Visit focuses on Shetland growth

STRENGTHENING the links between Shetland’s fishing industry and the seafood supply chain was the aim of a visit to the region this week from Seafish, the industry authority.
The 12-strong executive board of Seafish toured key seafood centres and spoke to fishermen and industry leaders during the trip, which was hosted by pelagic fishing specialists Shetland Catch, the NAFC Marine Centre in Port Arthur and the Shetland Islands Council.
The visit began with a civic reception at Lerwick Town Hall, where Seafish chairman Brian Young addressed guests and spoke on the importance of Shetland’s thriving seafood industry to Shetland’s communities and the rest of the UK.
The group visited the Lerwick fish market and seafood auction, where they met local seafood buyers and suppliers as they processed the morning’s catch.
Other stops included Lerwick harbour, where the board spoke to fishermen as they prepared to head out to sea, the NAFC Marine Centre in Port Arthur, to get a taster of some of the ground breaking research being conducted at the facility, and a trip to Brae to see where Shetland’s world famous mussels are farmed and processed.
Frankie’s Fish and Chip Shop welcomed the group for a seafood lunch, before they headed back to the NAFC for an official board meeting and dinner at Da Haaf Restaurant.
The visit concluded with a roundtable discussion that covered Seafish’s ongoing commitment to supporting Shetland’s seafood industry and the work being done to strengthen the bond between the body and the UK’s most northerly fishing communities.
Marcus Coleman, CEO of Seafish, said: ‘This visit will go a long way to helping us achieve the goals we have outlined in our corporate plan.
‘We want to work with our partners in Shetland even more closely, to strengthen the region’s links with the wider seafood supply chain and develop more bespoke exporting and importing opportunities to help Shetland’s seafood industry grow.’
John Goodlad, chair of Seafish’s domestic and export panel and also of Shetland Catch, said: ‘We were very excited to host our Seafish colleagues and show off Shetland’s dynamic and enterprising seafood industry.
‘Ensuring our most northerly fishing communities are supported is an integral part of maintaining a healthy, lucrative seafood industry and in that respect the board’s visit was a great success.’
Picture: The Seafish team with and Frankie’s Fish and Chip Shop employees