Lerwick fish business winds up after 40 years

A long-established Lerwick business will close its doors on Friday after four decades of service.

James McNab, of McNabs Kippers, said the time had come to wind up the mainstay fish business, with money becoming increasingly tight.

“There’s no point in getting out on the bones of your arse. You’d rather get out with the shirt still on your back”, he said.

The decision comes less than a year after the firm’s Esplanade outlet was shut due to a drop-off in trade which had been connected by Mr McNab to the installation of controversial speed bumps along the street.

Besides Mr McNab and his sister Gena the company employs five people, set to lose their jobs.

Mr McNab estimated that the family had been working with fish for four or five generations, recalling early memories of his grandmother selling kippers from their home in Dunmore East, Ireland.

Mr McNab’s mother Rita opened the business in Shetland around 40 years ago, with its beginnings in huts on farmland near the Lerwick Hotel. This was affectionately branded the “Emmerdale” farm.

In 1998 the firm was one of two which set up in newly opened fish processing units at Gremista, funded by the Lerwick Harbour Trust (now Lerwick Port Authority) and Shetland Enterprise.

Nearly 20 years after that optimistic opening, the storied business is to close its final chapter.

“We kent it was in the air”, Mr McNab said, “we could see it was in the figures.”

• More in this week’s print edition of The Shetland Times.


Add Your Comment
  • Christopher Johnston

    • July 7th, 2018 18:21

    Seven more private sector jobs gone. I hope that they will be able to find new jobs in the private sector. Shetland relies too heavily on public employment.


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