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so much to sea

SCOTTISH MUSSEL PRODUCTION VALUED AT £10.1 MILLION

Overall, Scottish mussel production is now at its highest ever, with a six per cent increase from 2016 to 2017 – from 7,732 tonnes to 8,232 tonnes, with an estimated value of £10.1 million according to the Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey 2017, published by Marine Scotland Science.

Shetland remains the most significant mussel producing area, representing 81 per cent of the overall total. Tonnage recorded for Shetland in 2017 has reached 6,647 tonnes, an increase of just under 17% from 5,686 in 2016.

There are 328 people employed in the industry across Scotland, 100 of which are in Shetland, covering full-time, part-time and casual roles, at the islands 133 active shellfish sites.

Commenting on the findings, chief executive of Seafood Shetland, Ruth Henderson, said: “When it comes to Scottish mussel production, Shetland is the key player, representing 81 per cent of the overall total.

“Our experienced and knowledgeable workforce has allowed us to sustain and grow this important industry over the last 40 years. It is a significant contributor to the islands’ economy, supporting our more fragile and remote communities.

“Going forward, we are committed to playing our part in Scotland Food and Drink’s ambitious plan to more than double the value of the farming, fishing, food and drink industry by 2030. To make that happen, we must ensure that we not only have a stable platform on which to grow, we must have the transport infrastructure in place to meet the needs of a growing industry. For that assurance, we look to Transport Scotland to make adequate provision in the new North Isles ferry tender.”