Bressay factory now entirely locally owned
The gut factory at Heogan in Bressay will remain open thanks to two local companies which have bought out its remaining shares.
Shetland Fish Products, which owns and operates the Bressay factory, had been experiencing difficulties earlier in the year due to a lack of raw products. There was speculation that Norwegian company Austevoll, which owns a quarter of Shetland Catch, would take it over.
The future of the company has been secured, however, as the shares, which equate to 50 per cent of the company, have been bought by existing shareholders Lerwick Port Authority and Shetland Catch.
Previosuly owned by Irish company Origin Enterprises, the sale means the company is now wholly Shetland owned.
Eight jobs will be safeguarded and there are plans for management to be transferred from Aberdeen to Shetland. The day to day running of the factory is expected to remain as it is.
Port authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson said: “All of the local shareholders are pleased to secure the company and consequently the Heogan plant through this move.
“The company will be locally controlled and will focus on success for this plant and its place in the overall local seafood sector. The port authority already owns the piers at Heogan and Shetland Fish Products is valuable for continued use of these assets.”
Shetland Catch chairman John Goodlad said: “The fishmeal and fish oil plant at Bressay is an essential component of the local seafood processing sector. With declining blue whiting quotas, the Heogan plant will concentrate on offal available locally and is complementary to operations at Shetland Catch.”