Fish landed in Shetland could soon be on the menu of chip shops across the UK, on the back of a trade visit to the Lerwick fish market.
Some of Britain’s best young friers were invited north by Carlyn Kearney of Frankie’s Fish and Chips in Brae.
The six-strong group was hosted by Brian Isbister of Shetland Fish Producers’ Organisation and Martin Leyland of Shetland Seafood Auctions who gave them a tour of the Laurenson Quay building, including the electronic auction room.
The group was impressed by the size of the Shetland fishing industry and were impressed to learn that tightly-graded, fresh fish sold through the auctions could be part of the menu they offer to customers.
One of the vistors was Cem Oktem, who runs Packet Bridge Fish & Chips in Bolton-le-Sands, Lancashire. He said part of the problem was changing customers’ perceptions. “Whether it is frozen or fresh, the majority of people just want fish and chips.
“We will discuss introducing fresh, sustainably-caught fish in the group, but we know a huge part of it will have to be educating people.”
Ms Kearney was named young fish frier of the year in a national competition and the visitors had also been successful in the competition.
Mr Leyland said: “It has been good to see this young group visiting the market here in Shetland and being so open to trying new things. They are in many ways the future of this industry.”
Mr Isbister added: “I think we have a lot to offer in terms of the range of fish that are landed, in the accessibility through the electronic auction. Fishing is a vibrant industry in Shetland and we’ve been delighted to give these young men and women an insight into what goes on here.”