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Also in the news / Important marine mammal area, Shetland’s got talent, employability roadshow and orchestra concert

SHETLAND and Fair Isle have been awarded important marine mammal area (IMMA) status recognising the importance of local waters to mammals specifically to harbour porpoises, orcas, minke whale and humpback whale.

The submission to the Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force, a partnership of a number of globally operating conservation groups, was made my local wildlife experts Karen Hall, Hugh Harrop, Rachel Shucksmith, Emma Steel, Debbie Russell and Peter Evans.

The application was submitted with a wealth of citizen science data collated from the Shetland Orca Sightings Facebook page.

Responding to the news, Harrop said: “As can be seen from the map here, this sits alongside other amazing areas such as Baja California, Patagonia, Antarctica and Madagascar.

“So, to everyone who has submitted sightings records – whether you are a visitor, work on a ferry, are a fisherman or just observing from your house – thank you!

“You’ve helped showcase what we’ve always known – that Shetland is amazing for marine mammals, and we are so lucky to have that on our doorstep.”

THE POPULAR Shetland’s Got Talent event is now open for entries.

Organised by the local Cancer Research UK Relay for Life committee, participants will vie for a £250 prize.

Past shows have featured everything from poets to singers, contemporary and traditional dancers and actors. Judges Morag Mouat, Jenny Teale and Bryan Peterson are returning for a third year.

Relay of Life Shetland chair Kerry Llewellyn said: “Shetland’s Got Talent is always a great night of entertainment and we have so much fun putting the event on.”

Shetland’s Got Talent takes place on 20 April and tickets will become available from the Shetland Box office on Friday from 10am.

A COMMUNITY roadshow offering guidance to anyone looking for employment support will take place next week.

Council staff will be visiting five locations across Shetland next month to help anyone looking for work, including assistance with completing job applications, updating CVs, or improving their interview skills.

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The roadshow dates and venues are:

  • Monday 4 March  – Yell Leisure Centre, 2.30pm – 5pm
  • Tuesday 5 March  – South Mainland Leisure Centre, 2.30pm – 5pm
  • Wednesday 6 March  – Scalloway Leisure Centre, 2.30pm – 5pm
  • Thursday 7 March  – West Mainland Leisure Centre, 2.30pm – 5pm
  • Friday 8 March  – North Mainland Leisure Centre, 2.30pm – 5pm

Free transport and childcare available. For more info please contact the council on 01595 744490 or

SHETLAND Community Orchestra (SCO) and Shetland Youth Orchestra are joining forces this weekend to take the audience on a musical voyage around the globe.

The programme for Saturday’s concert includes a much-loved Beethoven symphony, a taste of Latin America and a journey into outer space with both orchestras combining to present Mars from Holst’s The Planets.

The SCO is also premiering a new piece – Past Chords – by local composer Aleks McKay.  Currently studying for a MA in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, McKay has composed in the classical, pop, videogame and jazz idioms.

The concert is on Saturday 2 March at Lerwick Baptist Church, Quoys, starting at 7.30pm.

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