Increases in activity across sectors

Lerwick Harbour is meeting the expectation of a busy year, with figures released today for the first six months showing increases in cargo, oil-related cargo, passenger traffic and the tonnage of vessels handled.

Cargo for January to June was up 6% at 402,224 tonnes, compared to the same period in 2010, including oil-related cargo up 56% to 41,348 tonnes.

The number of passengers using the port rose 4% to 69,373, with ferry passengers increasing by 1.5% to 57,588 and cruise passengers by 20% to 11,785.

The tonnage of shipping, at 5.2 million gross tonnes, was 19.2% higher, with the increases including fishing, cruise, oil-related and roll-on/roll-off vessels. The tonnage of shipping servicing the offshore oil and gas industry was up 59% at 820,277 gross tonnes, with the number of arrivals jumping 48% to 221. Overall arrivals were down 7.7% at 2,553, due to reductions in fishing vessels, yachts and workboats.

There were 510 Pilotage movements, up 4.5%, with a 9% increase to 3,077,197 gross tonnes in the vessels piloted.

Lerwick Port Authority Chief Executive, Sandra Laurenson, said: “The statistics again reflect the larger vessels now making regular use of the harbour, with the oil and cruise industries particular examples, confirming the value of our investment in the deep-water infrastructure.

“The strong half-year performance included a significant contribution from activity in the second three months, with the trend expected to continue in the current quarter. Fish landings, however, continue to reflect the particular circumstances in the industry, including a quieter winter mackerel season, with quota remaining to be taken in the autumn.”

Total fish landings were 24,632 tonnes, valued at £26.1 million, down 24 % on volume and down 0.9% on value. White fish landings of 4,958 tonnes were valued at £8.7 million, down 1.4% on volume and up 9% on value, with the price per tonne increasing 10.6% to average £1,764 per tonne.

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