THE AQUACULTURE industry received a welcome boost recently with an investment by the SIC into North Isles Marine Ltd.
The £370,000 loan to the Yell-based company will be used towards providing well boat services and will boost employment in the area, creating eight new jobs.
The company, owned by Burravoe couple Gilbert and Marianne Clark, recently acquired the MV Martin Saele which will be used to transport smolts and live fish, in grading and counting services and disinfection treatments.
The 32-metre vessel has been working in the salmon industry in Shetland waters for 10 years and was previously Norwegian owned.
Shetland Aquaculture general manager David Sandison welcomed the venture.
He said: “It is very positive to see a Shetland-owned company looking for opportunities to provide essential services to the salmon industry. Rather than contract in these services we should always look closer to home and encourage this type of development.”
The vessel will be skippered by Mr Clark, who said: “We are very pleased to have received financial backing to allow the business to begin trading. The vessel will be available predominantly to provide well boat services to Shetland and Scottish salmon producers and ensure that fish transported reach their destination, quickly, efficiently and in prime condition.”
The loan was granted in one lump sum and will be paid back over a timeframe of five years.
Council development committee chairman Josie Simpson said: “The project will create eight good quality jobs in the aquaculture industry and ensure that efficient fish transport services are available to salmon farming operators in Shetland.”