Winner for second time at Fishing News presentations

Lerwick has received the 2021 Port of the Year Award in an annual presentation by Fishing News, Britain’s leading weekly publication for the industry, celebrating the sector’s finest achievements.

The award “benchmarks good practice, recognising excellence in service and amenities”. Also short-listed for Port of the Year – one of 15 categories – were Fraserburgh, Newlyn and Eastbourne.

The nomination for Lerwick said:

“The first whitefish to be landed into the new fishmarket at Lerwick in August 2020 marked a major milestone for all concerned.

“Featuring four temperature-controlled bays covering a floor area of 1,600m2, double the capacity of its predecessor, the new market building, which includes first-floor office accommodation for all the relevant fishing associations in Shetland, marked the culmination of a farsighted £30m-plus project to create a modern hub for the fishing industry that started over 10 years ago.

“Work included initial pre-dredging, constructing the 150m-long Mair’s Quay, reclaiming 1.45 hectares of land on which the new market and its service area now stand, and construction of the L-shaped Holmsgarth North development, which created 800m of deepwater berthing.”

Lerwick Port Authority Chairman, Ronnie Gair, said: “We are proud to receive this award for the second time and our thanks go to Fishing News and our nominator.

“We see it as recognition of our proactive strategy, our continuing commitment to the fishing industry, and the team approach which went into phased developments over the years to deliver modern facilities for the sector.

“The £7.6 million whitefish market is an excellent example of our long-term planning. It was the final component in an integrated programme designed to reinforce Lerwick’s position as a leading UK fishing port and to sustain and develop the contribution to the Shetland economy,”

Port Authority Chief Executive, Captain Calum Grains, said: “The coordinated sequence of dredging, constructing Mair’s Quay, Mair’s Pier and the market, plus related improvements, created a state-of-the-art hub for the industry, enhancing the quality of fish landed and sold, increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impact.”

Construction of the quays also meant benefits for other port users, including berthing, a net repair area and additional shore power points for both the whitefish and pelagic sector.

The investment was backed by European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and finance from Bank of Scotland.

Read more on Lerwick Port Authority’s contribution to the fishing industry.

*Since the awards ceremony, the Port Authority has been saddened to learn of the death of Fishing News editor, Dave Linkie. A respected journalist and always a pleasure to deal with, he will be greatly missed and long remembered by all in the fishing industry who knew him.

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