NB: This article was written in 2018, and details have changed.
At the Lerwick fish market, the ground floor of a large dockside warehouse is almost covered with yellow boxes, piled on top of each other, and filled with the day’s white fish catch. It’s so chilly that you can see your breath while noting the differences of character between the fish: the dainty, bug-eyed whiting; the plaice, with their squished, comically cantankerous faces; the flat-headed, sharp-toothed, hideously ugly monkfish.
Upstairs, in a little room, twelve or so men are sitting in rows, as if in a classroom, staring at what look like a series of old-fashioned scoreboards. They’re local wholesale fish buyers, and they’re bidding via an electronic Dutch auction for their share of the yellow boxes downstairs. In those boxes are 50 or so tonnes of white fish, which have been dropped off by the local fleet of boats, many of whose names sound like team names on The Apprentice: Aspire, Opportune, Defiant, Prolific.