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Seafood Shetland is today celebrating the news that it has won the ‘Community Initiative’ category at the Crown Estate’s Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards ceremony.

The winners were unveiled at the prestigious awards event which was held in Prestonfield House in Edinburgh last night (11 June 2015). The award was accepted on behalf of Seafood Shetland by Michael Tait of Shetland Mussels Ltd., Seafood Shetland’s shellfish growers’ vice-chairman.

The Aquaculture Awards are known for celebrating the best of the best in the industry and highlight the achievements of Scotland’s marine aquaculture businesses.

Competing against some of the biggest names in the sector, Seafood Shetland’s ‘So Much to Sea’ project was recognised for its innovation and energy in creating a real awareness across the entire community of Shetland seafood as a healthy, fresh and natural food choice. It was also commended for successfully generating a much greater appreciation of the value of the seafood and aquaculture sectors to the local economy.

Ruth Henderson, chief executive of Seafood Shetland said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the ‘So Much to Sea’ campaign has been recognised in this way. The project has established a strong foundation locally and key to this has been its accessible, inclusive and community-based approach, and the ability to put human faces and a sense of narrative behind the industry.”

The project, which was launched in spring 2014, reached the entire population of Shetland through a series of activities including popular community events, seafood tastings, a travelling exhibition, website and social media campaign, a specially commissioned film, as well as working in partnership with local schools.

Ruth Henderson continued: “It involved the co-operation of so many people who were willing to help and spread the word in the community about this significant industry. We appreciate the support of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) Axis 4 programme as well as help from the industry associations (Shetland Aquaculture Trust, Shetland Fish Producers Organisation, Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation, Hunter & Morrison Trust), who all helped to make the project a reality; as well as Marian Armitage and James Martin for supporting the initiative by providing seafood tastings, and also Shaw Marketing and Design for developing and delivering the project.”