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Also in the news / Loganair change, Althing debate, Jarlshof stamp, sheep scab visit and much more…

A Loganair ATR42 aircraft arriving at Sumburgh. Photo: Shetland News

LOGANAIR has confirmed that the temporary stop-off in Kirkwall for Aberdeen-Sumburgh flights in the morning and evenings is to continue longer than anticipated due to ongoing delays with the delivery of new ATR-72 aircraft.

The service had been due to operate on a circular basis until 3 March, with Loganair blaming global supply chain issues, but that has now been extended to 15 March.

A spokesperson for the airline said: “The delays to the new aircraft we’re expecting are unfortunately as a result of an industry-wide issue, so we’ve focused on controlling what we can, and that’s maintaining the lifeline services we provide in the best way possible.

“We appreciate that schedule changes are never welcome, but the steps taken mean the number of daily services has not been impacted.”

ALTHING debating society is inviting the public to its next meeting on Saturday, where the topic for discussion will be: ‘Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.’

Ryan Taylor and John Smith will speak in favour of the motion while Moraig Lyall and Donald Anderson will take an opposing view.

The debate kicks off in the Lerwick Town Hall at 7.30pm. Entry is £2 with tea and biscuits provided.

JARLSHOF features in a new Royal Mail stamp collection making the history, impact and legacy of Vikings in Britain.

The Norse settlement, located near Sumburgh Airport, is one of eight locations which feature in the new collection.

The stamps, and a range of collectible products, are available to pre-order ahead of going on general sale from 20 February.

A DELEGATION from the Western Isles will be in Shetland next week to look at Shetland’s biosecurity arrangements in response to the increased risk of sheep scab in the isles.

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Crofters from Lewis and Harris and scientists from the James Hutton Institute will meet local representatives from the Shetland Animal Health Committee and local farmers and crofters to learn more about the steps that have been taken to protect Shetland’s sheep flocks.

There is an open invitation for anyone to meet representatives of the group between 1pm-2pm at the marts café at Staney Hill on Wednesday 21 February.

SIC veterinary advisor Hilary Burgess, said: “We look forward to seeing anyone who would like to share experiences with them too, so that we can all benefit from greater knowledge on this.”

Coasteering is the act of navigating a rocky coastline by walking, scrambling, jumping and swimming without the aid of boats, surf boards or other craft.

A SHETLAND coasteering business has seen significant growth and secured a new investor after the business owners accessed specialist advice and support from Business Gateway.

Launched in 2022, Sea Shetland is the most northerly coasteering touring business in the UK.  It specialises in coasteering – the act of navigating a rocky coastline by walking, scrambling, jumping and swimming without the aid of boats, surf boards or other craft.

The idea for Sea Shetland came from friends Adam Tait and Michael Arthur’s mutual love of coasteering together.

In addition to operating coasteering tours, the co-founders have brought in an investor and expanded their enterprise by acquiring Explore Shetland, which specialises in motorhome rentals.

Tait said: “The support and advice we’ve received from Business Gateway has been a huge help to us. “Being a rural business, it’s great to know that even way up in Shetland we can receive fantastic specialised support from them.”

Dr Nina Valentine

SCOTTISH Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) has appointed a new fisheries policy manager specialising in inshore catching, non-quota species, catch welfare and marine litter.

Dr Nina Valentine comes from a Shetland fishing family and has a masters degree in Mathematical Biology, and a PhD in mathematics from Dundee University.

“It has been a lot to take in, but I hit the ground running and have now got my teeth into all my responsibilities,” Dr Valentine said.

“I always wanted to work in a role where I could act as a bridge between fishermen, scientists and government, and the SFF allows me to do that.”

Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of SFF, said: “We are delighted to welcome Nina into the role. She brings both passion and expertise that will help us to represent our members’ interests in what are often challenging policy areas.

SCOTTISH salmon has been named as the UK’s top food export in 2023, following the publication of annual HMRC figures.

Sales of the fish grown in the waters off the Highlands and Islands increased by 0.5 per cent to £581 million in the calendar year.

Salmon is also by far the most popular fish among UK shoppers, with sales running at around £1.25 billion a year.

Salmon Scotland chief executive Tavish Scott said: “The Scottish salmon sector is a bright spot in the Scottish and UK economies, and is ready to invest and create jobs.

“This is all the more important given the UK is now officially in recession and there is no growth in Scotland, so we need more government support to ensure that Scotland is open for business.”

A STUDY is underway by development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to find out what demand there is for commercial property and land in the Highlands and Islands.

As part of the study, businesses, community groups and social enterprises with future land or property plans are encouraged to complete a short survey by 22 March.

The headline findings from this anonymous survey will be shared publicly to help better plan for future potential development regarding land, industrial workshop, laboratory or office space across the Highlands and Islands.

More information and the survey link is available here.


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