Blow for Shetland fleet as Faroe buys big catcher Published: 23 February, 2007
SHETLAND’S largest whitefish trawler, the 43.9 metre Sunbeam, has been sold to a Faroese company.
The twin rigger,owned by skipper John Garriock,William Abernethy and
fishing agents LHD,had been on the market for many years.
Skipper Garriock said that due to the continuous fall in the vessel’s fish quota and the rise in fuel prices it had no longer been viable to operate the Sunbeam in EU waters.
The sale means that the Shetland fleet of whitefish boat continuous to
shrink and now stands at 20, about half of what it was ten years ago.
Speaking from his home in Lerwick today, Mr Garriock said he
was not sure whether he would be going back to the fishing.
For the summer he was planning to work at his wife’s car hire business
before making up his mind what the future for him might hold.
He added: “The decision to sell has been made for us; it is purely due to the lack of quota.
“Last year, we had to borrow 100 tonnes of quota just to finish the year and I had to pay that back to other boat at the start of this year.By doing that, we were already 100 tonnes down before even getting started. With the cod and other fish quota coming down all the time, it really wasn’t viable any more.”
The Sunbeam also has a licence to fish for redfish in Icelandic waters, and quota for that has been steady over the years.
However, Mr Garriock said the redfish was only worth four weeks work and as his North Sea quota was coming down all the time, he was no longer in a position to swap that for redfish.
The Sunbeam has now been sold to the Faroese fishing company P/F V-Invest of Suduroy. The vessel will most likely be delivered to their new owners next week, and Mr Garriock is to accompany the new crew on the fishing trips for the first few weeks.
The Sunbeam was built in 1997 at the Zamakona shipyard in Spain.
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