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Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands Mairi Gougeon was today (Monday May 16) visiting Macduff Shellfish’s new £4.6m factory on Goat Island in Stornoway harbour which opened last year.  

Macduff Shellfish has had a presence there since it acquired the old factory from Young’s Seafood’s in 2013.  Since then, it has invested significantly, partnering with local fishermen to financially support the development of the langoustine fishing fleet.  Macduff is focused on building the quantities and quality of langoustine being landed at Stornoway. 

The new facility enhances production processes and timescales enabling full production to be carried out in Stornoway rather than langoustines having to be sent to Macduff’s Mintlaw factory. 

Fresh, premium day-boat langoustines are now landed into the Stornoway port a five-minute drive away, hand-packed and passed through a new, state-of-the art impingement freezer in 25 minutes or less.  The Hebridean langoustines retain their vibrant orange colouring and firm texture for eating.

The new factory was made possible through a funding partnership between Stornoway Port Authority and Macduff Shellfish, with grant support through Marine Scotland and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). 

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “I am delighted to visit the Macduff Shellfish facility today and see at first-hand how this important investment in a key processing facility will enable fresh, premium shellfish to be processed locally through to final pack, and help ensure a continuing demand for high quality shellfish landed by the fishing fleet.

“Scotland’s seafood industry is a major success story, producing world-class, nutritious, low-carbon food that is enjoyed at home and abroad, with exports increasing by a £144 million compared to 2020 and contributing £1.3 billion to the Scottish economy annually in GVA.

“At the same time, our world-leading sustainable fisheries management plans demonstrate our commitment to supporting a resilient seafood sector which provides important employment opportunities across our coastal communities.”

Andrew Brown, director of sustainability and public affairs, at Macduff Shellfish, said: “Stornoway is crucially important to Macduff for the quality of the langoustines that are landed there and the relationships we’ve built up with local fishermen. 

“The new factory is a significant move for Macduff, enabling us to maintain and enhance the quality of Hebridean langoustines throughout our supply chain.  Hebridean provenance has significant appeal around the world and we sell langoustines to Australia, Asia and Southern Europe, with more markets set to follow.

“We are grateful to our partners in this project, Stornoway Port Authority, Marine Scotland and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for making it possible and to the fishermen who we work closely with on a day-to-day basis.”

Alex Macleod, Chief Executive at Stornoway Port Authority, said:“The overall £12 million investment in Newton Basin and Goat Island is testament to the implementation of our wider vision for the Stornoway Port Authority.

“We are delighted to see this project come to fruition with the opening of the new Macduff factory, which we believe will bring further investment and opportunities for the wider community and economy. We would like to thank all involved for making this development an overwhelming success.”