GR Direct - Sony - Save up to £300 on selected Bravia OLED & LED TVs
Friday 31 May 2024
 10.3°C   NNW Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Business / Activity down at Lerwick harbour but signs of optimism give hope

The platform after it arrived last year. Photo: Rory Gillies/Shetland Flyer Aerial Media

LERWICK Port Authority, along with most businesses up and down the county, continues to be severely affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost all markers were down compared to where the port was last year at this time, but there was also some positive news, namely the opening of the new fish market at Mair’s Pier and the arrival of the Northern Ninian topside for decommissioning.

Oil related arrivals at the port dropped by almost half during the third quarter of year, a result of the low oil price and the ongoing pandemic.

The overall tonnage of shipping dropped 40 per cent to 6,115,404 gross tonnes.

Port chief executive Captain Calum Grains said: “We are seeing the dire effects of the pandemic across harbour operations and the Shetland economy, and continue to do everything possible to operate safely, while making the most of business opportunities.

“The latest statistics for the third quarter show reduced traffic continuing from the first half of the year, caused by the virus and the downturn in oil prices which gives the offshore industry its own challenges.”

Overall passenger numbers for the year to date, at 44,958, were down 77 per cent, largely due to the cancellations of the cruise ship season, with ferry passengers on the Aberdeen and Kirkwall routes lower by 64 per cent at 43,459.

Captain Grains added: “The latest quarter has also seen a number of positives, among them the opening of the new state-of-art whitefish market and volumes of fish landed beginning to recover from earlier in the year.

“The arrival of the Ninian Northern topside – the port’s biggest decommissioning project yet – meant the inauguration of another heavy duty decommissioning pad and we are involved in active enquiries for future projects.

“There are strong cruise bookings for 2021, although changes are anticipated as the industry works through the lengthy process for gradually restarting.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.