Wester Ross team up with Iman for halal salmon

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Scottish salmon blessed for Muslim customers.

A salmon producer has teamed up with a member of the Shia community to cater for Muslim customers as featured in a news piece by BBC Radio Scotland.

Hatim Ameen, an Iman from Manchester, went to a site belonging to Wester Ross Fisheries in the middle of Loch Canaird. The salmon farmer is one the oldest owner-operated in Scotland.

Bare hands
It’s not an easy process as Ameen attempts to touch each slippery cold fish with his bare hands, saying a silent prayer each time. He then passes the salmon on to Wester Ross fisheries staff to be stunned and harvested.

He explains in the video that the ritual of silently saying “In the name of the God” is enough to make each salmon halal and fit for consumption by followers of Islam.

Hatim reckons he touches and blesses around 400 to 500 fish in a session. SCREENSHOT BBC

Blesses
Ameen said that he touches and blesses around 400 to 500 fish in a session.

The boss of Wester Ross Fisheries, Gilpin Bradley, told the BBC that the initial phone call from Ameen asking to come and bless salmon was a bit of a surprise at first.

Surprise
“We couldn’t quite believe the phone call from Hatim, and we didn’t fully appreciate what was involved in a blessing and that he wanted to bless every salmon, but to be honest our customers like the fact that we are accommodating for another particular requirement,” he said.

Their processing facility is in Dingwall and the halal batch will go to customers in Manchester, Leicester, London and Detroit.

The market for halal salmon is potenially lucrative, with a global population of 1.2 billion muslims who follow the strict dietry rules.