Record Year for Whitefish

2017 was a record year for whitefish landings in Shetland, according to a new report from the NAFC Marine Centre UHI.

According to the annual 'Shetland Fisheries Statistics', more than 21,000 tonnes of whitefish (species such as cod, haddock, whiting, monks and plaice) worth about £42 million were landed in Shetland in 2017, compared to just under 19,000 tonnes in 2016. Report author, Dr Ian Napier, commented that "last year's landings of whitefish in Shetland exceeded the previous record of 20,700 tonnes which was set in 1972, and it is 30 years since landings last exceeded 20,000 tonnes."

The whitefish landed in Shetland in 2017 included more than 30 different species, and more than three-quarters of it was landed by local boats.

Overall, the weight of fish landed in Shetland in 2017 was somewhat less than in the previous year, although the overall value was only slightly less. This decline was mainly due to falls in landings of mackerel, which continued to be affected by difficult global market conditions, and to a lesser extent landings of queen scallops by visiting fishing boats.

Despite this overall decline, Shetland retained its position as one of the UK's premier fishing 'ports', with more fish and shellfish landed in Shetland than in any other port except Peterhead, and more fish landed in Shetland than in all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined. Cullivoe in Yell was the 12th ranked UK port for landings of whitefish, Scalloway was 8th and Lerwick 4th.

The report is based on data supplied by the Marine Analytical Unit of Marine Scotland, and statistics published by the Scottish and UK Governments.


The full report is available on the NAFC Marine Centre website at:

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