Shetland mussel farmer crosses the Atlantic to build bridges –

Shetland mussel farmer crosses the Atlantic to build bridges Published:  09 May, 2006

SHETLAND mussel farmer and Seafood Shetland member, Lindsay Angus of Cribba Sound Ltd, has just returned from attending a meeting of Nordic mussel farmers in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada organised by NORA (North Atlantic Co-operation) – an organisation aimed at improving the framework and conditions for industry, trade and development in the Nordic Atlantic region.

The aims of the visit were to establish links with other mussel producing countries with a similar environment to Shetland and to discuss how mussel farming could be developed in these areas. Those attending the meeting prepared a project proposal aimed at assisting mussel farming. The proposal has been submitted to NORA for financial support.

Commenting on his trip, Lindsay Angus said: “I was delighted to be invited to attend the meeting. We toured the Marine Institute in St Johns and the Aquaculture Research Development Facility at Ocean Sciences Centre of Memorial University before attending a NORA workshop with Newfoundland farmers and academics to discuss how their industry has developed and how NORA could assist with transferring skills and technology.

“From the workshop, we identified a requirement to establish an environmental monitoring programme and spat collection monitoring. Stock husbandry, examining markets and business development opportunities were also discussed.

“My final engagement, on the four-day visit, was to attend the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) shellfish and finfish conference, which I found extremely worthwhile.

“I made some very useful contacts with mussel farmers in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and the Faroe Islands, and believe that, from my visit, we can forge good connections with the Marine Institute in St Johns.

“Of course, of particular significance is the fact that we have drawn up a draft project proposal and applied for funding from NORA. The project is based on transferring knowledge and skills between participants – encouraging members to participate in order to boost the efficiency of all participating countries. We realised that we all face the same challenges of spat gathering, fouling, predation, equipment choice and so on, and that it would be more effective to come together and draw on each other’s past experiences to resolve these issues.

“The participants may be farmers that are producing the same product in close geographic proximity but I don’t believe there will be any economic conflict in the proposal. In fact, we discussed this and discovered that in most cases farmers were already selling into different markets, so this project should benefit everyone.”

Chief executive of Seafood Shetland, Ruth Henderson, said: “We really appreciate being invited to attend and I feel very fortunate to have Lindsay Angus as a member whose background as a marine biologist meant that he could represent us well in Newfoundland.

“I wish to thank NORA for their financial assistance with Lindsay’s travel and subsistence costs and look forward to future co-operation with the group.” 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.