23rd November 2017

Local boat lands ‘golden’ surprise

The NAFC Marine Centre received a surprise delivery this week when they accepted a second rare albino haddock.

In a strange coincidence, this albino – or ‘golden’ – haddock landed was nearly a year after the first specimen delivered to the Scalloway centre. And on both occasions it was local fishing boat Resilient which made the find.

NAFC Marine Centre technician Leanna Henderson said: “I have only ever seen two ‘golden’ haddock and it seems incredible that they were both caught by the same boat almost exactly a year apart.”

The previous ‘golden’ haddock was caught while fishing north of Unst and landed on 20th October 2016. That was the first one that anyone at the college had seen. The second albino haddock was caught this week, north of Fair Isle.

‘Golden’ haddock are very rare, although a handful have previously been caught around Britain and Ireland, and very little scientific information is available about the condition. It is thought to be caused by a genetic abnormality that means that the fish’s skin cells do not make any pigment.

Having grown to a length of about 45cm the haddock is thought to have been several years old.

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