Prospective candidates in the upcoming council elections (5th May 2022) are being asked to recognise the local fishing industry’s importance to the isles.
Shetland’s fishing fleet directly employs over 450 people and fish catching is worth at least £138 million pounds to the local economy every year – with additional economic benefits spread through families, communities, support sectors and Shetland’s wider supply chain.
Locally owned fishing vessels are also being increasingly recognised for their environmental credentials, with a progressively fuel-efficient fleet providing wild caught seafood at a lower carbon cost than nearly all other sources of protein.
Shetland Fishermen’s Association is inviting candidates to show support for Shetland’s fishing fleet by signing the FISH Pledge, thereby backing the broad aims and ambitions shared by local crews:
Fully recognise Shetland’s fishing industry as the foundation of our island economy
Improve SIC support for fishing science, net zero ambitions, innovation, and development
Safeguard our sustainable and climate-smart fishery for the good of generations to come
Highlight the community, environmental, nutritional, and cultural benefits of fishing
All 35 people who put themselves forward for election to become Shetland councillors next month will be able to sign the pledge, signalling their general support for the industry.
SFA Executive Officer Daniel Lawson said: “Shetland has done well to keep a modern, family-owned fleet at the heart of our island economy. With an average crew age of 38 years old, fishing supports families, households, and other businesses all over the isles – to the benefit of us all.
“Our whole community should be proud of its fishing crews, and all council candidates should take this chance to publicly show that support - and help secure fishing’s future potential.”
All Shetland Islands Council nominees will be contacted in the coming days, with signatories publicised via Shetland Fishermen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can check who is standing for election to represent your area here.