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Value of fish landings up by one third

Almost 50,000 tonnes of pelagic species were landed in Shetland in 2016.

THE VALUE of fish landings in Shetland last year was up by 30 per cent compared to 2015, according to new figures.

Seventy two thousand tonnes of fish worth around £79 million was landed in Shetland, representing a one per cent decrease in quantity on 2015.

Nearly 70 per cent of all landings were of pelagic species, which enjoyed a rise in price, while demersal accounted for around one quarter.

Mackerel was the most landed fish, with over 40,000 tonnes coming into Shetland, while herring amounted to 9,471 tonnes.

But 2016 saw the lowest amount of pelagic species landed in Shetland in the last five years, with around 8,000 tonnes more brought into the isles in 2014.

Nearly 9,000 tonnes of Haddock and cod was landed in total last year, while monkfish (2,360 tonnes) and whiting (2,154 tonnes) were also popular.

Shetland was the most prolific district in Scotland in terms of quantity of landings after Peterhead, which took in 161,000 tonnes.

Figures released by the Scottish Government on Thursday state that Shetland had 188 active vessels in total.

Two hundred and eighty one people were regularly employed on them, with 167 employed on a part time basis.

Overall in Scotland there were 453 thousand tonnes of sea fish and shellfish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2016, with a value of £557 million.

This is a 25 per cent increase in the real term value of landings, which has mainly been driven by a rise in value of pelagic species, while the volume of landings was up by three per cent.

Fisheries secretary Fergus Ewing said: “These latest statistics show the continuing success of Scotland’s fishing fleet and sea fisheries that play such a key role in our rural and coastal economies

“The fishing industry contributes significantly to Scotland’s world class food and drink success story, so it is encouraging to see continued increased landings of Nephrops, shellfish and demersal fish like cod, haddock and monkfish.”