Tributes paid to innovative salt cod businessman

Tributes have been paid to the owner of the popular Thule Ventus salt fish business, David Polson – including from celebrity chef James Martin.

A fundraising campaign has been set up for brain tumour research in memory of Mr Polson, originally from Whalsay but living with his young family in Cunningsburgh, near to his business.

A tribute made by his partner Liz on a JustGiving fundraising page said: “Our beloved David, age 49, died peacefully surrounded by his heartbroken family and friends following a very short illness, borne with great dignity and a steely determination right up until his sudden passing.

“David had so much more life to live and had many plans for both himself and his family.  He was quite simply a good man.  David’s calm nature, intelligence, quick wit and humour were defining characteristics of his can do attitude.  

“His endless enthusiasm, determination, positivity and persistence was a unique quality and will be so desperately missed by us all. We were so blessed to have had David in our lives for  such a short time. He was the salt of the earth.”

It added: “Brain tumour research is underfunded in comparison to other cancers. Your donation will help to improve early diagnosis and research into Glioblastoma.”

More than £2,500 has so far been raised.

Meanwhile Taste of Shetland, on social media, said: “David’s untimely death has been a great shock and upset to all of us who were connected with his work at Shetland Food and Drink through Thule Ventus – Shetland Salt Fish – his innovative salt cod business.

“He took a simple traditional Shetland ingredient and turned it into a desirable and popular product. It was beautifully presented and marketed and was a joy to cook with.”

His products won awards and he made numerous appearances on TV, including appearances with Nick Nairn for Landward and James Martin’s Saturday Morning Kitchen.

James Martin told The Shetland Times: “I can’t quite believe the news I’ve heard regarding David, not only was he a passionate person loving his job, with such a knowledge and strived to place his product on a global stage.

“What was more so, he was a wonderful gentleman who I had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the years. My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends over this tragic news and I like many will miss him greatly.”


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