In Shetland, a community which depends upon fishing for its long-term economic future, the effective management of its fisheries has always been crucial. And, to this end, fishermen, fisheries associations and the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway have come together to implement a range of sustainable and environmentally conscious practices to conserve fish stocks.

This includes exploring sustainable fishing and fish farming techniques and providing advice to fishermen, careful management of the ecology, attention to quality control and ongoing training, research and development.

The modern, local fishing fleet consists of vessels owned and operated by their crew, and this arrangement ultimately means that fishermen take the utmost pride in the quality of their catch.

A quarter of all the fish and shellfish caught in British waters are caught within 50 miles of Shetland. As a result, more finfish is landed at the busy state-of-the-art fish markets at Shetland’s main ports of Lerwick and Scalloway, than in all of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland combined.

The development of an electronic auction system for white fish in Lerwick has involved the introduction of a weighing at sea system, while also supplying buyers with advance information on landings. Specific species are re-graded and re-weighed on both markets. Definite improvements have been seen in the quality of fish on the market and these standards have been achieved as a direct result of Shetland Seafood Quality Control’s evaluation of the fish being landed and the response by the boats to its regular reports. And there is potential to introduce other species such as shellfish, pelagic fish, and aquaculture products to the auction.

Fish farms and shellfish growers, too, are committed to ensuring a successful outlook for the industry and, similarly, adhere to codes of best practice which are established to ensure that – each and every step of the way – Shetland will continue to deliver top quality to its customers.

All year round, Shetland seafood is exported throughout the world. Excellent handling, processing and distribution methods – including integrated haulage and shipping services – guarantee that Shetland’s products arrive in prime condition.

Refrigerated containers are shipped daily from Shetland to the UK mainland, and then on to markets in the UK, Germany, France, Eastern Europe, United States, Japan, Russia and elsewhere. As the world gets to know the quality of Shetland seafood, the list is ever growing.