UP to 5000 tonnes of fish oil and protein a year could be shipped through the Port of Inverness by 2014 following the resumption of operations by Fort William company Scanbio Scotland.
The firm, founded in 1997 by Chris Jones and two Norwegian partners, was badly hit by a fish by-product export ban imposed following the BSE and foot and mouth disease outbreaks.
However, it maintained its presence at the port and after extending its lease last year began a £50,000 refurbishment programme of its four tanks, one of which was damaged by an explosion in 2005.
In the past few weeks almost 1,000 tonnes of salmon oil worth £800,000 has been unloaded from the MV Scan Master.
Meanwhile, fish protein is being supplied to customers in the pig feed and pet food markets.
"We’ve had our operational base on Citadel Quay for 14 years and seen some very tough times, but with the support and help of the Port of Inverness staff we’ve come through it and are looking forward to the next 10 years," said Mr Jones.
"If all goes to plan, we expect to be moving annually around 4000 to 5000 tonnes of fish protein and oil through the Port of Inverness within a couple of years. I think we all have cause for optimism."
Port chief executive Sinclair Browne described it as "fantastic news".
"We are delighted to see this cargo coming to Inverness," he said. "We have worked closely with Scanbio throughout and it is great news that their faith in renewing the facility has paid off. I hope that this will be the first of many such cargos that Scanbio are able to bring through."