MEMBERS of Shetland Islands Tourist Guides Association were given a real taste of the mussel industry last week, when they braved the wintry weather to attend an event hosted by Walls-based North Atlantic Shellfish.
The aim of the visit was to help broaden tourist guides’ knowledge of mussel farming in the isles. The idea originated from the guides themselves, who had noted that tourists visiting Shetland who saw mussel lines in the voes were increasingly asking questions about how the farming process worked.
The tour involved a boat trip to their sites in West Burrafirth where the guides were able to see the various stages of the mussel life cycle. This was followed by a visit to the company’s grading and washing facility and culminated in an opportunity to sample some freshly cooked mussels.
Tourist guide Catriona Anderson said: “It was fascinating to hear about the extraordinary world of mussels and we learnt so much from the visit. It will certainly make a huge difference to what we’ll tell our guests next year about mussel farming and, equally, the enthusiasm with which we’ll speak about it in the future.
“The whole group was delighted with the visit. We appreciate all the work that North Atlantic Shellfish put into making this a fantastic learning experience for us all.”