Peterhead Port Authority has established a new port record for the third year in succession having topped the £200 million mark for the first time.
In realising a total catch value of £202.2m in 2018, this further strengthens its position as the leading fishing port in Britain and Europe.
Figures released by the authority show that the total catch value for last year increased by £6.87m from the 2017 total of £195.4m.
A rise of 3.5 per cent in catch value, at the same time as landings were only 1.4 per cent higher, highlights the generally higher price structures that prevailed across most species last year, particularly for mackerel.
Whitefish continues to be the most valuable species landed at Peterhead, while consistent seasonal mackerel activity resulted in Peterhead delivering a 15 per cent increase of £7.2m in the annual overall mackerel catch value.
Landings of herring and blue whiting were also up on the previous years figures.
Peterhead Port Authority chief executive Simon Brebner said: “Overall 2018 was a very good year for fish landings.
“The advent of the new fishmarket has allowed boats to land without delays or capacity constraints and attain good prices for their consistently high quality catches.
“On the pelagic side, mackerel prices have remained very strong.
“Quota cuts for 2019 may well have an impact, however the industry can be assured that the value and quality of fish landed and processed in Peterhead, the largest whitefish port in Europe, will be maintained.
“Following on from our AA British Retail Consortium rating for the fishmarket, we are working with Seafish to become the first port to apply for Responsible Fishing Port Scheme accreditation.”
Gavin Thain, convenor of Peterhead Port Authority welcomed the positive results while at the same time urging realism.
“Although the port has secured another record year which is great to see , this year looks likely to be a tough year for the industry as a whole,” he said.
“The full implementation of the landing obligation from 1st Jan 2019, is unchartered territory.”