Marine / Whitefish landings at record high

Fishermen are hoping for a 'Sea of Opportunity'.
More white fish were landed in Shetland last year than ever before.

A RECORD amount of whitefish was landed in Shetland last year with just under 25,000 tonnes brought ashore.

The cod, haddock, plaice, monks and other whitefish species were worth some £50 million, and were one fifth of all the finfish landed in Scotland or one sixth of that landed in the UK.


Overall, a total of 69,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish of all species, worth £88 million, were landed in Shetland in 2018, an increase of 10 per cent from the weight landed in 2017 and of 14 per cent in value. Just under half of those landings were made by local fishing boats.

Shetland Fisheries Statistics 2018, published by the NAFC Marine Centre UHI, provides a detailed breakdown of fish and shellfish landings in Shetland and by Shetland fishing boats during last year. The publication by Dr Ian Napier is based on official Marine Scotland fisheries statistics.

Shetland’s prominent position in the UK fishing industry continued with more fish and shellfish landed in the islands than in any other port in the UK, except Peterhead, and more fish landed in Shetland than in all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.


The weight of whitefish landed in Shetland increased by more than one-sixth in 2018 and has more than tripled since the electronic fish auction was introduced to the local fish markets in 2003.

Landings’ value has meanwhile shot up by seven times over the same period.

Lerwick, Scalloway and Cullivoe were all in the top 12 UK ports for whitefish landings in 2018, and in the top 10 Scottish ports.

The value of landings in Shetland in 2018 was the second highest ever; exceeded only in 2011 (£91 million).

Shetland fishing boats landed about 111,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish in 2018, worth some £117 million.

Shetland boats continued to land more than twice as much fish abroad 79,575 tonnes (£64.5 million), as locally, 31,609 tonnes (£52.9 million). Non Shetland boats landed 37,554 tonnes (£35.4 million) in the isles.

The full report is available on the NAFC website at: http://www.nafc.uhi.ac.uk/fish-stats