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Business / Jobs boost as mussel firm expands

Photo: Ben Mullay

FOUR new jobs are expected to be created as a Yell mussel farm business expands.

C & A Thomason, from North Yell, has invested in new harvesting equipment with support of up to £70,380 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The company recently purchased a new mussel harvesting boat, and HIE’s money has supported the firm to purchase equipment for the deck of the vessel which will enable the company to clean and grade the mussels prior to landing.

The business currently has ten employees and produces around 480mt of mussels annually.

But HIE said the expansion will increase production to 600mt and will also create four new jobs.

C&A Thomason’s sustainably farmed mussels are processed in a factory at the pier and sold under the Shetland Select brand via Seaspray Shetland.

The mussels are mainly destined for the premium restaurant and hospitality sector, and they are sold throughout the UK and across the Middle East.

HIE Shetland’s development manager Catherine Hawick said: “The aquaculture sector is a significant contributor to the local economy in Shetland, helping to bring investment and sustain good quality jobs, particularly in our more rural areas.

“This project will help to safeguard ten jobs and create four new roles in North Yell.”

Christopher Thomason of C&A Thomason said: “We are very pleased with the new equipment we’ve purchased, which without the support of HIE could not have gone ahead.

“The equipment will ensure we can sustain our careful handling procedures to maintain quality standards and ensure our shellfish reaches our customers in peak condition.”

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