Shetland Catch caught out

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FISH processor Shetland Catch posted a 46 per cent plunge in turnover after its markets were flooded with cheaper mackerel from rivals in the Faroe Islands, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Turnover dropped to £48.7 million in the year to 31 March from £70.9m in the previous 12 months, forcing the firm to post a pre-tax loss of £6m compared with a £5.6m profit a year earlier.

The company’s bottom line was also hit by a £1.65m confiscation order and fine from the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency after Shetland Catch helped skippers to land “black fish” above their quotas between 2002 and 2005.

Writing in the directors’ report, company secretary Catherine Hawick said: “The loss this year is a direct result of the significant increase in mackerel prices, followed by an influx of high-volume, low-margin mackerel from Faroe into Shetland Catch’s usual markets.”