Shetland College to cut back Marine Sciences Department –

Shetland College to cut back Marine Sciences Department Published:  27 January, 2005

THE North Atlantic Fisheries College, in Shetland, is to mothball their marine fish hatchery and discontinue their M.Sc. course in Mariculture Science and Technology.

The college director, Peter Dryburgh, included the cost saving measures in his 2005/06 budget proposals which were passed, after some discussion, by the trustees of the Shetland Fisheries Training Centre Trust, at a meeting at the college on Friday 21 January.

Mr Dryburgh explained that the NAFC’s main source of finance is an annual grant from the Shetland Islands Council. For 2005/06, funding will be shared between the SIC and the Shetland Development Trust. Based on the proposed level of funding, cost savings are needed to prevent the NAFC going into deficit in the coming year.

The NAFC’s annual budget request will be presented to the SIC in early February.

The cost saving proposals are that the Marine Hatchery would be run on a care-and-maintenance basis only and that delivery of the M.Sc. in Mariculture Science and Technology would be suspended after the current course is completed in the summer.

To produce the financial savings necessary staff numbers must be reduced and a voluntary redundancy package has been offered to members of the Marine Sciences Department. Efforts will continue to seek alternative funding either from industry or government that may reduce the effect on jobs.

Mr Dryburgh said: “It is very unfortunate that jobs have to go. The job losses are no reflection on the Marine Sciences Department’s contribution to Aquaculture and Fisheries in Shetland.

“Unfortunately with both the Fishery and Aquaculture sectors in financial difficulty, funding from industry is at a very low level and thus hard choices have to be made.”

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