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Marine / Fish landings down but expectations high for next year

ALMOST 340,000 boxes of whitefish have been landed in Shetland this year, a slight dip on 2021’s figures.

With the last fish market of the year on Monday morning, Shetland Seafood Auction confirmed that a total of 338,627 boxes had gone through the fish markets in Scalloway and Lerwick.

Auction manager Martin Leyland said the amount of whitefish landed over the course of the year was slightly below expectations.

Shetland Seafood Auction manager Martin Leyland. Photo: Shetland News

He quoted the energy crisis which forced many boats to tie up for a period earlier this year as well as the poor cod quota as the main reasons for the lower than expected figures.

But he added that thanks to the better quota settlement for 2023 both newly built fish markets should experience greater use of their vastly increased capacity.

Earlier this month, the conclusion of the trilateral talks with Norway and the EU over shared stocks in the North Sea resulted in a 63 per cent uplift in the cod quota.

Catch allocations for other key species such as haddock were increased by 30 per cent.

“We are looking forward to higher figures next year with the quotas that have just been announced,” Leyland said.

Whitefish landings have been growing steadily over recent years to reach a peak of 436,210 in 2018 but have been sliding back since then due to Brexit, the Covid pandemic and now the energy crisis.

The first market of the new year will be on 3 January 2023.

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