Fish landings in Shetland’s Lerwick harbour in the first three months of 2005 leapt dramatically, according to the Lerwick Port Authority.
Lerwick Port Authority said that fish worth £23 million had been landed in the harbour, an increase of 56% on last year.
Most of the fish was mackerel landed at Shetland Catch, Europe’s largest pelagic factory. The company is hoping this level of raw material will continue into the future.
Two years ago Shetland Catch completed a major expansion and has been striking deals to attract more landings to Lerwick. In addition, poor weather in January forced more boats than usual to land at Lerwick.
Shetland Catch has been working to increase the amount of fish handled by the factory after increasing capacity two years ago, and in the light of concerns about the mackerel quota being cut 27% in December.
Peterhead-based pelagic processor Fresh Catch plans to build an £18m factory in the port of Scalloway, with assistance from Shetland Islands Council. Shetland Catch has questioned whether there are enough fish to warrant such an increase in processing capacity.