Seventeen new jobs are to be created in the fish processing industry in Shetland with the help of over £1 million in European grant aid, environment minister Mike Russell announced during a visit to coincide with Up-Helly-A’.
Lerwick Fish Traders, which currently employs 93 people full-time and six part-time, will take on another 10 staff for a new processing and grading line which will cost £1.4 million, of which £420,000 will come from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).
And Rossyew Ltd will employ six full-time and one part-time staff as it starts operations in Shetland for the first time. A processor of salmon waste and by-products, it is receiving £738,000 from the EFF towards the £1.23 million cost of buying and installing an oil separator, bone extractor, evaporator and other equipment in leased premises in Lerwick. The machinery will be used to extract useful oils and products from salmon off-cuts.
Mr Russell said: “I am delighted to be able to fast track EFF money to support two Shetland companies at a time when the island’s aquaculture sector is facing a time of particular uncertainty.
“The recent discovery of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) in the area has seen the local aquaculture industry experience a difficult few weeks.
“This investment and the jobs it will create and support will therefore be welcome news for both of these companies and for the Shetland community as a whole.”
Mr Russell said he hoped to be able to make further announcements about assistance to companies in fish producing sector in the weeks ahead.
Mr Russell met SIC convener Sandy Cluness and officials as well as representatives of the aquaculture industry to discuss the future development of the industry here as well as ISA.