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Marine / Fish landings take a hit in Covid-dominated year

The new fish market in Lerwick opened earlier this year. Photo: John Coutts

MORE THAN 330,000 boxes of whitefish were landed in Shetland during 2020, a significant drop compared to recent years but better than expected after the significant reduction in fishing activity due to the lockdown earlier in the year.

Shetland Seafood Auctions said on Friday following the last market day of the year that this year’s landings amounted to 84 per cent of the 2019 total.

This year saw the opening of two new fish markets in Scalloway and Lerwick, both offering state of the art facilities in anticipation of increased fish landings following Brexit.

With post-Brexit negotiations still ongoing in Brussels, and fishing very much in the centre of the protracted talks, it is not known at this stage what legal framework will govern next year’s fishing.

There will either be: –

  • a post-Brexit trade deal, or
  • separate quota talks between the EU and the UK in case of a no-deal scenario, or
  • provisional quotas will apply.

In any case, the first fish market of 2021 will be on 4 January.