Lerwick Harbour, strategically located at the heart of Europe's richest fishing grounds, is one of Britain's main centres 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 over 38,000 tonnes of pelagic fish, white fish and shellfish valued at over £42 million. Lerwick has a well-deserved reputation for product quality and proximity to the fishing grounds, all contribute to attracting fishing boats to land in Shetland.
Facilities at the award-winning fishing port include:
- Deep-water berthing
- Shore power
- New state of the art temperature controlled whitefish market
- 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 supply chain services include:
- High capacity quayside ice plant
- Engineering & electronic repair
- Net manufacture & repairs
- Wire rigging
- Refrigeration gases
A new fishmarket was completed in August 2020, more than doubling landing capacity at the port. The state-of-the-art temperature controlled fishmarket operates seven days a week, with a fishmarket sale five days a week. Onshore weighing and grading of high-value species is a feature provided by Shetland Seafood Auctions’, who operate the largest computerised electronic auction system in the UK. The various species are processed locally, or transported overnight to mainland buyers.
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.
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.