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Council reorganises mussel fishery operation (09/09/11)
Falling sales and profitability have prompted the directors of Highland Fresh Mussels Ltd and The Highland Council to review the management structure of the Tain mussel fishery. As a result the decision has been taken to wind up the company that operates the mussel fishery and internalise the operation.
The Highland Council will take over the running of the operation during the next year and will review the situation during 2012.
Company Director and Chair of Highland Fresh Mussels Ltd, Highland Councillor Alasdair Rhind said: “Regrettably with landing levels at an all time low due to the recent poor mussel quality, the economic situation and strong competition from other mussel producers in the UK and Europe, the Board and Highland Council have taken the decision to wind up the company”.
“The operation of the mussel fishery will now revert back to The Highland Council which will monitor the quality of mussel beds over the coming months to see if the situation improves. This will safeguard the operation in the short term and, with improvements in mussel quality there is no reason why the fishery cannot contribute significantly to the Tain Common Good Fund once again”
Highland Fresh Mussels Ltd began trading in the financial year 1998/99 with 4 directors (3 Highland Councillors and a representative of the local community within the Royal Burgh of Tain). The Company has contributed £882,808.00 to Tain Common Good Fund since it was established in 1998.
The company was established to operate and manage the mussel fishery which forms part of Tain Common Good. The fishery had historically been run by Ross and Cromarty District Council until 1996. From then until the Company’s formation in 1998 the fishery had been run by the Highland Council.
In 2004 the company built a new fishing vessel “Gizzen Briggs” which was launched by HRH Princess Anne.