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Local firm buys No Catch mussels

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Hans J Marter

25 July, 2008

THE SALE of assets belonging to the failed Shetland cod farming venture No Catch is almost complete after six of the company's mussel farming sites were bought by a local business.

Brae-based Blueshell Marine said yesterday (Thursday) the acquisition will help the company continue to grow and safeguard existing jobs.

Blueshell is one of the largest mussel farming businesses in Shetland, employing between 15 and 18 people depending on the season, and farming at 12 sites

The company hopes to become the first Scottish mussel producer to break through the 1,000 tonne production barrier this year.

Managing director Michael Laurenson said mussels from the newly acquired sites at Ronas Voe, Olnafirth and Lunna Ness would be harvested before the sites’ equipment was shipped to the German partner in the buy-out, Nordsee Muscheln GmbH.

He added that he had no immediate plans to develop the sites, but added that they would give the company the capacity to grow up to 2,000 tonnes of mussels annually.

"This is giving us an initial boost this year in the amount of mussels we can harvest. It will safeguard existing jobs and could lead to the creation of some new jobs in the future," he said.

A seventh mussel farming site belonging to No Catch has been sold to Scottish Sea Farms.

No Catch had to call in the administrators in February this year after accumulating debts of £40 million.

The company had set out to revolutionise the fish farming scene with the first organically grown cod in the world, but failed after three years in the business.

Administrator Grant Thornton confirmed yesterday that the sale of assets was now almost complete.

They are still busy harvesting the remaining cod and processing it at the Scalloway fish plant. This work is set to come to an end in October, after which the plant will be sold.

Grant Thornton have already started looking for potential buyers.

Most recent update - Monday, 28 July 2008 22:01
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