Fish Landings in Shetland in 2017

Landings in Shetland of cod, haddock, plaice, monks and other whitefish increased substantially in 2017, while landings of mackerel and herring fell, according to a new report published by the NAFC Marine Centre UHI.

The report is based on an analysis by NAFC's Dr Ian Napier of data published by the UK's Marine Management Organisation.

The analysis shows that the weight of whitefish landed in Shetland in 2017 was 9% greater than in 2016, while their value increased by 20%, continuing the upward trend seen in recent years. Since 2015, whitefish landings in the islands have increased by more than a quarter in weight (27%) and more than a half in value (52%).

However, landings of pelagic fish (predominantly mackerel and some herring) declined in 2017, reflecting reduced fishing opportunities due to cuts in quotas, and ongoing difficulties in the global market for mackerel.

The value of crabs, lobsters, scallops and other shellfish landed in Shetland in 2017 was 13% greater than in 2016. Although the weight of shellfish landed was less than in 2016 it was well above that in 2015. The weight of shellfish landings in 2016 was inflated by large quantities of queen scallops landed by visiting fishing boats working to the south-west of Shetland.

Overall, the weight of fish and shellfish landed in Shetland in 2017 was about 10% less than in 2016 (largely due to the reduction in pelagic landings, while their value was almost unchanged.

The report or is available on NAFC's Fisheries Statistics web page.

A more detailed analysis of fish landings in Shetland will be published later in the year when the necessary data become available.

For further information please contact Dr Ian Napier (, 01595 772000).