Keeping Shetland’s shores clean today, for a better tomorrow
With 900 miles of coastline to protect, Grieg Seafood Shetland is committed to keeping the islands’ beaches clean, through the annual Voar Redd Up.
“As users of the sea we are aware that a lot of debris on the beaches comes from the fisheries industries, including salmon farming.”
Grieg Seafood Shetland
"For thousands of years Shetlanders’ lives have been bound to the sea. Because of this, one of Grieg Seafood Shetland’s priorities is to protect the ocean and the shores that line it.
Grieg Seafood Shetland began participating in the Voar Redd Up in 2016, which is the UK’s most successful community litter pick. Over 20 percent of Shetland’s population takes part each year.
Grant Cumming, Managing Director of Grieg Seafood Shetland, says the event is a perfect fit for Grieg’s values and its employees.
“As users of the sea we are aware that a lot of debris on the beaches comes from the fisheries industries, including salmon farming,” Cumming explains, “and therefore we believe we have a moral duty to be involved in helping in the clean up.”
The Voar Redd Up is organized through the Shetland Amenity Trust, which Grieg Seafood works with not only for the clean up, but also for wildlife reporting.
Roughly 70 Grieg Seafood employees participate in the Voar Redd Up each year alongside hundreds of community volunteers across regions such as Wadbister, Scalloway, Gonfirth, Setterness, and Whalsay.
In two areas of Shetland, Grieg Seafood donates the use of their vessels to allow the retrieval of litter from beaches that are only accessible by boat. This gesture has gone a long way with some of the locals.
“Working side-by-side with community volunteers has allowed us to build new relationships with individuals who are particularly concerned about the environment,” Cumming says.
“We all have the same goal, which is clean oceans and beaches, and we take our responsibility to the environment seriously.”
REINFORCES GOOD PRACTICE
By participating in the Voar Redd Up each year, Grieg Seafood’s employees get to see the impact of their operations which affects how they work each day on their farms.
“As an industry we know we can have an impact on the amount of beach litter on our shores,” Cumming says. “If we don’t tidy up and secure equipment on our sites properly, it can quickly become flotsam and beach litter in a windy and exposed location like Shetland.”
“When we are cleaning beaches near our fish farms, it lets us see how effective we are at minimising impact on the environment, and this helps to reinforce good practise.”
Working smarter and more responsibly is why Cumming and his Grieg Shetland team will continue to play a big part in the Voar Redd Up each year. It’s a good team-building event that strengthens community ties while making a difference on Shetland’s shores.