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Also in the news / Fishing protest march, port performance, language project, swimming club anniversary

Gill netting is causing ‘untold damage’ to the environment.

ORGANISERS of a protest march campaigning for a ban of gillnetting for boats over 15 metres in length are hoping for a good turnout on Saturday (1 October).

It is the second such protest after a group of around 20 local people gathered at Lerwick Market Cross in August.

Local Green politicians have joined forces with campaign group Fishing Forward UK demanding that industrial gillnetting in Shetland waters be stopped. Earlier this month Shetland Islands Council agreed to write to the Scottish Government to request a ban on the practice.

The fishing method by mainly Spanish and French vessels is threatening the islands’ fishing economy and causing untold damage to our marine environment, the campaigners say.

“If you care about the sustainability of our local fishing economy for future generations, if you care about the wild animals that get killed on a daily basis by gillnets – then please join us next Saturday,” they added.

Protesters will gather at Market Cross for a 12 noon start. They will march along Commercial Street to the Fort Café.

“Please bring banners, placards, family and friends and spread the message,” they said.


LERWICK Port Authority has reported an :increasingly positive performance” as Lerwick Harbour emerges from the Covid pandemic.

The company’s latest activity report, for the first half of 2022, shows that vessel arrivals were up 11 per cent to 2,187, with tonnage of shipping increasing by a strong 61 per cent to 5,954,570 gross tonnes.

Cargo for the six-month period to end June 2022 added up to 437,283 tonnes, an increase of 15 per cent, mainly due to the delivery of materials for the Viking Energy wind farm project.

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However, due to rising fuel prices and fish quota availability the number of fishing vessels arriving at the port dropped by 12 per cent.

Chief executive Captain Calum Grains said: “While there were up-and-downs across the various sectors in the first half of the year, there was a marked increase in traffic overall.

“With encouraging signs, we are making headway and maintaining our commitment to rebuild operations, with cruise traffic and decommissioning features of the period.


UHI Shetland is collaborating with the I Hear Dee project on a Shetland language plan to set out ways of how Shaetlan can be promoted.I Hear Dee is a local organisation working to raise the profile of Shaetlan as a fully viable language variety in its own right.

I Hear Dee is a local organisation working to raise the profile of Shaetlan as a fully viable language variety in its own right.

UHI Shetland said new education offers and research projects are in the pipeline, as well educational materials to support the use of Shaetlan in schools and other education settings.

Director of research, enterprise and impact Beth Mouat said: “Shaetlan is such an important part of our culture and identity as Shetlanders, and many don’t realise it is a language in its own right.”

Driving force behind the I Hear Dee project, Dr Viveka Velupillai, added: “It aims to normalise the use of Shaetlan in signage and learning, to include Shaetlan in the next Scottish census and to continue to celebrate Shaetlan as a minority language on the international stage.

“The Shaetlan Language Plan will help Shetlanders maintain, strengthen and promote their language.”


LERWICK Amateur Swimming Club is celebrating its 150th anniversary this coming weekend.

Believed to be one of the oldest clubs in Shetland, the swimming group will be holding an open competition at the Clickimin pool on Saturday, followed by a party in the Gulberwick Hall on Sunday afternoon.

Club secretary Norma Williamson said: “We are having display boards up with newspaper articles through the years, photos and other memorabilia.

“It couldn’t be a celebration without a cake, so we’ll have tea/coffee and cake too!”


HIGHLANDS and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has welcomed the UK Government’s support for businesses to combat rising energy bills.

The shadow business minister said: “The ongoing energy crisis caused by Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine has seen business and domestic bills rocket, and I welcome this important intervention from the UK Government.

“It will provide vital support to businesses across the United Kingdom, but particularly here in the Highlands and Islands where we already face considerable challenges because of our rurality and limited energy options.

“It follows the extremely welcome UK Treasury support for domestic customers announced a few weeks ago, and it is right that the UK Government has taken serious steps to support families and businesses – and to protect jobs and livelihoods – through the difficult few months ahead”.

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