Prince Charles’ Royal Visit to the Shetland Islands marked the official opening of the new fish markets at Lerwick and Scalloway harbours
HRH The Duke of Rothesay yesterday (Friday 30 July) visited Lerwick to officially open the Shetland port’s replacement whitefish market.
In a joint plaque unveiling, the outdoor ceremony also marked the official opening of Shetland Islands Council’s new fish market in Scalloway.
Both facilities have been operational since mid-2020, when planned openings were postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
At the fish market, The Duke (Prince Charles) observed fish landings, toured the facilities, and visited the auction hall, meeting fishing industry representatives during the walk-around. The importance of both markets to Shetland’s economy was outlined in a speech by Brian Isbister, Chief Executive of Shetland Fish Producers Organisation.
The Duke unveiled two unique plaques made locally using a unique oak and resin technique, before signing the Visitor Book and being presented with a gift to commemorate the event.
Lerwick Port Authority Chairman, George Anderson, appointed earlier this month, said: “It is a great honour to host The Duke of Rothesay’s visit to open both markets. The visit coincides with the anniversary of the first landings and marks what has been a successful, if challenging, first year due to COVID.
“The construction of the Lerwick Fish Market was the climax of a lengthy, coordinated programme of projects, involving dredging and building quays, designed to future-proof the market’s role in helping to sustain and develop the fishing industry’s contribution to the Shetland economy.”
The £7.6 million state-of-the-art market, with first landings on 5 August 2020, brought a package of benefits for the industry following detailed discussions with stakeholders, including improving the quality of fish landed and sold, greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact.
The Port Authority’s investment was supported by European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and finance from Bank of Scotland.