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A fishing boat on guard duty on a calm day in the North Sea. Photo SFF Services

THE ORGANISATION that deploys Scottish fishing boats to protect oil and gas platforms in northern waters has been shortlisted for an environmental award.

And one of Shetland’s biggest salmon businesses has been shortlisted in six Scottish categories for the Crown Estate aquaculture awards.

SFF Services, a subsidiary of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, could win the Green Business of the Year category of the Scottish Business Awards.

The guard duty work for the offshore energy sector has been a godsend for a fishing industry operating under current days at sea restrictions, providing an additional income stream.

However it is their work making sure dolphins and whales are not disturbed by oil and gas developments, and at the same time monitoring their movements, that earned them an invitation to apply for the award.

SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said last year alone the organisation helped members gain an extra 9,000 non-fishing days at sea – the average annual catching effort for 65 fishing boats.

It has donated more than £800,000 to the Scottish Fishermen’s Trust for projects to protect fish stocks, including selective gear tests and on board scientific work.

Meanwhile salmon company Scottish Sea Farms, the second largest operator in Shetland, has been shortlisted in six categories of this year’s Crown Estate Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards.

The Norwegian-owned firm is in the running for the categories of community initiative, innovation, stewardship, aquaculture seafood product of the year, farm manager and aquaculture supplier of the year.

Scottish Sea Farms produces around 25,000 tonnes of salmon a year from sites in Shetland, Orkney and the west of Scotland. The company has processing facilities in Scalloway and Argyll.