Salmon Firm Helps Simmer Dim Shine On

by Raymond Notarangelo

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

An angling tradition which has raised thousands of pounds for charity is being preserved thanks to the support of a local salmon farming firm.

The Simmer Dim Charity Trout Fishing Competition, has been raising money for Cancer Shetland for the past nine years, and the event is set to raise more than £2,000 when it takes place later this year.

Organised by Davie McMillan, Shetland Freshwater Area Manager for Meridian Salmon Group and fellow employee Stephen Palmer, the event on Unst attracts locals as well as fishing enthusiasts from all over the country.

The competition is being sponsored through a £500 donation from Meridian Salmon Group, which encourages it employees, some from as far away as Cumbria, to enter.

Davie McMillan, said: “This really is a fantastic community event, which brings the locals together to help raise money for a charity which is close to the hearts of many of the locals.

“We first started this competition after speaking to friends, family and co-workers, all of whom had been touched by cancer, and we wanted to come up with a way to support Cancer Shetland, a service that has provided for so many we know and love.

“Without the support from our sponsors Meridian Salmon Group and of course the local people, the competition would not be the success it is and we would not have been able to raise the thousands of pounds we have so far.

“Last year we managed to raise a staggering £3,222 and we hope that this year we can at least match this total. But we can only do this if people really get behind the event and show their support on the day.”

Taking place on Saturday June 22, this year’s event will start at 8pm and finish at 8am, with competitors braving the elements for 12 hours overnight and experiencing the competition’s namesake, Simmer Dim, the nightlong twilight of the Northern Isles around midsummer.

Not a serious competition, the event still offers up the Simmer Dim Trophy Cup for the pair who, put together at random, collect the heaviest haul of trout.And alongside the Simmer Dim Cup Trophy, there are awards for heaviest haul in first, second and third places, as well as a prize for the winner of the heaviest fish.

The competition costs £10 to enter and all proceeds from the event are donated to charity.

As the competition is a fun fundraising event, there are penalties for those who do not stick to the rules, with £5 being charged for those late to weigh in, with fish that are too small and, or anyone who doesn’t act as safely as they could.

Davie said fines can be incurred for anything decided on by the organisers, and last year a couple of entrants were fined for spinning the wheels of their cars as they set off for the lochs.

This year 10 entrants from sponsors Meridian Salmon Group will take part in the competition.

Willie Young, Business Support Director at Meridian Salmon Group, said: “We are very fortunate to be in a position to support an event that is so important to the local community, especially when it is enjoyed by so many Meridian Salmon Group employees.

“It is important to us that we protect the culture and heritage of those we employ, and in supporting the Simmer Dim Charity Trout Fishing Competition we feel we are able to give back a little to those who do so much for us.”

Meridian Salmon Group is one of the top five salmon farming companies in Scotland, employing 350 people particularly in small communities in Shetland, Orkney and the West Coast. It operates at 61 sea sites and 19 freshwater sites across Scotland and Cumbria.

The firm is unique in that it operates a combined integration processes involving salmon breeding, hatchery, farming and processing, which gives the company total control over every stage of the production cycle, resulting in fish of consistently high quality.

Meridian Salmon Group’s investment and planned expansion in production is particularly crucial in Scotland, where it helps support an industry that directly employs 2124 people – and thousands more in the salmon supply chain.

In particular, hundreds of jobs and fragile rural, island economies are dependent on the salmon farming industry, which is now Scotland’s biggest food exporter and worth £1.4bn to the Scottish economy in the last four years.

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Raymond Notarangelo

Raymond Notarangelo, co-founded Scottish PR agency, Holyrood Partnership after spotting a gap for colourful and innovative public relations in Edinburgh. He now leads a team providing media relations, social media, video, photography, brand newsrooms, crisis communication and media relations.

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