A RARE albino or “golden” haddock was landed at Lerwick Fish Market at the tail-end of last week.
The haddock was caught by local fishing boat the Resilient (LK195) while she was fishing around 45 miles to the north east of Unst.
NAFC Marine Centre technician Leanna Henderson explained that “golden” haddock have no pigment in their skin, meaning they lack the haddock’s normal colouration – including the distinctive black “thumb print”.
That leaves the fish almost completely white, but with a golden tint around its fins. Very little scientific information is available about the condition, but it is thought to be caused by a genetic abnormality that means the fish’s skin cells don’t make any pigment.
The lack of colour had not affected this particular haddock too much, as it had grown to a length of 56 centimetres and must have been several years old.
“Golden” haddock are very rare – neither Leanna nor anyone else at the NAFC had seen one before, although a handful have previously been caught around Britain and Ireland.