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NAFC’s 20th birthday

THE NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Friday with special guests including Maritime and Coastguard Agency chief executive Sir Alan Massey and Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael.

They will be joined by a wide range of representatives from national maritime organisations, industry, academia and Shetland Islands Council.

The event is seeking to highlight the important role the NAFC plays in supporting the seafood sector locally, nationally and internationally through its research, testing, training and services.

NAFC’s interim director Willie Shannon said: “From humble beginnings, the NAFC Marine Centre has grown through the hard work of the staff here to become an institution that plays a huge and valuable role in supporting the seafood sector.

“That is recognised across the country, which is why we are delighted to be able to host so many distinguished guests for this celebratory event.

“But as well as marking the centre’s achievements, we will be looking forward to the next 20 years and to building on our strengths.”

Guests will hear from Shannon, Carmichael, vice-principal of the University of the Highlands and Islands professor Ian Bryden, head of the Merchant Navy Training Board Glenys Jackson and Shetland Catch chairman John Goodlad.

Jackson said: “The centre’s officer cadet training programmes have been very important in ensuring and maintaining maritime expertise within Shetland for the benefit of the local community and the Highlands and Islands generally, as well as to local shipping interests.”

Goodlad said: “Since its opening some 20 years ago the NAFC Marine Centre has underpinned much of the expansion, development and diversification of the Shetland seafood industry which has taken place over the last two decades.

“There is no question in my mind that the NAFC Marine Centre will be of even greater importance to the seafood industry over the next 20 years.”