SHETLAND Islands Council has approved a £1.1 million loan allowing a Yell-based fishing company to order a new whitefish trawler as part of a funding package with the Clydesdale Bank.
The new 26 metre whitefish boat will replace the 20 year old Guardian Angell (LK272).
To be built at the Parkol Marine shipyard, in Whitby, the new vessel is expected to be ready for sea trials in August next year.
Working with a brand new vessel, the company hopes to save more than £50,000 per annum in fuel costs alone.
Skipper Michael Henderson said the shareholders have talked about building a new vessel for some time.
“Over the past 10 years we have invested heavily in fishing quota and have built up a substantial track record, most of which is landed in Shetland.
“Following this investment in quota we now feel that we are in a position to build a new vessel to take advantage of the fuel efficiencies,” he said.
Following a council meeting behind closed doors on Wednesday morning, SIC development committee chairman Alistair Cooper said such investments were essential for the future of the local fleet.
“I am pleased to see this successful business continue its strong commitment to whitefish catching by building a new vessel to join the Shetland fleet.
Without reinvestment such as this, the fleet cannot rejuvenate and be fit for purpose for the future,” he said.
Shetland Fishermen’s Association chief executive Simon Collins added that renewal of the fleet was “essential to take advantage of our very healthy fish stocks in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way”.