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Also in the news / Salmon processing upgrade, Weemin in Black vigil, deckhand trainees sought and more…

Scottish Sea Farms’ head of processing operations Donald Buchanan and his team. Photo: David Lipcsey

SALMON producer Scottish Sea Farms has completed a £2.5 million refit of its Lerwick processing facility, doubling capacity in Shetland to 50,000 tonnes annually.

The company acquired the facility at Gremista as part of its purchase of Grieg Seafood Shetland in December 2021, along with 16 active farms and a freshwater hatchery.

The objective was to streamline processing into one centre in Lerwick, according to head of processing operations Donald Buchanan.

“With a larger footprint and proximity to the ferry network, Lerwick made the obvious choice,” he said.

Now fully operational, the facility can handle 200 tonnes a day, compared with 100 tonnes before. There is also 40 per cent of the available floor space still available, allowing room for further growth.

As for the company’s Scalloway base, this will become a secondary harvesting hub during periods of peak volumes whilst supporting many of the company’s other farming activities.

A ‘WEEMIN in Black’ vigil will be held on the St Ninian’s beach in Bigton on Sunday to stand in solidarity for everyone suffering as a consequence of the violence in Palestine and Israel.

The event organised by the local Palestine solidarity committee will also be calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and the release of all hostages, while mourning the thousands of people who have been killed.

The Women in Black movement started in Jerusalem in January 1998, when a group of Israeli women, wearing black, stood in public places to protest against their government’s occupation of Palestine during the first intifada.

Leanne-Sydonie Goodlad of Palestinian Solidarity Shetland said: “This vigil will not be exclusive to women and all are welcome to attend.

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“We will emphasise and amplify the voices of women, such as Palestinian activists Ahed Tamimi, Bisan Owda and Plestia Alaqad, to demonstrate that women are more than voiceless victims. Join with us on Sunday to use our agency to stand up in an act of respectful solidarity for our shared desire for justice and peace.”

The vigil will take place from 1pm to 1.45pm and hot food will be provided inside afterwards.

THE SHETLAND Canoe Club (SCC) says it has been able to purchase new kayaks and cags (waterproof jackets) thanks to a grant from the Viking Community Fund, matched funded with money raised by the club.

The club has around 80 members from across Shetland and it offers trips and training to existing and new members.

The grant will allow the club to continue to support and widen participation in kayaking, remove financial barriers and support physical activity.

Without grant funding kayaking would be prohibitively expensive to most people, with the equipment needed coming to thousands of pounds.

SHETLAND Islands Council is recruiting to a number of trainee deckhand job vacancies, offering career-graded employment on its ferry fleet.

There are opportunities across different locations, with trainee posts advertised for Fetlar, Unst, Yell, Whalsay and Bressay.

The deadline for applications to these trainee posts is Friday 15 December. For more details visit here.

MAREEL says its cafe/bar hours are reverting back to a more normal service after staff shortages reduced opening times recently.

The cafe will be open during the day again Tuesday to Sunday, closing later at night on Fridays and Saturdays.

However, the venue said there are still no plans to open again on Mondays.

WINNERS of the recent Scots Trad Music Awards have been honoured in parliament by a motion from Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

Locally Shetland Folk Festival’s Mhari McLeman was named traditional music enabler of the year.

LERWICK based Realta Events Management has been named as Shetland’s best bespoke event management company at the 2023 Scottish Enterprise awards.

Run by Emma Miller, the company, undertook the project management for the hugely successful Tall Ships Races event this summer.

Miller said: “It’s been such a busy and exciting year with so much hard work going into the delivery of the Tall Ships event, while still managing other exciting contracts.

“Being recognised in these national awards is an honour and a welcome acknowledgement of the important services that my business provides on an ongoing basis for Shetland.”

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