Local jobs safe as Grading Systems changes hands

The flexi panel size-grading fish in a Shetland salmon cage. Photo: Grading Systems (UK)

PRODUCTION at a small manufacturing unit in Shetland could be expanded after an agreement was reached to sell the majority of shares in Grading Systems (UK) to Norwegian net maker Egersund.

Grading Systems produces the flexi panel, a simple but efficient fish grading device originally developed by salmon farmers in Shetland which is now also be used to grade trout, cod, sea bass and sea beam.

The company currently employs four people at its Vidlin workshop and has an annual turnover of £1.7 million.

The company’s owner Carsten Wangsmo confirmed that the flexi panel would continue to be produced in Shetland, and added that production was likely to grow thanks to Egersund’s much larger sales team.

“The goal is to increase the volume of production of flexi panels,” he said, while also securing the long-term future of the business.

“I am not retiring. I will be managing the business for another three years at least, but it is good to get some help on the sales,” he said.

The company is also diversifying into grading panels for more exotic fish species such tilapia, barramundi, cobia and yellow-tail.