12 May 2016
Shetland was this week the host to Seafish, the industry authority on seafood, as its executive board spent three days meeting local fishermen and touring key facilities linked with the archipelago's seafood sector.
The 12 strong group was looked after by Gremista based pelagic fishing specialists Shetland Catch, The NAFC Marine Centre in Port Arthur and The Shetland Islands Council.
The visit commenced with a civic reception at Lerwick Town Hall, where Seafish Chairman Brian Young addressed guests and spoke on the importance of Shetland's thriving seafood industry to the Island's communities and the rest of the UK.
During their stay, Seafish board members and executive team were treated to a whistle-stop tour of the most celebrated seafood centres in Shetland. They started with a visit to the Lerwick Fish Market and Seafood Auction, where they met local seafood buyers and suppliers as they processed the morning's catch.
Other stops included Lerwick harbour, where the board spoke to fishermen as they prepared to head out to sea, the NAFC Marine Centre in Port Arthur, to get a taster of some of the ground breaking research being conducted at the facility, and a trip to Brae to see where Shetland's world famous mussels are farmed and processed.
Frankie's Fish and Chip Shop also welcomed the group for a delicious seafood lunch, giving them the opportunity to sample the shop's award winning fish and chips, before heading back to the NAFC Marine Centre for an official board meeting and dinner at Da Haaf Restaurant.
The visit concluded with a roundtable discussion chaired by Seafish and attended by regional industry leaders. Talks covered Seafish's ongoing commitment to supporting Shetland's seafood industry and the work being done to strengthen the bond between the body and the UK's most northerly fishing communities.
Brian Young, acting Seafish chairman said: "It is a real pleasure to visit one of the most beautiful parts of the UK and meet the people who make Shetland's seafood industry such an invaluable part of our sector. Shetland's fishing heritage is rich and diverse and we're looking forward to continuing our work with partners across the islands to cultivate, celebrate and preserve it for future generations. A huge thank you to everyone involved in the tour."
John Goodlad, Chair of Seafish's domestic and export panel and Chairman of Shetland Catch added: "We were very excited to host our Seafish colleagues and show off Shetland's dynamic and enterprising seafood industry. Ensuring our most northerly fishing communities are supported is an integral part of maintaining a healthy, lucrative seafood industry and in that respect the board's visit was a great success."
Marcus Coleman, CEO of Seafish also commented: "This visit will go a long way to helping us achieve the goals we have outlined in our Corporate Plan. We want to work with our partners in Shetland even more closely, to strengthen the region's links with the wider seafood supply chain and develop more bespoke exporting and importing opportunities to help Shetland's seafood industry grow."
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