With the fishing industry making good use of Lerwick Harbour’s new Holmsgarth North jetty, the Shetland port is looking to the next phase in developing a new hub for the sector.
The £16.5 million quay was completed by Lerwick Port Authority in late-2016, with the 800-metre-plus, L-shaped jetty providing deeper berthing – ultimately 10 metres – and more working area for the fishing fleet. The outer arm creates a dock which will shelter a new white fish market on Mair’s Quay.
“The completion of Holmsgarth North was another major step forward in our development programme and has been welcomed by the sector,” said Sandra Laurenson, Port Authority Chief Executive.
High-capacity shore power, allowing pelagic vessels to connect to the electricity supply while on lay-by at the Holmsgarth North quay, has been well received. The connections have been extended for white fish vessels which are also benefiting from shelter provided by the new dock.
With work already underway on rationalising fishing equipment storage to dedicated yards, offices for companies in the catching sector may relocate to this site. As new quaysides have come into use, the Port Authority is embarking on a renewed maintenance programme for some older quaysides to maintain overall capacity.
Laurenson added: “We support the fishing industry in various ways and take a long term view on infrastructure investment to support our strategic location. Situated in the heart of rich fishing grounds with abundant healthy stocks, we need to complement industry reinvestment in local vessels and in onshore processing where there is a positive future.
“The Authority’s next milestone project is the anticipated replacement fish market and this will be the catalyst for making Holmsgarth and Mair’s Quay the new fishing hub in Lerwick, used by both the white fish and pelagic sectors.”
The Port Authority has submitted an application for European Maritime and Fisheries Fund support for the market project. Tenders for construction have been received. Due to be completed in 2018, the market will double capacity at what is already the UK’s second-largest landings port.
Meanwhile, a contract has been awarded to Tulloch Developments Limited to undertake the first phase of access road and car parking, costing £800,000, to complement the fish market, with work commencing this month (May) for completion later this year.
The Port Authority is a shareholder in Pelagia Shetland Ltd, Shetland Fish Products and Shetland Seafood Auctions.
Following Norwegian company Pelagia increasing its share in Shetland Catch to 75% and a subsequent restructuring and integration, Pelagia Shetland is developing the Lerwick plant with roe extraction equipment to be ready for the summer herring season starting in July.
- The new structure will be officially named Mair’s Pier at a ceremony this summer.
- The Port Authority is participating on stand 67 at Skipper Expo in Aberdeen, from 26-27 May.