Monday 24 June 2024
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Marine / ‘Sobering’ to see fluctuations in SIC harbour income, councillor says

A SENIOR councillor says it is “quite sobering” to see how how the level of income for the SIC’s harbour operations can change due to external factors – such as the impact of salmon processing moving out of Scalloway.

The council expects to bring in £4.7 million less than previously expected in 2023/24, with key reasons including fewer tankers at Sullom Voe and a reduction in landing fees in Scalloway due to a salmon company moving processing out of the village.

At a meeting of the SIC’s harbour board on Wednesday Shetland Central councillor Davie Sandison noted how “fluctuations and challenges” – such as Scottish Sea Farms moving salmon processing out of Scalloway and into Lerwick – affects the local authority’s harbour income.

As previously reported by Shetland News, the SIC is expected to lose out on more than £700,000 of income in the next financial year due to processing stopping in Scalloway.

This is because the SIC, which operates Blacksness Pier, is no longer receiving fees paid by Scottish Sea Farms for landing salmon at Scalloway.

The operator has consolidated its processing into its existing Lerwick facility, which has been revamped to provide more capacity.

Infrastructure director John Smith noted how the operator transports fish live in wellboats to the processing facility, so continuing to land in Scalloway was not an option.

He suggesting continuing to liaise with the salmon industry on future requirements from council ports.

The harbour board’s proposed budget for 2024/25 projects a surplus of £11.2 million.

Meanwhile the meeting heard that a roll-out of CCTV at the council’s small ports has been delayed.

A report to councillors said having CCTV at Scalloway Harbour “greatly assisted” with investigations into two incidents there.

This includes allegations of a skipper operating a vessel in an unsafe manner before being “verbally abusive” to investigating officers. This matter is still being looked into.

The report said due to the lack of CCTV elsewhere there was no video footage of incidents in Walls – where a yacht sank – and at Toft Pier, where an aquaculture vessel suffered damage from contact with the quay.

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