Community / Tributes paid to food and drink stalwart who died after a short illness

David Polson won many national awards for the quality and taste of his Thule Ventus product.

TRIBUTES have been paid to local food entrepreneur David Polson who has died after a short illness, aged just 49.

David began his working career as a deckhand on the Whalsay ferry progressing to skipper. He went on quickly to hold various management positions throughout his career and formerly as marine superintendent with AquaShip.

David turned his hobby of salting cod into a successful business venture when he set up Thule Ventus in 2014.

A member of Shetland Food and Drink, his business Thule Ventus – Shetland Salt Cod won many national awards for its quality including Great Taste accolades in 2018, 2019 and in 2020.  David also won the platinum small producer award in 2021 at the Scottish Retail Food and Drinks Awards.


Chairperson of Shetland Food and Drink Marian Armitage said the news of David’s untimely death has been a great shock and upset to many people.

She said he had been “forward-looking and resilient; positive, but realistic and grounded”.

“He took a simple traditional Shetland ingredient and turned it into a desirable and popular product. It was beautifully presented and marketed and was a joy to cook with.

“David was clever and had great foresight with so many ideas for ways to develop his business and expand into other related products.

“He participated in many food festivals and events and accompanied us to shows and fairs over a period of years. His business was popular with journalists and visiting chefs and food writers loved his products.

“Our thoughts go out to his family who often helped and joined in at events. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News


Described as “one of life’s good people who had endless kindness”, David published a heartfelt opinion piece in Shetland News in which he called on the Shetland Charitable Trust to use some of its funds to ensure that no child in Shetland would ever go hungry again.

‘No bairn in Shetland should ever go hungry again’

David died peacefully and with great dignity surrounded by his family and friends. His widow Liz Clarke has now set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

“Brain tumour research is underfunded in comparison to other cancers. Your donation will help to improve early diagnosis and research into Glioblastoma,” she wrote on the fundraising page.

Donations can be made by following this link.



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.