Stewart Crichton took over the management of the Stromness-based co-operative in 1993 when it was at a low ebb, and led the way with energy and vision into a new purpose-built factory and steady growth. It’s today one of the largest crab processors in the UK, also supplying live brown and velvet crabs and lobster across the world.
The OFS was the first crab processor to hold Marine Stewardship Council certification for brown crab, and is a key supporter of Orkney Sustainable Fisheries.
Backed by fishermen and processors across Orkney, Orkney Sustainable Fisheries Ltd employs 2 full-time marine scientists to collect data on stocks and provide advice for local fisheries management.
They’ve carried out local stock assessment, and they’ve also looked at the habitats of juvenile lobsters and the movement of juvenile scallops, and the size at which local brown crabs reach sexual maturity – thereby providing a good way of monitoring catches to make sure that Orkney brown crabs can have a least 3 spawning seasons before capture and removal from the fishery.