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Also in the news / Monkfish abundance, Viking shortlisted, salmon statistics and more …


MONKFISH appear to be abundant in local waters according to analysis of landing data collated by Dr Ian Napier of UHI Shetland.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association says the UHI’s work shows that the latest proposal by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) of cutting the quota for monkfish by 30 per cent in 2023 has no justification.

Fearing a major threat to the livelihoods of local fishermen, the SFA commissioned the research earlier this month after ICES listed monkfish as a ‘data deficient’ stock.

Executive officer Daniel Lawson said: “Shetland crews operate family-owned vessels and recognise that it is in their interest to protect sustainable fish stocks for the following generation.

“However, they do not see any justification for an additional 30 per cent cut to North Sea monkfish quotas when the species is evidently in good health.

SFA chairman James Anderson said this new data helped quantify the anecdotal evidence constantly reported by local crews.

“Shetland’s fleet has had concerns for many years with mismatched quota advice which causes needless economic harm to an essential part of our island economy, and a mental strain on fishing crews – who are left unable to catch important species despite an obvious abundance of stocks around Shetland,” he said.

THE COMMUNITY engagement strategy for the Viking Energy wind farm has been shortlisted for a category in this year’s Scottish Green Energy Awards.

As part of the strategy young people are seen a top priority stakeholder for the project owner SSE Renewables, which has developed a range of activities to tell the project and wider renewable energy story.

This included hosting a total of 29 visits from 15 schools so far, with 462 pupils attending the wind farm construction site.

Community engagement manager Julie Graham said: “Our engagement with young people in Shetland is something we are proud of and put a huge amount of team effort into. It allowed us to directly hear young people’s views and respond to their needs.”

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The awards will take place at the EICC in Edinburgh on Thursday 1 December.

PRODUCTION of farmed salmon in Shetland last year was up on 2020, both in volume and value.

Newly released figures showed that nearly 44,000 tonnes of salmon were produced in Shetland in 2021 compared to 40,749 the year before.

The value for 2021 was around £227 million, while in 2020 it was roughly £209 million.

In 2021 Shetland was the top performing region after North Coast & West Highlands.

Scottish salmon from Shetland makes up around 20 per cent of total Scottish salmon production.

A CHRISTMAS exhibition has opened at the Bonhoga Gallery.

The exhibition, which runs to 24 December, includes work from Gilly B, Howard Towll, Linda Newington, Billy Arthur, Diane Garrick and Kristi Tait.

Visitors will be able to browse and buy a selection of work from these artists, including prints, embroidery, paintings, photography and paper cuts.

RESIDENTS in the west of Shetland have been reminded to register to be able to vote in the forthcoming by-election which takes place on 17 November.

The deadline to register to vote for this by-election is midnight on Tuesday 1 November.  It takes around five minutes to register online here.

Meanwhile, the deadline for registered electors to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Wednesday 2 November, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on Wednesday 9 November.

For further local guidance on registering to vote or applying for a postal or proxy vote contact the Electoral Registration Office at 20 Commercial Road, Lerwick, Tel 01595 745700 or by email ero@shetland.gov.uk 

PEOPLE in Shetland are being encouraged to share their views on how qualifications and assessment should be reformed to ensure learners’ achievements are fairly recognised.

A consultation will inform an independent review currently underway. It invites opinions on:

  • the balance between exams and other forms of assessment
  • how a wider range of learners’ achievements can be recognised
  • potential uses of technology in assessment and qualifications
  • how to ensure that qualifications enable all learners, regardless of their circumstances, to demonstrate their strengths and achievements.

Professor Louise Hayward, who is leading the independent review, said: “We want to ensure that the ways in which we gather evidence about all learners’ achievements, awards and qualifications help every learner to transition positively into the next phase of life, be that in college, employment, university or voluntary work.

The consultation closes on 16 December and can be found here.

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