The Don Fishing Company, Seafood Ecosse and Denholm Seafoods have joined forces to launch a whitefish processing company in Scotland called Trinity Seafoods.

Based in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, the new business will produce “smaller-sized and under-utilised sustainable stocks of whitefish”, such as haddock.

It will sell fresh and frozen filleted fish fillets and “products for value-added ranges” to retail and wholesalers in the UK, the EU and unspecified markets further afield.

Focusing on processing smaller Scottish whitefish will help “[benefit] local and wider economy and making best-use of a sustainable resource”, a joint statement from the three companies read.

The company will be based in a refurbished facility that has been installed with a “highly automated” and “specially designed processing line” for dealing with small whitefish species.

It is unclear how much the three processors have invested in the new site. However, half of the purchase of Trinity Seafoods’ new facility was funded by a grant from the Scottish Government’s Marine Fund Scotland.

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A total of £4.8m was issued through grants ranging from £6,000 (£7480) to £1.16m to 33 companies based in north-east Scotland for the 2023-2024 period.

Trinity Seafood told Just Food it expects to produce “a small number of jobs”, stressing “the project is about trying to automatise production as much as possible”.

Denholm Seafoods is a processor and exporter of pelagic seafood, including herring and mackerel. The group has four European distribution sites in the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

Seafood Ecosse supplies fresh and frozen fish and seafood via two processing sites in Aberdeenshire, Peterhead and Fraserburgh. It exports its products through third-party partners to the US, the UK and thirteen EU countries, including Italy, France, Switzerland and Spain.

Don Fishing Company is involved both in fish sales, via auctions in Peterhead, Kinlochbervie and Scrabster, and the management of fishing vessels in north-east Scotland. It is also controls the marketing and sales of frozen-at-sea langoustines from the North Atlantic for “a number of Scottish fishing vessels”.

Commenting on the launch of Trinity Seafoods, David Leiper, the managing director of Seafood Ecosse, said: “This collaboration is an excellent example of how companies can work together for the greater good and develop markets for fish landing into Scotland.

“The new company and equipment offer direct benefits for the fishing and processing sectors and will boost many support businesses in the supply chain.”

Richard Duthie, the managing director at Denholm Seafoods, added the move would “benefit fishermen and processors, and ensure best use is made out of smaller sizes of sustainably caught whitefish”.