NAFC hosts special guests to celebrate 20th anniversary

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and Maritime & Coastguard Agency chief executive Sir Alan Massey will be among the guests attending a 20th anniversary celebration at the NAFC Marine Centre on Friday.

They will be joined by a wide range of representatives from national maritime organisations, industry, academia and Shetland Islands Council.

The purpose of the event is to highlight the important role the centre plays in supporting the seafood sector locally, nationally and internationally through its research, testing, training and services.

Willie Shannon

Willie Shannon

Interim director Willie Shannon said: “From humble beginnings, the NAFC Marine Centre has grown through the hard work of the staff here to become an institution that plays a huge and valuable role in supporting the seafood sector.

“That is recognised across the country, which is why we are delighted to be able to host so many distinguished guests for this celebratory event.

“But as well as marking the centre’s achievements, we will be looking forward to the next 20 years and to building on our strengths.”

Guests will hear from Mr Shannon, Mr Carmichael, University of the Highlands and Islands vice-principal Professor Ian Bryden, Merchant Navy Training Board head Glenys Jackson and Shetland Catch chairman John Goodlad.

Mrs Jackson said: “The centre’s officer cadet training programmes have been very important in ensuring and maintaining maritime expertise within Shetland for the benefit of the local community and the Highlands and Islands generally, as well as to local shipping interests.”

Mr Goodlad added: “Since its opening some 20 years ago the NAFC Marine Centre has underpinned much of the expansion, development and diversification of the Shetland seafood industry which has taken place over the last two decades.

“There is no question in my mind that the NAFC Marine Centre will be of even greater importance to the seafood industry over the next 20 years.”

More on the history of the marine centre and what it has achieved over two decades will be included in a special feature in Friday’s Shetland Times.

One comment

  1. Angus Irvine

    Congratulations to the fisheries college on reaching this milestone.

    I came across this article on FishUpdate and it made me think about the funding crisis the centre is now facing. http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/21001/Fisheries_college_brings_huge_benefits_to_Shetland_economy.html

    The article praises the work of the college and highlights the benefit it brings to the marine industries which it supports. Praise and words of support comes from several local marine organisation leaders who represent local industry. It struck me when reading about the dumping of the free bin bags and other commentary on the ever increasing pressure on council funding and knowing that it costs the council several million pounds a year to underwrite the colleges activities that it would be reasonable to expect local marine industries to pay for the activities they clearly benefit from. In this day and age with mature profitable marine industries why should such scarce funding be used to subsidies them. Am I wrong in my analysis of the current situation?

    Reply

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