Shetland has given salmon farmer Balazs Onhausz the opportunity to have “a life that’s everything I ever dreamed of”.
Balasz moved from Hungary 12 years ago to work in a fish processing factory, speaking no English and living with his friend’s father. Now, he works as a husbandry manager for Scottish Sea Farms, overseeing a series of cages filled with 35,000 salmon in a beautiful stretch of water off East Burra.
He’s also a keen motorcyclist, artist and slack-liner, known in Shetland for his daring stunts, often dressed in a SpiderMan costume. Having once scaled a 300-foot oil rig for a selfie, his next plan is to slackline between two cliffs at Eshaness for charity – a crossing of almost 40 metres with a similar drop. Most days he practises before work in the workshop at the salmon base, where the walls are covered with his graffiti-style pictures of sportspeople (Ronaldo, Jonah Lomu, Ferenc Puskás etc) on wooden crates.
“Shetland has allowed me to work in this beautiful place,” he says. “But, more than that, it’s allowed me to be me.”
For more stories of life in Shetland, visit the Why Shetland? section of this website.