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The salmon years – 1975 onwards


Zetland County Council Act (ZCC) – this gave the new Shetland Islands Council full control over the seas around Shetland – which proved to be integral to the development of Shetland’s future aquaculture industry.


First salmon smolts to sea.

In the 1980s, with public sector backing and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, the industry quickly gained momentum and, by 1989, over 60 salmon companies sprung up, owned by a mixture of crofters, engineers, fishermen and local businessmen.

In the early days, it was a high risk versus high reward equation. Prices were high but many of the biological challenges, that are now well known, had not yet been encountered. Fortunes were made and lost over the first decade of the industry.