Also in the news / SMUHA online, seafood fund, gull proofing, Euroquiz and more…

Lerwick Up Helly Aa 2020.

TODAY is the day this year’s fire festival season draws to a close with the postponed South Mainland Up Helly Aa torchlit procession and burning of the galley taking place in Bigton and the St Ninian’s Isle beach tonight (Friday).

The climax of the SMUHA event, led by guizer jarl Jamie Laurenson, had to be postponed two weeks ago when it became clear that the severe wintry conditions at the time would make it unsafe to travel and impossible for buses to operate.

The spectacular event will be livestreamed by Promote Shetland here. Shetland News will also stream the event on our website. Light up is at 7.30pm.

Meanwhile the Westside Brownies and Scouts have been holding their own junior Up Helly Aa in the Walls today.

THE SCOTTISH Government has announced a £14 million fund seafood businesses and other marine organisations can apply to in 2023/24.


Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Marine Fund Scotland has been crucial in supporting marine businesses and projects over the past two years. I look forward to many more exciting and innovative initiatives benefiting from it over this coming year.

“This fund continues to be key in supporting the sustainable development of Scotland’s blue economy and will play an important role in enabling our marine and fisheries businesses to grow.”

Applications for funding can be submitted via a new web portal which will be live from 10am on from 11 April.

Marine Fund Scotland was established following the UK’s exit from the EU and replaces funding for the fishing and seafood sector previously available through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The laws on gull nest removal have changed significantly in the last few years. Photo: SIC

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SHETLAND Islands Council is asking anyone who thinks they may have a problem with nesting gulls in the coming weeks to get touch.

Gulls will soon start to mate and begin nest building, often on rooftops or chimneys.

They can be territorial and aggressive towards anyone near their nesting site, particularly once chicks have hatched, and early intervention is important.

The council’s environmental health team can provide advice on how to prevent gulls from building nests.

Removal of nests or eggs, which costs £108, is a last resort and only if proofing is not suitable. Residents are encouraged to gull proof their homes or get a professional to do so for them.

People can get in touch with the environmental health team on 01595 745250.

SHETLAND primary school pupils will take part in Euroquiz, the annual local heats of the Scotland-wide project, next week.


To prepare for the Scottish European Educational Trust event, pupils form teams and use resources to learn about a range of topics, including citizenship, current events, geography, world history, culture and languages.

Up to eight Shetland primary schools will take part in the local heat on Tuesday morning (28 March) at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick.

The winners of the local heat will go on to represent Shetland at the national final which will be held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

HIGHLANDS and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Zero Waste Scotland, and business transformation enterprise, Fuel Change are teaming up to launch a region-wide sustainability challenge to boost young workforce skills.

The Fuel Change Highlands and Islands Challenge, which starts in April, sets teams of young people between 16-24 real world problems based around sustainability themes.

Fully funded places are open to participants from Highlands and Islands businesses, community organisations, charities and UHI students.

More information on the challenge can be found here.

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