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Business / Fish processor opens doors at Gremista

Willum Tulloch (13), Maikum Tulloch (11) and John Martin Tulloch. Photo: Island Fish Shetland.

A NEW fish processing business opened in Lerwick on Wednesday in a venture that is planned to incorporate a retail shop by the end of the year.

Island Fish Shetland takes over part of the site once operated at Marina Business Park by Mcnabs Kippers, which closed its doors earlier this summer.

The first boxes of fish for the new business arrived this morning at the Gremista unit, which is leased from Lerwick Port Authority.

Owner John Martin Tulloch will be initially filleting fish for buyers and shipping the fillets south on their behalf. But he intends to buy, process and sell fish directly to buyers on the mainland as well as build up supply to local commercial retailers such as hotels and chip shops.

A further development will see the opening of a fish shop in the same unit as the processing business, with the two parts separated by a partition.

Tulloch, who has also been operating his own small fishing boat from Scalloway over the past few years, said: “This is our first day and everything seems to have gone fine.

“Basically at the moment we are a filleting service, but will be putting out the service to supply whole sale retailers.

“We will be buying locally caught white fish from local boats off the market and there are occasionally other boats that land there too.”

He said that big alterations had been made to the premises, with a thorough clean, overhaul and restructuring of Unit 1. Unit 2 has been taken on by another business.

What was Mcnab’s fish shop is now a store room, while the processing area at the back is split between the processing side and the retail shop, which still requires the installation of fridges, freezers, display cabinets and the like.

Another line will be the cooking of scraps and unsold fish for pet food.

The company has started up with one employee, filleter Michael Lipthorpe, but Tulloch hopes to take a few more people on once Island Fish Shetland has scaled up a bit.