into Lerwick Harbour in the first quarter of 2017 was down sixteen per cent on the same period last year as a result of decreased fishing and oil related activity.

The total number of arrivals amounted to 838, while the overall tonnage of shipping dropped five per cent to 1.85 million gross tonnes.

The first quarter’s fish landings at 14,005 tonnes were valued at £13.9 million, which was a decrease of eight per cent in volume and nine per cent in value.

The 1,875 tonne haul of white fish was worth £3.4 million, which represented a 12 per cent decrease in volume but an increase of 4.4 per cent in value.

The average price increased by 18.7 per cent to £1,809 per tonne, while in the pelagic sector winter mackerel landings were down, but the price performed well.

A total of 191,144 tonnes of cargo arrived into Lerwick Harbour in the first quarter of the year, which was a decrease of six per cent, while a 9.5 per cent drop in passenger numbers to 18,992 was mainly due to the north boats spending time in dry dock.

Things are set to pick up for Lerwick Port Authority in the coming months with increased activity by offshore operators expected in addition to the cruise ship season entering peak activity.

Chief executive Sandra Laurenson said: “The new seasons are all the more welcome, following the anticipated lower levels of harbour operations in the first three months for various reasons.

“The cruise industry is set for another record year at Lerwick and the offshore projects’ season is expected to continue through to September.”