Aquaculture for all

Shetland salmon to get 6.5m injection

SHETLAND - Shetland's largest salmon producer plans to invest 6.5m to increase output of value-added products such as smoked and marinated fish and to increase total salmon production by 33% this year to 20,000 tonnes.

Michael Stark, managing director of the Norway-owned group Hjaltland, said the investment programme would mean a near-doubling of employees.

He said the injection of capital would allow it to steal a march on its rivals by enabling it to harvest and prepare salmon in a day.

Stark said rivals typically send farmed salmon elsewhere to be processed, which reduces the shelf-life of the product by several days.

Some £3.6m will be spent this year extending the processing plant in Lerwick and around £3m will be spent on existing and new salmon farm sites. An average of £3m will be spent each year until 2011, he added.

Stark said: "We believe that to provide value-added products is the right thing for the industry. As soon as the extension is in operation, we will hire around 50 to 70 employees and that could increase to 150 over the next two years."

Source: The Scotsman