Seafood Shetland has won the Community Initiative category in the Crown Estate’s Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards for its “So Much To Sea” project.
The winners were unveiled at a ceremony in Prestonfield House in Edinburgh last night. The award was accepted on behalf of Seafood Shetland by Michael Tait of Shetland Mussels Ltd, the organisation’s shellfish growers vice-chairman.
Competing against some of the biggest names in the sector, the So Much to Sea project was recognised for its innovation and energy in creating a real awareness across the entire community of Shetland seafood as a healthy, fresh and natural food choice.
It was also commended for successfully generating a much greater appreciation of the value of the seafood and aquaculture sectors to the local economy.
Chief executive Ruth Henderson said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the So Much to Sea campaign has been recognised in this way.
“The project has established a strong foundation locally and key to this has been its accessible, inclusive and community-based approach, and the ability to put human faces and a sense of narrative behind the industry.”
The project, which was launched in the spring of 2014, reached the entire population of Shetland through a series of activities including popular community events, seafood tastings, a travelling exhibition, website and social media campaign, a specially commissioned film, as well as working in partnership with local schools.
Ms Henderson added: “It involved the co-operation of so many people who were willing to help and spread the word in the community about this significant industry.
“We appreciate the support of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) Axis 4 programme as well as help from the industry associations (Shetland Aquaculture Trust, Shetland Fish Producers Organisation, Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation, Hunter & Morrison Trust), who all helped to make the project a reality.
“We also thank Marian Armitage and James Martin for supporting the initiative by providing seafood tastings, and also Shaw Marketing and Design for developing and delivering the project.”
Meanwhile Scottish Sea Farms was named as best aquaculture company in the awards.
The company was shortlisted for six awards in total and also won the stewardship award in a joint entry with Marine Harvest.
Scottish Sea Farms is the second largest salmon farmer in Scotland and its sites include hatcheries, freshwater and marine locations in Shetland, Orkney and the west coast of Scotland.