The volume and wholesale value of fish landings rose by 52.9 percent and 72.1 per cent respectively in the first three months of this year compared to the first quarter of 2007, the NSO said today.

In the first quarter of 2008, 136,246 kilograms (+52.9 per cent) of fresh fish, yielding €367,446, were landed. The marked rise in both volume and wholesale value resulted from increased landings of Swordfish and Shrimp, by 206.6 per cent and 67.2 percent respectively, when compared to the same period last year.

Swordfish landings, being the main species landed in this quarter, rose by 215.3 percent, from 16,707 kilograms in the first quarter of 2007 to 52,677 kilograms in the first quarter this year. In terms of weight, Maltese fishermen
landed 77.3 per cent of the total landings, up by 1.4 percentage points (+1.8 percent) over the corresponding period last year.

Maltese fishermen earned €739,009 (+77.4 percent) in the first quarter of 2008, as a result of an increase in fish landings, with prices remaining fairly stable.

In the same period, Gozitan fishermen landed 28,547 (+49.7 per cent) kilograms of fresh fish yielding a total wholesale value of €127,363 (+62.2 per cent).

Dorado (lampuki) and Swordfish landings contributed to 28.2 percent and 13.3 percent respectively of the total catch. Compared to the same period last year, Dorado and Swordfish landings increased by 20.1 per cent and 121.9 per cent.

During the first quarter of 2008, foreign-flagged vessels landed a total of 2,395 kilograms valued at €10,624 in Malta. This represented a slight decrease of 0.3 per cent in fish landings and a decrease of 26.0 per cent in the wholesale value of fish landings when compared to the corresponding period in 2007.

The fresh fish quarterly price index for the first quarter of 2008 stood at 113.31 points, down marginally by 1.77 points (-1.5 per cent) over the corresponding quarter in 2007. On the other hand, the fresh fish quarterly volume index increased by 14.10 points (+52.9 per cent) to 40.77 points in the first quarter of 2008

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