Final go-ahead for Shetland fishmeal plant –

Final go-ahead for Shetland fishmeal plant Published:  16 June, 2006

THE COMPANY behind plans to build a £10 million fishmeal factory in

Shetland were today granted the final piece of permission

necessary for the project to go ahead.

Members of the Shetland Islands Council marine development sub committee decided by four votes to two to permit Icelandic fishmeal producer Sildarvinnslan hf to install a 200 metre seawater intake pipe and a 1,000 meter wastewater discharge pipe.

The council’s planning sub committee had already granted planning

permission for the factory at its meeting on May 31. The same meeting

approved a Notice to Develop (NID) by the council to build a 90 metre

extension to the tug pier at Sella Ness, worth almost £6 million, to

allow pelagic trawlers to land there.

Today’s decision was taken despite the fact that the entire

neighbouring community of Graven had objected to the development as had the Delting Community Council. A third objection had been received from Vic Thomas of Friends of the Earth.

The pipe would discharge wastewater into the waters of Sullom Voe, which is a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the European Habitats Directive.

Representing the neighbours, Alec Miller told the meeting that the

developer had only provided “inadequate environmental data” to back their proposal.

Mr Miller’s statement was rejected by Dr Annie Say, the author of two

environmental impact assessments on the project, who represented the

developer at the meeting.

She said: “I feel confident that the development can go ahead in a fashion that will not impact on the integrity of the environmental site.”

Councillor Brian Gregson moved to reject the plans saying the development based on blue whiting fisheries would be economically and environmentally unsustainable.

But councillor Gussie Angus told the meeting that such arguments could not be considered under the Zetland County Council Act 1974 which governs the sub committee.

He said: “Economic and environmental considerations don’t fall into the remit of the ZCC Act. I am confident the measures put in place are robust, and I don’t think we have any grounds for refusal.”

Sildarvinnslan wants to dismantle one of their existing factories in

Iceland and transport it to Shetland where it will be rebuilt to the latest standards. They hope to process a minimum of 100,000 tonnes of fish a year.

The factory would operate only 100 days a year and are expected to create five full time and 10 part time jobs.

Earlier this month, it emerged that the European Commission is assessing a complaint into the possible breach of state aid regulations; which they had received from a Shetland resident, in May.

No decision as to whether to open a formal investigation has been taken yet. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.