Peterhead Scotland’s premier fishing port set a new record last month for the most value of mackerel landings in any one month worth over £27 million.
This was an increase of 27% compared to the same moth last year’s total of £22 million and illustrates the considerably higher prices paid for mackerel at the start the year fishery.
Landings by weight at 30,714 tonnes were only 5% higher that 29,240 tonne brought ashore in January 2010.
With good marks of mackerel continuing to be readily located along deeper water edge some 50 miles west of Lewis, Scottish midwinter trawlers have carried on to take some good catches even though poor weather has slowed fishing at times.
After 380gr fish initially made around £2.55 per gram average weight the price for smaller sized mackerel rose towards £2.70, while 370gr fish made in the region of £2,55 per gr.
Ten pelagic trawlers from north east Scotland landed regularly at Peterhead Harbour last month, helped by the fact that the main run of fish remained fairly static three or four hours sailing for the west of Lewis before starting to move south west along the edge of the deeper waters past the Isle of St Kilda.
This together with fairly good weather, this ensured consistent supplies for processing firms in Peterhead, where up to 10,000 tonnes of mackerel were landed some weeks.
The last mackerel of the season were landed at Peterhead harbour in the first days of this month February, since when some local trawlers have headed east to fish the Atlanto-Scandian herring off Norway.
In line with the increasingly high level of international demand for all pelagic species, Altanto-Scandian herring reached a high of NrK in Norway last week.
At approximately £500 per tonne, this was double the price of £240 tonne in February last year.