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Growth planned for Shetland shellfish sales

25 February 2014

An established successful Shetland fish processing company and wholesaler is expanding and creating jobs with the development of a new shellfish processing unit.

Scalloway based QA Fish Ltd has developed the unit which has allowed the company to diversify into crab processing.

Supported by up to £16,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the new facility will allow the company to expand and capture opportunities with the growing popularity of crab in UK supermarkets. It is anticipated that the facility will enable an increase in turnover of over £1.5 million per anum and create nine new permanent jobs in the Scalloway area.

QA Fish is located in a prime location next to the Scalloway fish market and harbour on Shetland’s west coast.  It supplies a range of white fish species, shellfish, salmon and mackerel/herring when in season, which are then packaged and sent overnight to Aberdeen before onwards to the customer. It also works with Burgons of Eyemouth, a leading UK fisheries distributor, to supply contracts across the UK, Ireland and continental Europe.

The company buys shellfish from licensed fisherman under recognised Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation arrangements for Shetland which is managed by Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO) The quality accredited standard is unique in Scotland and means that shellfish are fished in a sustainable way through control of fishing licenses.

Gordon Johnson from QA Fish, said: “We are delighted that HIE has assisted us to complete our diversification into crab processing, which has been a valuable addition to the company and provided an important local market for Shetland’s inshore fishermen. QA Fish prides itself on supplying the freshest products from sustainable sources to customers across the UK and Europe and this will continue with our diversification into crab processing.”

David Priest from HIE has been working with the company to support the project. He commented “We are pleased to be able to support QA Fish with their development plans and expansion. The company already has well established expertise in white fish exporting and Gordon and Robert are working hard to establish a recognised quality Shetland brand.”

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