Lerwick Harbour, strategically located at the heart of Europe's richest fishing grounds, is the UK's second largest fishing hub for the landing, selling, processing and shipment of seafood and for the servicing of vessels.
Around 2,300 fishing vessels, including a modern local fleet, use the port annually with landings of around 40,000 tonnes of pelagic fish, white fish and shellfish valued at over £45 million.
More than one quarter of all landings in Scotland happens in Shetland, with more fish landed here than in England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.
Pelagic fish is landed directly at Europe’s largest processor, Pelagia Shetland Ltd. The geographical location means mackerel and herring often being discharged within hours of being caught. The modern factory’s discharge berth, with nine metres’ water depth and one of the most advanced discharging systems in the world, allows the largest pelagic trawlers to land catches at up to 100 tonnes an hour.
A modern, temperature controlled white fish market operates five days a week. Onshore weighing and grading of high-value species is a feature, and Shetland Seafood Auctions’ electronic auctions have attracted more vessels, from mainland Scotland and Scandinavia.
The various species are processed locally, or transported overnight to mainland buyers. Lerwick has a well-deserved reputation for product quality.
Pelagia (Bressay) Limited at Heogan on Bressay operates a fishmeal plant where industrial species can be landed direct to the factory. The primary source of raw material for the plant is by-products from other local fish and salmon processors.
Basing vessels at the port minimises sailing time to the rich northern fishing grounds, allowing fishing vessels to make best use of days-at-sea allowances and saving on fuel costs.
Visit So Much to Sea to learn more about Shetland's prolific seafood sector.
More information on the Authority's commitment to the fishing industry and its future plans can be found on our Bulletins page.
Facilities and services at the award-winning fishing port include:
- Deep-water berthing
- Temperature controlled market recently extended
- Electronic auction
- Onshore weighing & grading
- Modern processing sector
- Major pelagic factory
- Fish meal & fish oil processing
- Overnight delivery of quality products to mainland Scotland
Full services include:
- High capacity quayside ice plant
- Engineering & electronic repair
- Net manufacture & repairs
- Wire rigging
- Refrigeration gases