Local MSP Beatrice Wishart Visits Shetland Operations

Beatrice Wishart MSP, the Liberal Democrat Member of the Scottish Parliament for Shetland, today visited Cooke Aquaculture Scotland’s Shetland operations (Monday 19 July 2021).

The MSP toured our Vee Taing seawater site off Uyeasound in Unst and our packing station in Mid Yell, hosted by Shetland Regional Manager David Brown and Yell Packing Station Manager Christine Nicholson.

Beatrice Wishart MSP said:

“I enjoyed my visit to Cooke Aquaculture and learning about their operation. It’s many years since I was last out on a salmon farm and production has changed considerably since then including technological advances.

“The aquaculture sector and sustainable production of high-quality Shetland salmon is vital to our local economy.”

David Brown, Shetland Regional Manager for Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, said:

“We are grateful to Beatrice Wishart for taking the time to visit us so soon after the election.

“Beatrice is clearly already very knowledgeable of our sector and we appreciated having the opportunity to explain what we do and answer her questions.

“She got her feet wet and saw some beautiful salmon out on the water and then saw Label Rouge salmon going through the packing station destined for dinner tables in more than 16 countries worldwide.

“As a family-owned company having the support of the people who live on these islands is so important to us. It was nice that some of the 132 people we employ in Shetland got the chance to speak with her to explain what they do for us and how important aquaculture is to the lifeblood of the communities they live in.”

Ahead of the May 2021 Scottish Parliament elections, the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ manifesto said:

“We support the Scottish aquaculture industry and the high value it adds to its Scottish produce. We will support the industry to make continual improvements to production standards, and do all we can to smooth its route to international markets.”

And in July a report commissioned by Shetland Islands Council and completed by the respected Fraser of Allander Institute at Strathclyde University confirmed aquaculture remains the largest sector of the Shetland economy, worth more than £243m or 20% of the islands’ total economic output.