What a rollercoaster ride itís been in October with one financial crisis after another! Hopefully things are now back on an even keel and normal business can resume in November. Throughout it all, Shetland Catch has been relatively unaffected. Our bank, DnB, werenít exposed to the sub-prime market so our facility remained intact. Currency fluctuations affected sales, just like everyone else, but the worst seems to have passed now.
We continued to buy mackerel through October as normal. The main fishing grounds were 8-10 hours away from our factory, halfway between Shetland and Norway. Sizes ranged between 400-460gms average and all our production was frozen whole round.
Sales of the larger mackerel to our usual markets in Europe & Russia have increased steadily since the middle of October and have been higher than normal for the smaller mackerel all season due to the high price for mackerel this year.
There was a welcome announcement at the end of last week that the 2009 mackerel quota will be increased by 33% for Norway, Faroe & EU and that Iceland has been severely reprimanded for their irresponsible mackerel fishing during the summer. This should mean that we have a better than expected winter season and will be able to offer our customers more mackerel for longer next year.
Shetland Catch is usually the best placed factory during the winter season when the mackerel fishing grounds are west of 4W. Most boats prefer to land to the closest factory when the weather isnít so good and fuel costs are high. This means we have the pick of the catch and can offer our customers the best quality mackerel available.
Happy Birthday wishes must go to our Managing Director, Simon Leiper, who has just turned 39. Next year will really be one to celebrate!!