Quality and sustainability are paramount to Shetland Seafood Auctions as well as all other partners involved in the fishing industry in Shetland.
Fish Size Grading
Fishermen recognise the importance of size grading the different species. It is not possible for all boats to be able to grade all species onboard and therefore Shetland Seafood Auctions provide a weighing and grading service.
The table provides an approximate guide to grading by Shetland registered boats for the various species.
Sample weight checks are also carried out as part of government regulations, whereby 6% of all species landed is weighed and recorded. Both weighing and grading and sample weighing give buyers confidence when making their purchases.
Market Quality Assurance
Shetland Seafood Auctions initiated, through funding by Seafish, a project to focus on quality at the Shetland fish markets. This project resulted in a Quality Assurance Management System (QAMS) plan being devised and the creation of a Market Users Management Team (MUMT), whose members represent all users of the markets. Whilst it is the responsibility of all market users to adhere to QAMS, the implementation, monitoring, verification and enforcement of QAMS will be conducted by a qualified independent company.
Whitefish Quality Assurance
SSQC Ltd monitor and verify the White Fish Quality Improvement Scheme. This scheme involves regular quality inspections of the fish landed at the Shetland fish markets. The data recorded from the inspections is assessed against quality indicators which are then presented to the fishermen for action to be taken if necessary. The scheme encourages the fishermen to realise the importance of good product handling practises and bringing their catches to market at the peak of freshness.
The main function of the Marine Stewardship Council is to establish the required standard to be met for sustainable fishing. It is an independent non-profit organization which assess how well fisheries are being managed and sustained compared to the MSC standards.
Currently all haddock, saithe, plaice and hake sold through Shetland Seafood Auctions is MSC certified, unless stated otherwise on the catalogue.