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Companies Unite to Synchronise Stocking

SHETLAND - Five fish farming companies operating in the South West Shetland (Scalloway) area have signed a voluntary Area Management Agreement (AMA), which means that there will be synchronised stocking, to operate Scalloway as a single year class zone from 2010.

The agreement, signed by QA Fish Ltd, Scottish Sea Farms Ltd, Skelda Salmon Ltd, Shetland Fisheries Centre Ltd and Hjaltland Seafarms is a voluntary agreement that involves the companies working closer together in all aspects of the fish farming process to protect the environment and improve the health situation and welfare of the fish.

Managing director of Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK Ltd, Michael Stark, said: In a strategic move, Grieg Seafood Hjaltland and Scottish Sea Farms agreed to work towards improving bio security through acquiring other operators in the area in recent years.

From there, the companies concerned started working together to put in place an Area Management Agreement with a view to introducing a single year class zone at the earliest opportunity.

"With the voluntary early harvesting of stocks remaining in the area, the companies concerned have now taken the initiative to synchronise the fallowing of all sites in the Scalloway area to introduce the single class year from 2010," Mr Stark said.

"We believe that this is a significant step forward for the industry and such self-regulation demonstrates our commitment to acting responsibly to protect the environment and produce a first-class product," Michael Stark continues.

General manager of Shetland Aquaculture, David Sandison, said: "Shetland salmon has a great reputation in the marketplace. This reputation is rooted in the environment in which the fish is reared, good husbandry and business practices. We are always looking at ways to maintain and build on this success. "The signing of this agreement is just one part of a wider review of existing area management agreements in the Shetlands which will ensure that the industry as a whole is fit for the future."

the Fish Site Editor

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