News / Fish farm moratorium, Shetland Youth Theatre and new water rates

HIGHLANDS and Islands Green list MSP John Finnie has reiterated his call for a moratorium on new fish farms ahead of a debate by the parliament’s rural economy committee into salmon farming in Scotland, on Wednesday.

Finnie, who is the Scottish Greens’ rural and island communities spokesman said that a temporary ban on new developments would give the industry and its regulators the time to control environmental pollution, high fish death rates and the impact of farmed fish disease on wild fish.

The committee has already come out against such a moratorium saying that there is insufficient evidence to justify such a step.

Disagreeing with this view, Finnie said that in his view all the evidence gathered by the inquiry pointed towards the need for a moratorium.

“In my view there is plentiful evidence that a moratorium is justified, to give the industry and regulators time to control environmental pollution, high fish death rates and the impact of farm fish disease on wild fish,” he said.


“Approving a ‘precautionary approach’ sounds good but in reality gives control to businesses and a government agency with little public trust.”

CELEBRATING its 25th anniversary, Shetland Youth Theatre is planning to bring Shakespeare’s The Tempest to the stage later this year, but is first offering a series of workshops to help develop the skills required to participate.

Over the years there have been major Shakespeare productions in Shetland – Romeo and Juliet performed in Leask’s old garage, Macbeth in Scalloway Castle and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Walls community garden.

A spokesperson for Shetland Arts said many people were terrified of Shakespeare whose plays are perceived as difficult and incomprehensible but who actually was a storyteller for the masses not the elite.

“So to start the project Shetland Arts will be running a series of workshops designed to make Shakespeare accessible to young people,” she said.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


The series of workshops are booked as a block and will allow participants to further develop their drama skills. They are on:

Sunday 24 February, 2pm – 5pm, Garrison Theatre
Sunday 3 March, 2pm – 5pm, Mareel Auditorium
Sunday 10 March, 2pm – 5pm, Garrison Theatre
Sunday 17 March, 2pm – 5pm, Mareel Auditorium

Tickets are available in person from Mareel, by phone on 01595 745500, or online at www.shetlandarts.org

HOUSEHOLD water charges in Shetand will remain among the lowest in Great Britain in the coming year.

Scottish Water on Thursday confirmed that an increase in household charges is again being limited to 1.6 per cent across all council tax bands – around £6 a year for the average household, providing stability in charges for customers.

It means the average Scottish Water household charge in 2019/20 will be £369 – around £1 a day.


Between 2015 and 2021, Scottish Water is investing over £3.5 billion in projects throughout Scotland to enhance the infrastructure of the country’s water and waste water services and to “ensure customer experience levels remain high.”

Chief executive Douglas Millican said: “We are absolutely focussed on continuing to deliver water and waste water services for our customers which are among the best value in the UK.

“In delivering 1.38 billion litres of drinking water to 2.5 million homes and 153,000 businesses, our water is at the heart of daily life in Scotland.”

He said Scottish Water was investing more than £600 million annually in its network – to make sure it is “robust and resilient” for decades to come.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.