Future bleak for Shetland processing plant – Fishupdate.com

Future bleak for Shetland processing plant Published:  24 September, 2007

Karol Rzepkowski

THE FUTURE of a small Shetland fish processing plant looks bleak after workers completed the factory’s last contract.

A month ago, Northmavine based Aquafarm confirmed that the fish factory at Heylor was to close with the loss of 11 jobs after losing a major contract to process organic salmon.

However, management has managed to keep the plant going for the last four weeks relying on short term work.

This week, 10 employees were gutting organic cod for the No Catch fish

factory in Scalloway, but this work has now come to an end.

Last night, director Peter Duncan said he did not know what the future

would hold.

“It has gone alright this week, but we are not sure if there is more work or whether this contract is a viable alternative,” he said.

But No Catch managing director Karol Rzepkowski said the lifeline thrown at the Heylor fish factory was unfortunately only a temporary one.

“We had some big orders coming in while we were putting in some new shifts and getting staff trained in our own facility in Scalloway.

“We were able to give Ronas some cod to gut as we knew they were struggling for business. We were able to do that for the last week to 10 days, but that is about it.

“Unfortunately, we can’t offer them enough to sort out Ronas’ problems. I wish we could, but we our own facility and have to maintain use of that,” he said.

Meanwhile, efforts by public agencies to avert job losses in one of

Shetland’s sparsely population area continue.

North of Shetland councillor Alastair Cooper said: “We have to keep the factory going one way or the other. If there is anything we can do to assist then I am up for it.”

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