Fisheries working group given tour of SFO factory

Councillors prepare for a tour of the SFO plant.
Councillors prepare for a tour of the SFO plant.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Fisheries Working Group held its first meeting of 2014 in Fraserburgh last month, meeting at the premises of the Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation.

The group, which included councillors Ian Gray, Mike Roy, Brian Topping, Paul Johnston, and Charles Buchan later went on to the Council Chambers for formal business.

At the plant, however, they were given a tour of the factory and given a detailed and comprehensive presentation on the science and technology behind operations, the product, and plans for the future by Dale Bellamy, SFO manager.

Councillor Buchan, chair of the working group, commented later: “We saw some of the most advanced freezing and processing plant for nephrops in Scotland, in spotless and odourless premises, employing 39 staff.

“The plant has the capacity to process many tonnes of prawns per day, with emphasis on high-end large quality prawns mainly going for export. As it is a SFO facility, one of the company’s aims is to support the prawn market for fishermen members, which includes many local skippers.”

David Anderson, chair of the Scottish Association of Fish Producer Organisations, gave a presentation back the Chamber on the new landing obligation for fishermen which also included information on the percentage of transferability between species and possible markets for non-commercial catch. The working group was also pleased to hear that a high percentage of locally landed fish was going to school canteens.