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Funding boost for Shetland Seafood Auctions

Published: 30/11/2023

A Shetland company is investing in a project to improve shore-based services for whitefish catches landed by vessels at Lerwick and Scalloway fish markets.

Shetland Seafood Auctions (SSA) secured a £17,715 contribution from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for the development, which will create four new FTE jobs in Lerwick and Scalloway.

The islands are in the heart of rich and diverse fishing grounds. More than half of all the fish landed in the UK comes from within 100 nautical miles of Shetland. It is unique in the fishing industry with two modern fish markets strategically located, in Lerwick and Scalloway, to service all whitefish landings. 

SSA operates a state-of-the-art electronic ‘Dutch auction’ system, selling around 300 tonnes of fresh whitefish each week. HIE’s money will enable the business to purchase new equipment to complement the recent increase in capacity at the newly developed Lerwick and Scalloway fish markets.

The firm will invest in additional landing and weighing equipment as well as enhancing working conditions. This will double handling capacity at both markets and improve both the shore side service offering and staff welfare.

Catherine Hawick, development manager at HIE’s Shetland team, said:

“The fish catching sector remains a significant and growing contributor to the Shetland economy. We are pleased to support this project, which will enable SSA to further develop onshore services. With new fish markets in Lerwick and Scalloway substantially increasing daily landing capacity it is essential that onshore services are improved to meet the demands of the fishing industry.”

Norma Williamson, sales and marketing manager at SSA, said:

“SSA is forecasting steady growth in fish landings over the next three years. HIE’s funding gives us the opportunity to invest in new equipment to ensure the continuation of shore-based services to the whitefish vessels. This will match this anticipated growth, in both Lerwick and Scalloway markets. The investment and funding will provide improved working conditions, safer working practices and a more attractive place to work. 

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