What makes the island’s fish so different? Shetland, with its prime location in the fast-running seas of the North Atlantic, has a magnificent environment for the production of superior quality fish. Special attention is paid to this unique asset, to ensure the quality of the salmon matches the quality of its provenance.
Shetland has the unique advantage of being situated at the crossroads of the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea where wild waters churn up powerful currents to create ideal conditions for rearing fish that are strong and firm. This is as close to raw nature as you’ll get. It is this environment in which the fish are reared that gives Shetland’s salmon the edge. The clarity of the water and wild ocean currents makes all the difference for producing the full flavoured distinctive features of this superior quality fish.
Industry calculations often refer to how a cage contains 2 per cent fish and 98 per cent water. This is indeed the case. However, what is more important is that the water is continually flowing through the cage site.
Shetland’s waters are ideally suited to both small and large-scale farming. Better equipment allows farms to be situated away from the coastline with no inherent risk of fish losses or escapes. The much more exposed sites are located in deeper water which means larger cages and deeper nets can be used, and better water exchange occurs.
Once fully grown, salmon are quickly dispatched from farms to market or to factories for processing. Freshness is paramount and the key to this is time. Nowhere in Shetland is more than three miles from the sea and this means that processors and sales outlets receive the freshest of fish.
Shetland salmon farmers have achieved the perfect blend of environment and husbandry. The result: a fish with firm flesh and good colour that, whichever way it is prepared, will be welcomed with anticipation – a salmon farmed without compromise.