Hans J Marter
15 May, 2008
FISH processor Shetland Catch has recorded almost £4 million of pre tax losses
in 2006/07, only slightly better than the previous year.
disastrous performance over the last two years is largely the result of not
enough mackerel and herring being landed due to the fish quota pay back scheme.
But Shetland Catch yesterday (Wednesday) revealed that the company was back in
profit in the last financial year for which accounts were only now being
Early in 2007, the Scottish pelagic fleet was ordered by Europe to pay back
around 50,000 tonnes of mackerel that had been landed as black fish between 2001
Shetland's share in this is believed to be in the region of 20,000 tonnes. The
six year pay back scheme follows from raids made on pelagic factories in
Peterhead in Lerwick in autumn of 2005.
Shetland Catch accounts for 2006/07 show a turnover of £55 million with pre tax
losses of £3.9 million.
In a statement, managing director Simon Leiper said: "The year 2006/07 was
another difficult trading year due to adverse market conditions for both herring
"As a result, the company underwent a re-structuring process to strengthen its
position. This involved an injection of equity from existing shareholders,
Lerwick Port Authority and Shetland Fish Producers' Organisation, and also
fisheries group Austevoll Seafood ASA of Norway."
The company had announced the re-structuring in June last year, a move that
raised £2.7 million on equity from new and existing shareholders.
The move was seen by industry observers as a major step towards consolidation of
the pelagic processing industry in the wake of the over quota fish landings and
the subsequent payback regime imposed by Europe.
Mr Leiper added: "We are delighted to report that trading conditions have since
improved and the company will report a return to profit in 2007/08."
This, it is believed, is largely due to the fact that the majority of the over
quota fish has been paid back, but also thanks to successful experiments with
processing blue whiting for human consumption.
Shetland Catch is one of the largest private sector employers in the isles with
more than 100 staff on its books.