Fishing company secures SIC loan

A new vessel will replace the 20-year-old Guardian Angell.

A new vessel will replace the 20-year-old Guardian Angell.

A fishing business has secured a £1.1 million loan from Shetland Islands Council to fund a new vessel.

The Cullivoe-based Guardian Angell Fishing Company Ltd has confirmed a build slot at the Parkol Marine shipyard in Whitby. This same shipyard built the Copious, Radiant Star and Prolific, the newest vessels in the Shetland whitefish fleet. It is anticipated the vessel will be ready for sea around August next year.

The 26m vessel will replace the business’s 20-year-old Guardian Angell (LK272).

The SIC’s development committee approved the funding at today’s meeting as part of a substantial funding package with the Clydesdale Bank.

Chairman Alastair Cooper, said: “I am pleased to see this successful business continue its strong commitment to whitefish catching by building a new vessel to join the Shetland fleet. Without reinvestment such as this the fleet cannot rejuvenate and be fit for purpose for the future.”

Michael Henderson, on behalf of the company’s board of directors, said he was delighted.

“The shareholders have talked about building a new vessel for some time. Over the past 10 years we have invested heavily in fishing quota and have built up a substantial track record, most of which is landed in Shetland. Following this investment in quota we now feel that we are in a position to build a new vessel to take advantage of the fuel efficiencies and running costs a new boat can bring.

“It is estimated that a new boat will save in excess of £50,000 per annum in fuel costs alone.”

Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Simon Collins said it was good news for the ageing fleet. “Three quarters of our whitefish vessels are over 20 years old and fleet renewal is essential if we are to take advantage of our very healthy fish stocks in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way.

“This sort of cooperation between the fishing industry, the council and the banking sector is a vital part of Shetland’s success story.”

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