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Fish F armer MARCH 2020

Memory Lane

MILLS AND BOOM Mowi’s feed success

Marking 20 years at the EAS

CREST OF A WAVE - best of the boats



Winning apprentices

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Editor’s Welcome


bservant readers may notice we have slightly changed the look of the opening pages of Fish Farmer this month. This is to accommodate even more content as we bring you news of industry developments, industry characters and industry views. In this issue, that includes an update on the boatbuilding sector in Scotland, growing in response to demand from fish and shellfish farmers. We also go inside Mowi’s impressive new feed plant on Skye, the first visitors invited to tour the factory, which is already delivering most of the company’s feed needs on the west coast of Scotland and beyond. And we report on an exciting farming innovation, still in the planning stage, from Scottish Sea Farms. Announced earlier this month, the proposal is to build this country’s first open What’s happening in aq ocean farm, growing fish in deeper, more exposed waters to both expand production and in the UK and around th What’s happening in aquacu farm more sustainably. The ambitious move was welcomed in the sector, not least by the in the UK and around the w rural economy minister Fergus Ewing, who described it as ‘exactly the kind of landmark JENNY JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR inward investment opportunity that Scotland needs to thrive and grow’. JENNY HJUL Ambition is also driving the salmon new vision for Scotland, yet to be unveiled JENNYsector’s HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR but apparently far reaching in its goals. Nothing, it seems, can hold back our aquaculture Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions businesses except, of course, Scotland’s regulatory system that somehow refuses to Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions be reformed, and that, according to oneTleading supplier, ‘prohibits’ innovati on. Ifsti the HE salmon farming sector in Scotland, when it was to he focus this month istopictures on Europe, the internati is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was lltold no offi cialonal industry is to form a consensus about anything itsubject should this: the status quo is not aninto be thewere ofbe a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced the industry willsent soon gathering for the (European salmon to news outlets just asjoint the Scotti sh news from the Scotti shScotland, parliamentary inquiry salmon farming sector in when itEAS was tosalmon he focus this month istopictures on Europe, the internati T HE is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal option for regulators. opportunity this would provide to explain how it operated. Aquaculture and WAS Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at (World the start of month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by thethis Rural Economy be the subject of aSociety) parliamentary inquiry, embraced industry willsent soon be gathering the EASinto (European salmon were to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti shthe news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry salmon Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had nothing to hide and, if given fair hearing, Meet thehealth new chief exe conference, to be staged over five days in theait southern images had this litt le to doprovide with theto current state of Scotland’s ficould sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five opportunity would explain how operated. Aquaculture Society) and WAS Aquaculture Society) parliament back to work at (World the start of month. These farming, went conducted earlier this year by thethis Rural Economy address much of the criti cism levelled against it. city of Montpellier. As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms where sea lice levels are in decline and, in fact, at a fi vemeeti ngs, in private, to consider their report and we must be Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had to hide and, if given fair hearing, Meet thehealth new chief executiv conference, to benothing staged over days in theaof southern images had litt le to do with thefive current state Scotland’s ficould sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five Fish Farmer supported this but at times salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsohas feature year low (htt p://scotti shsalmon.co.uk/monthly-sea-lice-reports). pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, their recommendati ons been address much of the criti cism levelled against it. city ofngs, As well asare highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice in decline and, inwe fact, at abe fivemeeti in private, tolevels consider their report and must farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions on emerging markets and look atinvolves the role ofthe fishusual This latest propaganda campaign, all made harder by leaks from within to anti -salmon Fish Farmer supported this atthe times salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsohas feature year low (htt p://scotti shsalmon.co.uk/monthly-sea-lice-reports). pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, theirbut recommendati ons been angling lobby, which had called foras the investi gatiRural on. But asngs the farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti anti -aquaculture suspects, came Holyrood’s Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4) farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions onpropaganda emerging markets and look atinvolves the role fishusual This campaign, allofthe madelatest harder by leaks from within the to anti -salmon sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat thethe social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the summer recess we to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom itgati suggests committ ee angling lobby, which had called for the investi on. But as farming inThe alleviati ngof poverty. Increasingly, industry ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy activists. latest these (see our news story onmeeti page 4) became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on it makes to global consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat the committ social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the summer recess we to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom it suggests ee Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977 food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that is toanti welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens cahoots with -farming Those who want toWe shut down thein asbe shut down this sector, rather than to those who operate became more misti c. now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability ofopti aquaculture and the contributi on ithave, makes toexpected, global consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to Also investi gati ngacti initi aties, veswhich inregard thenow developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry in a Dr favourable stepped their viti involve the within it.up food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that is tobreaching welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens cahoots with anti -farming Those who want to shut down thein asbe expected, shut down this sector, rather thanthe tohave, those who operate Meet the team Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about farming potenti al inthe Fish Farmer: Volume 43 Number 03 light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental biosecure environments of farm sitesindustry to snatch photographs in Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, in any case, Also investi gati ng initi ati ves in the developing world, Dr Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, regard the in a favourable stepped acti vitiish es,and which nowculti involve breaching the within it.up their Editorial Advisory Board: Nigeria, both in catf ti lapia vati on. responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. Onein committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Contact us Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental biosecure environments of farm sites tosomething snatch ingame Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and,photographs inofany case,ngthe Steve Bracken, Hervé Migaud, Jim Treasurer, In Scotland, the summer has been aofwaiti What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas growth that isfibeen sustainable. Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for minister, dead have always fortunate to have the support their Nigeria, both catf ish and tilapia culti vati on. responsibiliti seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in the hope of fies nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fiin ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Chris Mitchell, Jason Cleaversmith while the parliament is in recess and the members of Holyrood’s Fax: +44(0) 131 551especially 7901 If the committ ee members, those who have yet to of Phil fi sh at a Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. In Scotland, the summer has been something of a waiti ng game What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Thomas growth that isfibeen sustainable. campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, forto dead haveRural always fortunate to have the support of their minister, and Hamish Macdonell Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue weigh up Email: shfarmermagazine.com visit aparliament farm, like tothe learn more about theagainst of infested salmon in awould pen, but we only have his word that But itsalmon should not go unchallenged that some MSPs onsubject the REC while the isjhjul@fi in recess and members of Holyrood’s If the committ ee members, especially those who have yet to fi sh at a Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. the in their inquiry into salmon farming. We don’t expect Editor: Jenny Hjulevidence we have plenty of good stories in our May Even Ruraltheir and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue weigh up Head Offi ce: Special Publicati ons, Fett esto Park, of theinquiry, professional vets and biologists who manage theissue. welfare of committ ee, with their own against the growth of visit a Economy farm, like toagendas learn more about the ofthetime infested salmon in go awould but we only have his word against that Buttheir itsalmon should not unchallenged that some MSPs onsubject the REC report unti l pen, the autumn but hope the MSPs are using the Designer: Andrew the Balahura bett er, they could head to the Highlands later this month, where 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Wefor evidence in their inquiry into salmon farming. don’t expect these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of Code of Conduct MSPs. As they their wefully have plenty of good stories in ourgrowth May toinquiry, become acquainted with the facts about fithe shissue. farming. of the professional vets andagendas biologists who manage welfare of committ ee, with their own against the of theEven Commercial Manager: Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s theirthey report unti l the autumn but hope the MSPs areas using theittiis, meit Ifthey the is proud of its high standards, itsalmon says are inwill aindustry positi on to inflthe uence the future course of farming, bett er, could head to Highlands later this month, where This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Subscriptions Janice Johnston to become fully acquainted with the facts about fi sh farming. biggest fi sh farming show. must mount aaquaculture much more robustWe defence oftrouble itself, through its and of businesses vital toBracken. Scotland’s economy, we have a right Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod they will meet the industry en masse Scotland’s serving employee, Steve had no Subscripti ons Fish Farmer If the isto proud ofreti itsAddress: high standards, as itsalmon says itcollecti is, it ng are in aindustry positi on inflthe uence the future course ofat farming, jjohnston@fishfarmermagazine.com This month also sees rement of Marine Harvest’s longest will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inindustry, Aviemore and look representati ve body, the SSPO, than it has done to date. The toWe know who they are, and we hope the through its warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the biggest fi sh farming show. Magazine Subscripti ons,economy, Warners Group must a much more robustWe defence itself, through its and ofmount businesses vital toBracken. Scotland’s we have a right Publisher: Alisterserving Bennett employee, Steve had noof trouble collecti ng forward toand, seeing many of you there too. campaigners, we now see, willrest stop nothing, representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gate before milestone along with of the industry, thefarmers team will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inat Aviemore and look Publicati ons plc, The Malti ngs, West representati vethey body, the SSPO, than itthe has done tothrough date. The toWe know who are, and wethe hope industry, its at Fish warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the should be prepared toyou fivery ght back. the to REC report isall published. Farmer wish him the best for the future. Street, Bourne forward seeing many of there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gateatbefore Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet milestone and, along with the rest of thenothing, industry, thefarmers team Fish Lincolnshire PE10 9PH should prepared to fivery ght back. the RECbe report published. Farmer wish himisall the best for the future.

Conte Conten 4-15 4-14 News 4-15 4-14 News

Fair hearing French connection Farmers must fight back Uphold the code Fair hearing French connection Farmers must Uphold the codefight back

T I A T Hjul Jenny IA

16-21 16-17 16-22 Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary in 16-21 16-17 16-22 Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquir 22-23 18-19 24-27 Salmon market SSPO 22-23 18-19 24-27 Salmon market SSPO

24 20 20-21 28-29 BTA Shellfish Comment 24 20 20-21 28-29 BTA Shellfish Comment


Cover: Mowi’s Claes Jonermark at Kyleakin Photo: Angus Blackburn


Welcome - March.indd 3

Tel: +44 (0)1778 392014

ons: £75 a year www.fishfarmer-magazine.com nowSubscripti on @fishfarmermag Fish Farmer isUK ROW Subscripti ons: £95 www.fishupdate.com a year including Facebook and Twitter Fish Farmer is now postage on www.fishfarmermagazine.com - All Air Mailwww.fishfarmer-magazine.com www.fishupdate.com Facebook andthe Twitter Contact us Meet team

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26 22-23 30 Shellfi sh Comment BTA 26 22-23 30 BTA Shellfi sh Comment 28-31 24-25 32-33 SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Far 28-31 24-25 32-33 SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Shellfi shfiSea Cleaner sh Far Scottish Comment 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit Shellfi shfiSea Cleaner sh Farms Scottish Comment 13


Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit Advisory Board: Steve Contact Tel: +44(0) us 131 551 1000 MeetEditorial theJohnston team Subscription enquiries contact: Janice jjohnston@fi shfarmermagazine.com Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 or call 0044 131 551 7925 Migaud, Patrick Smith and Jim Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer and Fax: email: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, jhjul@fi shupdate.com Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowdsemail: William Dowds Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New player Dawn Migaud, PatrickJim Smith and Jim Hervé Patrick Smith, PatrickMigaud, Smith, Treasurer and 3 new Editor: Jenny Hjul jhjul@fi shupdate.com Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds Head Office: Special Publications, Dawn Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New player new Designer: Andrew Balahura Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, Editor: Jenny Hjul Advertising Manager: Team Leader: HeadEdinburgh, Office: Special Publications, EH5 2DL Designer: Andrew Balahura Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, Dave Edler 10/03/2020 11:02:17 Advertising Manager: Team Leader: Figure 9. Development of salmon nominal catch in sou

34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Comment Cleaner Orkneyvisitfish Farm 34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Comment Cleaner Orkneyvisitfish Farm

36-39 32-35 34-35 43-45 Wild salmon Cleaner fish decl Orkney IoA careers 36-39 32-35 34-35 43-45


Fish F armer

In the March issue... News

What’s happening in the UK and around the world

News Extra

20-21 22-23 24

Scotland’s first ocean farm Stewart Graham on regulatory reform Lantra Awards



Hamish Macdonell



Martin Jaffa



Nicki Holmyard



Alistair Lane on 20 years at the EAS



Behind the scenes at the mill



Afloat with aquaculture

Fish Vet Conference

54-55 56-57

Beyond Brexit Inspector calls



Scot Trout

Processing News


Points based immigration

What’s New


Monthly update


65 67

Murray Prentice John Payne

Industry Diary

All the latest aquaculture events, conferences and courses

Aqua Source Directory Opinion


Nick Joy

32 Contents March.indd 4

66 68-69

Find all you need for the industry






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United Kingdom News


Norway egg ban ‘opportune’ for Scottish broodstock

Above: Scotland is developing hatcheries

A BAN on the import of salmon eggs from Norway, introduced last summer, could be good news for the Scottish industry in the long term, sources said. Since the temporary salmon and trout ova ban came into force in June 2019, after fears over infectious salmon anaemia (ISA), farmers in Scotland have had to turn to other suppliers. Marine Scotland figures show that Norwegian firm AquaGen has lost much of its market share in the past year.The main beneficiary to date has been Iceland’s Stofnfiskur, owned by UK company Benchmark. Farmers have also sourced salmon eggs from Ireland, both north and south. But new facilities in Scotland, including AquaGen’s freshwater hatchery at Holywood near Dumfries,

should be able to supply much of Scotland’s needs in the future. ‘For a number of players in the market, this is quite opportune and it would be a good news story if broodstock is moved back to Scotland,’ said an industry insider.‘The capacity is here and there are people here looking to increase capacity accordingly.’ Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Rural Economy minister, said last year that the development of AquaGen’s Scottish hatchery, formerly owned by Scottish Sea Farms, supported the aims of Scotland’s 10 Year Farmed Fish Health Framework,‘helping to improve the security of Scotland’s ova supply’. AquaGen said the investment in Scotland provided customers with a secure supply of eggs and opened up the possibility of supplying these eggs from locally grown broodstock. AquaGen CEO Nina Santi said last March that the company was planning a series of upgrades, and longer term it hoped to extend to year-round production to up to 50 million eggs. Other companies providing salmon ova in Scotland include Hendrix Genetics, which has its own broodstock and supplies the Scottish Salmon Company’s Native Hebridean broodstock programme. In the past, Hendrix criticised Scottish ministers for not banning imported eggs from Norway, after the Norwegians stopped the import

of Scottish ova, citing concerns over the genetic mixing of escaped farmed salmon. A Marine Scotland spokesman said:‘Since the suspension of imports from Norway, new salmon hatchery facilities have come on stream in Scotland, supplying much of Scotland’s ova needs. ‘In addition, Scottish fish farmers continue to use their own broodstock and are importing more ova from elsewhere, including Iceland which operates within an approved zone free from listed disease. ‘We are confident Scotland’s aquaculture industry has access to an adequate supply of salmon ova and don’t expect any impact on production in 2021 and 2022.’ A spokesman for the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) said although there had been sector wide discussion when the ban was first introduced, it had not been an issue since. ‘It hasn’t been a problem as yet and nobody is perceiving it as being a problem for the sector going forward,’ the SSPO spokesman said. ‘There are other suppliers that are continuing to provide ova and there is no worldwide shortage. It is business as usual.’ The restrictions follow an EFTA inspection in May last year and relate to the certification of aquatic animals from ISA free compartments and do not relate to all exports, according to the Scottish government.

Cooke’s new salmon farm brings Orkney jobs boost willing to take me on, but wanted me to stay on at school to do my exams. FIVE full-time, permanent jobs have been created by Cooke Aquaculture’s So I’m starting as a casual worker until the summer and then I’ll become a new organic salmon farm in Orkney, which starts production in the spring. full-time member of the team. And there are hopes that the number of direct and indirect jobs will ‘There are not that many career opportunities on the island so it’s great increase once a second site opens in 2021, the company said. to know that I have a long-term career which lets me stay on Stronsay Four residents from Stronsay have been recruited and successfully before I’ve left school..’ completed their induction with Cooke at the company’s Kirkwall base last Mill Bay site manager Norman Peace has been with Cooke for six years, month.The recruits will now spend time at Cooke’s other seawater sites, in preparation for managing the new salmon farm located at Mill Bay to the and was a senior site assistant on Rousay before being promoted to lead the new Stronsay site. He said: ‘This is my first site management post so it’s east of the island. my job to train these guys up. The company provides lots of opportunities The farm is expected to take delivery of its first intake of organic salmon to work your way up or move to different roles, smolts in the spring. lots of options for you to develop your career.’ The Stronsay team bring a mix of skills and A second site – Bay of Holland – received planexperience, with some having worked as creel ning consent and is expected to be operational in fishermen, but all of them new to salmon farming. 2021, providing a further four seawater jobs for One of the new recruits, Johnny Smith, is Stronsay. starting as a casual worker until he completes his Both sites will comprise 16 pens and a school studies and becomes a permanent, full300-tonne semi-automated feed barge, and will time member of staff. be stocked with salmon smolts that have been He said: ‘I’m in fifth year at Kirkwall Grammar bred organically, at Cooke’s freshwater sites on School but I didn’t want to pass up the opportuthe Scottish mainland, to strict RSPCA and Soil nity to join the aquaculture sector. Association rules. ‘After I applied, the people at Cooke were Above: Cooke’s Stronsay team


UK news.indd 6


10/03/2020 11:11:12

Gael Force Group.indd 7

10/03/2020 10:19:39

United Kingdom News

Ace Aquatec to lead humane slaughter project Royal honour for Stirling’s ‘world class’

Institute of Aquaculture

Above: Ace Aquatec’s Mike Forbes and Nathan Pyne-Carter

ACE Aquatec is to head a research project to find more humane slaughter methods for species such as tilapia and catfish. The Dundee based company, which has pioneered the electrical stunning of finfish, is leading one of three welfare initiatives announced by the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA). The two other projects involve research and development to improve the welfare of crustaceans and cephalopods at slaughter. The HSA said the research awards, worth £1.93 million, will help test methods that could be used to humanely stun the target species on an industrial scale. The research teams will also assess the commercial viability of the proposed methods and their effects on the quality of the flesh of the slaughtered species. The HSA said the funding, made possible by a generous donation, comes as concern for the welfare of these type of animals has grown. ‘Worldwide, thousands of millions of farmed fish, farmed or wild caught crustaceans (eg crabs and lobsters) and cephalopods (eg octopus, cuttlefish and squid) are slaughtered for food every year, many of them by methods that may not be humane,’ said the HSA. ‘There is good evidence that finfish may be able to experience fear and pain and the most common methods of slaughter are likely to expose them to substantial suffering over a prolonged period of time. ‘Many species of farmed fish are typically killed by being taken out of water and left to asphyxiate in air, or fish might be chilled on ice slurry or gutted while conscious.’ Ace Aquatec’s award winning, in-water stunning system, Humane Stunner Universal, renders fish unconscious in less than one second and is used by major salmon farmers worldwide. The new project will focus on inducing immediate unconsciousness in Nile tilapia, pangasius, gilthead sea bream, yellowtail and possibly carp. It will attempt to non-invasively record fish brain activity in response to stunning (science is currently lacking such welfare data for some of these species). The project will also consider the potential of a novel type of electrical stunning, SPUC (single pulse ultra-high current), for further improving fish welfare at slaughter. Nathan Pyne-Carter, managing director of Ace Aquatec, said:‘Our project is a collaboration with Silsoe Livestock Systems, Steve Wotton and the Universities of Bristol and Stirling and IRTA (Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology, Catalonia). ‘The three-year project will implement in-water electrical stunning in large volume finfish aquaculture industries where current killing methods fail to protect fish welfare.’ The two other research projects will focus on the stunning and killing of commercial species of crabs and lobsters (led by Nofima); and the humane slaughter of cephalopods (led by the Association for Cephalopod Research, CephRes).

STIRLING’S Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) was presented with the UK’s highest academic honour by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace last month. The Queen’s Anniversary Prize recognises outstanding work that shows quality and innovation, and delivers real benefit to the wider world through education and training. Professor Selina Stead, head of the IoA, and Professor Gerry McCormac, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, collected the award. The recognition celebrates the IoA and its pioneering work in the world’s fastest growing food production sector in a bid to tackle global hunger. It comes as the institute prepares to mark its 40th anniversary next year with a major redevelopment of its facilities, funded under the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal. Professor Stead said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that the University of Stirling has received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, in recognition of the work of our Institute of Aquaculture. ‘This reflects the collaborative and inter-disciplinary work our team has taken over the past 40 years – with governments, regulatory bodies, industry, fish farmers and supply chains – to tackle global problems of food security, hunger and sustainability. ‘Over the coming years, with investment through the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, we will build upon these successes and further enhance our research and teaching offering to ensure that the Institute of Aquaculture remains a global leader in its field.’ McCormac added: ‘Our experts are working to tackle global problems of food security, hunger and sustainability through aquaculture – and have a global reputation for teaching, world class research, technological innovation and consultancy within the sector. ‘This award is recognition of the hard work and dedication of our team in the institute, as well as within the wider university.’ The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is managed by the Royal Anniversary Trust, established to create a national programme of educational activities and other events marking the 40th anniversary of the Queen’s accession in 1992, and in appreciation of her many years of service as head of state.

Scottish Salmon Company hires former Mowi boss


UK news.indd 8

Above: Professors McCormac and Stead at Buckingham Palace


10/03/2020 11:13:11

All the latest industry news from the UK

New wrasse hatchery ‘start of the journey’

Majority of salmon farms environmentally ‘excellent’

where we are stocking our new dedicated recirculation hatchery in Angelsey, North Wales. ‘This is important, not only for a guaranteed supply here in Scotland, but also to eventually supply other Mowi sites and external customers. ‘This is very much the start of the journey and the challenge now is to take everything we Above: Mowi’s management team in have learned over the Anglesey, Sebastian, Dan and Charlie last 10 years and apply THE first batch of wrasse it to large scale wrasse eggs were delivered to Mowi production. Scotland’s newly rebuilt wrasse ‘This was a really great team recirculation unit in Anglesey effort involving staff from last month. Machrihanish, Anglesey and The company bought the Norway, with support from Steformer sea bass farm known as phen McCaig, our construction Anglesey Aquaculture in 2017, manager, on the build itself. to increase its supply of cleaner ‘Special thanks must also fish. go to Stirling University, who Dougie Hunter, Mowi’s technihelped keep the initial R&D cal director, told the company’s project on track.’ newsletter,The Scoop:‘After Mowi also owns the neighmany years of research and bouring lumpfish farm in small production batches, we Anglesey, which it bought from have now reached the point Ocean Matters last year.

SOME 87 per cent of Scotland’s salmon farms have been rated environmentally ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ by regulators, new statistics show. Farmers achieved their best ever environmental performance in 2018, according to figures collected for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (Sepa’s) Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS). The scheme is used by Sepa to monitor performance across a range of industries and sectors. The results have been welcomed by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) as ‘demonstrating the sector’s commitment to robust environmental standards’. Sepa assessed the performance of 296 farms in 2018, which showed a 38 per cent increase in the number of farms achieving an ‘excellent’ rating (183 farms) and a 10 per cent increase in the number of farms achieving ‘good’ (74) compared to 2017. Overall, 258 out of the 296 farms were compliant.The number of sites rated ‘poor’ dropped by 32 per cent to 38 farms. Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the SSPO, said:‘These statistics are very good news for Scottish salmon farming. They represent the significant and ongoing effort and investment to improve environmental performance and I’m delighted that this continued focus on environmental stewardship is delivering positive results. ‘As a sector, we fully recognise that a strong environmental performance is key to successful salmon farming and we want to demonstrate publicly our commitment to responsible performance.

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10/03/2020 11:19:13

United Kingdom News

fair connects students to industry Scottish salmon exports soar to £618m Careers in passing on their the private and public THIS year’s annual Aquaculture Careers Event, organised by Stirling University’s Institute of Aquaculture (IoA), is to take place on April 20 at the Stirling Court Hotel. The aim of the event – called #ACE2020 – is to connect students, particularly those at postgraduate level, with the wider industry, providing an opportunity for the next generation of aquaculture professionals to explore different career paths. Past events have attracted speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds, both in

SCOTTISH farmed salmon exports were worth a record £618 million in 2019, up 22 per cent on the previous year, according to new figures published last month.The tonnage exported also increased, by 26 per cent to more than 94,000 tonnes. Exports grew in 17 of the top 20 markets, with France, the US and China remaining the biggest destinations. A total of 54 countries imported Scottish salmon, HMRC statistics show. For the third year running, France emerged as the largest market, with sales worth £221 million, followed by the US (£179 million), and China (£59 million). The EU accounted for 56 per cent of the volume of global Scottish salmon exports and 52 per cent of the value. Outside the EU, America saw growth in volume of 28 per cent year on year, with exports of 25,000 tonnes. While there was a decline in exports to China of 11 per cent in volume, this was offset by growth elsewhere in Asia, to countries including Taiwan and Japan, resulting in almost £97 million worth of Scottish salmon exported to the region. Julie Hesketh-Laird, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, said: ‘These figures demonstrate just what an extraordinary success Scottish salmon is. ‘Such record breaking performance is hugely encouraging and reflects the excellent reputation which Scottish salmon has in international markets. ‘Scottish salmon’s good environmental story, with its small carbon footprint and low water use, plus global recognition of its taste, quality and provenance is clearly understood in almost every corner of the globe. ‘Salmon’s continued export success sustains more than 2,300 jobs in Scotland, mostly in sparsely populated rural areas. ‘This success has led to substantial sums being re-invested into local communities, providing much needed employment and economic support.’ She added: ‘These latest export successes represent a trail blazer for other Scottish food overseas and provide a further reminder of the importance of salmon, both to the Scottish economy and to the food and drink sector.’


UK news.indd 10

sectors, within the industry and in academia and research. Organised by students at the IoA, the careers day also includes an exhibition, which in previous years has proved to be an invaluable networking experience for all involved. Chris Payne of the Aquaculture Students Association said this year they are looking for companies that represent the global aquaculture industry to take stands at the event. ‘These companies will be instrumental

knowledge and experience to UK and international students, of the many career paths that are available to them within this exciting sector,’ he said. ‘We are really keen to have companies that specialise in areas related to health, genetics, processing, environmental management, legislation, nutrition or production within the aquaculture sector.’ Fish Farmer will have its own stall at the exhibition for the first time this year and looks forward to meeting new and current readers. The Aquaculture Careers Event will be followed by a skills development day, to be held on April 21 at the same venue. For further information about the careers day, contact aqua.students.assoc.stirling@ gmail.com.

Young chefs win starring role at Brussels expo TWO teenage students have won a trip to the world’s biggest seafood show, where they will prepare salmon dishes for Scottish farmer Loch Duart. Jaypee Escaro, 18, from Stevenage, and Michael Brown, 18, from Letchworth Garden City, are both Level 3 students on the advanced diploma in professional cookery course at North Hertfordshire college. They took part in a competition organised by Loch Duart’s food ambassador, Patrick Evans, who challenged students at several colleges to submit recipes and photos of canapes they had created with Loch Duart salmon. ‘We love the opportunity to work with and support young ambitious chefs,’ said Evans.‘By creating this challenge, Loch Duart is giving the winning students, Jaypee and Michael, an experience which we hope will be both challenging and inspiring.’ The students will support Evans and the Loch Duart team at their stand at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels in April, preparing and serving their winning canapes over three days. The Brussels Seafood Expo takes place from April 21-23 and is expected to host more than 29,000 buyers, suppliers and seafood professionals from over 150 countries. Above: Michael Brown and Jaypee Escaro


10/03/2020 11:13:51

All the latest industry news from the UK

Scottish Salmon Company hires former Mowi boss NAFC trainers chalk up 45

Above: Alan Sutherland FORMER Mowi Scotland chief Alan Sutherland has been appointed as marine director of the Scottish Salmon Company. Sutherland was managing director at

what was then Marine Harvest for nine years until 2016, when he was replaced by the company’s current boss, Ben Hadfield. With a career in aquaculture spanning

almost four decades, Sutherland will be working with the Scottish Salmon Company’s new owner, Bakkafrost. The Faroese salmon producer bought the Scottish Salmon Com-

pany last year, and CEO Regin Jacobsen installed Odd Eliasen as CEO, taking over from Craig Anderson. Eliasen had been managing director of Havsbrún, part of the Bakkafrost group and has held various board positions in the company. In the past four years, Sutherland has continued to work in the aquaculture sector and, according to LinkedIn, is a director of VeroBlue Farms in Iowa, a RAS based aquaculture company that is currently undergoing a major restructuring process. He was also a founding director of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).

Rapid response to get the right genes

ST ANDREWS based genetics specialist Xelect has launched what it calls a rapid response range of services for the aquaculture sector. Xelect Express will provide services including genotyping, pedigree assignment, gene expression, ploidy and sex determination. The company has been managing breeding programmes for fish farmers since 2012, but the new service offers quick, cost effective access to its genetics expertise, said Xelect. Xelect CEO Ian Johnston said: ‘Our breeding programme customers have always had access to our genetic testing


UK news.indd 11

services, but recently we’ve seen demand increase. ‘Whether it’s impartially checking the ploidy of eggs, or conducting spot checks to avoid inbreeding in broodstock, people want to have certainty over the quality of their supplies and the long-term health of their stocks.’ The tests will be available globally, and conducted by Xelect’s expert team, led by operations director Tom Ashton. ‘Our teams use the latest technology and insights to offer fast turnaround, guaranteed technical excellence, total confidentiality and – of course – a low price,’ said Ashton.

years in ‘classroom’

SHETLAND’S NAFC Marine Centre has marked the long service of two staff who have worked there for a total of 45 years. Caroline Hepburn, who celebrates 25 years at the centre, joined the then Shetland Fishermen’s Training Association (SFTA) in October 1998. She worked with the late Gussie Angus to organise training for the local fishing and aquaculture industries, helping to start the careers of many of Shetland’s current fishermen. Her industry liaison role continued after the SFTA was absorbed into NAFC, but has since expanded to include support for all students attending both NAFC and Shetland College. Saro Saravanan joined the NAFC’s staff as a hatchery technician in 2000, after first arriving at the centre two years earlier to enrol on NAFC’s HNC course in Fisheries Science. While working on a shrimp farm in his native India, Saravanan had been planning to apply to university in Canada until a chance sighting of an advert in Fish Farmer led him to Shetland instead. He worked in the NAFC hatchery for many years on species including lobsters, halibut and cod. During that time, he became increasingly involved in the training of aquaculture apprentices and other aquaculture students and led the development of NAFC’s online aquaculture training courses. He transferred to NAFC’s Training and Skills Department as an internal verifier in 2015, and now he helps maintain the academic quality of the centre’s aquaculture training and continues the development of online courses. NAFC’s head of aquaculture training, Stuart Fitzsimmons, said:‘Saro and Caroline have been excellent ambassadors for the NAFC Marine Centre over many years, and their excellent services are greatly appreciated by staff, students and industry. ‘It is a great achievement for both of them and we wish them best of luck for the future.’ NAFC principal Willie Shannon added:‘These milestones represent significant achievements by two key members of staff, both of whom have made substantial contributions to the NAFC Marine Centre and to the industries that the centre serves.’

Above: Saro Saravanan and Caroline Hepburn


10/03/2020 11:14:07

European News


Norwegian salmon exports surge despite coronavirus





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NORWEGIAN seafood exports last month defied all coronavirus gloom predictions and rose in value by 1.4 billion kroner (£118 million), with farmed salmon showing a particularly strong surge. Many analysts had expected the sector to take a hit because China, one of the fastest growing markets for seafood, was in almost total lockdown during February. But overseas sales totalled NOK 9.3 billion (£784 million), a rise of 17 per cent. The volume total was 216,000 tonnes. Tom-Jørgen Gangsø, director of market insight and market access at the Norwegian Seafood Council, said: ‘Despite increased uncertainty in the world’s seafood markets as a

result of the focus on Covid-19, demand for Norwegian seafood continues to increase overall. ‘The greatest value growth was for salmon. Salmon has been very robust against the temporary reduction in demand in individual markets. ‘The reason is that salmon is exported to over 100 markets, is used for many different occasions and is available in many product forms.’ He added: ‘The export of white fish contributes most to this month’s growth, driven by both currency (fluctuations) and demand.’ There was a significant increase in the value of salmon exports. The country sold 81,100 tonnes, worth NOK 5.9 billion (£498 million), in February. This represents a one per cent increase in volume but a 16 per cent – or NOK 817 million – rise in revenue. More significantly, the average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 68.99 per kg against NOK 58.87 per kilo 12 months ago. Poland, France and the United States were the largest recipients of salmon from Norway in February. Paul T. Aandahl,

seafood analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council, said: ‘As expected, we are seeing a sharp decline in salmon exports to China. ‘In February, 363 tonnes of salmon were exported to China, a decline of 83 per cent compared to the same period last year. Although there is a large decline, we are now seeing a gradual increase in volume.’ Aandahl added: ‘Salmon that would otherwise have gone to China has been exported to other markets. ‘For example, we see growth of 22 per cent for fresh whole salmon to the United States, and sales to Taiwan increased by 73 per cent.’ But sales to Italy, the European country most affected by Covid-19, fell by 14 per cent. There are also signs that China is slowly beginning to return to normal. Victoria Braathen, the Norwegian Seafood Council’s fisheries envoy to China, reports: ‘Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen cautious steps towards increased activity, which we hope will lay the foundation for gradually increased demand in food service and restaurants.’


10/03/2020 11:15:57

All the latest industry news from Europe

Bakkafrost plans expansion to offshore farming BAKKAFROST is poised to move out into the open sea because bays and inlets around the Faroe Islands are filling up with cages. The company said it wants to expand its salmon farming operation, but is running out of space. So it has applied to the government in Torshavn for permission to develop future new farms to the east of the island of Nolsoy. The location is well offshore, where cages would have to be positioned much deeper and where the currents are significantly stronger. Bakkafrost, which bought the Scottish Salmon Compnay

last year, believes that if fish farming in the Faroe Islands is to develop further then a rethink is needed on strategy. CEO Regin Jacobsen told Faroese Television recently that such offshore operations would look similar to oil rigs, but without the drilling tower. It was also something the company had been studying for the past five years and was now keen to get started. But he cautioned: ‘Farming operations in the open sea are very expensive, typically between 1 and 2 billion Danish kroner (DKK) (£112 million to £224 million) per unit. ‘They will also be much larger. At the moment, we don’t know specifically what type (design) we are going for. ‘But what we can see today is that similar sites have a diameter of about 200m, with a length of 400m and a height of between 60 and 80m.’ The total investment could be up to DKK 15 billion (£1.7 billion).

Intelligent move by Mowi

Two years ago, the government changed its legislation to allow open sea farming and Bakkafrost has now applied for development licences. It hoped to get started as soon as the licences were granted, said Jacobsen. He added: ‘The fjords do have their limits on the volumes they can produce. Farming out at sea allows us to produce larger sizes. ‘The fjords would be reserved for fish to be farmed up to 2-3 kg. After that, we move them out and let them grow up to 6-7 kg, which helps to take pressure off the fjords.’ Jacobsen said the Faroe Islands currently produced 90,000 tonnes of salmon a year, but a successful expansion offshore could more than double that figure to around 200,000 tonnes by 2030. The company also planned to build a new wellboat capable of carrying up to 900 tonnes, twice the volume of the current vessel, the Hans A Bakka.

Mowi is to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) to its farming operations following a collaboration with Alphabet X, owner of Google. The salmon farmer has been researching and testing a new sensing system developed by Alphabet’s Tidal research programme. The system is now ready for commercial validation and Mowi will roll out the technology to multiple sites across Norway. These will benefit from sophisticated intelligence gathering that includes information on real-time growth, weight distribution, feeding control, and automatic lice counting for salmon. Using a combination of new camera technology as well as machine learning and machine perception, Tidal’s system is able to track and model fish behaviours, environmental conditions, and the health of salmon over time. Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim said: ‘Mowi’s vision is to be leading the Blue Revolution. As the biggest salmon farmer in the world we have a special responsibility to engage in the development of technology to improve our competitive advantage and to optimise our farming of healthy and sustainable food from the ocean.’



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European News.indd 13


10/03/2020 11:16:20

European News

Mass mortality at Atlantic Sapphire’s Danish pilot

Individual fish farming a step nearer SALMON farmer Cermaq is to install a Midgard System at its innovative iFarm, which was awarded four development licences by the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate. The farming concept, a joint project with BioSort, uses image recognition and the identification of each individual salmon to monitor growth, health and sea lice. The technology will enable a shift from group based operations to individualised care, with intervention for only the fish that need to be treated for health issues. The first edition of iFarm is scheduled to be deployed at the Martnesvika facility in Steigen, in Nordland county, in the summer of 2020. ScaleAQ, which has won the contract to supply aquaculture equipment for the project, will provide a Midgard System, including a floating collar, winch and Midgard net, in addition to a net cover and net tube that will enclose the iFarm unit being developed by BioSort. The company said it was thrilled to be chosen by Cermaq. ‘We feel this is confirmation that our strategy of offering partnerships is the right one,’ said ScaleAQ CCO Stig Førre. ‘In time, we will increasingly become an adviser rather than a seller.’ Cermaq’s iFarm project manager, Karl Fredrik Ottem, said: ‘For us, it was crucial to bring on board a partner who offered the best expertise and has enough muscle to ensure that we make iFarm a success.’ ScaleAQ was formed last year after a merger of established aquaculture players Steinsvik, Aqualine, AquaOptima, and PanLogica. Noralf Rønningen, R&D manager at ScaleAQ, said: ‘We are excited about working together with the best experts in their respective fields. ‘BioSort’s experiences with the Tomra system and recording large volumes of data and then processing this will be highly transferable to the aquaculture sector. Together with Cermaq and our own expertise, we will be the absolute best.’

Above: Atlantic Sapphire boss Johan Andreassen

SOME 227,000 salmon died last month at the Danish site of land based farming pioneer Atlantic Sapphire. The company lost the fish at its commercial pilot facility at the end of February, according to a statement posted on the Oslo Stock Exchange. ‘Preliminary analysis, subject to further verification over the next days, indicates higher nitrogen levels than desired as the cause of the event, which has been addressed in design modification,’ the company wrote. The rest of the Langsand Laks farm, which produces about 3,000 tonnes a year, was unaffected ‘due to the segregation design to have various independent systems’. Atlantic Sapphire, which is developing the world’s largest RAS (recirculating aquacul-


European News.indd 14

ture system) salmon farm in Miami, Florida, said the mortality in Denmark had pushed back harvesting by four months. ‘This incident demonstrates the importance and challenges of finishing commissioning of all Bluehouse systems while already in operation, as well as the value of having multiple independent systems for biological risk diversification reasons,’ stated the company. ‘At the same time, the company’s strategy to have its Danish pilot farm as R&D facility proves immensely valuable in testing designs and identifying issues in this first and largest ever land based, RAS salmon farm in the world. ‘Upon completion of the US phase one facility this year, with the expected annual output of 10,000 tonnes (head

on gutted) salmon per year, Atlantic Sapphire will have a total of six independent grow-out systems in the US alone, limiting the risk of any systemic contamination to only about 15 per cent of total output.’ Langsand Laks lost its entire grow-out stock in 2017. At the time, Atlantic Sapphire CEO Johan Andreassen said: ‘The best way to reduce these outbreaks is to build more independent systems in future designs.’ The latest incident saw the company’s share price drop by more than 16 per cent within hours of trading, wiping millions off the value of the group. Shares fell to NOK 93.40 ($9.97), putting its market capitalisation at NOK 7.912 billion ($846 million), more than $155 million down. on its value three days before.

Above: The iFarm team (back row from left): Harald Tronstad and Bernt Saugen (both BioSort); Tore S Strand and Martin Søreide (both ScaleAQ); Sindre Abrahamsen (BioSort); front (from left): Odd Ronald Olsen and Noralf Rønningen (both ScaleAQ); Karl Fredrik Ottem (Cermaq); Geir Hauge (BioSort); Kjell Hansen (Cermaq)

DNB banker keeps faith in land based THE world’s largest seafood bank DNB still has faith in the land based salmon farming segment, despite the recent setback in Denmark. Anne Hvistendahl, global head of Seafood, DNB, told the recent North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen that it had not lost hope in tis customer Atlantic Sapphire. ‘You don’t foresee that it can go like this as a company,’ said Hvistendahl. ‘It is early and it is risky. But we believe they will be

successful. ‘Even though several attempts have gone wrong, we believe, that their technology will succeed.’ The DNB seafood boss said the bank, the first to offer finance for Atlantic Sapphire’s Miami operation, would certainly be funding more land based salmon farms worldwide. ‘We expect to do more land based farm loans. It might be in Japan or other countries, but it might also be in Norway,’ she said.


10/03/2020 11:17:59

All the latest industry news from Europe

Trout fed insect and algal oil launched in France

Ex-journalist Norway’s new seafood minister

FARMED trout fed with Seafood Category both insect meal at Auchan, said: ‘At Auchan, we beand algal oil was lieve in sustainable due to go on sale seafood. We are in a major French supermarket from this encouraged to see a shift in month. The fish, the value chain produced by pioneered by Truite Service and to Veramaris and be stocked by retailer Skretting and Auchan, are being reared believe that our customers will on a diet formulated by see the value. Skretting that includes Above: Soldier fly ‘Trout is just the first insect feed from French step for us, and we look forward to pioneer InnovaFeed and algal oil extending our collaborative value from Veramaris. chain approach to further species The announcement, at the Paris such as shrimp, salmon, bream and International Agricultural Show, bass.’ came days after Veramaris fed Elodie Petit, marketing manager salmon was launched by German at Skretting France, said: ‘The supermarket Kaufland. decision by Auchan to introduce And it followed another recent trout fed on our unique and collaboration between Veramaris and Skretting involving the sale of technologically advanced diet is a real testament to the quality of the sustainably raised trout in Superproduct.’ marché Match. Gaëlle Husser, global business The latest partnership with development director at Veramaris, Auchan, one of the world’s largest said: ‘Veramaris’ algal oil may be a retailers, marks the first time small part of aqua diets, yet it has the entire value chain has come together, combining farming, feed a major impact on the nutritional efficiency and alternative ingredi- value and environmental profile of farmed fish. ents, said the companies. ‘Working closely with feed proThe Skretting diet replaces forducer Skretting, we are playing a age fish with insect meal and fish small yet important part in making trimmings, as well as incorporatsustainably nutritious trout and ing the novel algal oil. salmon available to consumers.’ Olivier Vandebeulque, head of

NORWAY’S Labour Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen is to take over the job of running the country’s fisheries and seafood ministry – at least for the time being. He replaces Geir Inge Siversten, who resigned after just 39 days in the post – one of the shortest in Norway’s history. Siversten stood down amid controversy over accepting severance money from his local government job while being paid as a minister – money he later returned. He was also criticised for his links to a Masonic lodge which included a number of seafood executives as members. Prime Minister Erna Solberg had said she still had confidence

in Siversten, but political pressure and criticism began to mount, forcing him to offer his resignation. The new man, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, a former journalist and editor, does not appear to have any close links with either fishing or aquaculture. He has asked to keep his job as minister of Labour and Social Affairs while running the fisheries department at the

Above: Torbjørn Røe Isaksen

same time, which suggests it may be a stop-gap appointment. Aged 41, he was once named Norway’s most talented young politician. Isaksen is a member of the Conservative Party and served as minister for Trade and Industry until January this year, when there was a government reshuffle after a fall-out with Progressive Party members of the ruling coalition government. The seafood industry has yet to comment on his appointment, but it may not be happy that this is the sector’s fourth minister in little over 18 months, when it is facing a number of serious issues, not least the impact of coronavirus on exports.

Iceland salmon farmer ends year on positive note THE Icelandic salmon farmer Arnarlax, which lost stock worth £2.5 million in severe storms in February, has posted significantly increased harvests and profits for the final quarter of 2019. The company, in which Norway’s SalMar has a majority stake, made an operational EBIT of NOK 27 million. This was up from NOK 21.9 million in the previous quarter and a big improvement on the NOK 10 million loss in the same quarter in 2018. It also achieved a 46 per cent increase in its harvest throughout 2019. The Arnarlax report said: ‘We ended 2019 with yet another positive quarter, driven by good biological performance and better capacity utilisation at the harvesting plant. ‘For the year as a whole, the


European News.indd 15

company achieved a 46 per cent increase in the volume harvested and posted an EBIT per kg of NOK 10.21 compared with an EBIT per kg of minus NOK-11.82 in 2018. ‘At the same time, there is still room for improvement throughout the value chain, particularly with respect to distribution costs.’ Arnarlax said it expects a higher harvested volume but also higher costs in the first quarter of this year, ‘due to the harvesting out of the 2018 generation following increased mortality in a demanding period caused by winter storms at the start of the year’. The Sales and Processing segment made an operating profit of NOK 7.5 million in Q4 2019, down from NOK 79.4 million 12 months earlier. Arnarlax is Iceland’s largest producer of farmed salmon.


10/03/2020 11:18:17

World News


Boston show ‘postponed’ over coronavirus fears

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THE big Seafood North America Expo – known as the Boston Seafood Show – has been postponed because of coronavirus fears. The event, due to take place from March 15-17, was called early this month in a decision that now throws doubt on other big seafood events around the world, including the Brussels expo in April. The organisers, Diversified Communicaitons, said in a statement: ‘This decision has been difficult because of the major importance of this event to the industry. ‘We heard from those of you who were concerned about health, safety and travel restrictions, and given the short time before the scheduled event

date, and upcoming logistics, we have determined that postponement at this time is unavoidable.’ Boston had become one the world’s largest seafood expos and had attracted a record number of exhibitors. However, many come from China, where travel restrictions are in place, and the Far East, which has been the region hardest hit by Covid-19. Major UK seafood companies, including several Scottish salmon producers, had also registered a strong presence. The show organiser added: ‘We are committed to finding a solution to deliver an event in North America this year, to ensure business continuity to the seafood industry. Details on

when and where will be communicated directly with our customers in the next month. ‘Depending on date and location availability, the event might look slightly different for 2020 but will continue to provide the opportunities to connect suppliers and buyers in the industry.’ The decision will also have an impact on Boston, which had been expecting thousands of visitors. The Brussels show is still due to go ahead from April 21-23, said Diversified. Group vice president Liz Plizga said they were working with the venue and local authorities ‘to assess risks and protocols’. The Brussels show, which moves to Barcelona next year, saw a downturn in exhibitors and visitors in 2016, following a terrorist attack in the city three weeks before the exhibition. Several companies, including some of the biggest Norwegian salmon farmers, decided to stay away and there was a 17 per cent drop in attendance. Security concerns and fewer potential customers from the East were given as reasons for their absence.


10/03/2020 11:20:39

World News

China site for Calysta’s commercial scale-up THE first commercial scale plant for Calysta’s single cell protein fish feed is to be built in China. The factory, with an eventual capacity of 100,000 tonnes, will produce the novel ingredient FeedKind, which is made by fermenting natural gas. The development is the result of a joint venture between US based FeedKind manufacturer Calysta and feed additives company Adisseo. Adisseo is one of the main subsidiaries of China National BlueStar, a leader in the Chinese chemical industry with nearly 21,500 employees and a turnover of US$9.3 billion. The first phase of the Chinese factory is expected to start operating in 2022, delivering 20,000 tonnes of FeedKind protein a year. A second stage will bring an additional 80,000 tonnes of capacity, said the companies. The aquafeed ingredients market in Asia is estimated at US$28 billion, representing 70 per cent of the world market. Jean-Marc Dublanc, CEO of Adisseo, said: ‘Adisseo is committed to strategic investments in new disruptive technologies. ‘Our ambition is to become one of the leaders in sustainable feed ingredients and additives for aquaculture across the Asian markets. ‘For this reason, we have been investing significantly to develop an aqua lab station in Singapore, fully dedicated to developing innovative and sustainable feed solutions for aquaculture. ‘With this joint venture, we are investing further in a strategic collaboration, combining the agility of a start-up with Adisseo’s expertise to enable Adisseo to become a major contributor to food safety and sustainability in Asia via innovation.’ Calysta chief operating officer Thomas JG Huot said the announcement marks the transition of FeedKind ‘from a tremendously exciting

Closed cages

Above: Calysta president, CEO and co-founder Alan Shaw at the Teeside plant

idea to one that will deliver truly world scale impact’. FeedKind, which is made using very little water and no agricultural land by fermenting natural gas, was first produced in Calysta’s pilot facility near Redcar on Teesside Last year, Calysta secured $30 million investment from BP Ventures to support a worldwide rollout of its FeedKind protein. The company has also received funding from Cargill.

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10/03/2020 11:21:50

World News

Maine objections to Nordic’s RAS farm

Above: Erik Heim, president of Nordic Aquafarms

THE Norwegian salmon company planning to build a RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) farm in the US state of Maine may face further delays in the permitting process. Nordic Aquafarms (NAF) has applied for a licence to build a $500 million land based salmon plant in Belfast, Maine, but has run up against opposition from the local environmental lobby. Last month, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection raised numerous questions about the application which, if granted, would see the company producing an initial 13,000 tonnes of salmon a year, expanding to 33,000 tonnes.

During a hearing in Belfast, objections centred on funding, with the board challenging Nordic Aquafarms’ financial plan and demanding proof it had secured at least 20 per cent of the projected cost of the facility in order to comply with the state’s financial requirements. Several board members asked the salmon company for better estimates of exactly how much water it wants to draw from each of three sources: groundwater from wells, freshwater from the reservoir, and freshwater from the Belfast Water District. Nordic Aquafarms was also asked to provide descriptions of how it will treat the incoming saltwater

and freshwater, as well as the outgoing wastewater. These and other hurdles were highlighted in a press release issued by Upstream Watch, a group which claims on its website to be ‘caring for the waters of Mid-Coast Maine’. The group opposes the RAS project which, it says, would be ‘a completely artificial environment for the controlled production of Atlantic salmon’. ‘There is no land based salmon raising facility of this size operating successfully in the United States… do we want to be the site of a giant science experiment,’ asked Upstream Watch on its website. Nordic Aquafarms contradicted the lobby group’s account of the environmental hearings and said it would have all necessary financing in place and be fully compliant with the regulations and demands in the permits. The company, based in Frederikstad in Norway, is the first of several salmon firms planning to build land based RAS salmon farms in the US north east. It said it has strong support from ‘reputable’ environmental organisations, the general public and local and state politicians. The company also intends to develop a facility in northern California, where it hopes to rear around 25,000 tonnes of salmon. Meanwhile, its subsidiary, Fredrikstad Seafoods, Norway’s first land based salmon farm, is almost ready to bring its first fish to market from its site north of Oslo. It has capacity for 1,500 tonnes of its ‘premium product’.



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10/03/2020 11:22:45

Register now for ‘Feeding Africa’ conference REGISTRATION is now open for the World Aquaculture Society’s African conference, to be held in Alexandria, Egypt, later this year. Aquaculture Africa 2020, or AFRAQ2020, has the theme ‘Sustainable Aquaculture – Feeding Africa’ and provides an opportunity for aquaculture researchers, practitioners, decision makers and other stakeholders to meet, network and discuss all aspects of aquaculture in Africa. Exhibitors from all over the globe are expected to exhibit their products and services at the event, the first to be staged by the WAS African Chapter. The thematic plenary and technical parallel sessions will comprise oral and poster presentations. AFRAQ2020 will also feature industry forums, student sessions and activities, satellite workshops and training sessions. Key sessions will focus on areas such as aquatic animal

health, Africa aquaculture investment, aquaculture genetics, climate change, and innovative aquaculture systems and practices. The organisers will also be arranging tours to nearby fish farms, fish markets, research centres and other places of interest. And post-conference visits to some of the most famous touristic attractions in Egypt will also be available. The conference will be hosted by Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Recla-

mation’s General Authority for Fish Resources and its partners, the Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research, the Egyptian Aquaculture Society and WorldFish. Aller Aqua is AFRAQ2020 Gold Sponsor; AquaGroup (Egypt) is Silver Sponsor; and Grand Fish Feed (Egypt) is Break Sponsor. The show will be held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina from November 28 to December 1. For more information visit https://www.was.org/meeting/code/AFRAQ20

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Bigger fish bring better margins says Tassal TASMANIAN salmon farmer Tassal said selling bigger salmon had generated better margins in its half-year results to December 2019. The company, which also farms prawns, announced revenue of AU$274.49 million, a drop of 15.8 per cent on the corresponding period last year, but operating EBITDA was up 3.4 per cent to $66.46 million. Salmon operating EBITDA per kilo increased by 15.5 per cent from $2.98 to $3.44. Tassal decided to sell and harvest less salmon in the first half to underpin strong harvest volumes and sales in the second half and the next financial year, said Tassal chief executive and managing director Mark Ryan. Salmon live biomass was up 15.5 per cent to 23,151 tonnes on December 31, 2019, compared to December 31, 2018 (20,044 tonnes). Average salmon size was 4.8kg head-on gutted in the period, an increase of 100 grams compared to 1H19. ‘Salmon live biomass grew significantly over the past six months given our focus on sustainable farming and fish health practices including breeding, biosecurity, feed automation, feed diet formulation, stocking densities, optimising leases with fallowing, growth times and survival,’ said Ryan.

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10/03/2020 11:23:03

News extra – Scottish Sea Farms



Salmon farmer plans first ocean farm for Scotland


NORWEGIAN style ocean farm capable of holding 1.25 million fish could be sited off the coast of Scotland if one of the country’s leading farmers receives approval for its plans. Scottish Sea Farms is looking to trial Scotland’s first open ocean farm if it gets the go ahead from regulators, the company announced earlier this month. It believes growing fish in ‘considerably deeper, more exposed waters’ will enable it to expand production sustainably to meet growing demand for Scottish farmed salmon. Several potential locations have been identified, said the Norwegian owned producer, although it would not disclose further details. It did say, however, that its new farming concept could be at least two miles from the shore and would encompass ‘all-new technolo-


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Below: Jim Gallagher Above:Ocean Farm 1

gies’ designed specifically for more exposed conditions. Providing the multi-million pound investment needed to develop such a farm would be Scottish Sea Farms’ owner, Norskott Havbruk, which is a 50/50 joint venture between Lerøy Seafood Group and SalMar. SalMar developed the world’s first offshore fish farm – Ocean Farm 1, which is anchored in the Trøndelag region of central Norway – in 2017 (see box). The £60 million, 110m x 68m structure is equipped with pioneering offshore technology, and reported a strong first harvest, with high survival, high quality and consistently low lice levels meaning no delousing treatments were necessary. The Scottish proposal has already won the backing of Scotland’s rural economy minister, Fergus Ewing. ‘This is exactly the kind of landmark inward investment opportunity that Scotland needs to thrive and grow, and I am determined that we seize that opportunity,’ he said. ‘The potential benefits of farming in deeper, more exposed locations have been raised many times over recent years, by all sides of the debate. ‘So to see Scottish Sea Farms step forward and commit the time and investment involved in exploring that potential here is hugely welcome news. ‘Such a concept, if realised, promises significant advances in fish welfare and environmental protection, not forgetting new jobs and business for Scotland, and as such it is something that the Scottish government is keen to progress in partnership with the relevant regulatory and local authorities.’ The proposed ocean farm would be Scottish Sea Farms’ second sizeable capital investment in recent years, following the completion in 2019 of the company’s £58 million Barcaldine RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) hatchery, which aims to grow more robust smolts better able to withstand environmental challenges.


10/03/2020 11:24:53

Scottish Open

Oceans 11? Some of the offshore ideas floated

If the concept for Scotland’s first ocean farm is approved, it would be stocked at a level deemed viable by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), said the company. SalMar’s Ocean Farm 1 stocks around 1.25 million fish. Scottish Sea Farms’ managing director Jim Gallagher said: ‘We put a great deal of time and care into identifying the best farming locations, both in terms of finding the optimum growing conditions and ensuring that the local marine environment can naturally sustain such activity. ‘Over recent years, the scope of this work has widened to include the potential of more exposed locations; locations that could add to the volumes of salmon grown at our existing 42-strong farming estate. ‘For this ambition to be realised, however, we need an engaged, robust and forward thinking regulatory framework that enables Scotland’s salmon farmers to continue growing in a responsible manner and helps the sector reclaim its competitiveness on the world stage. ‘With this in mind, we’re eager to take the next step by opening the dialogue with Marine Scotland, Sepa and local authorities to see if this ambition is matched and if our aspiration of piloting a full-scale ‘ocean farm’ can be realised.’ Chairman of Scottish Sea Farms and Norwegian owner Norskott Havbruk, Leif Inge Nordhammer, said: ‘Both Lerøy Seafood Group and SalMar are ready to give their backing to this latest investment and we look forward to working with the Scottish government and regulators to see whether, together, we can make it happen.’ FF

FROM above it looks like a space station from a 1980s TV sci-fi series that has somehow found its way into the sea, but the novel design of Ocean Farm 1 (OF1) combines solutions from aquaculture and the offshore industry to create a truly innovative installation that points the way to a possible future of multiple similar new ocean spaces for aquaculture, writes Dave Edler. Owned and operated by SalMar, OF1 is the first ever salmon farm designed and built for exposed operation and this year it achieved another first by receiving a fish farming class certificate from DNV GL, the independent experts in risk management and quality assurance. Geir Fuglerud, director of Offshore Classification for DNV GL, said in a press release: ‘Ocean Farm 1 is the first of several aquaculture projects planned for more exposed ocean installation in Norway, and with the experience we and the industry gain from this installation we hope that this marks the beginning of a new era for sustainable aquaculture.’ OF1 was delivered in June 2017 by the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group in Qingdao, China, and transported to Norway for installation. DNV GL provided third party verification and certification covering the design, construction, transport and installation, enabling Ocean Farm 1 to meet the Norwegian NYTEK regulations and to operate safely for salmon farming. The unit was also awarded the new OI offshore fish farming installation POSMOOR class notation, which confirms that OF1 was built in accordance with DNVGL-RU-0503 (offshore fish farming units and installations) rules. SalMar already has well advanced plans to build its new Smart Fish Farm, which is being touted as the ‘big brother’ of OF1.

The new project will have double the capacity of the first installation and carries an estimated price tag of NOK 1.5 billion (£134 million). The Smart Fish Farm concept is based on a semi-submersible steel structure consisting of a wide centre column and a surrounding framework mainly with circular cross-sections. The framework stretches support netting panels that provide eight separate chambers. The total aquaculture volume of the chambers is 510,000m3 when the operating depth is 45m. According to the company, there will be room for two permits of 780 tonnes per chamber, so the farm will be half-full. Although the new smart farm will look similar to OF1, it differs significantly in some areas. As well as having twice the capacity, it will withstand substantially more exposed areas than its predecessor. However, the key enhancement is that the central closed column will be equipped for processing fish, control and management of the unit, as well as an advanced system for transporting fish related to the eight surrounding production chambers. The success of OF1 has also piqued the interest of several other players looking to explore the possibilities of combining offshore industry practices with aquaculture. Some of the ideas floated included the AquaStorm proposal by Mowi (rejected by the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate) to grow fish in subsea cages 15m below the surface, and a project by Norwegian company Arctic Offshore Farming aimed at creating an offshore remote controlled salmon farm, which it claims could both reduce the cost of feed while also minimising the losses from sea lice. Could we soon be seeing more such futuristic looking installations populating the deep offshore locations around the Scottish and Norwegian coastlines?

Such a concept, if realised, promises significant advances in fish welfare and environmental protection www.fishfarmermagazine.com

New Extra - SSF.indd 21

Above: SalMar’s Ocean Farm 1 - Scotland could develop a similar concept if plans are approved


10/03/2020 11:25:12

Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group


‘own goal’ Current regulations prohibit progress says industry leader


HE Scottish salmon sector is working on an ambitious new strategy but in order to deliver far reaching sustainability goals, real innovation is required and that cannot be realised without improvements in the regulatory system. This is the view of Stewart Graham, the boss of leading supplier Gael Force and one of the driving forces behind the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group (AILG). Three years after the AILG was set up, with the aim of doubling the economic value of the sector, Graham said he and his industry colleagues are reviewing the future direction of the group. All industry stakeholders will be considered in any change to its role going forward, which will depend to some extent on the strategic review currently being led by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO). Although the details are still being developed, the salmon sector is working on what Graham described as very ambitious plans that are focused on pioneering sustainability goals. The new SSPO vision will be the output of several multi-stakeholder workshops held by the organisation in the past six months, and Graham is confident that the sector will set itself class leading sustainability


New Extra - AILG.indd 22

goals, supported by an improved regulatory framework. ‘I don’t see that goals should only be set where there is a known route to get them,’ he said. ‘If we’re going to be ambitious we need to be far reaching and, by implication, we don’t have all the answers today, otherwise we’d be doing this today.’ The AILG is waiting to see what the outcome of the strategic review will be and is excited to engage with it, but Graham said the industry cannot move forward without regulatory reform. ‘I’m absolutely clear that the current regulatory framework cannot accommodate innovation and, in fact, prohibits it,’ he said. ‘Unless we have a structural change in how we deal with the consenting process, I don’t see that we can advance the innovation agenda as we all would like to – and I’m sure that includes those regulators who have to administer the current regulation.’ Graham said his company had recently been involved in one site application which included some ‘fantastic innovation’ that would deal with fish health issues. ‘However, unless Marine Scotland Science are able to report the efficacy of this idea in terms of containment and security, they cannot recommend it,’ he said. The regulator is obliged by the existing regulations to say that either the applicant takes the innovation out of the site, because it is not proven, or the application cannot go ahead. ‘But that is the very nature of innovation, one goes in to try and prove these things. We need to advance innovation to improve fish health, to reduce mortality, to increase the protein recovery from any natural mortality. We simply need a better framework for that. ‘Concepts at various stages of validation cannot get approval because they have not been tested. So the applicant is forced to drop the

Left: Stewart Graham Above: The Scottish industry could deliver ‘fantastic innovation’ if regulations permitted


10/03/2020 11:31:59

Innovation ‘own goal’

innovative elements of their proposal and just go for plain vanilla again. It’s an absolute own goal for everybody.’ Graham said alongside a new salmon sector sustainability vision, there will be a need for an improved regulatory framework that can deliver it. He believes this would also answer the parliamentary inquiries of 2018, which insisted that the status quo in the Scottish salmon industry was not an option. A revised strategy - the details of which the sector will take the time to get right - should ‘help us deliver sustainable growth, allow us to get innovation in there, and let us find ways to reduce mortality, and improve containment, allied to ambitious environmental goals’. Graham anticipates a backlash from anti-salmon farming campaigners with any industry strategy: ‘We’ll be harangued but my view is aim at nothing and you’ll hit it.’ The AILG postponed its last meeting until the

The applicant is forced to drop the innovative elements of their proposal and just go for plain vanilla again


New Extra - AILG.indd 23

strategy review is complete but Graham hopes the wider stakeholder group will be able to discuss its proposals ahead of the Aquaculture UK exhibition in Aviemore in May. In the meantime, he and AILG co-chair Jim Gallagher have been taking stock, of what has been achieved to date and what could be done better. ‘One thing we haven’t done well enough is communicate to the wider stakeholder group,’ said Graham. ‘This is because we haven’t had dedicated resources. But it has been agreed that the SSPO [which sits on the AILG] will take on the secretariat role, and we would expect that, from that, improved communications will flow. ‘We also feel we have been drawn into challenges of the moment and, on reflection, we feel that’s not really what the AILG should be about. It should be working at the strategic level. ‘The SSPO is for what the salmon producers want to deliver. It’s for the AILG to deliver for all of the aquaculture stakeholders, and that includes the wider producer network, regulators, government, communities, supply chain, logistics – all, of course, dependent on the success of the main producers.’ Graham is also committed to a separate supply chain association being established, an idea mooted last year. ‘I firmly believe the broadening out of the AILG to include a wider stakeholder group has been a tremendous success and that, I’m certain, will continue. We’re ready to take the next step, there is a demand for it and support in the supply chain.’ One of the purposes of a suppliers’ association – which would also represent feed suppliers, veterinarian people, and logistics – would be to build exports. The group could be partly modelled on other bodies, such as Denmark’s export focused Fish Tech Group, which Graham and Elaine Jamieson of HIE (Highland and Islands Enterprise) visited last year. ‘I think we have a significant number of people showing enough interest in it to participate in moving to a formal stage,’ said Graham, adding that the creation of the new group could happen this year. FF


10/03/2020 11:32:30

Lantra awards

Next generation of talent Three aquaculture apprentices scoop prizes


RIEG Seafood apprentice John MacPherson won the aquaculture learner of the year award at Lantra Scotland’s ALBAS (Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills), announced at a ceremony earlier this month. Runner up was James Dakin, a trainee manager with Scottish Sea Farms from Sandy in Orkney. Dakin, 32, has been doing an apprenticeship through NAFC Marine Centre UHI. Meanwhile, Dawnfresh apprentice Valentina Romano, 29, from Brechin, won the Higher Education Award at SCQF Level 10. Romano was also one of four winners of the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) prizes. MacPherson, 23, from Portree on Skye, has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture with Grieg Seafood Shetland through Inverness College UHI. He said: ‘I’d like to thank my employers at Grieg Seafood Shetland and my tutors at Inverness College for all their help and support. To be nominated for an ALBAS award was great but to win it is something else.’ Romano completed her Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management at trout farmer Dawnfresh through NAFC Marine Centre UHI. She said: ‘I’m delighted to win these awards, particularly as I’m doing something I love. The aquaculture industry is very rewarding as we work in the most stunning Scottish landscapes and our days are never the same. ‘I love how varied my role is and all the different opportunities for growth and further development offered by my company.’ Also shortlisted in the aquaculture category were Alexandra Couti (Grieg Seafood and NAFC), Calum Elder (SSF and NAFC), David Stewart (Scottish Salmon Company and NAFC), Emma Rochester (Cooke Aquaculture and NAFC), Gari Watson (Dawnfresh and NAFC) and John Stirling (SSC and Inverness College UHI). The overall winner award went to game and wildlife trainee Charlie Blance, 20, from Methven, Perthshire. She also won the Game and Wildlife industry category and was one of the four CARAS winners. The awards, which took place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dunblane Hydro on March 5, were hosted by farmer and stand-up comedian im Smith, and organised by Lantra Scotland, the sector skills council for the land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries. Lantra’s Scotland director, Liz Barron-Majerik, said the awards recognise the success of trainees in Scotland’s rural sector, as well as getting employers involved in growing the next generation of talent. ‘The ALBAS showcase the many incredible people who have joined Scotland’s land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries and who are getting their careers underway. ‘I know our judges were very impressed again with the quality of the nominations, so I would like to congratulate all of the finalists, as well as the winners. They were all of a very high standard indeed.’ Among the aquaculture sponsors were Marine Scotland, the Scottish


Lantra Awards.indd 24

Aquaculture Innovation Centre, and the Scottish Salmon Company. The judging panel included agriculture and rural affairs journalist Erika Hay (chair); HR training officer for the Scottish Salmon Company Jennifer Allison; and head of training with the Scottish Salmon Company Lisa Connell, as well as fisheries manager with Stirling Council Fisheries, Scott Mason. FF

Top: James Dakin with host Jim Smith Above: John MacPherson receiving his trophy

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10/03/2020 11:43:26

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10/03/2020 10:20:51

Trade Associations– Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation


Trust the retailer Context is key to the information provided by food producers


T is the year 2030 and, after parking your electric vehicle on the charging pad outside your local supermarket, you wander inside to do your weekly shop, armed with a trolley load of biodegradable hessian bags. Stopping at the fish counter, you pick up a (paper, not plastic) packet of two salmon fillets and zip your smart watch over the packaging. Up pops a virtual image of the farm the fish came from plus a host of other information. There are tables showing the treatments used, the dates the fish were treated and the amounts of medicine used. There are other charts, going back years, showing sea lice levels, survivability stats and escapes, all on a weekly basis. Antibiotic use – when these fish were just smolts- is also scrolling before your eyes along with Sepa (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) compliance scores for this and every farm in the area, going back years. Even for those working in the farmed salmon sector, this would be bewildering and confusing, let alone for ordinary consumers, but this is the future some pressure groups and charities want us to deliver. Their mantra appears to be: make everything available to everyone. They believe the consumer should have every piece of information from every farm and this information should be readily available and linked to every piece of salmon sold. Those who doubt this is the case should have been at a recent conference organised by Fidra, the environmental charity, in London recently. Fidra are one of the bodies pushing for more and more information to be made available and they are supported by other lobbying and pressure groups too. This puts the farmed salmon sector in a difficult position, not because we object to the publication of information – we don’t – but because information, in itself, is not the answer. We want to be as open and transparent as possible. We have already committed to moving towards the swifter and more frequent publication of lice and survivability data and we also voluntarily publish wrasse data. But the key to all this is context. There is no point in linking a piece of fish bought in a supermarket to a particular farm – and all the data that flows from that – unless it actually means something to the consumer. Bald figures showing a cohort of salmon received one treatment of emamectin benzoate 12 months before harvest doesn’t say anything about the overall health and welfare of the fish or the farm or the company running that farm. There is then the issue of whether consumers actually want this information.


SSPO.indd 26

It is undoubtedly true that retailers are coming under pressure to provide more and more information and they are responding to this by publishing layers of graphs and statistics on their websites showing the sustainability of the food in their stores. But how many consumers actually want to see it? About nineteen million portions of salmon are sold every month in the UK yet, on average, only about 65 people from the UK search for the survivability data the SSPO publishes each month and just 66 people search for sea lice data. And, guess what? These are almost always the same people. Some are from within the sector, more come from pressure groups and lobbying organisations, and even more from the small number of anti-farm organisations looking for information to use in their anti-salmon crusades. The simple reality is that consumers want to trust the retailers. They want to know the retailer has done the work and analysed the data so they, as consumers, don’t have to. So, as long as the retailers have the information they need from us, as a sector, then everything should be okay, right? Well, not quite. We have to be aware that there will be pressure on us to match up with the best standards set for other food producers. If a consumer can pick up a beef steak and find out immediately which farm that meat came from, what the cattle there were fed and how they were looked after, then some of them – just some of them- will expect something similar from us too. This means we are in a sustainability information race, forced on all producers by a section of the most demanding consumers, and we have to be in it or risk falling behind. And that brings us back to context. We want to publish information about sea lice,

Above: Smart phones could be used to check details of salmon’s provenance


10/03/2020 11:46:16

Trust the retailer

about survival rates, about escapes, about treatments and about cleaner fish. But these figures are only worth publishing and linking to each farm if they come with explanations as to why treatments were used, how they prevented problems from arising in the first place and how a whole suite of measures is used, across a long timeframe. Also, most importantly, all medicine use should be accompanied by a clear statement (echoing that made by Scotland’s chief vet last year) that not a trace of the medicine remains in the salmon delivered to the consumer. This is the context the consumer needs, otherwise the information will be misleading, confusing or frightening – and possibly all three. So, it is almost certain that, back in that aisle next to the fish counter in 2030, there will be a host of new information available and clearly visible, whether consumers want it or not. But instead of meaningless tables and charts of figures, it would be far better to have a picture of the farm, key details about the fish produced there and the stamp of approval of the retailer who would guarantee the provenance and the quality of product. We do not want to keep information secret. We want to provide the information showing how sustainable we are, but we have to be able to provide the context. Otherwise, everyone will lose and that will include the very consumers we are all supposed to be serving. Hamish Macdonell is director of strategic engagement for the SSPO. FF


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Looking to


The consumer wants to know the supermarket has analysed the data so they don’t have to

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Fish Farmer 27

10/03/2020 11:47:46



Thanks for the Feedback NGO explains its recent attack on salmon farming


T the end of last year, the NGO Feedback shared a short video on Twitter. This showed an attempt to find Lochmuir, the loch where M&S supposedly grow its salmon, even though it is clearly apparent that Lochmuir is just a trademark. At the end of the video, M&S was given the ‘Total Bull’ award for misleading labelling. The video intrigued me enough to request a meeting with the NGO. Consequently, I visited its London office, where I met with executive director Carina Millstone and head of communications and policy Jess Sinclair Taylor.

When the NGO was established, the initial target was food waste, but this remit has been subsequently expanded to include issues where there is a waste of natural resources. For example, sugar. The production of sugar utilises significant resources for something that has no nutritional value and is additionally bad for human health. The land and other resources could be much better utilised to produce something that has a nutritional benefit. Anaerobic digestion is also targeted since crops are used to create biogas rather than being used for food. Of more interest to the aquaculture industry, Feedback says that there is an inherent inefficiency in growing crops or harvesting fish from the wild to feed animals rather than to feed people.

What is Feedback? Feedback is an environmental NGO based in London. The overall mission aims to regenerate nature by transforming the food system. The group specifically looks at food issues from an environmental perspective.

How is Feedback funded? Funds are raised in a variety of ways, but the campaign against salmon farming is specifically funded by the Waterloo Foundation. This was established in 2007 by the founders of the Admiral Group, one of the largest private sector employers in Wales and a group listed on the London Stock Exchange. The Admiral Group owns insurance companies. How did Feedback become interested in salmon farming? The focus on Scottish salmon farming developed because Feedback is a UK NGO and salmon are the most farmed species in the British Isles. Feedback says that its interest in salmon farming arose because there is a sense that the industry has grown exponentially, but with relatively little civil society scrutiny. The NGO says that most consumers don’t even realise that salmon is farmed so there is no awareness of animal welfare issues as there has been with battery chickens. Feedback also claims there is a disconnect between how Scottish salmon is positioned as a sustainable healthy product and the reality of the impacts of fish based feeds. It argues that the impact of fish feed is less well understood and less in the public eye.

Left: Carina Millstone Opposite: Blue whiting

What is the issue with fish feed? In the past, Feedback has worked on sustainable animal feeds and it knows what a sustainable pig feed should look like; but it now wants to know what it means for salmon feeds. Through its interest in pig feeds, Feedback became aware that fishmeal was being used as an ingredient in pig rations and this has brought


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10/03/2020 11:49:35

One for Kindthe of Feedback campaign Thanks

the team to look at the wider use and impacts of fishmeal production, especially in fish feeds. They are unhappy that fish are caught in vast quantities from fragile ecosystems in one part of the world and are then transformed into fishmeal, making them into a commodity. This is then fed to other fish in a different part of the world, especially in areas where protein is already overconsumed. How would Feedback change the way forage fish are utilised? Feedback would rather that people eat these fish directly than send them for fishmeal production. The group has worked with a chef to produce tasty dishes from fish such as blue whiting, which is widely used for fishmeal. Of course, most British consumers would turn their noses up at blue whiting just as they do at many other edible species. However, Feedback believes that human diets are changing rapidly and therefore there is no reason why our taste for fish could not change too. They make the point that not so long ago, who would have thought that British consumers would be eating raw fish as in sushi. Why did Feedback highlight M&S Lochmuir brand? Feedback is concerned that salmon farming trades on Scotland’s good name to produce a premium product which is essentially for the international market, and that those who will ultimately benefit are the institutional shareholders trading on the Oslo stock exchange. Its view of the corporate image of salmon farming is also expressed in the way that it believes that salmon is marketed behind misleading branding such as Lochmuir. This, said Feedback, obscures the true origin of the fish and the impact it has on issues such as the use of forage fish. The video was intended to bring this to the attention of more consumers. I am indebted to Carina and Jess for giving me an insight into the issues that drive their NGO. I think that they might have been surprised that I agreed with many of their sentiments. Maybe it is madness to feed fish to fish, although carnivorous salmon eat other fish in the wild; but, at the same time, it is surely much worse to be feeding fish to pigs and chicken which is still common practice. However, the greatest madness is to be feeding fish to pet cats, of which there are more than 600 million in the world, and, increasingly,


Martin Jaffa.indd 29

feeding fish to pet dogs, of which there are 900 million. Over 10 years ago, pet cat consumption of fish was estimated to be around 2.45 million tonnes. I highlighted a widely available pet food that is made from 35 per cent fishmeal (as opposed to trash fish), compared to the much lower levels of 14.7-25 per cent in salmon feeds as detailed in Feedback’s ‘Fishy Business’ report. Carina did say that they hoped to extend their campaign soon to highlight the use of fish in pet food but this may be too little too late. Persuading pet owners to change their habits may be a challenge too far, which is why I suspect their focus has been on salmon farming. Feedback also told me that UK funders have become more interested in salmon farming following the recent focus on the sustainability of the UK fishing industry. But their criticism of the corporate nature of salmon farming ignores the fact that Feedback’s funding also originates from a similar corporate source. As I mentioned to Carina, the fundamental issue about wild catch fisheries is not about the fish at all, or even salmon farming, but rather that there are simply too many humans on this planet who over exploit the available natural resources. She replied that this was a different discussion, but surely it is one we cannot avoid. If NGOs like Feedback do not lead this discussion, then who will? The ‘Fishy Business’ report can be read at feedbackglobal.org/campaigns/fishy-business/. FF

pet owners to change their “Persuading habits may be a challenge too far ”


10/03/2020 11:49:57



Disaster still looms Prepare for post Brexit impact on trade in bivalve molluscs


HETHER you love it or hate it, we got Brexit done. For better or for worse, we left Europe at the end of January 2020, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed an initial deal with the EU, and finally got the UK government to ratify it. But for us as mussel farmers, who sell the majority of our product to the EU, the anxiety we have lived with over the past year continues unabated. Brexit is likely to have severe negative impacts on our business, and on others in the wider shellfish industry. The ‘will we or won’t we go out without a trade deal’ scenario has not gone away, because this is still a very real threat, if both sides cannot meet somewhere in the middle on issues such as access to fisheries, fiscal policies, immigration control and so on. We are now in a transition period, still in the customs union, and still in the single market. Business can continue unabated, while the government argues for a good divorce settlement, before the split is made final on December 31, 2020. For Northern Ireland, a four-year alignment period is in place to sort out a border agreement, before their new trading relationship starts in October 2024. The trade negotiations are about to start in earnest, and both sides have published their mandates, but they are poles apart.

The “ French are

considered to be the biggest non-tariff barrier

The PM tells us that he will happily leave the EU without any deal if he can’t get what he wants, and that he will worry about the details later. Industry is assured that any short term pain will be for the greater good. In January, I attended a shellfish conference in the Netherlands, near the mussel capital of Yerseke, to talk about the impacts of Brexit on shellfish trade. My short answer was ‘who knows?’, which raised a few eyebrows, but it remains a valid question. What we do know is that by July 1 this year, the EU and UK have pledged to agree fishing quotas for 2021, and a lot is riding on that key agreement. The fishing industry punches well above its weight in terms of political influence, and ‘taking back control of our waters and our fish’ was a major election pledge by the Conservatives. Under the current situation, the UK applies EU rules on sanitary and phytosanitary controls, and shellfish traded from the UK to other member states within the EU are not classed as exports, but are considered as being placed on the market. There is minimal paperwork, and trade is generally hassle free. The one exception is where live bivalve molluscs traded between the UK and a member state for farming or re-immersion, including depuration, must be accompanied by an animal health certificate, if that member state has restrictions in place to prevent the spread of listed diseases including Bonamia ostreae, Marteilia refringens, and OsHV-1µVar (oyster herpes virus), all of which affect oysters. Worst case scenario If a free trade deal is not negotiated and an extension is not requested or granted, the UK will start trading with the EU as a third country on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms at the end of this year. WTO rules would see the introduction of


Shellfish.indd 30


10/03/2020 11:51:28

Disaster still looms

Consignments must be inspected before they leave the control of the competent authority in the UK and certificates are valid for departure within 72 hours of signing. All third country exports to the EU have to enter through a Border Inspection Post (BIP), and the EU importer must notify the BIP of the arrival of the consignment using part 1 of a Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED). This adds time and expense for the importer. BIP officers check the consignment and its accompanying export/animal health certificate, before issuing the completed CVED that allows release into the EU. It is likely that Border Inspections Posts capable of handling live bivalve molluscs will be few and far between, but at present it is not known which ones will be designated. We have, however, been told that it will not be the main entry port of Calais, so this will add further travelling time to the journey. For people who sell wild picked or dredged mussels that do not come from a Classified Shellfish Classification Production Area, Defra has not yet found an export route, and this potentially affects trade from mainland UK and Ireland. Whatever happens during the negotiations, trade will undoubtedly continue with Europe, but questions remain over who will pick up the tab for all the additional costs. FF tariffs and VAT, and we would be subject to non-tariff barriers such as delays at Border Inspection Posts, customs inspections, endless paperwork, inability to employ foreign workers, and uncertainties over currency exchange. Delays en-route may be fine for a frozen shipment, or a vivier truck with live crustaceans, but for a lorry carrying a cargo of live bivalve shellfish, with a very limited shelf life, it could be disastrous. This scenario also worries insurers, who may be unwilling to cover shipments where there is uncertainty. A further downside to delays is the potential need to have an extra driver to ensure a load reaches its destination in time. This all adds to the cost of shipment. One of the main issues for many exporters to Europe is that France is the first port of call. The Channel Tunnel goes to France and the majority of ferries dock in France. And French fishermen can be a reactionary bunch; they are already threatening to block their ports and the Channel Tunnel should they Opposite: Mussels. Above: not succeed in getting access to the UK waters Oysters. Right: Scallops they have fished for decades. French industry friends tell me that these are not idle threats. And a UK fisheries leader told me recently that they consider the French to be the biggest non-tariff barrier. The paperwork burden of trading as a third country is both onerous and expensive, and it also has implications for importers. All live bivalve molluscs exported to the EU from the UK would need to be accompanied by a valid Product of Animal Origin export health certificate if they are destined for direct entry to the market as a food product, and originate from either class A waters, or from class B waters but have been depurated. If they are destined for further processing or depuration in the EU, an animal health certificate is required.


Shellfish.indd 31

The cost

Delays at ports = poor quality shellfish Uncertainty = loss of trust in UK exporters’ ability to supply a reliable product Additional paperwork, inspections and administration = time and money Tariffs and VAT = money = more expensive product


Shellfish producers need to: • Identify documents required by the receiving EU member state; • Identify Border Inspection Post for entry to the EU; • Notify Fish Health Inspectorate of export in advance of exports; • Arrange export declarations with UK customs; and • Arrange EU customs clearance procedures with transporter.


10/03/2020 11:51:46

Interview – Alistair Lane

All the fun of the fair

EAS chief on 20 years at the heart of European aquaculture - and staging its number one show


HE European Aquaculture Society (EAS) is a special club. Like any club, it has members, a board, probably a few rules, and it operates on many levels all year round. But it is best known in the industry for a single week of frenetic activity, the Aquaculture Europe shows that it stages annually in shifting European venues. Regular visitors from Europe, and increasingly from beyond, will be familiar with the format: hundreds of parallel scientific sessions, sometimes spread across different floors of a huge conference centre (Berlin) or different hotels in a Mediterranean resort (Dubrovnik). This club may not have a dress code but running shoes are advised in show week. Networking is not compulsory but with daily happy hours, a President’s Reception and student socials, mixing with fellow show goers is unavoidable. In a crowded calendar of aquaculture events, the EAS conference and trade exhibition is undoubtedly a highlight, retaining its research based focus while introducing new elements every year. Overseeing all this for the past 20 years has been Alistair Lane, EAS executive director since March 2000. He spoke to Fish Farmer last month just as he and the EAS board were about to meet to discuss potential locations for Aquaculture Europe 2022. ‘We send out a call every year to all of our members and ask them if they want to host Aquaculture Europe in their countries,’ he said. ‘It’s two to three bids per call, with the decision made by the EAS board. ‘The downside is, as it gets bigger, the membership may be put off making a bid because they think they can’t afford to do all the work.’ The EAS team works two years in advance and plans will already be well advanced for the 2021 show, to be held in Madeira. But all the attention now is on Cork, in Ireland, which is due to host this year’s event, from September 29 to October 2. Lane said much of the hard work – ‘the building blocks’- is undertaken by the EAS’s professional partners, John Cooksey of the World Aquaculture Society, Mario Stael of MarEvent and the EAS staff. And, as with every EAS event, a local organising committee is also involved.

Their job is to promote it locally and obtain funding and support, to organise the technical tours and the industry forum, and to help recruit students to help out. Lane’s own role, he said, is ‘building the events that hopefully give people something new each year’. In Cork this will be an inaugural workshop day, RAS at EAS, on September 29, which will then be continued at future shows. ‘RAS events are starting to grow across the world and RAS covers so many disciplines within aquaculture research,’ said Lane. ‘What we’re trying to do with the RAS at EAS is avoid presentations – we’re making it specifically focused on experience sharing, so we’re taking two or three key questions under the general envelope of RAS and each session will be a moderated panel discussion, with panellists from science and also from industry. ‘There will be one introductory short presentation at the beginning of each session and then it’s all about the panel and audience discussion.’ He said apart from the RAS workshop, Cork would feature two other one-day events within the platform of Aquaculture Europe. Innovation forum As well as the RAS day, there will be the Innovation Forum (launched last year in Berlin), and the industry forum, what used to be called the farmers day, which is more specific to aquaculture in the location of the conference. Lane said it was ‘tempting’ to organise one-off EAS events outside the conventional Aquacul-


Alistair Lane - EAS.indd 32

Above: EAS executive director Alistair Lane Left: Board of the European Mariculture Society (which became the EAS) in 1976 Opposite - top: EAS in Bordeaux, 1989 Middle: EAS Student Group founders, 2005 Bottom: Former EAS president Bjorn Myrseth in Torremolinos in 1993


10/03/2020 11:54:26

All the fun of the fair

ture Europe shows. ‘We considered doing what we call ‘deep dive’ events. You take one discipline or one subject, such as closed containment or RAS, and it’s tempting to make a separate event of that in between the different Aquaculture Europe events. ‘The problem with that is it creates one more event and there are so many. Today, you could go to one aquaculture event in Europe probably almost every week. ‘There are so, so many and people have to choose. So we thought Aquaculture Europe is a platform, let’s keep it there and not do the deep dive events separately.’ This worked in Berlin, first with the Nordic RAS conference that was timed to coincide with the EAS conference, and helped bring record attendance to Aquaculture Europe 2019. The inaugural Innovation Forum was also judged a success and Lane hopes the same interest will be generated in Cork. ‘There are a lot of fairly recent initiatives on innovation, trying to match make pitchers and investors, happening all around the world. And we thought we should be doing this because we have so much knowledge, presented in the event and in the [EAS] journal. ‘But the real idea and principal objective of the EAS is to bridge this gap between science and stakeholders, science and industry, science and policy, science and consumers, and the Innovation Forum is a logical way to build on this huge resource of knowledge that we have.’ He has said in the past that Europe used to be strong on research but maybe not on innovation,

but this is changing. ‘There is still possibly a lag in the way in which science is measured through only high impact peer review. But of course science also needs to be measured in terms of its translation into the development of its associated industries.’ In Cork, the EAS will be teaming up again with Hatch Blue, the aquaculture accelerator company. ‘It’s always best to partner up with organisations that do this as their day job, because we don’t have the skill set to organise these things completely on our own,’ said Lane. There were a few fund managers in the room at the Berlin Innovation Forum, who ‘knew very well who they wanted to talk to afterwards’ but it is a challenge to attract investors to what is essentially a scientific conference. ‘It was thanks to the German Startups Association and, to a certain extent, Hatch but a lot of work was done by the conference chair, Stefan Meyer, in building up this forum.’ Innovation forums and an audience of investors are far removed from the early days of the EAS, which was established in 1976. ‘The EAS was born out of a marine biology symposium held in Ostend in 1975 and the EAS was founded in 1976,’ said Lane. ‘It came out of the idea that there needed to be some kind of European focal point for aquaculture development at that time, which was basically happening in Norway and in nascent activity in the Mediterranean. ‘The EAS is not all about salmon – there are 70 plus species in culture in Europe, and five species (salmon, shellfish, sea bream and bass, trout, carp)


Alistair Lane - EAS.indd 33

The principal objective of the EAS is to bridge this gap between science and industry


10/03/2020 11:54:42

Interview – Alistair Lane

maybe that’s down to two or three so you have to make choices.’

account for 75-80 per cent of the production. ‘But it was dominated by Norway in the beginning because we had an excellent long term agreement with the Nor Fishing Foundation to organise a conference alongside Aqua Nor [held then in the NTNU university in Trondheim].’ Salmon focused It was initially very salmon focused but Lane said since 2000, when the EAS formalised an agreement with the World Aquaculture Society to organise a joint event every six years, international attendance has grown, with more people from Asia and South America interested in what’s happening in Europe. Then, when they started to develop the trade shows from 2007 (in Istanbul), the EAS decided it made sense to collaborate with the WAS. ‘The exhibition customer base is more or less the same and they have a lot of experience in organising the WAS and the other shows,’ said Lane. The unique selling point of the EAS is ‘a helicopter view of everything that’s happening in European aquaculture’, but Norwegian participation remains ‘very, very high’. ‘The Norwegian research sector is thriving and strong,’ said Lane. ‘At our conferences if there is one country that’s dominating in terms of attendance then it’s Norway. ‘EAS membership is very linked to the research resources and effort. If you look, for example, at the highest participation in EU projects it’s basically Norway, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and one or two other countries – and that is reflected in our membership and attendees at the scientific events.’ He has also seen more Eastern and Central European involvement in the EAS, a trend that began in the mid-2000s, when Laszlo Varadi from Hungary was the EAS president. ‘We realised there was so much happening in Central and Eastern Europe, notably the Czech Republic and Hungary. And we moved towards Poland to see what was happening there in the development of species away from traditional carp culture, with the start of pike perch culture and other species. And then it spread further north and east towards Ukraine and Russia.’ In fact, Russia was on the list of possibilities for Aquaculture Europe 2012 when the EAS board looked at Moscow and St Petersburg. ‘We realised it was going to be a little bit complicated at that time so we decided to go for a lower risk location, which turned out to be Prague.’ There is an international perspective at EAS shows but Lane said the big difference between the WAS and EAS events is that the latter gets many fewer Americans. ‘This is partly due to budget and travel restrictions. So American researchers, scientists and aquaculture stakeholders are favouring shows like Aquaculture America which was recently held in Hawaii, for example, where the travel is easier. ‘Before, you had a budget to attend eight to 10 conferences a year and now


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Above: The Aquaculture Europe 2014 team in San Sebastian Below: Alistair Lane meeting King Harald of Norway in 2009 Opposite: Alistair Lane with Mario Stael in Edinburgh, 2016 (photo: Rob Fletcher)

Early stages Lane’s own background is firmly rooted in Europe, although he hails from north-west London. After studying for an MSc in Marine Biology (‘there were no aquaculture degrees then’) in Bangor, he headed to Paris. ‘The first couple of jobs were based in the early stages, the development of larval feed and so on -that was one of the huge bottlenecks of aquaculture at the time. ‘And then I kind of weaned myself on to the actual feed market, working with Ewos in Spain as marketing manager and then as general manager in France.’ He worked in feeds for 14 years, at Frippak, Sanofi-France Aquaculture, as well as Ewos, always in Europe, by desire rather than accident. ‘I think I could have found chances to work outside of Europe but aquaculture in Europe in the mid-80s was extremely exciting, both in research and in the development of aquaculture outside of Norway and into the Mediterranean especially. ‘And I decided that’s where I wanted to focus and I didn’t need to go and live and work in Asia or the Americas, there was so much potential in Europe.’ His first involvement in the EAS was presenting his MSc at Aquaculture Europe in 1987 and attending many other Aquaculture Europe events, before joining the staff in March 2000. Over the past two decades, the ‘biggest change


10/03/2020 11:55:07

All the fun of the fair

If knowledge doesn’t get to the sector then we’re not doing our job

industry, has remained the same. The core team has also remained in place, with Lane, Cooksey and Stael – ‘all still friends’- at the centre of events for a generation. What about the future for the indsutry in Europe? Lane doesn’t think it is necessarily easier to be a new entrant today than it used to be. ‘There were different risks 20 years ago, it was a boom development period. We had a lot of things we didn’t know. Now it’s more of a case that the training, the education and qualifications to work in aquaculture are becoming more complex and technology driven. ‘The scientific knowledge is necessary but also the knowledge of equipment, of technology and how to use that best. That’s probably the biggest thing that’s changed. ‘Probably one of the biggest things in my last 20 years (or my first 20 years!) in the EAS has been that – we were doing things more or less blindly at the time. ‘It was a hugely exciting period to start to grow aquaculture in Europe away from just salmon aquaculture, which started in the 70s of course.’ He said aquaculture will become more professional, ‘in the way in which we control and manage, and make sure that the unknowns become knowns’. ‘We still have a certain mortality in our production cycles, in sea bass and sea bream and also in salmon which we find difficult to explain; we can’t logically account for it or find a good reason for having some losses. ‘These losses may be 10 per cent, 15 per cent or maybe more of our production and we still don’t know why we’re losing those fish.’ As for the next pioneers, he said younger people are understanding that the careers in aquaculture are actually quite varied. ‘With the EAS there is an ageing demographic of our membership, which is changing quite dramatically over the years. The young people now in European aquaculture are definitely the generation which are going to make another step change in the development of European aquaculture. ‘This is both because of the technology revolution that’s happened since the 80s and also, more recently, I think that the younger European scientists are much more polyvalent than the older generation of scientists, that were still driven by this idea of the number of peer reviewed scientific posts as the success factor for their career. ‘Unfortunately, that university system is still there but if scientists 20 years ago were [perceived to be] in ivory towers; that has changed enormously. ‘And that’s good for the industry. Knowledge is science based of course. But if that knowledge doesn’t get to the sector then we’re not doing our job. Build bridges ‘The EAS was developed in 1976 with that objective, and it’s still as valid But against this background of change, the EAS’s mission, to build bridges between science and the today as it was 30 or 40 years ago.’ FF by far’ in the EAS has been the expansion of the original university type scientific meetings for 300 to 400 to full city congress centres with more than 1,500 participants and exhibitors, said Lane. There have been changes in the European aquaculture industry too, mainly in terms of control of the production cycle. This has been achieved, said Lane, through massively increased knowledge of biological needs and technology to improve monitoring and automate certain labour intensive operations. But despite such progress, there is still a lack of growth He argues that because farmers have lowered their environmental footprint, particularly their nitrogen and phosphorous impacts, they should be allowed to grow at existing sites, with significant changes to the way in which Environmental Impact Assessments are developed and monitored. ‘With genomic selection, the way in which we do our husbandry, with co-culture of other species, we can reduce our environmental impact and we can demonstrate that. ‘If we can show a trend of reduced impact then we should be allowed to increase our production on that site. That’s not happening now but I’d like to see that happening.’ European aquaculture producers could strengthen their sector with the continued empowerment of producer organisations, the predictability of performance, and the sharing of data. ‘Data has always been one of our poor points. We have it in house but still so much is done manually or on an Edexcel spreadsheet, but there will probably in the next five to 10 years be a revolution in data accumulation, controlling our production and having that data used for the industry as a whole or the species sector as a whole and not just for individual operators.’


Alistair Lane - EAS.indd 35


10/03/2020 11:55:26

Interview – Alistair Lane

The makings of a good show What’s your favourite event in the past 20 years? So hard to say, they are all different. Some highlights: AE2003 Beyond Monoculture, which was the first time we focused on IMTA; AE2010 Porto – the first time we exceeded 1,000; AE2014 San Sebastian for the location; AE2017 Dubrovnik – for the location and the social events; and Berlin – which was huge and one of the first major European capitals (apart from Edinburgh). What are the origins of the President’s Reception? It goes right back to the first meeting in Venice in 1981 and was a chance for the EAS president to host a dinner. How do you select plenary speakers and conference themes? The plenaries are where we can do something new each year, we can get in people from outside aquaculture to give us their take on different things. We’re continuing in that vein in Cork and doing something related to the general theme of Ireland, which is based around the circular economy.

the environment within the production system, is kind of a link. So the fully contained and semi-contained systems in the sea, which we’re starting to see in Norway for example with big prototypes, we’ll focus on in Madeira. What do you still want to achieve in your role within the EAS? To continue to increase paid membership (to get it well over 1,000) to continue to provide high value events (with something new and different each time) and to continue to develop other tools (such as the EASTalk) to help us achieve our bridge building goals. I’d also like to develop further the Innovation Forum as innovation and knowledge usage is the main structural element of the gap that we are trying to bridge.

How have the trade shows developed on your watch? They started in Istanbul in 2007, with Future Fish Eurasia. We then went ‘on our own’ from 2008. In Berlin in 2019, there were around 150 booths. Is there scope to make the conference/trade shows bigger? Yes, although we don’t want too many parallel sessions, we also want to keep scientific quality high and attendees generally tell us that 1,500 to 2,000 is a maximum. How can you continue to expand the EAS membership? We’ve started, with free membership for students and retirees, promotion membership for first time non-member attendees. Since Berlin, this has added 240 new members, bringing us to 766 at present. What will be the impact of the UK’s exit from Europe? Difficult to say. The obvious challenge is on tariffs for aquaculture products. For mobility and research, Boris Johnson’s government has made promises and given guarantees. Whether he will deliver on them is another question. What plans are in place for Aquaculture Europe 2021? What we will probably do in Madeira is focus on aspects of semi containment systems in the sea. RAS covers land based predominantly but anywhere where you recirculate water, or you control


Alistair Lane - EAS.indd 36

All year round attractions

Top: EAS presidents at the 40th anniversary show in Edinburgh in 2016 Above: Alistair Lane

THE EAS aims to ‘empower’ members to do what they do at shows all year round, said Alistair Lane. ‘This is being achieved, to a certain extent, through the Thematic Groups (we have three active groups on eels, percids and copepods) and the new initiatives, the webinars and podcasts.’ The webinars or EAStalks, normally held on the first Tuesday of each month, are not just based on things that might be conference presentations, in other words, scientific disciplines. ‘We’re trying to do different things like what does ETIP [European Technology and Information Platform] do, what is the Aquaculture Advisory Council and what is its mandate,’ said Lane. The webinar format is 30 minutes presentation and 15 minutes Q&A, and Lane said they have between 80 and 100 people signing up. (Contact ana@aquaeas.eu). The latest one was on March 3, a focus on ‘CtrlAqua: Contribution to future aquaculture’ presented by Åsa Espmark, centre director of CtrlAQUA and senior scientist in Nofima. They started doing the podcasts in Berlin, with a face to face 20-mintue chat, available online for members. Other perks for members include the now digitalised scientific journal Aquaculture International – and access to all papers published in the last 15 or so years. And members can see the abstracts from all conferences since 2013. Lane said priority has also been given to increasing the EAS’s social media outreach, where they now have a combined total of 8,000 followers, mainly through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.


10/03/2020 11:55:54


T E C H N O L O G Y By developing technology focused on solving the biological challenges we contribute to the continued development of a sustainable industry

with fish welfare as the most important success criteria. Good fish health is paramount in achieving good results and investing in our technology will help deliver both.


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10/03/2020 10:21:46

Mowi Scotland – Inside Kyleakin

High hopes All eyes now on Skye after success of feed division in Norway


owi’s greatest single investment in Scotland towers 40m above sea level on Allt Anavig quarry on Skye. Apart from a main process building and adjoining dosing and mixing units, warehouses, boiler room, and storage tanks, the Kyleakin feed mill has 15 giant silos for raw materials, and another eight for liquids, with the whole plant geared to produce up to 240,000 tonnes of fish feed a year. The factory, and its equally impressive quayside infrastructure, is a metal monument to the Norwegian owned company’s commitment to Scottish salmon farming. But for Claes Jonermark, operations director Europe of Mowi Feed, the key to Kyleakin’s success is not its formidable structure but its people. ‘Our biggest asset is our employees; without them, this is all just a piece of steel,’ he told Fish Farmer as he showed us around the mill in January. There are 55 people employed full-time on the site, which was nearing the end of its commissioning phase when we visited. Some 70 per cent of those recruited have connections to the local community, although there is still a Norwegian presence, with expertise seconded from Mowi’s original feed plant at Valsneset in Bjugn, Norway. Most of the staff have been on training spells in Norway, with some there for a year before Kyleakin even opened. They have also undergone training with the suppliers. Jonermark, a Swede, said Scotland’s ‘piece of steel’, which cost an overbudget £125 million to complete, has a different function to Valsneset’s. In the Norwegian plant the focus is on bulk, with an annual capacity of 350,000 tonnes, but Kyleakin is more of a specialist unit, making feed for every stage, from freshwater to grow-out. The two plants operate as one though, with a very wide range of products which cover all of Mowi’s needs. Jonermark said Kyleakin, which became operational last summer, is capacity

building, with volumes dependent on the market, both for Mowi’s own farms and for external customers. Final 2019 quarter figures for Mowi (see box) show that Kyleakin produced under 20,000 tonnes against Norway’s 93,000 tonnes, but the plant is in its start-up phase and production can be scaled up to 800 tonnes a day. ‘The production capacity is there, with the two extruders, but you need a lead time to secure the raw material supply,’ said Jonermark. ‘But in a few months we can get up to full capacity if we have the market for it – and we don’t have it right now. ‘This factory was built for Mowi but, yes, we are also open to business from others if they are interested. It will be a while before Mowi consumes 240,000 tonnes.’ Mowi’s hopes must be high for Scotland, though, after the success of its feed division in Norway, which made an operating profit of 15.9 million euros in the fourth quarter of last year, and paid for itself in three years, according to Mowi Scotland boss Ben Hadfield. Kyleakin has delivered its Neptune range of feeds to the company’s salmon farms on the west coast and the Hebrides, organic feed to Ireland, and has supplied the Faroes and Norway, too, as well as European freshwater production. This year, Mowi

Left: Mowi’s feed plant on Skye Opposite - top: Claes Jonermark at Kyleakin Right: Monitoring the extrusion process from inside the control room on level three


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10/03/2020 11:59:44

High hopes

plans to be self-sufficient in feed requirements in Europe. A large part of the massive investment in Kyleakin was in the logistics. The plant sits on approximately 350,000m2 of land but, as Jonermark says, ‘this is a marine facility’. Mowi extended the existing quay wall and built a new pier to accommodate the vessels and tankers bringing in raw materials and LNG fuel, and going out with the finished feed. ‘The capacity is 240,000 tonnes a year – that is 240,000 tonnes coming in (raw materials) and 240,000 tonnes going out, so the pier had to be designed for a very high capacity, as well as for bad weather… always an issue, like Norway!’ said Jonermark. At the pier, raw materials are vacuumed at 300 tonnes an hour by an unloader/suction plant,

In a few “months

we can get up to full capacity if we have the market for it

INTEGRATED MARINE, RAIL & ROAD LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS THROUGHOUT THE UK Work vessels and Port services available for short term, long term and one-off contracts


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10/03/2020 12:00:20

Mowi Scotland – Inside Kyleakin

Factory floor There are two main parts of the factory (which was constructed by builder Robertsons and consultant Thomson Gray), one for treated materials, the mixing and milling side, and one for untreated. Jonermark begins the tour in the ‘clean side’. Each of the seven levels is self-contained, and it is only at the stairwells, when you peer down, or up, that you grasp the full scale of Kyleakin. Inside the control room on level three, the factory’s ‘engine room’, banks of computer screens monitor the extrusion process. Jonermark draws a diagram on a white board to explain how the feed is made and shows us samples – of pellets without and then with oil. ‘Salmon wants a feed with high protein content and high fat content but it’s not especially interested in starch,’ he said. ‘And salmon is like us humans, we need a lot of protein when we’re young and when we get older we tend to eat more fat instead in our diets. ‘In the feed, what you want is high protein raw materials and of course you use fishmeal as part of it. It depends a little bit on the type of market and product and what age the salmon is, but roughly 10 per cent of fishmeal is in the formulation, that’s an average for Mowi. ‘Then we use other high protein vegetable raw materials like corn gluten (the protein part of the corn), soy protein and wheat gluten. And beans and high protein vegetables – there is quite a big raw material portfolio that we use.’ Jonermark said they try to source as much locally as possible (the wheat and corn gluten, for example, is from the UK), while fishmeal is normally from the UK, Portugal, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. The dry raw materials are pre-mixed and then ground into a very fine meal. Then micro ingredients – vitamins and minerals – are added. The meal mix with the right content of dry raw

Left: The feed silos. Opposite (top): Pipes are used for air and transport. Below: Typical Mowi feed formulation (source: Mowi’s annual report 2018). Below (left): Claes Jonermark and the Fish Farmer team

entering the building through a conveyor. Finished feed goes out on a conveyor, also at 300 tonnes an hour, in bulk- that is, bagless. In Norway, 85 per cent of the feed volume is in bulk, going directly into silos on boats, to reduce manual handling and using as little packaging as possible. On Skye, some 95 per cent of the volume is delivered by boat and they are currently distributing 40 to 50 per cent by bulk, but this is increasing every day, said Jonermark, with delivery by boat providing environmental as well as economic benefits. Smaller bags of feed continue to be delivered to nearby farms by Corpach based haulier Ferguson Transport. Mowi built two 3,000-tonne capacity ships for Norway at the same time as it built the Valsneset factory in 2014. But for Scotland, it is using older bulk and bag carriers, also from Norway, the 1,826 DWT Eidholm and 1,200 DWT Mikal With, to dispatch its feed.


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High hopes

materials is placed in the extruder machine – ‘which is a screw’, said Jonermark. A big part of the feed manufacturing process is preparing the raw materials for the extruder but the extruder is what decides the quality of the feed. ‘And the machines need a good operator with at


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least two years’ experience of mistakes!’ said Jonermark. ‘You need to make mistakes to learn, therefore it is important to keep your operators. ‘It is like baking bread, more or less. To this meal mix you add steam and the pressure increases and the temperature of the steam increases until at the end of the extruder–- when you have a high pressure and high temperature of much more than 100 deg C- what happens is the pre-mix passes through a matrix of small holes, say 6mm, and a knife cuts it.


10/03/2020 12:03:22

Mowi Scotland – Inside Kyleakin

‘That also means that nutritionally for the salmon, the feed is much more sensitive. You must really be sure that you give the salmon exactly what it needs. ‘It is much more sensitive to malnutrition and that means that quality control and quality checks on salmon feed is something quite unique.’ In the quality testing room at Kyleakin, the team works on testing every batch produced to make sure the nutritional content is right. They have methods, such as NIR (near infrared spectroscopy), that give results within minutes. They also test physical strength, and measure the durability of the feed. ‘You try in different ways to simulate what happens on the farm because it’s quite demanding physical treatment of the feed, the blowing about of the pellets,’ said Jonermark. Production runs 24/7 and testing is also continuous, with the quality operators working in round the clock shifts. ‘If you produce in the night and you deliver it the same way to the boat, you need to have the quality team working too,’ said Jonermark. Gravity ‘A lot goes up and down’ in the feed mill; raw materials enter on the top level, and then gravity is used to transport these down, for dosing. Then they are lifted again by elevators and go through grinding on level four. And then they come down to level three for extruding. Level four is where oil is added to the pellets. Level five is where the oil is mixed. Drying also takes place in the main process building, as does pre-cooling and coating. Everywhere, inside and outside the building, there are pipes. A lot of these, said Jonermark, are for air and transport. ‘It is an energy demanding process because you need energy for extrusion itself, and for transport

‘When it comes out, the water boils off and it expands and you get a pellet. It is a structure of protein and some starch. ‘This pellet now is full of holes, you can almost blow through it. If you put these into water they would just float on the surface and the salmon won’t eat it. ‘We then add the oil – a mix of rape seed oil and fish oil – and you put it in a vacuum chamber which pushes the oil into the holes and fills up the pellet. ‘The oil crystallises and you end up with the finished product. It is now the right nutrition content and it will sink slowly so the salmon will eat it. They don’t eat from the bottom – it has to be sinking slowly in the water for them to pick it up.’ Jonermark said the extrusion process might look very easy but it isn’t: ‘If you have too much air you won’t be able to fill it with oil and then you’ll have a pellet that floats on the surface and that would be no good. ‘The proportion of oil in the pellet depends on what type of product it is, but 30 per cent oil is not unusual. ‘Salmon is a very efficient animal because to produce one kilo of salmon you need 1.1 or 1.2 kilos of feed, but to produce chicken you need 2.4 kilos of feed, and for pigs it’s four something and for cattle it’s eight to 12 kilos.


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Above: The walkway beween the two main sections of the building. Right: Aquafeed processing technology by Dinnissen. Opposite: Mowi technician in the control room. (Photos: Angus Blackburn)


10/03/2020 12:03:53

High hopes

and in drying and cooling. And it’s also about recovering energy because if you need to cool something at one end and heat something at the other end, you get excess energy you can use. ‘So there are quite a lot of systems for energy recovery. With the air from the dryer, for instance, we take out the energy from the air and we re-use it instead of using new energy. ‘That’s one of the things you see in a new factory like this; if you compare its energy efficiency to an old factory, there is a huge difference, this is much more efficient. ‘That also goes back to the sustainability and the carbon footprint of the feed – we are really top class on the use of energy efficient feed.’ Perspective We have now reached the top of the building, and Jonermark opens a door that leads to the untreated part of the plant, where the raw materials are taken in. First, though, we must walk the gang plank, a bridge more than 35m above the ground, strung between the main process building and the feed silos. Looking down through the open mesh steel platform gives the best, or maybe worst, perspective yet of Kyleakin’s size. ‘I hope no one is too afraid of heights,’ said Jonermark. We go inside the top of the silos and walk between them; the area is pristine and there are radars and sensors, but no sign of the materials they contain, although all silos are in use. For a farmer like Mowi to become a feed company, it was necessary to recruit people with experience of feed, said Jonermark, whose own background is in feed, though not so much in fish feed. Mowi has R&D and trial facilities in Scotland, at Ardnish, and in Norway at Averøy, where they do continuous feed trials, testing different formulations. The innovation never stops because there are always new materials coming in, said Jonermark. ‘And also you look not only at feed performance, but at environmental sustainability. You also look at the entire carbon footprint for feed. We try to find as much locally produced raw materials as possible.’ He said they consider novel ingredients, just like everyone else in feed, but the priority is to secure supplies. Mowi said, in last year’s annual group report, that it was ‘evaluating some promising candidates’ in seeking to expand its spectrum of raw materials. These included products derived from insects, alcohol fermentation, CO2 capture and forestry. Jonermark said: ‘With totally new raw materials, from a food safety perspective you need to know exactly what you’re bringing in, so it has to be tested and tested and tested. ‘It’s not so long since we opened our first feed mill in 2014 so it’s been an enormous development since then. It is a rapidly changing industry, which is part of the challenge. ‘We see advantages with being fully integrated – you have a rapid flow of information back and forth,


kyleakin.indd 43

from feed to farming and from farming to feed.’ After more than five years of producing their own feed, could he make a calculated guess at how much savings there have been? ‘It’s difficult to say because we’ve also had a decline in the feed prices when we went to feed production’ said Jonermark. ‘So, yes, we have made some money out of it but also the entire aquaculture industry has made some profit out of it too. But there has been a very good payback from the factory in Norway.’ FF

If you compare its energy efficiency to an old factory, there is a huge difference


10/03/2020 12:04:11

Mowi Scotland – Inside Kyleakin

Fourth quarter results speak volumes

Mowi recorded an all-time high operational result in Feed in the fourth quarter of 2019 and the full year, driven by record high volumes. Operational EBIT in the quarter for Feed overall was €13.8 million (compared to €5.8 million for the same period in 2018), with Norway making €15.9 million. Feed volumes in the quarter were 112,277 tonnes (91,583 tonnes), of which 19,779 tonnes came from Mowi’s new feed plant in Scotland. Volumes sold in the fourth quarter reached 130,034 tonnes (109,850 tonnes), of which 23,391 came from Scotland. In Scotland, operational EBIT was negatively impacted by low volumes and the start-up phase of the new feed plant. The volume delivered from Mowi Feed accounted for 95 per cent of total feed delivered to Mowi Norway, compared with 96 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018. In Scotland, the volume delivered from Mowi Feed accounted for 91 per cent of total feed delivered to farming. Mowi said it is planning to further expand its overall operations in Scotland although it has not provided any details or a timetable. The company announced its intention in its 2020 outlook report from the board of directors, which also named Norway and Canada for further growth. The report states: ‘Being the largest global processor of salmon yields Mowi significant scale advantages. The board believes that improvements within automation and digitalisation can be realised with strong leadership and execution. ‘In 2020, Mowi will continue to invest across its value chain to support organic growth and strengthen the asset base. ‘The capital expenditure budget for 2020 is approximately €265 million (£223 million). Freshwater investments continue; in Norway Region North, Sandøra is expected to be completed this year, and expansion projects of existing smolt facilities in Region Mid and Region South continue. ‘The new hatchery in Canada East is in the construction phase and in Chile expansion investments have been sanctioned. ‘Selected sea water expansions in Norway, Scotland and Canada will also be undertaken. ‘Furthermore, Consumer Products expects to undertake several automation projects in Europe and the US, in addition to a new value added processing


kyleakin.indd 44

facility in France. ‘Mowi has significant potential to further grow its farming volumes based on the existing licence footprint. ‘As such, expected working capital investments in the region of €90 million relate to further biomass growth, and also growth in Consumer Products and Feed.’ Mowi now has 500 stores featuring its MOWI brand in Poland and said it is set to expand into other countries with the brand. It is planning to launch in the retail segment in France, with the development of its new highly automated and modern smokehouse in Kritsen. And, as announced last month, the MOWI brand will be launched in the US on Amazon.com’s fresh food delivery division, Amazon Fresh, on March 14. ‘To address the competitive processing market, Mowi will establish a Global Processing Excellence Team with the task of realising improvements related to Mowi’s processing plants,’ said Mowi in its report. Mowi has 38 primary and secondary processing Above: Claes Jonermark facilities in 19 countries. on the quayside at On the coronavirus crisis, the board said it is Kyleakin closely monitoring the situation, adding: ‘Salmon is a globally traded product and any kind of trade friction could potentially impact the industry and Mowi negatively. ‘However, notwithstanding this potential short term issue, the medium and long term outlook for the salmon farming industry remains strong. ‘Demand continues to develop favourably and industry supply growth for 2020 is expected to be approximately four per cent according to Kontali Analyse.’


10/03/2020 12:05:14

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10/03/2020 10:23:13

Boats and boatbuilding



New wave of vessels needed to keep up with changes in the industry BY SANDY NEIL


CRITICAL need for workboats on Scotland’s aquaculture sites is bringing a welcome boost to the Scottish boatbuilding industry, but it still needs to do more to woo fish farmers away from shipyards overseas. Designing and building workboats for Scottish salmon farms presents a very lucrative market. Fish farms rely on a network of workboats, such as live fish carriers, tugboats, feed barges, crew transfer vessels, pontoon boats, platform supply vessels, dredgers, and other types of utility craft. A new wave of vessels are also needed to keep up with changes in the industry, for example the move from chemical to mechanical sea lice removal, such as Hydrolicers and Thermolicers. In most cases, workboats are the only access to offshore fish farms located in remote areas. It is therefore no surprise that workboats account for roughly 20 per cent of the total cost of aquaculture. Mowi, for example, Scotland’s largest salmon farming company, runs up to 50 workboats in its fleet, with around 20 per cent chartered on long-term deals, and two or three other small vessels for ad hoc works throughout the year. At any one time, there is on average one workboat in use per site, rising to three or four vessels when other works are required. The most common types of workboat are landing craft or multicat hulls,

but any vessel with open deck, a crane and capstans are useful, and can also double up as treatment boats, which are hard to find on the open market. The company needs to build bigger vessels to cope with the growth in average pen and farm size, but can use its older and smaller vessels as dedicated net washing boats. Currently, Mowi has three workboats in construction, two have been recently delivered, and another three are ordered for 2020. Some of this industry demand feeds down to Scottish boatbuilders, such as Flugga Boats, a small family business on the Isle of Unst, Shetland. Its team, who grew up and worked in Shetland, realised standard workboats weren’t always best placed in the ever changing weather around its coast. So they came up with ‘a solution that could benefit Shetland’s workers without the constant need for maintenance and

Above: Macduff 14m catamaran Left: Feed barge operating in Shetland


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10/03/2020 12:06:31

Business buoyant

replacement,’ the company’s website explains. ‘Built in Shetland and designed to withstand the harshest sea conditions that surround the isles, Flugga Boats utilise an HDPE collar and aluminium materials for strength, low maintenance and a long-life hull.’ The rigid hulled inflatable boats ‘have all of the advantages of a rib, just harder’, the firm says. They are used as police and dive boats, as well as salmon workboats. Currently, all of Flugga’s boatbuilding contracts are for the aquaculture industry: six vessels for Grieg Seafoods based in Lerwick, each 8.5m long with a four-man cabin, and due to be delivered this year. Flugga Boats is expanding due to the increased orders from fish farms, said managing director Jack Barclay. ‘Boatbuilding in Shetland has always been on the smaller side of the market. This is largely due to the weather requiring boats to be built under cover, especially during winter months. Recent work has now led us to try and increase the workforce to cope with demand.


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‘We are somewhat isolated, up here in Shetland, from the mainstream markets of the mainland. This has drawbacks, but also a positive side to it. ‘It means we have to work things out for ourselves and this leads to innovation. We are also keen to try new ideas and products.’ Barclay added: ‘The new boats we are building are powered by the new OXE diesel outboards, and we have been to Sweden to train on the maintenance of these units. ‘They are innovative and fuel efficient, reducing emissions and adding another level of safety to the power plants. They fit well with the Flugga boat as the builds and component parts are always selected with environmental efficiency in mind.’ It’s been a good year too for Gael Force Boatbuilding in Corpach. Soon after the Gael Force Group bought the Corpach Boatbuilding Company in 2018, the new company won a contract to build its first steel barge for a Scottish fish farm. Gael Force Group has a concrete barge building facility in Inverness but, in a bid to develop its boatbuilding business in Corpach, also offers ‘an innovative, competitive home built substitute to imported steel barges’ with capacities up to 750 tonnes. Currently, many competing steel feed barges are manufactured outside the UK in Eastern Europe. Marc Wilson, Gael Force’s group marketing manager, said: ‘Gael Force Boatbuilding has progressed exceptionally well over the past 12 months.

We have to work things out for ourselves and this leads to innovation

” 47

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Boats and boatbuilding

‘When the boatbuilding business in Corpach joined the group in 2018, we set out to introduce steel barge building to the west coast of Scotland. ‘Last year, that ambition was realised and in the autumn we saw the milestone build and launch of our first 200T SeaFeed steel barge from Corpach, delivered to Scottish Sea Farms at Lober Rock in Orkney. ‘This was a momentous and proud occasion for the team at Corpach who had worked diligently to deliver on the project. ‘This feed barge has a nominal 200 tonne feed capacity and features a

four-line SeaFeed feeding system, synchronised generator set, and 15 tm crane. It was also designed with a high wheelhouse to provide the operator with a good viewing platform and panoramic views of the farm. ‘On the back of this build we have generated a significant amount of interest in our steel barge range and have had several lines of enquiry to follow up on. Above: Macduff 37m


Featured: 8.5m, aluminium and HDPE collar. Specifically designed for Salmon farm work, with heated cabin, twin Oxe diesel outboards. Coded MCA Cat 3 on delivery.

Built in Shetland and designed to withstand the harshest sea conditions, Flugga Boats utilise an HDPE collar and aluminium materials for strength, low maintenance and a long-life hull. Flugga Boats Hagdale Industrial Estate, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland ZE2 9TW Tel: (+44)1957 711 881 Email:info@fluggaboats.co.uk www.fluggaboats.co.uk


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Employee numbers harvest vessel. Opposite: ‘Our employee numbers at the boatyard have Inside a Gael Force SeaFeed steel barge. increased to 25 and we expect to continue to increase further this year. ‘Over the past 12 months we have also been investing in an improved infrastructure, both in plant and building equipment, in order to create a more efficient production line. ‘In the future, we have plans to introduce a larger capacity slipway to enable the maintenance and refurbishment of larger boats. ‘We continue to have a steady stream of workboat repairs and maintenance coming through Gael Force Boatbuilding – this includes a mix of aquaculture and commercial vessels.’ On the east coast, Aberdeenshire naval architects Macduff Ship Design has also had a surge in orders from Scottish fish farms. Macduff Ship Design has been working on vessel design for the aquaculture industry since 1993. Its 6m to 50m designs are seen across the world in numerous forms: workboats, tugs, fishing vessels, ferries, pilot boats, patrol boats, dredgers, research vessels and multipurpose vessels.

Many of the existing fleet has started to become too small to operate successfully


10/03/2020 12:07:20

Business buoyant

More than 200 vessels are in operation to Macduff Designs in all corners of the world, said the company. Macduff Ship Design’s managing director, Ian Ellis, said: ‘We have seen a steady increase in demand for workboats from the aquaculture industry. ‘There has been an increase in farm sizes, which has meant many of the existing fleet has started to become too small to operate successfully within these new requirements. ‘There has also been a tightening of regulation within the statutory survey, and this has had the knock-on effect of reducing both cargo and crane capacity on many older vessels, which is leading to a need for new replacements, often with an increased capability. ‘The new fish treatment and handling techniques have led to an increased requirement for larger vessels designed specifically to operate within both the treatment and harvesting sectors of the industry.’ Macduff reported ‘an exciting and diverse order book’, including the design of five new workboats for fish farms. A 37m fish harvest and transport vessel is being constructed by Shipbuilding Asia in Vietnam for Cooke Aquaculture, and two catamaran workboats, 18.5m and 14m in length, are designed for various sites in Scotland. The 14m catamaran design is a repeat build

for Scottish Sea Farms following on from her sister ships, Julie Anne, Kiera May and Lily Mae. Fanfare The greatest fanfare, however, heralded two fully Scottish vessels, designed by Macduff Ship Design in Macduff, built by Ferguson Marine on the River Clyde, and owned by Inverlussa Marine Services on the Isle

Proven to be 300% less stressful on pumped fish compared to traditional methods. Available with Straight, 90 degree Electric or Hydraulic Drive Visit us at Stand No OS39, Aquaculture UK 19-21 May 2020 www.fishfarmermagazine.com

Boats - Sandy.indd 49


10/03/2020 12:07:43

Boats and boatbuilding

We anticipate that “new treatment and

processing methods will stimulate additional opportunities


Boats - Sandy.indd 50

of Mull. The first, the 21m, 100t landing craft Helen Rice - launched into the Clyde in January, was the first vessel to be completed since the Port Glasgow shipyard Ferguson Marine Engineering was taken into public ownership in December 2019. The Helen Rice, suited to carry out general fish farm service duties, was designed with a deck layout for mooring work, but is also capable of carrying 90t of deck cargo with a capacity for three 20ft containers. Work on the larger 26m vessel is scheduled to be completed during summer 2020. It is designed to carry out thermolicing within a fully enclosed deck, allowing work to continue safely in challenging weather conditions. The then finance secretary Derek Mackay, who attended the Helen Rice’s naming ceremony, said: ‘This is a Scottish built vessel, provided to a Scottish customer and serving the needs of the Scottish aquaculture industry.


10/03/2020 12:08:10

Business buoyant

‘It is hugely encouraging that the yard has been able to support our island economies in this way.’ Inverlussa Marine Services’ managing director, Ben Wilson, said: ‘We were delighted to build this vessel in Scotland. ‘I would like to thank Ferguson Marine and their workforce for delivering such a well-crafted vessel. ‘The delivery of this vessel continues our strategy of investing in the best vessels and crew.’ Fergusson Marine Engineering went into administration in December last year following a dispute with Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd - which buys and leases CalMac ships on behalf of the Scottish government - over the construction of two ferries under a £97 million fixed price contract. A Scottish government spokesperson said: ‘Following administration, contracts for both Inverlussa vessels have been novated across to Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd [as the yard is now named] with agreement from the customer. ‘The Scottish government remains committed to the completion of vessels, securing jobs, and to working towards a bright future for shipbuilding at the site.’ For all the celebration of a fully Scottish work-


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Left: The Helen Rice launch at Ferguson Marine. Below: Gael Force’s steel barge design


10/03/2020 12:08:27

Boats and boatbuilding

boat, and a surge in orders for Scottish boatbuilders and designers, there remains a big challenge for them, namely to woo business from shipyards abroad. One major aquaculture firm said: ‘We do not have any vessels being built in Scotland, as the design package and price do not match the value and quality from other yards abroad. We would purchase in Scotland if [that] was addressed.’ One European competitor, the Dutch shipyard Damen, has delivered three vessels to the sector in the UK so far, with a fourth anticipated later this year. Damen’s communications advisor Ben Littler said: ‘We have delivered


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Above: Gael Force SeaFeed steel barge at Corpach.

two Damen Multi Cats to Scot Marine (in Orkney) and to Johnson Marine (in Shetland), as well as the design of a Landing Utility Vessel 1608 to Exeter Fabrications. ‘We are talking to numerous companies in Scotland about future opportunities. T ‘he fourth delivery, a stock built LUV 1908, is likely to be delivered in the region in quarter three this year. We see potential also for our Utility Vessels 4312 and 2613. ‘We are just getting started in this sector and we build ships for all sectors of the maritime industry, all over the world, so currently, as a percentage, aquaculture is relatively low, but we see a lot of potential in the market and are confident in the – proven – designs that we are offering, so anticipate an increase. ‘Demand for vessels is definitely growing – particularly in the sheltered waters to be found on the Scottish west coast. ‘We anticipate that new treatment and processing methods will stimulate additional opportunities. ‘What we anticipate is that the aquaculture sector, like other sectors of the maritime industry, will benefit from Damen’s practice of building standardised vessels in series – for stock. ‘What this means for operators is fast access to proven, reliable equipment. ‘We believe we have a strong offer for aquaculture as it continues to grow in global importance.’ FF


10/03/2020 12:09:36

Boats and boatbuilding

Extra Mayo Irish workboat supplier branching out in Scotland BY DAVE EDLER


WORKBOAT company operating from the Irish coastal town of Westport, close to the ‘gaeltacht’ area of County Mayo, has secured its first assignment in Scotland at a fish farm site on the Isle of Skye. . O’Malley Marine Plant hopes that the work on Skye, which involves net washing and various other tasks, will lead to more aquaculture related opportunities in the Scottish market. O’Malley is run by two brothers, Charles and Gerard O’Malley, and the company currently has three workboats: the MV James, the MV True Light and the MV Tormore. It was only established in 2018 and the brothers also own and operate Malley Ferries (Clare Island) Limited, which provides year round ferry links between the Irish mainland and Clare Island and Inishturk. The O’Malley family originate from Clare Island and have been seafarers for many generations. The Westport company has 10 employees but is looking to expand. Its reputation for successfully completing jobs on time and within budget has brought the firm to the attention of several companies working in the aquaculture sector. O’Malley has previously worked with Mowi in the Republic of Ireland but the contract on Skye is the first time it has operated at a fish farm site in Scotland. The current workboat being used has a crane, 3 ISO tanks, 1000 tonne deck cargo, and 115 square metre deck area, as well as a workshop and accommodation for up to six people. Charles O’Malley said that the company is very keen to build on the work being done on Skye. ‘There’s no doubt about it, that after getting our first Scottish assignment, we are keen to work on other sites here,’ he told Fish Farmer. ‘The work we have done with Mowi in Ireland went very well, but we are now very open to exploring opportunities in the Scottish market. ‘As well as our existing fleet, we have another small workboat coming online in about two months’ time and so we will be able to offer that as well.’ O’Malley takes on a wide range of jobs outside the aquaculture sector, and some of its workboats’ other activities have included anchor handling, carriage of rock armour, dredging support, the transfer of fuel and freshwater to other vessels, the transfer of cargo and equipment using the vessels own cranes and bough loading ramp, and the deployment and retrieval of buoys. Most recently, the MV James has also been working in the highlands of Scotland, ferrying articulated trucks and other vehicles between the Isle of Islay and the Isle of Jura. The James, a landing craft originally built in Germany in 1953 but completely refurbished 10 years ago, had also been involved before Christmas in assisting in the repairs to Dun Laoghaire Harbour in Co Dublin, which were a result of damage from Storm Emma in 2018. FF


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After getting our first “Scotti sh assignment, we

are keen to work on other sites here

Above: Irish workboat company O’Malley Marine Plant is moving into the Scottish aquaculture market


O’Malley Marine Plant owns and operates a number of cargo/ workboats. We have a range of vessels available to hire from 11metres up to 26metres. All our vessels are fitted with cranes and capstans, have a carrying capacity ranging from 11tonne to 100tonne, are Dangerous Goods compliant and have full accommodation on board for crew members. Our larger vessels are coded for 3 x ISO tanks and all crew have vast experience in fishfarming operations of all types. Call Us: Charles 00353 86 6000204 or Gerard 00353 86 8870814 for a QUOTE info@omalleymarineplant.ie www.omalleymarineplant.ie


10/03/2020 12:11:23

Fish Veterinary Society – Annual conference

Does Brexit mean ‘Vetxit’? All the challenges the industry faces require a viable workforce, says leading vet


REXIT was high on the agenda at the annual Fish Veterinary Society (FVS) conference in Edinburgh earlier this month. In his opening address, Simon Doherty, vice president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), outlined measures to safeguard the future veterinary workforce after the transition period ends on December 31. All the challenges the industry faces require a viable workforce, with or without Brexit, he pointed out. The RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) and BVA have put a huge amount of effort into the shortage occupation list – part of the government’s new, points based immigration proposals. They have worked around mutual recognition for professional qualifications with Ireland, for example, to maintain as far as possible a supply of vets in the UK. Doherty highlighted the announcement in March of the new vet school opening in Aberystwyth, on top of increased student numbers in Nottingham and a new vet school opening as a joint venture between Harper Adams and Keele universities. ‘Veterinary capacity is something we’re continuing to work on,’ said Doherty. But he added: ‘The government want us to maintain the highest standards of animal welfare in our food producing systems, but that’s against the backdrop of a lot of work that suggests government don’t really see a place for farmers in the UK.’ He encouraged conference delegates to contribute to the BVA’s online careers advice database, My Vet Future, to try to attract more vets into aquaculture. Doherty also talked about the concept of ‘One Health’, in which the wellbeing of people, animals and the environment are ‘inextricably linked’. The One Health Commission, a collaboration of health science professions, defines the concept as ‘working locally, nationally and globally towards optimal health and wellbeing for people, domestic animals, wildlife, plants and our environment’. The One Health approach can be adopted to tackle challenges faced


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Above: Simon Doherty. Top: Conference delegates (photo: Gareth Moore)

by the aquaculture sector, he said. ‘If you think about it in terms of what we do on a daily basis with the companies we’re working with, with the communities we’re working with in rural areas, the food product that we’re ultimately producing, and the links to some of the challenges that are around the aquaculture industry, you can see how that definition works,’ said Doherty. On issues such as antimicrobial resistance, getting doctors and vets in the room to discuss the common problem ‘helps to find mutual solutions’. He said aquaculture can promote wellbeing in remote parts of Scotland, Ireland and Norway, with new jobs and investment, but it must not be at the expense of environmental sustainability and the health of the animals. Adopting a One Health approach will help sustainable aquaculture, which includes improving the carbon footprint of aquaculture; to do that, we need to reduce waste, said Doherty. ‘We reduce waste by improving animal health and we improve productivity through improved animal health.’ The 2020 FVS conference was held from March 3-4 at Norton House Hotel in Edinburgh. FF

capacity is something “Veterinary we’re continuing to work on ”


10/03/2020 12:14:46

Does Brexit mean ‘Vetxit’?

Leaving Europe could offer ‘exceptional The cascade is a risk opportunity’ for Veterinary Medicines Directorate based decision tree. IN another Brexit related talk, Sarah Norton, from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, said leaving the EU could provide an ‘exceptional opportunity’ for the VMD. Norton, project lead on the VMD’s transition team, explained how medicines will be regulated in the transition period, and what future opportunities could look like. As an independent third country, the UK will be an equal partner in its dealings with all countries, including the EU. ‘We’re hoping to strike a new and positive relationship with the EU but acting independently on an international stage. ‘In terms of what this means for the VMD, during the transition period we will not be attending any EU meetings and therefore we will not be voting on any EU veterinary medicine products. ‘We will still be inputting as a concerned member state. And we can also still exchange data with the EU as that’s of mutual benefit to both of us. And we can continue to access the EU’s IT system so we can carry on our procedures.’ In the transition period, said Norton, ‘we’re not asking for anything bespoke or special or unique, we just want the same as they already have with other


Fish Vets Round Up.indd 55

Above: Sarah Norton

friendly countries, like Canada or Australia’. The government accepts that this does come with some possible consequences for market access to both sides. The government is also seeking free trade agreements with other countries, such as the US. The VMD is playing a key role in those negotiations – both for the EU and the rest of the world - in relation to veterinary medicines, animal health and the environment. The UK market must maintain or even increase its attractiveness to pharmaceutical companies for investment, as well as leading the way in veterinary medicine regulation and animal health and welfare. ‘The UK’s position outside the EU gives the VMD an exceptional and massive opportunity,’ said Norton. ‘We are looking forward to

taking forward our domestic interests… we are in a position to help the UK act independently on an international stage, and to go further maybe than we could have done with the EU in protecting and enhancing animal welfare, public health and the environment of this country. ‘We have the opportunity to demonstrate that the UK can not only be a European leader but a global one in the field of veterinary medicine and animal health and welfare.’ Cascade Norton also gave details of the Cascade, which allows veterinary surgeons flexibility to use products that are not authorised for species or conditions within the UK. Designed to avoid unacceptable suffering in animals, vets can use their clinical judgement when prescribing under the Cascade. The Cascade is a risk based decision tree, where the prescribing vet must consider each level in turn,‘which means you cascade down the list, hence the name’, she said (see details right). The Cascade will not be changing during the transition period but what it will look like at the end will depend on what is agreed with the EU over the next few months.

The steps, in descending order of suitability, are:

• A veterinary medicine authorised in the UK for use in another animal species, or for a different condition in the same species. If there is no such product that is clinically suitable, either: • A human medicine authorised in the UK, or • A veterinary medicine not authorised in the UK, but authorised in another member state for use in any animal species in accordance with the Special Import Scheme; in the case of a food producing animal the medicine must be authorised in a food producing species. If there is no such product that is suitable: • A medicine prescribed by the vet responsible for treating the animal and prepared especially on this occasion (known as an extemporaneous preparation) by a vet, a pharmacist or a person holding an appropriate manufacturer’s authorisation (ManSA). In exceptional circumstances, where there is no suitable veterinary medicine available either as an authorised product or under the cascade, a vet may treat an animal with a medicine authorised in a country outside of the EU via the Special Import Scheme.


10/03/2020 12:15:51

Fish Veterinary Society – Annual conference

Big rise in welfare


But ‘certain groups’ sometimes take incidents out of context


HERE has been a significant rise in the number of fish welfare complaints received by government agencies over the past 18 months. Jenni Diffin of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which works for Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), told the Fish Veterinary Society conference in Edinburgh that her organisation had had to strengthen its fish welfare team in Scotland. This was in response to an increase in complaints against salmon farms, which come from ‘certain groups that most people will be aware of’, as well as from members of the public and the SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). However, the complaints can be taken out of context, and an issue with a single fish can be interpreted as a problem with an entire farm. ‘The increase in complaints has come over the last 18 months; before, there were certain people who didn’t think we had anything to do with fish welfare so we weren’t receiving the complaints,’ said Diffin. ‘Now they’ve realised that we have a remit in it, that’s pushed it and also driven Scottish government to increase our capabilities to respond to these complaints.’ APHA is responsible for monitoring compliance with animal welfare regulations through routine welfare inspections, and responding to welfare complaints. When APHA receives a complaint, its officers liaise with other bodies with welfare responsibilities, including the welfare inspectors of local authorities, the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) and Marine Scotland. ‘Fish farmers will deal more with FHI than with APHA, and FHI has a lot more local knowledge of the sites, and we can talk to them about what’s going on at the farms, and how urgently we need to get out and do an inspection,’ said Diffin. She said they can carry out unannounced visits but these are unlikely in the fish farming industry, due to logistical issues, such as getting on to barges and so on. But they may conduct inspections at short notice.


Fish Vets - Welfare.indd 56

Diffin said a big increase in the public interest in fish welfare was behind the ‘great increase in the number of fish complaints we have received’, and subsequently the number of fish inspections. The reasons for complaints vary from high mortality events, chemical use and sea lice levels. Cleaner fish also feature often, with ‘some sort of vague allegations of welfare abuse and unnecessary suffering’. Diffin said they are often sent photographs with complaints. ‘The problem we sometimes have with these pictures is the complainants are taking these a little bit out of context,’ she said. ‘They are looking at a single fish and taking that as a welfare issue on a farm.’ The APHA team tend to assess the information they receive in collaboration with the FHI before carrying out visits, and will generally go out to the farm concerned with the FHI and sometimes the

Above: Checking the salmon for lice Left: Most complaints are about mortalities Opposite: Vaccination


10/03/2020 12:18:46

Big rise in welfare complaints

local authority as well. Diffin said there were challenges getting an overview of the site when dealing with large cages of thousands of fish, compared to terrestrial animals. But the inspection is thorough. They examine the site’s cameras, and assess the welfare of the current stock. They also look at mortality records, disposal records, medicines records including the duration of treatments, any other treatments, such as with Hydrolicers or Thermolicers, and any health reports from vets, post mortems, and lab reports. At the farm, APHA studies standard operating procedures, whether there are procedures to contact the vet at certain levels, and, if so, whether the farm is adhering to those. They also look at feed consumption, training records for staff, and lice counts. APHA wants to find out if there has been an incident, whether it is an environmental issue, a disease issue, when it happened and what actions took place. ‘If you’ve had an incident and you’ve been dealing with it, then you are doing what you can to protect the welfare of your fish,’ said Diffin. ‘Just as with any other heavily intensive industry, like pigs and poultry, we don’t expect incidents not to happen; it’s how they are dealt with.’ If APHA finds non-compliance, care notices might be served – for instance, if there is high mortality and the vet hasn’t been contacted, they may serve a care notice to say the farmer must contact the vet within 24 hours. Formal enforcement action may be carried out if required. Diffin said they also receive complaints about by-product issues, because people don’t like to see fish morts being transported. And they look at

the storage of mortalities, how they are transported, incinerators on sites, and disposal. ‘What quite often happens is we get complaints because people have seen large vehicles leaving fish sites with large numbers of mortalities. ‘They don’t look into the context of it, they just see a spike in mortalities so think there must be a welfare problem and report it. ‘That isn’t always the case but we are starting to see more and more of these complaints and I suspect it will continue to increase, so these visits will become more fundamental.’ All the information APHA collects on salmon farming can be subject to FOI (Freedom of Information) requests, said Diffin. ‘And along with the increase in the number of complaints we receive, we have unfortunately been getting an increase in the number of Freedom of Informations.’ APHA has a dedicated team that deals with the FOI requests. FF

Industry invests more than £24m in fleet of mechanical delicers THE use of thermal and mechanical delicing on salmon farms has resulted in improved sea lice management across Scotland and a large reduction in the prescription of chemotherapeutants. However, without understating the complexities behind mortality, some mortality can be associated with delicing machines and further research should be focused on optimising fish welfare outcomes, said Sam Houston, aquaculture funding manager at the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). SAIC, which sponsored the FVS conference, has helped the industry to invest in mechanical delicing technology, funding three Thermolicers and a workboat to support a Hydrolicer, and Hydrolicer equipment. The Scottish fleet of Thermolicers and Hydrolicers now amounts to an estimated 12 machines which, at a cost of at least £2 million each,


Fish Vets - Welfare.indd 57

would represent investment of more than £24 million over the past five years. This fleet would account for at least 72 jobs, assuming six full-time employees per vessel. Hydrolicers and Thermolicers have different modes of action and present their own management challenges to operators, husbandry staff and fish health professionals. The aim is always to treat as efficiently and safely as possible and sometimes this can mean managing complex trade-offs. Houston said Thermolicers give marginally better clearance of sea lice than Hydrolicers but both machines are ‘very good at what they do’. They both involve significant fish handling, however, and so carry risks, as does any fish handling operation. Monitoring the health and welfare of the stock before and during treatment is crucial. There are positive and negative outcomes of mechanical sea lice

control. Some mortality incidents list treatment as a contributing factor to the Fish Health Inspectorate, but most of these incidents involve small losses, of less than three per cent. According to SPPO data in 2019, mechanical delicers have been effective in controlling sea lice, especially in relation to sea lice figures between 2012 and 2015, before these machines came to Scotland. ‘They do what they do well, but with some costs,’ said Houston. While targeting zero post-treatment mortality should be the aim, sampling laws mean that large numbers of fish would require screening. Therefore, fish health assessment is difficult and always carries uncertainty and a range sources of information should be considered. New tools to control sea lice are always welcome, Houston concluded, but they present chal-

They are “looking at a single fish and taking that as a welfare issue on a farm

lenges too. For better fish health assessment, the sector needs to develop ways of screening fish in higher numbers without sampling the fish. In a question and answer session, delegates discussed whether the trade-off between mortality risk and sea lice control was at an acceptable level. One view was that as long as the technology is undergoing continuous improvement, and the mortality associated with treatment was falling, then the direction of travel is right. SAIC currently has a funding call open and Houston encouraged conference delegates to approach the centre with research ideas.


10/03/2020 12:19:11

Guy Cotten – Advertorial

Yellow jersey for

innovation Production in 2020 should go beyond half a million garments


UY Cotten and its distinctive yellow logo can be seen in fishing ports around the world and, more recently, it has also become a permanent feature in the aquaculture industry. This leading manufacturer of foul-weather clothing sticks to its principles - designing and manufacturing innovative, hard-wearing and comfortable waterproofs. The family owned business is now run by managing director Nadine Bertholom-Cotten, whose father started the business in 1964. From its headquarters in Concarneau, France, the company started by supplying oilskins to the local fishermen. Very quickly, the business diversified and moved into new industries like sailing, farming and food processing. Innovation: key to the success of Guy Cotten Listening to the demands of consumers and offering innovative solutions to their challenging working conditions are key to the success of the Brittany based manufacturer. A typical example of this is the conception of the Ostrea waders. The observation of the wear and tear on standard waders used in oyster farms revealed that the abrasion generated by the trestles was one of the main sources of failure of the trousers. A simple answer would be to make the fabric thicker, harder and heavier, but this would also make the trousers very uncomfortable to wear. Instead, an alternative answer was found by the team at Guy


Guy Cotton - DPS.indd 58

Cotten - adding a sacrificial layer on the legs of the waders. This external skin prevents the scuffs and cuts from damaging the chest-high waders underneath, prolonging the life of the garment. The Ostrea waders can now be seen from the west coast of Ireland, to the Aven and Belon rivers, just a few kilometres away from the factory. Besides constantly working towards extending the life of the garments, Guy Cotten also focuses on improving the comfort and flexibility of its products. In recent years, the Hybridpro+ collection was added to the range. The Drembib trousers, Drempro jackets and Dremtop smocks bring breathability to the protective clothing worn in the aquaculture industry without compromising on durability. A clever panelling technique allows the wearer to enjoy the comfort of a true breathable fabric in some parts of the garments, while other areas remain made of the renowned PVC coated fabric exclusively used by Guy Cotten. These products are now used on many salmon and mussel farms all over Europe and North America. And it is not just outdoor clothing that is treated to the lateral thinking of the Guy Cotten R&D. The development of the Confort and Isoconf range for the handling and processing of seafood proved that even the wearing of aprons could be greatly improved. These new designs bring unequalled comfort by using wide shoulder straps and a perfect and natural fit around the body. These products add to the long list of innovations and patents developed by Guy Cotten,


10/03/2020 12:23:27

Yellow jersey for innovation

modern production facilities and an ever expanding network of distributors across all continents will ensure that Guy Cotten remains a market leading company for decades to come. You can find out more about the company by visiting the Guy Cotten website at guycotten.com. FF

such as the Magic Hood, an articulated hood that follows the movements of the head, or the Isolatech, an insulation technique that dramatically reduces moisture and condensation inside the garment. Worldwide presence and a new factory to cope with international development Guy Cotten has long been well-established across Europe and North America, and the subsidiaries in Scandinavia, in the UK and in the USA are there to offer a tailored service to their respective domestic markets. More recently, Guy Cotten has increased its presence in Latin America and the little yellow logo has now reached the Chilean salmon farms and the shrimp sector in Ecuador. A few years ago, the decision was made to increase production capacity in order to cope with the growing international demand for higher quality waterproofs. The opening of the new factory near Concarneau only a few hundred metres away from the original site took place in 2019. Guy Cotten now has three locations in Brittany – one in Landaul and two in Tregunc – as well as a location in Madagascar that produces a range of agricultural workwear. All use the same equipment and processes, with a uniform quality across the group. Production in 2020 should go beyond half a million garments and, although Guy Cotten can now be found across the world, the company is determined to remain close to its roots in Brittany in order to protect the quality of its production and know-how. The focus on innovation and quality, combined with new


Guy Cotton - DPS.indd 59

Clockwise from far left: View of the new factory in Concarneau, France; Drempro breathable jacket; Isoconf apron; Ostrea waders; Doubleskin on the legs of the Ostrea waders; the production line.

Guy Cotten has long been well “established across Europe and North America ”


10/03/2020 12:23:47

MPI – Advertorial



State-of-the-art depot opened in Scotland


Norwegian company specialising in robotic cage cleaning, Multi Pump Innovation (MPI), is delivering a new concept in supply and service to the international aquaculture industry with the opening of a new state-of-the-art parts and storage depot in Oban, Scotland. MPI is currently the market leader in the manufacture and supply of remotely controlled robotic fish cage cleaning systems, such as the original RONC system and now the highly popular RaceMaster robot, and is proud to have on its client list some of the world’s biggest producers of farmed fish - from as far north as Murmansk, Russia, all the way to South America. While one may think that there’s nothing exciting about a new parts and storage depot, it is a fact that in the fish farming industry it is generally common practice for the equipment to come from a main supplier (from a country such as Norway, for example) and then just rely on shipments of spare parts as and when they are needed. But MPI is putting much time and effort, as well as strong investment, into ensuring that its customers not only have the most desired equipment nearby, available without delay, but also a dedicated regional service engineer at their disposal for service and parts replacement. This enterprise by MPI is naturally music to the ears of the company’s

existing fish farmers in Scotland who, between them, produce in excess of 150,000 tonnes of fish every year. Having a dedicated engineer and parts storage facility in the Highlands will ensure that equipment is regularly serviced and that any potential down time will be at a minimum. But it is not just the Scottish aquaculture industry that is set to benefit from the new centre in Oban; the entire UK and Irish fish farming community will also enjoy the ‘local’ feel of having a relatively nearby service engineer. ‘We’ve put much thought into this investment,’ explained sales and export manager Carl-Fredrick Grünert. ‘This isn’t simply a new office, depot or even an international extension of our company HQ in Norway - this is a project to create a supply and service hub which is a dedicated centre of excellence for our customers in the international aquaculture industry.’ MPI’s country manager in the new centre is Oban native Alasdair Cameron, who says he has already formed strong bonds with MPI’s clients in both the UK and Republic of Ireland. ‘This project has been a whirlwind since the decision was made to establish this centre in Oban, and to say that the aquaculture industry has welcomed the news would be an understatement ‘The fact that the three largest salmon producers in Scotland are MPI clients says much about the quality of MPI’s cage-cleaning systems.’ FF

To say that the “ aquaculture industry

Left: MPI’s sales and export manager CarlFredrick Grünert (right) with MPI’s country manager Alasdair Cameron at the opening of the new facility in Oban

has welcomed the news would be an understatement


MPI - PED.indd 60


10/03/2020 12:27:10

From the archive – July/August 1994

Scot Trout adapts to its market Future growth will depend heavily on added value products COLIN LEY REPORTS


N 11 years, the Scottish farmers co-operative, Scot Trout, have come a long way, maintaining a rate of progress which would be impressive even without a major economic recession, fish trade price wars, dumping and other trials along the way. Founded in 1983 to bring some much need organisation to the marketing of farmed trout in Scotland, the co-operative currently handles 3,300 tonnes of trout a year on behalf of 17 farmer members, supplying about 20 per cent of the UK’s £70 million trout market. It also has a salmon division, handling 1,700 tonnes a year. In keeping with the progress of the past, Scot Trout’s target for 1994 is to increase turnover by 21 per cent by pursuing an ‘added value mission’ which has already led to the introduction of round-the-clock production schedules at the co-op’s processing and distribution plant at the Motherwell Food Park, near Glasgow. ‘Consumers always want more – more value, more service, more convenience and more taste,’ said David Hogg, Scot Trout’s chief executive. ‘These demands put enormous pressure on Scotland’s fish industry to constantly market new products, especially when you also remember that we are competing with other food products for the attention of retailers and consumers. ‘As an industry we must be willing and able to adapt to new trends in the marketplace and meet the requirements made of us.’ Such a philosophy amounts to a major shift in strategy for Scot Trout, whose first decade in business was committed mainly to the production and supply of fresh and frozen whole, portion and filleted fish, a job which it did well, but which is now part of history. Recently, the co-op’s directors have become increasingly aware that future growth will depend heavily on the production of added value products which are good enough to demand supermarket shelf space. Such products will also need to be sufficiently appealing to persuade consumers to pay premium prices. ‘We deal with most of the leading supermarket groups and are regularly talking to them about new trout recipe and presentation ideas,’ said Kathryn Logan, Scot Trout’s marketing manager. ‘Our aim at all times is to promote the expansion of the trout market.’ Innovation, both in terms of new products and improved methods of presentation, have begun to flow from the company at an impressive rate. February this year, for example, produced a new catering pack of frozen trout fillets, using an interleaving system which separated the fillets, enabling them to be kept in top condition for up to one year. In May a ‘convenient catering collection’ was introduced, consisting of frozen trout, boneless supreme of large trout portions and boneless salmon coronets. Next will be a boned trout designed to take a variety of fillings. It is envisaged that this product will fill a gap in the market between gutted trout and trout fillets. To produce the new boned trout, the company has installed a Baadar boning machine to leave the trout almost entirely free from bones. Various sauces are being developed as potential fillings, including such tempting combinations as asparagus and prawn and walnut and almond. ‘Innovation is the key to our future development, closely aligned with product quality and service,’ said Mr Hogg. Already, more than 50 per cent of the company’s trout output leaves the plant in added value form, increasing the earning potential of the business. Over the next four years, a further £1.6 million will be invested to ensure that innovation, quality and service continue to advance. ‘We will expand our processing capacity significantly over the next four years while ensuring that the quality of our processing equipment is maintained at the highest level,’ said Mr Hogg.


Archive - Mar.indd 61

Scot Trout has also joined the Investors in People programme, the government training initiative which encourages employers to ‘invest in the development of their people’. ‘We are a labour intensive business, employing 180 people, all of whom are vital to the success of the company,’ he said. ‘Investors in People will undoubtedly make an important contribution to our future growth as a business.’ Ultimately, of course, while product innovation, processing efficiency and marketing skill are necessary to drive the business forward, the core of the enterprise will always be the raw material produced by Scot Trout’s 17 farmer members. They account for 80 per cent of Scotland’s farm trout output, and many have been with the co-op since its foundation. They are currently committed to an annual growth in output of about five per cent. ‘As a company, we have always applied the very highest standards of husbandry in the production of our trout, standards which our members have embraced fully throughout our 11 years in business,’ said Mr Hogg, ‘Now, as founder members and one of the leading supporters of the Scottish Quality Trout Scheme, we are committed to more rigorous standards of quality than ever before. ‘Today’s consumers want to know that the food they are buying has been produced and processed in a safe and hygienic environment. They also want to know where it has come from and that the stock involved have been humanely treated throughout the production process. These are demands which we are able to satisfy fully through our membership of Scottish Quality Trout. ‘By virtue of our base in Scotland we have the opportunity to utilise the purity of our environment in the production of a quality end product. The Scottish Quality Trout initiative is obviously extremely helpful in this respect. SQT carries out an independent inspection of producers, while we ourselves run our own production inspection scheme. We can therefore show our customers that we are adhering fully to the strictest quality standards.’ The future looks bright for Scot Trout and its members, operating within a market which still has considerable potential for growth. There is, however, no room for complacency. Above: Kathryn Logan, marketing manager of Scot Trout, and David Hogg, chief executive, display the Scottish Cuisine range of frozen trout fillets developed for retailers. The recently launched Convenient Catering Collection (left) employs colour coded packs


10/03/2020 12:28:21

Processing News IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE CR-2020-000459 BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS OF ENGLAND AND WALES COMPANIES COURT (ChD) IN THE MATTER OF SUNDERLAND MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED and IN THE MATTER OF THE NORTH OF ENGLAND PROTECTING AND INDEMNITY ASSOCIATION LIMITED and IN THE MATTER OF PART VII OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES AND MARKETS ACT 2000 NOTICE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on 25 February 2020 an Application was made under section 107 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (the Act) in the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, Companies Court (ChD) in London by Sunderland Marine Insurance Company Limited (SMI) and The North of England Protecting and Indemnity Association Limited (NOE), for Orders: (1) under section 111 of the Act sanctioning a scheme (the Scheme) providing for the transfer to NOE of the entire insurance and reinsurance business carried on by SMI; and (2) making ancillary provisions in connection with the Scheme pursuant to sections 112 and 112A of the Act. A copy of the report on the terms of the Scheme prepared in accordance with section 109 of the Act by an Independent Expert (the Scheme Report), a statement setting out the terms of the Scheme and a summary of the Scheme Report, and the Scheme document may be obtained free of charge by contacting SMI and NOE using the telephone number or address set out below. These documents and other related documents, including sample copies of the communications to policyholders, are also available at www.nepia.com and www.sunderlandmarine.com. Both websites will be updated for any key changes to the proposed transfer.

Fish factories shut with loss of nearly 70 jobs A FISH processor in north east Scotland has gone bust, resulting in the loss of nearly 70 jobs. Prime Seafoods, which also sells fresh fish, including salmon, online, shut down its two fawctories in Peterhead and Fraserburgh last month, telling its 68 employees that insurmountable financial difficulties were to blame. One of the affected workers reportedly said: ‘At 1pm we were told the factory was closing due to lack of fish and overheads that are not sustainable.’ The last published accounts for the firm, up until the end of May 2018, show that Prime Seafoods had a turnover of £28 million and suffered pre-tax losses of £236,000, which came after a trading shortfall of more than

£317,000 the year before, according to the Press and Journal Chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association Jimmy Buchan said he was ‘shocked’ by the collapse of the firm, which has traded since 1980. And he suggested that high businesses rates had also impacted on the business in recent years, and could be behind the closure. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if other companies were to go the same way,’ he said. ‘It is a vulnerable industry in this current climate, but I think in this day and age this shouldn’t be happening.’ He said he hoped those affected would be able to find new jobs quickly because there is a demand for work in the area.

Industry veteran joins Valka

Any questions or concerns relating to the proposed Scheme should be referred by email to ged.mcternan@nepia.com, by telephone at +44 (0)191 232 5221, or in writing to The North of England Protecting and Indemnity Association Limited, The Quayside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3DU, United Kingdom. If you have a policy with SMI and/or NOE, please quote your policy number in any correspondence. This can be found on your policy documentation or related correspondence. The Application is due to be heard at the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, 7 Rolls Buildings, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL, United Kingdom on 16 June 2020. Any person who thinks that he or she would be adversely affected by the carrying out of the Scheme, or objects to the Scheme, may attend the hearing and express their views, either in person or by representative. It is requested that anyone intending to do so informs SMI or NOE, at the address provided above, in writing as soon as possible and preferably before 9 June 2020 to set out the nature of their objection. This will enable SMI and NOE to provide notification of any changes to the hearing and, where possible, to address any concerns raised in advance of the hearing. Any person who objects to, or considers they may be adversely affected by, the Scheme but does not intend to attend the hearing may make representations about the Scheme by giving written notice of such representations to the parties at the address provided above or by calling the dedicated telephone number provided above, in each case as soon as possible and preferably before 9 June 2020. SMI and NOE will inform the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority of any objections raised in advance of the hearing, regardless of whether the person making the objection intends to attend the hearing. 16 March 2020 Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, 3 More London Riverside, London, SE1 2AQ, United Kingdom Solicitors acting for SMI and NOE Ref: MAR/MJFF/1000050627


Processing News.indd 62

Above: Jón Birgir Gunnarsson and Kristján Hallvarðsson

ICELANDIC fish processing pioneer Valka has appointed Jon Birgir Gunnarsson as its new director of sales. Gunnarsson previously played a big role in the growth and globalisation of Icelandic technology firms such as Marel, Controlant and Skaginn 3X. Valka said its continued growth with increased global reach called for changes to its marketing and sales team. The company has also appointed Kristjan Hallvardsson as process development manager. He has long-term hands-on and management experience within the company, as well as extensive knowledge from managing international R&D projects in earlier roles. Meanwhile, Valka’s founder and CEO, Helgi Hjalmarsson, was given Iceland’s Entrepreneur Manager of the year 2020 award last month by the Icelandic president, on behalf of Excellence Iceland.


10/03/2020 12:30:35

Processing News

Processors ‘will be able to recruit from overseas’

Young’s launches new pack designs

THE UK seafood sector has been told it will be able to recruit overseas workers under the government’s new points based immigration proposals.

IT had been feared that the scheme, announced in February, would hit processing plants, particularly in the north east of Scotland, where 70 per cent of employees are foreign nationals. However, roles such as fish filleters and

fish processors, as well as butchers, slaughtermen in abattoirs and dairy workers, will now be classified as skilled, said the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack. ‘For all those jobs, and many more, em-

ployers will be able to recruit workers from overseas,’ he said. And the new system, a replacement for freedom of movement with the EU which ends on December 31, would be less restrictive than at present, he stressed.

‘Under the present system for skilled workers, people coming to the UK need the offer of a degree level job, with a salary of £30,000 or more. ‘Employers recruiting them must also pass a Resident Labour Market Test by advertising the job here first. ‘In future, there will be no Resident Market Labour Test. And no cap either, as there is at present. ‘And the minimum salary threshold is being reduced from £30,000 to £25,600.’ Lower salaries will be applicable where there are specific

Less restrictive minimum salary “The threshold is being

reduced from £30,000 to £25,600

skills shortages. Concerns had been raised by the Scottish Seafood Association and the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation that Westminster’s immigration plans would lead to shortages of labour.

YOUNG’S Seafood has begun a major overhaul of its pack designs for the first time in many years in order to attract a younger and more socially aware section of society. The redesign represents further investment in the Young’s brand for 2020, following its successful multi-million pound ‘Masters of Fish’ advertising campaign. The new design will be rolled out across the brand’s iconic ranges.

Fish Farmer Magazine Established 1977


Industry leading magazine and website Edinburgh or Oban office Competitive Salary + Benefits As Editor you will be responsible for managing the day to day production of the print title “Fish Farmer” as well as sourcing and contributing news to the website and associated social media. Industry experience or B2B experience would be preferred, but not essential - you may be a talented journalist or editor looking to move into a B2B role. The applicant will be commercially minded, and close liaison with the sales team will be required. The role involves writing and commissioning articles, working closely with freelancers, contributors, trade bodies and an editorial advisory board to implement ideas and recognise commercial opportunities across a variety of platforms. There will be a degree of international and UK travel and attendance at trade events. Driving licence essential. Apply with CV, covering letter and current salary to: jobs@fishfarmer.com www.fishfarmermagazine.co.uk

Processing News.indd 63


10/03/2020 12:31:00

Products and services

What’s NEW Monthly update on industry innovations and solutions from around the world Alltech Coppens brings RAS feeds and expertise to the aquaculture industry For many years Alltech Coppens has been committed to the RAS farming needs. The golden rule for consistent performance in RAS is to maintain constant and optimal water quality. This affects feed uptake, digestion, growth and waste excretion. Keeping all parameters optimal at all times requires great understanding of the fish and dynamics of the filters including the bacteria. A RAS feed is characterised by high digestibility, leading to minimal amounts of faecal matter, and Boris Nets results are knot in doubt high protein retention that minimises ammonia exBoris Nets has recently supplied cage nets to cretions so that the filters can work more efficiently. the Western Isles on knotted HDPE netting. This A true RAS feed makes a big difference for the water netting is used to help prevent seal predation. quality and final productivity of the farm. The knotted HDPE netting is also easier to clean The Alltech Coppens RAS philosophy is to maximise using in-situ net washers. nutrient utilisation and to minimise nutrient losses The company is also continuing to supply for optimal fish growth and filter performance. many customers with Dyneema and traditional www.alltechcoppens.com knotless nylon. T: +31 (0)88 23 42 200 Boris Nets has worked alongside the Scottish Salmon Company and Gael Force Fusion Marine to design and develop a bird net on UHMWPE for 120m circle cages without centre support. The advantage of the UHMWPE netting is its strength to weight ratio, enabling a lightweight net that is both strong and small mesh. www.borisnet.co.uk T: 01253 874891 Time to do business Seawork is Europe’s leading commercial marine and workboat exhibition, providing businesses the opportunity to showcase their products and services to an international audience. The 2020 event, at Southampton’s Mayflower Park from June 9-11, will feature a number of new initiatives, including a 15m link pavilion housing the Innovations Showcase and Small Business Enterprise Zone; a theatre-style presentation area, a Maritime Skills & Training Day, and a Cardboard Boat Mayflower 400, a fun celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers leaving for the New World. www.seawork.com T: +44 1329 825 335 email: info@seawork.com


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Pegasus® Vacuum Coater - more than 25 years of innovation The vacuum coating process, invented by Dinnissen more than 25 years ago, was an evolution of the Pegasus® Paddle Mixer. Double-axle mixer product is raised in a fluidised zone, giving a gentle, fast and efficient mixing process. In experiments carried out in a special mixer under vacuum conditions, high concentrations of liquid were sprayed on to feed pellets. Upon removal of the vacuum, the liquid was drawn deeply into the coated pellets. This technology can increase fat content of pellets up to 42 per cent, as well as increasing product flow out of the silo, preventing pollution and reducing contamination at farms. Dinnissen has perfected vacuum coating over the past years and made it suitable for many other applications. Present-day systems are able to accurately spray different fluids in low to high doses on the product, as well as applying multiple layers of liquids and powders on to granules and extruded products. www.dinnissen.nl E-mail: powtech@dinnissen.nl

New European regulations for fish egg disinfectants The use of disinfectants throughout Europe, including in the aqua and fish industry, is now regulated by a pan-European Union regulation (528/2012 (BPR)). The product Buffodine is now the only BPR authorised product for fish egg disinfection in Europe. Manufactured by the family run company Evans Vanodine International, they have committed 40+ years of experience, resources and development into ensuring that the aqua industry has a trusted and proven fish egg and aqua disinfectant available to it. www.evansvanodine.co.uk T: +44 (0) 1772 322200


10/03/2020 12:32:07

Obituary - Murray Prentice

Industry pays tribute to former Northwards boss


RIBUTES have been paid to Murray Prentice, the former managing director of haulage firm Northwards, who died on February 2 after a short illness. He was 60. Northwards, a logistics company with bases in Lerwick and Kirkwall in the Northern Isles, as well as in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness and Scrabster, has long put aquaculture at the heart of its business. Prentice joined the company in 2012 and was instrumental in developing its links with salmon farmers. Under his leadership, Northwards, together with Scottish Sea Farms, set up a novel system to improve efficiencies. The two companies, for the first time, combined the fresh salmon being harvested and packed for the market heading south and the feed heading north to the islands. Using ‘insuliner’ curtain sided trailers fitted with state of the art chill units, rather than rigid trailers, fresh salmon could be delivered to the central belt, and feed then returned on the empty trailers. Today, Northwards transports about 70,000 tonnes of salmon feed a year to Orkney and Shetland, and moves harvested salmon from both Orkney and Shetland down to the mainland for onward distribution. The success of the initiative was in large part due to Prentice’s ‘lateral, strategic thinking, coupled with a quietly determined streak’, said Scottish Sea Farms operations coordinator Ewan Mackintosh. ‘His openness, terrific sense of humour and well known integrity were part of his armoury, which allowed him to make this all work,’ Mackintosh added. With Prentice at the helm, the company won several awards, including three in 2016 alone – for Rural Haulier of the Year, Scottish & Irish Haulier of the Year, and a Gold Award (for the second year in a row) for service excellence. Prior to joining Northwards, Prentice, an accountant by trade, owned JBT (formerly Jim Brackenridge Transport), which he sold to MRS Distribution in 2008. At this point, he took time away from transport and worked as a consultant specialising in business turnaround. He was at Northwards from 2012 until retiring in early 2019. His plans for retirement included travelling around Europe in a campervan with his wife, Lorraine, and last year they visited Ireland, France, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Portugal. According to Mackintosh, Prentice ‘was living the dream’. ‘One of the many highlights was to be his 60th birthday celebrations in Croatia in September 2019, to which he had invited one or two people, which turned into several couples. ‘He told me eleven couples were going, together with his family, but knowing Murray’s popularity, it was probably even more.’ His celebrations were cut short when he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer towards the end of summer. He died peacefully at the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh on February 2, surrounded by his family. Jim Gallagher, managing director of Scottish Sea Farms, said: ‘Murray was a truly special man in both business and on a personal level. ‘He had the uncanny ability and humility to treat everyone the way you would expect to be treated yourself. I would say we started our relationship through business but we soon came to build a special friendship and I am honoured to have had Murray as my friend.


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He truly was one of “ the good guys that you meet in life ” ‘He will be sadly missed by all; he truly was one of the good guys that you meet in life.’ Ruth Henderson of Seafood Shetland said: ‘Murray was a very kind and sincere fellow and I knew him from my very early days of being based in Shetland’s Seafood Centre, Stewart Building in Lerwick. ‘He was so knowledgeable and always willing to take the time to explain the ins and outs of haulage and ferries to me, providing great support over many years to our member companies and all those involved in our transport working group. ‘He was a most gracious and patient man and we are all diminished by his passing.’ A service was held at Mortonhall Crematorium, Main Chapel, on February 13. The theme was maroon, in honour of Prentice’s beloved Hearts. FF

Above: Murray Prentice (right), pictured with Scotish Sea Farms’ Ewan Mackintosh, in Orkney in 2018 to mark SSF’s 10th anniversary in the region


10/03/2020 12:33:07

Industry Diary

Industry DIARY The latest aquaculture events, conferences and courses MAY 20



Now in its 10th year, Scottish Skipper Expo is Scotland’s flagship fisheries show that attracts large numbers of exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. Aberdeen, Scotland May 15-16, 2020



Seawork attracts over 7,700 visitors each year comprising high calibre, high-spending maritime industry professionals who recognise the wealth of innovation and expertise that seawork provides. Southampton, England June 9-11, 2020


This conference will cover the full scope and diversity of European aquaculture. AE 2020 will feature an international trade exhibition, industry forums, student sessions and activities, satellite workshops and updates on EU research.

Cork, Ireland September 29-October 2, 2020


Aviemore will once again be the venue for this bi-annual trade fair and conference. It is undoubtedly the most important aquaculture exhibition held in the British Isles.

Aviemore, United Kingdom May 19-21, 2020


This two-day course provides a solid understanding of the biological particularities of fish, fish health and disease, disease prevention, fish welfare and relevant legislation, and an overview of salmon production in Scotland. Enrolment deadline: open, the course runs every two months, please enquire through Alex Pargana, a.m.pargana@stir.ac.uk Course date/s: May 26-27


The event will be held in Singapore this year with involvement from countries throughout the world. Singapore June 8-12, 2020


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Alexandria, Egypt November 28 - December1, 2020 This World Aquaculture Society event will feature hundreds of world class speakers and delegates from around the globe on the science, technology, business and social aspects.

RASTECH Conference

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada August 30 -September 2, 2020

SEPTEMBER 20 NAFC: AQUACULTURE MANAGEMENT CPD RAStech 2020 is the venue for learning, networking and knowledge sharing on RAS technologies, design and implementations across the world.

Hilton Head Island, SC, USA November 16-17, 2020

This Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme will allow you to gain a diploFEBRUARY 21 ma level qualification in aquaculture management while working in the aquaculture industry. It is aimed at experienced aquaculture staff AQUACULTURE AMERICA who are working in, or are ready to progress to, 2021 aquaculture management roles. San Antonio,Texas, USA Enrolment deadline of August 14 February 21-24, 2021 Course start date of September 7


10/03/2020 12:37:00

Obituary - James Gladstone Payne

Remembering a ‘giant of the industry’


HE death has recently been announced of a former chairman of the Scottish Salmon Growers Association (SSGA). James Gladstone Payne passed away peacefully at home on December 25, 2019, aged 87. He will be sadly missed by his wife, Margaret and children, Nichola, Michael and Phillipa. His family and friends knew him as Jim. Payne was chairman of the SSGA from 1992 to 1995 and he played a leading role in the development of the Scottish salmon industry. He was the first independent salmon farmer to install feed barges and utilise larger flexible seawater pens. Furthermore, during the 90s he was heavily involved in exerting pressure on the UK government and the European Commission in response to the dumping of Norwegian salmon into the EU market. Payne was born in Dannevirke, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, in 1932 and his family moved to Auckland prior to the Second World War. He was educated at King’s Preparatory School in Auckland and in 1945 went on to Whanganui Collegiate School, where he remained until 1948. He enjoyed rugby and rowing at school and his forte was long distance running. Aged 16, he and his mother moved to London, where Edward Wykes, senior partner of Lawrence Graham and Company, encouraged him to become a management trainee in either the banking, shipping or insurance sectors. Payne decided to give further education a try and enrolled in a ‘crammer’ in Notting Hill, but soon felt dissatisfaction with the teaching and requested that his fees be returned. The principal obliged and he felt quite victorious, but his mother didn’t share this sentiment. He enrolled in another school, where he was one of two boys and 19 girls. He was conscientious and left school having achieved a number of exam passes. In 1950, Payne was hired as a management trainee in J&N Philips in Manchester, where his grandfather had been managing director; however, he found the work humdrum. The following year he joined the Royal Armoured Corps in Catterick, Yorkshire, and he passed for officer training; it was a statutory requirement at the time for all young men to serve two years in the Armed Forces. He went on to Mons Officer Training School in Aldershot and progressed to become a training officer for new recruits at only 19 years old. He considered the army a good establishment for learning discipline and leadership. He had hoped to join the Royal Navy, but his eyesight didn’t meet the minimum standard. Payne went on to join the shipping industry and began as a management trainee with Vestey’s Smithfield office in 1953. Through his connection with Edmund Vestey, one of the founders of the business, he met his future wife, Margaret (at a dance in the autumn of 1953). They married at Great Tharlow on July 24, 1954. Their first child, Nichola Rosemary, was born on June 23, 1955, and shortly afterwards, the family emigrated to Australia. Payne devoted much of his free time to sailing, spent some time in New Zealand, but returned to the UK and settled in Dunmow in Essex. Two more children, Michael Payne and Philippa Margaret Payne, were born, in 1959 and 1963. A notable achievement during Payne’s time in the shipping industry was


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the establishment of a service from Australia and New Zealand to North America. He also held the position of chairman of the Council of European and Japanese National Shipowners’ Association. In 1979, he said goodbye to the shipping industry, and his career took a U-turn. Having bought Ardvar Estate in Sutherland in 1977 as a holiday home, he decided to try his hand at salmon farming, establishing Ardvar Salmon in 1980. One motivation behind this was the desire to provide long term employment for the local community. Payne eventually stood down as chairman of Ardvar in 1997 and Angus Morgan, formerly of Marine Harvest, stepped into his shoes. Morgan described Payne as a ‘giant of the industry…who sought to develop and protect a sustainable future for the businesses and their people’. FF

Above: James Gladstone Payne

He sought to develop and protect a sustainable future for businesses and their people


10/03/2020 12:37:58

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Ferguson Transport & Shipping offers a comprehensive range of distribution services by road, rail and sea, covering the whole of the

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new generation generation Dive Dive Company Company based based on on Isle Isle of of Mull Mull working working together together to to raise raise AA new Customer Service, Service, Productivity Productivity && Safety Safety Standards Standards in in Commercial Commercial Diving Diving Customer specialising in in but but not not limited limited to to the the Fish Fish Farm Farm industry. industry. specialising

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18/02/2015 11:57

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10/03/2020 10:24:54

Opinion – Inside track

Off we go again W BY NICK JOY

HEN I was first a manager, people were discussing working with the wild salmonid lobby to try to create a positive framework for the future. Each time this occurred, the more rabid elements of the wild lobby would try to derail the process or, as I would describe it, help their friends by adding pressure on the farming industry to give in. I was lucky enough to have good contacts in the angling industry and I used to ask them to call off their wild dogs. It always resulted in the suggestion that organisations such as Salmon and Trout Conservation (S&TC), as they now call themselves, were nothing to do with the more reasonable end of the lobby. However, unbeknownst to the people I was discussing this with, I was receiving intelligence that they had monthly meetings to discuss PR tactics. Whether it was the Tripartite Working Group or the new forum, my trust in the more friendly face of the wild salmonid lobby has been eroded to a stump. It is time that we hear a public denouncing of the relationship from them. Apparently, according to [environmental lobby group] One Kind, Salmon and Trout Conservation have no more links to angling (I am not suggesting this is true). If this is the way S&TC want to suggest they are heading then it is even easier for FMS (Fisheries Management Scotland) to denounce their latest campaign. However, I really, really doubt that they will. The history of negotiations has always been in the light of a constant and cynical barrage of attack from S&TC when others are negotiating with our industry. When you think about it, it is entirely logical for the salmon farming industry to work closely with the wild sector. There have been instances where this has worked - on the Carron, for example. But more generally, in the first days of our industry, discussions and help between the two were commonplace. In previous articles I have counselled against giving money to the wild lobby because it will become a right, and also suggests we believe we are guilty of causing their oft self-inflicted problems. This does not mean that we cannot help what is clearly an ailing and badly led industry. Helping restore habitat and developing projects to support improved returns of wild salmonids seems a good way to work together. Using our industry’s expertise and some funding in a manner which ensures none of it can go to the attack dogs, seems an eminently sensible idea. Despite my strong views on salmon farming’s impacts on the decline of salmonids, I have always tried to help with the angling industry in our area. And why not? I fished as a boy and became fascinated by fish through angling. We exist in fragile rural areas and there is no point in allowing another industry in our area to decline without trying to help it, whoever they blame for the decline. If we want to have an employment pool then we need a range of occupations to fix population in the countryside. Cooperation and community is what will keep the countryside populated. On that note, Loch Duart has employed the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust to audit its lice counts.


Nick Joy.indd 70

My trust “in the more

friendly face of the wild salmonid lobby has been eroded to a stump

As, inevitably, the call has come for more and more data to be published by salmon farmers, the accusation from the attack dogs has been, and will inevitably continue to be, that the counts aren’t accurate. Ensuring that we have fish biologists embedded in our areas, working for the benefit of wild salmonids and other fish, who can also act as auditors, is a good way to ensure funding of their organisations. Just as importantly for our industry is the demonstration that our figures are accurate and correct. We need more projects like this, which allow those who are trying to reverse the decline in wild stocks to be given access to ensure their knowledge grows, and to help them assess where the true causes of the decline lie. I have little doubt that, in time, salmon farming will be acknowledged not to have been a significant cause, but it is no use continually decrying the wild lobby’s criticisms without finding a way for them to see what we see. I long for the day when wild salmon and farmed salmon are seen as one sector, not two. When that happens we will start to resolve this problem.. FF


10/03/2020 12:38:47

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10/03/2020 10:31:12

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10/03/2020 10:31:57

Profile for Fish Farmer Magazine

Fish Farmer Magazine - March 2020  

Fish Farmer Magazine - March 2020