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Fish Farmer VOLUME 42



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Special feature to mark special salmon farmer

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Aquaculture world heads to Aqua Nor 2019

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Contents – Editor’s Welcome Contents – Editor’s Welcome Contents – Editor’s Welcome

Contents Contents Contents

42-46 48-49 4-15 4-14 41-43 42-44 38-39 48-49 4-15 4-14 41-43 42-44 38-39 Loch Duart Brussels News Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture What’s happening happening in in aquaculture aquaculture 48-49 Cleaner fish Salmon market What’s Montpellier preview From shrimp torobust salmon Investor advice Brussels 4-15 News 4-14 Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation 41-43 42-44 38-39 in the the UK UK and around around the world world in and the Salmon market robust What’s happening in aquaculture Montpellier preview From shrimp to salmon Investor advice Brussels News Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture in the UK and around the world Salmon market What’s happening in aquaculture Montpellier preview From shrimp torobust salmon Investor advice 50-55 44-46 46-49 40-41 JENNY in the UK and around the world JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR 16-19 16-21 16-17 16-22 50-55 44-46 46-49 40-41 Brussels Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture JENNY JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR 16-21 16-17 16-22 Obituary New processors’ group Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquiry 50-55 Sti rling course Pictures atmarket the exhibiti on Insurance Brussels Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation 44-46 46-49 40-41 JENNY JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR William Dowds Steve Bracken SSC’s record results inquiry Stewart Graham The final sessions New processors’ group Industry pioneer News Extra platform 16-21 16-17 Parliamentary 16-22 Sti rling course Pictures at the exhibiti on Insurance market Brussels Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The fi nal sessions New processors’ groupon Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquiry Sti rling course Pictures atmarket the exhibiti Insurance salmon farming sector in Scotland, when ittowas to Nor The he focus this isto on Europe, the internati T HE is coincidence that pictures andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal HOSE of usmonth atwent Fish Farmer getting ready to go Aqua Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham final sessions 22-23 18-19 24-27 52-57 the subject ofwent awould parliamentary inquiry, embraced the HE salmon farming sector in Scotland, when told it(European was to industry will soon be gathering for the joint EAS salmon were sent to news outlets just as the sh news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry into salmon had hoped we see our former colleague William he focus this month isto on Europe, where the internati onal T be is coincidence that pictures and videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer press, there was sti llScotti no offi cial 22-23 18-19 24-27 opportunity this would provide to explain how it operated. Salmon market SSPO be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, embraced the Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at the start of this month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy Ferguson Shipping Dowds there, but it was not to be. William passed away on industry will soon be gathering for the joint EAS (European salmon were sent to news outlets just as the Scotti sh news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry into salmon salmon farming sector in Scotland, when it was to 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 Current trends In good health Julie Hesketh-Laird The industry had nothing to hide and, if given a fair hearing, could Meet the new chief executi ve opportunity this would provide to explain how it operated. Salmon market 22-23 18-19 conference, to be staged over fi ve days southern French images had litt le to do with the current state of Scotland’s fi sh and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fi ve SSPO 24-27 Celebrating 60 years August 3, and despite his failing health in the last weeks, he was Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at the start of this month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy be thewere subject ofScotti a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced industry willsent soon gathering the EASinto (European salmon to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti shthe news from the sh parliamentary inquiry salmon address much of the criti cism levelled against it. Current trends In good health Julie Hesketh-Laird The industry had nothing to hide and, if given a fair hearing, could Meet the new chief executi ve city of Montpellier. As well as highlighti ng 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 as engaged as ever with the aquaculture world he loved. He’d conference, to be staged over fi ve days in the southern French images had litt le to do with the current state of Scotland’s fi sh and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fi ve opportunity this would provide explain how it month. operated. Salmon market SSPO Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament back to work atto the start of this These farming, went conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy Fish Farmer supported this view, atreport tiames felt that salmon address much of the criti cism levelled against it. advances inle our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also feature year (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng their recommendati ons has made to Trondheim in 2017, months after major surgery -fiin city oflow As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms -itMontpellier. where sea lice levels are in decline and, inwe fact, at ve- Meet meeti ngs, in private, consider their and be Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had nothing to hide and, ifbut given fair hearing, thehealth new chief executive conference, to be staged over fifor ve days in the southern French images had litt to do with the current state of Scotland’s ficould shabeen and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fimust ve 58-59 56 48-49 50-58 42-45 farmers were being drowned out by the noisier elements of the Fish Farmer supported this view, but at tiit. mes felt that salmon sessions on emerging markets and look at the role of fi sh This latest propaganda campaign, which involves all the usual made harder by leaks from within the REC to anti -salmon farming fact, it’s fair to say, he stole the show that year. Wearing his kilt, advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng for their recommendati ons has been address much of the criti cism levelled against city ofngs, Astolevels well asare highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice in decline and, inwe fact, at abe fivemeeti in private, consider their report and must 56 Research angling lobby, which had called forby investi gati on. But as the 48-49 50-58 42-45 farmers were being drowned out the noisier elements of the 20-21 Book review farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4)farming Training Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture he caught the attention of Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon, who sessions on emerging markets and look atinvolves the role of fibeen sh This latest propaganda campaign, which all the usual made by leaks from within the REC to anti -salmon Fish Farmer supported this view, but atthe ti mes felt that salmon advances inharder our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng for their recommendati ons has GM politics sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we Focus on cleaner fiInnovation sh angling lobby, which had called for the investi gati on. But as the are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such as the social and Connecti vity committ ee returned from the summer recess to makes grim reading for the industry as it suggests that committ ee Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best of the start-ups Book review interrupted his tour of the Trondheim Spektrum while William 56 farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4) Training Aqua 2018 Aquaculture 48-49 50-58 42-45 farmers were being drowned out by the noisier elements of the Comment sessions onpropaganda emerging andwhich lookREC atinvolves the role-salmon fishusual This campaign, allofthe madelatest harder by leaks markets from within the to anti farming became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on it makes to global sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to Focus on cleaner fi sh are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such as the social showed him pictures ofcame old Fish Farmer front (including and Connecti vity committ ee returned from the summer recess ee to makes grim reading for the industry asindustry itgati suggests that committ Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best of the start-ups Mowi’s Ian Roberts angling lobby, which had called for the investi on. But asngs Book review farming in alleviati ngof poverty. Increasingly, meeti anti -aquaculture suspects, as Holyrood’s Rural Economy activists. The latest these (see our news story oncovers page 4)the Training Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation food security and saving the planet, a move that is to be welcomed. the excepti on of one or two Greens in cahoots with anti -farming became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on it makes to global 60-61 Those who want to shut down the industry have, as expected, shut down this valuable sector, rather than to those who operate the one featuring Prince Charles at Marine Harvest) on his iPad. consider its draft report into the future of salmon members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we Focus cleaner fish are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such as thefarming. social and Connecti vity committ ee returned from the summer recess to makes grim reading for the industry as it suggests that committ ee Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best57 ofonthe start-ups 53-55 60-63 48-49 Also investi gati ng initi ati ves inregard the developing world, Dr Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry in abe favourable food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that isperhaps toin welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens in cahoots with anti -farming stepped up their acti viti es, which now involve breaching the within it.draft William refused to let illness cramp his style and the past year Those who want to shut down the as expected, shut down this sector, rather than to those who operate became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on ithave, makes to global Research consider its report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to 24 20 20-21 28-29 22-23 Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al inthe 57 53-55 60-63 48-49 light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Also investi gati ng initi ati ves inDubrovnik, developing Dr Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, regard the industry in-farming aMontpellier favourable Aquaculture biosecure of farm sites to photographs in Ofso course, such stories may be inaccurate in any case, Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 UK Net cleaning or he also fitted in trips to Aviemore, stepped up their acti viti es, which now involve breaching the within it. food security and saving the planet, athe move that isand, toworld, be welcomed. ARCH-UK the excepti on ofenvironments one or two Greens in cahoots with anti Those who want tocatf shut down the industry have, as expected, shut down this valuable sector, rather than tosnatch those who operate 24 20 20-21 28-29 Nigeria, both in ish and ti lapia culti vati on. Comment BTA Shellfi sh Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in Introducti onons UK light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Farming angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Aquaculture 57 and, as recently as March, New Orleans, and many of his biosecure environments of farm sites to snatch photographs in Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, in any case, the Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 Net cleaning 53-55 60-63 48-49 Also investi gati ngacti initi aties, veswhich inregard thenow developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry inofa aDr favourable stepped up their viti involve breaching theng game within Init.Scotland, the summer has been something waiti What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Nigeria, both in catf ish and tisearching, lapia culti vati on. Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. Martin Jaffa BTA Shellfi sh 24 20 20-21 responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in Comment 28-29 Introducti campaigner lmed himself unsuccessfully, for dead have always been fortunate to have the support of their minister, industry friends will be happy they spent time with him on these Farming angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in light. Theythe will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Aquaculture UK biosecure environments of farm sites tosomething snatch photographs ingame Of while course, such stories may be inaccurate and, inof any case, Nor Fishing Aqua 2018onons Net62-64 cleaning parliament is in recess and the members Holyrood’s Scotland, the summer has been aofof waiti ngthe IfInthe committ ee members, especially those who have yet toinof What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. fi sh at a Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. occasions. I will miss him, not just on the road, where he was the Nigeria, both in catf ish and ti lapia culti vati on. campaigner fi lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always been fortunate to have the support their minister, BTA Shellfi sh responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest Comment Introducti on Farming angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti ons the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up while parliament ishas in recess and the members of 58-59 60-63 68-69 51 visit aof salmon farm, likeespecially to learn more about the subject of Phil IfBut the ee members, those who have yet infested salmon in awould pen, but we only have his word against that itthe should not go unchallenged that some MSPs on thetoREC In Scotland, the summer been something ofhe aof waiti ngHolyrood’s game best travelling companions (jolly even before those 5.55am fi sh at acommitt Marine Harvest site. Another said saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. Aqua Nor What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Thomas growth that isfibeen sustainable. campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always to have the support their minister, 24-25 the evidence infortunate their inquiry into salmon farming. We don’t expect 26 22-23 30 Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up 58-59 their inquiry, we have plenty of good stories in our May issue. Even 60-63 68-69 51 visit a salmon farm, would like to learn more about the subject of while the parliament istheir in recess and the members of Holyrood’s of the professional vets and biologists who manage the welfare of committ ee, with own agendas against the growth of the Aquaculture Gael Force flights), but as the source of all aquaculture related wisdom, infested salmon in a pen, but we only have his word against that But it should not go unchallenged that some MSPs on the REC Australia Training Sea bass UK If the committ ee members, especially those who have yet to fi sh at aEwing, Marine Harvest site. Another said the hefarming. saw ‘hundreds’ ofexpect Fergus grow sustainably. their reporttounti l the autumn but salmon hope MSPs are using the time the evidence in Connecti their inquiry into We don’t 26 22-23 30 SSPO Shellfi sh Comment BTA er,inquiry, they could head to Highlands laterin this month, where Ruralbett Economy and vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up their we have plenty of good stories our May issue. Even Chris Mitchell these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Barramundi boomUK Martyn Haines European leaders important and not so, dispensed with typical William directness. of the professional vets and biologists who manage the welfare of committ ee, with their own agendas against the growth of the Aquaculture 58-59 Australia Training Sea bass 60-63 68-69 51 visit a salmon farm, would like to learn more about the subject of fully with the facts sh farming. infested salmon in go aacquainted pen, but we only have hisabout wordfiare against that Butto itbecome should not unchallenged that some MSPs on the REC their report unti l inquiry the autumn but hope the MSPs using the time 26 Hamish Macdonell Montpellier report Dr Marti nsh Jaff a Doug McLeod they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s the evidence in their into salmon farming. We don’t expect Shellfi Comment 22-23 BTA 30 bett er, they could head to the Highlands later this month, where If the industry is proud of its high standards, as it says it is, it are in a positi on to infl uence the future course of salmon farming, Chris Mitchell Plans are already afoot to toast him (with his 260 kroner shots these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Barramundi Martyn Haines European leaders their inquiry, we have plenty of good stories in our May issue. Even This month also sees the reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest of the professional vets andagendas biologists who manage the welfare committ ee, with their own against the growth of the of Aquaculture UK toreport become acquainted with the facts about fiusing sh farming. Australia Training Sea bass boom theirbiggest unti l the autumn but hope the MSPs are the tiright me Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a fi shfully farming show. Doug McLeod they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse Scotland’s must mount adaily much more robust defence of itself, through its and of vital toBracken. Scotland’s economy, we have athey ofThis Lagavulin) in Trondheim later this month, so heat will be there Iffarms the industry is proud of its high standards, as itsalmon says itlongest is, it are in abusinesses positi on to infl uence the future course of farming, Shellfi sh Comment BTA bett er, they could head to Highlands later this month, where serving employee, Steve We had no trouble collecti ng Chris Mitchell these on a basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As month also sees the reti rement of Marine Harvest’s Barramundi boom Martyn Haines European leaders to become fully acquainted with the facts about fi sh farming. We will certainly at Aquaculture UK inindustry, Aviemore and biggest fiafter sh farming show. representati body, the SSPO, than itthe has done toWilliam! date. to who they are, and we hope through its with us inbe spirit at least. Slàinte and skol must mount aall, much more robust defence of through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we have alook right 26-28 Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the 28-31 24-25 they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s 32-33 serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had no ng If the industry isve proud of its high standards, as ititself, says itcollecti is, itThe are in aknow positi on to infl uence the future course oftrouble salmon farming, This month also sees the reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest forward to seeing many of you there too. We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore and look campaigners, we now see, will stop at nothing, and farmers ves, will pressure the parliament to investi gate representati ve body, the SSPO, than it has done to date. The to know who they are, and we hope the industry, through its milestone and, along with the rest of the industry, thea team atbefore Fish biggest fishtributes farming show. warm from his friends and colleagues to mark the 28-31 24-25 32-33 must mount a much more robust defence of itself, through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we have right Shellfish SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms serving employee, Steve Bracken. We hadtoo. no trouble collecting forward to seeing many of you there should be prepared to fiwe ght back. the REC report isall published. campaigners, we now see, will stop nothing, and representati ves, will pressure the parliament investi gateatbefore Farmer wish him the very best for the future. will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inat Aviemore look milestone and, along with the rest of industry, thefarmers team Fish 28-31 Nick Lake representati ve body, the SSPO, than itthe has done toto date. The toWe know who they are, and hope industry, through its Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff Orkney anniversary Janet warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the SSPO Comment Scottish 24-25 Shellfi sha Sea Farms 32-33 should be prepared toyou fivery ght back. the to REC report ispressure published. Farmer wish him all the best for the future. forward seeing many of there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at nothing, representati ves, will the parliament toand investi gateatbefore milestone and, along with the rest of the industry, thefarmers team Fish Rising stars Marti Jaff a Farms Orkney anniversary Janet SSPO Comment Scottish Sea Shellfi shnBrown should prepared to fivery ght back. the RECbe report published. Farmer wish himisall the best for the future. 30-33 Rising stars Marti n Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet Brown 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 66 Fish Farmer is now on @fishfarmermagazine 69 64-67 70-73 52-54 Loch Duart 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner fi sh Scottish Sea Farms Comment Fish Farmer is now on Aqua Nor UK @fishfarmermag 69 64-67 70-73 52-54 Aquaculture Marking 20-year milestone Nigeria Networking Research Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm visit Marti nBrown Jaff afiSea Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner sh Scottish Farms 32-33 26-27 26-30 Comment 34-35 Scottish seminar Fish Farmer is now on Meet the team UK Boosti ng producti on Dave Conley Chris Mitchell Aquaculture 69 Nigeria Networking Research 64-67 70-73 52-54 Contact us Meet the team Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner fi sh Scottish Sea Farms Comment Meet the team Boosti ng producti Dave Conley Chris Mitchell Contact us131 Meet theAdvisory team Board: Aquaculture Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 551 1000 1000 Editorial Tel: +44(0) Nigeria Networking Research UK on Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit 68-70 34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Meet the team on Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Contact Steve Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Boosti ng producti Dave Conley Chris81-82 Mitchell Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 MeetBracken, the Bracken, team 76-77 56-59 Email: email: Jim Treasurer, Chris Mitchell, Migaud, Patrick Smith and Jim 34-35 28-29 32-33 Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer and 36-41 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Aqua Nor Comment Cleaner fi sh Orkney Farm visit 81-82 Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 76-77 56-59 Aquaculture UK jhjul@fi From the Archive Value chains email: Jason Cleaversmith and Hamish Treasurer, Wiliam Dowds Jim Treasurer and William Dowds William Dowds Migaud, Patrick Smith and Jim Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer and Innovation Award Marti n Jaff a Vaccines New player Dawn of new era Comment Cleaner fi sh Orkney 34-35 28-29 32-33 Farm visit 36-41 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, Head Office: Special Publications, Awards David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Aquaculture UK 81-82 From Archive Value the chains 76-77 56-59 Macdonell Editor: Jenny Hjul Treasurer, Wiliam Dowds Jim Treasurer andand William William Dowds Marti noffi Jaff a era Vaccines Newvisit player Dawn new Migaud, Patrick Smith Jim FettesOffi Park, FerryPublicati Road, ons, Farm Head ce:496 Special Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer andDowdsemail: Comment Cleaner sh Orkney Awards David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Designer: Andrew Editor: Jenny Hjul Balahura Editor: Jenny Hjul Aquaculture UK jhjul@fi From the Archive Value chains Edinburgh, 2DL Fett esOffi Park, 496 FerryPublicati Road, ons, Dawn Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds Head ce:EH5 Special Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New43-45 player new 90 Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: 36-39 32-35 34-35 Designer: Andrew Balahura Awards Designer: Andrew Balahura David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Editor: Jenny Hjul 91 Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, 78-79 63 34-35 Dave Edler HeadSubscriptions Office: Special Publications, Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: 36-39 32-35 34-35 43-45 Processing & RetailNews Advertising Executives: Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney IoA careers Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Designer: Andrew Balahura 91 78-79 63 Retail & Marketing Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, dedler@fi Processing & Retail Dave Edler Loch Duart Scott Binnie The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine Sti rling students Subscriptions Address: Fish Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney 36-39 32-35 34-35 IoA careers 43-45 News Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Eat more fi sh Adverti sing Executi ve: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment challenges Retail & Marketing 91 Subscriptions dedler@fi Processing & Retail News 78-79 63 History Farmer Magazine Subscriptions, Edler The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine Sti rling students Branding together Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney Scott Binnie IoA careers Eat more fi sh Adverti sing Executi ve: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment challenges Subscriptions Maree Douglas Subscripti ons Address: Wyvex Retail & Marketing Warners Group Publications plc, Processing & Retail News The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine sbinnie@fi Sti rling students Scott Binnie Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEYStreet, YUBG TYUB, Eat more fishchallenges The Maltings, Bourne Adverti sing Executive: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs 92-93 Recruitment Subscripti ons West Address: Wyvex Subscriptions 80-81 64-65 36-37 Publisher: Alister Bennett 92-93 Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, WethersMedia, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBGWethersTYUB, Lincolnshire PE10 9PH Scottsbinnie@fi Binnie Publisher: Alister Bennett 92-93 80-81 64-65 Aqua Source Directory Subscripti ons Address: Wyvex Publisher: Alister Bennett fi eld, Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY fi eld, Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Loch Duart Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, WethersWethersAqua Source Directory Tel: +44 (0)1778 392014 Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Find all you need for the industry Aqua Directory 92-93 Tel: +44 (0) 1371 851868 80-81 64-65 Cover:Alister Alisonsh Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Steve Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti Sea Farms regional fifiUK eld, Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY On the farm eld,Subscriptions: Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY Find all Source you need for the industry £75 a year Publisher: Bennett Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, WethersTrinity House, Sculpins Lane, WethersCover: Loch Duart operations manager UK Subscriptions: £75 a year farming director, Loch Etive. salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for Orkney, Find all you need for the industry Tel: +44 (0) 1371 851868 Cover: Alison Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Steve Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti sh Sea Farms regional Aqua Source Directory ROW Subscriptions: £95 a year Hazel Wade atBinnie Badcall Picture: Scott during his visit to Marine Essex Richard Darbyshire (leftBay. ), Harvest and the fifield, eld, Braintree, Braintree, Essex CM7 CM7 4AY 4AY farming director, Loch EtiPier ve. salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for Orkney, ROW Subscripti ons: aMail year UK Subscripti ons: a year 82 66 in 2016. Photo: Iain Ferguson Westerbister at Scapa Find 94 all you need for the industry including postage -£75 All£95 Air Photo: Angus Blackburn 38-39 (0) 1371 851868 Cover: Alison Hutchins, Dawnfresh 94 Cover: Steve Bracken Lumpsucker Scotti sh Seateam Farms regional Picture: Scott Binnie during his visit toexplains Marine Richard Darbyshire (left ), Harvest and the Tel: +44 46-47 including postage All Air Mail ROW Subscripti ons: £95 a year 40 37 36-37 94 farming director, Loch Eti ve. Pier salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for at Orkney, 82 66 in 2016. Photo: Iain Ferguson Westerbister team Scapa Opinion UK Subscriptions: £75 a year Loch Duart Opinion Picture: Scott during his visit Binnie to Marine Richard Darbyshire (left), Harvest and the 46-47 postage£95 - AllaAir Mail Brussels 40 37 36-37 By Nick Joy ROWincluding Subscripti year Innovation conference Cleaner Aquaculture Innovation 94 Printed inteam Great Britain for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Ltd by by JJons: Thomson Colour Colour Printers Ltd, Ltd, Printed in Great for Media Ltd Thomson Printers Opinion 82 66 in 2016. Photo: IainBritain Ferguson Westerbister at Scapa Pier Communityfish By Nick Joy Introducti on Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 Brussels 46-47 including postage All Air Mail Novel technology Temperature Introducti on By Nick Joy Innovation Cleaner fishconference Aquaculture Innovation Opinion 37 36-37 Printed Printed in in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Media Ltd Ltd by by JJ Thomson Thomson Colour Colour Printers Printers Ltd, Ltd,40 Introducti on Glasgow Glasgow ISSN ISSN 0262-9615 0262-9615 Novel technology Temperature Introducti on Brussels By Nick Joy Innovation Cleaner fishconference Aquaculture Innovation Printed in Printed in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Media Ltd Ltd by by JJ Thomson Thomson Colour Colour Printers Printers Ltd, Ltd, 33

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





Figure 9. Development of salmon nominal catch in southern and northern NEAC 1971 to 2016. Text at top inserted by author. Filled symbols and darker line southern NEAC.

Figure 9. Development of salmon nominal catch in southern and northern NEAC 1971 to 2016. Text at top inserted by author. Filled symbols and darker line southern NEAC.

Figure 9. Development of salmon nominal catch in southern and northern NEAC 1971 to 2016. Text at top inserted by author. Filled symbols and darker line southern NEAC.

Glasgow Glasgow ISSN ISSN 0262-9615 0262-9615 August.indd Welcome Aug.indd Welcome -- May.indd Sept.indd Oct.indd 33 3

Figure 10. Examples of the young mackerel currently growing up ‘all over’ the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and along the Norwegian coast at the moment. These were caught in a ‘washing set’ by 10. theExamples purse seiner ‘Brennholm’ at an arbitrary west of Lofoten Figure of the young mackerel currentlyposition growing100 up nm ‘all over’ thethe North Sea, Isles in January 2018. thisalong stagethe these small mackerels are moment. competitors to the postsmolt Norwegian SeaAtand Norwegian coast at the These were caught insalmon, a ‘washing later they be seiner both competitors potential predators. and abundant availability set’ by thewill purse ‘Brennholm’and at an arbitrary position The 100 new nm west of the Lofoten Isles in Figure 10.ofExamples of the young mackerel currently growingfeeding up ‘all over’ North Sea, explanation to juvenile mackerel the multi winter salmon areasthe may bepostsmolt a good January 2018. At thisinstage thesesea small mackerels are competitors to the salmon, Norwegian Sea and along the have Norwegian at the moment. Thesedespite were caught in a ‘washing why fishes such acoast good present their early sea growth. laterthe theyMSW will be both competitors andcondition potential at predators. The new andpoor abundant availability set’ by the purse ‘Brennholm’ at an arbitrary position 100 nm west of the Lofoten Isles in Photo JCseiner Holst. of juvenile mackerel in the multi sea winter salmon feeding areas may be a good explanation to January 2018. At this stage these small mackerels are competitors to the postsmolt salmon, why the MSW fishes have such a good condition at present despite their poor early sea growth. later they will be both competitors and potential predators. The new and abundant availability Photo JC Holst. of juvenile mackerel in the multi sea winter salmon feeding areas may be a good explanation to why the MSW fishes have such a good condition at present despite their poor early sea growth. Photo JC Holst.

Introducti on Novel technology Temperature Introducti on

3 3 07/08/2019 18:05:09 16:19:46 09/05/2018 08/08/2018 15:36:28 06/09/2018 16:32:15 04/10/2018 09:15:28

United Kingdom News


Mowi expects to move sites within two years years, is now listed as a Grade 1 river, the highest category river for salmon, and the salmon rod catch there has been increasing ‘quite markedly’ in the last few years. Hadfield said closing this site and the farm at Loch Duich depended on changes in regulation which would allow offshore farms to get bigger, after previously being capped by SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency). ‘Then that provides the way for us – a responsible and well-run company – to close some of the sites which are a concern to sports fishing interest groups [like Salmon and Trout ConserAbove: Mowi’s Ben Hadfield vation Scotland] and relocate them. PLANS by Mowi Scotland to relocate two of ‘It’s very important that we relocate them and its inshore farms to offshore sites could happen keep the tonnage production at the same level within two years, the company’s managing direc- or grow to meet demand because that undertor, Ben Hadfield, told BBC Radio Scotland. pins employment. The proposals, announced by Mowi last month, ‘We have 1,500 passionate, highly skilled people to move the sites at Loch Ewe and Loch Duich in Scotland and I feel very strongly that we’ve got were driven by the need to produce more fish, to relocate the tonnage to keep that employsaid Hadfield. ment high, and reduce the overall impact of our ‘There is really high demand for salmon as operations on the environment.’ a product for healthy eating so there is a big Mowi has been developing new sites with infradriver to produce more.’ structure in the sheltered isles of Barra, Rum and Mowi is talking to the government and its own Muck, between 500m and 1m off the shore. marine ecologists and oceanographers about ‘These have been fantastic projects where where the tonnage could be relocated, and we’ve gone in, we’ve built houses, created shore Hadfield said he imagined ‘we’ll have this done bases, we’ve put farms in open areas, and we’ve within two years’. experienced higher growth, less sea lice challengAlthough he acknowledged the concerns of es and much better fish health performance.’ the wild fish sector over sea lice pressure from Asked by the BBC if Scotland should be more farms in inshore lochs, he said he disagreed with like Norway and go further offshore with ‘little claims by the wild salmon lobby that aquaculture rigs anchored off the seabed’, Hadfield said there was the sole cause of the decline in wild stocks was ‘a common misunderstanding about what on the west coast. Norway is doing’. Loch Ewe, where Mowi has farmed for 30 He works there five days a month and said the

way the Norwegians farmed was in fact very similar to Scotland. ‘People are moving progressively offshore and using the shelter of islands as an interim step, and there is work on the technology to go further offshore. ‘You’ve got to do it in steps because these are extremely exposed environments and the safety in relation to the people’s welfare, in relation to the farm’s stock, it’s not something you want to rush into.’ But the sector was trying to accommodate everyone and seek an open dialogue. He also challenged the misconception that fish were overcrowded in pens, explaining that just two per cent of the volume in cages is fish, and that sea lice loads had reduced significantly. ‘In our company, it’s been a great success story in terms of the use of cleaner fish and freshwater to treat sea lice. It will improve if we have fewer, larger farms at good locations offshore and that’s the strategy we’re very keen to exploit.’ However, Andrew Graham-Stewart of Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland said the only long term solution for controlling sea lice on salmon farms was closed containment. He also said there was 24 per cent more biomass than a year ago in the industry and speculated that there would be ‘terrible problems’ as a result. However, he welcomed Mowi’s plan to relocate inshore sites and said he supported the move to offshore locations so long as it could be shown they were not on the migratory paths of wild salmon and sea trout. Martin Jaffa: Page 22

Salmon wagon hits the road - and raises more than £1,700 for charity MOWI has joined the street food movement to provide a fundraising boost to charities across Scotland. Mowi has been hitting the road with its Mowi Salmon Wagon, which was launched last month at the company’s Consumer Products UK headquarters in Rosyth, Fife. The wagon serves salmon fillet burgers and salmon noodle salads made with fish from Mowi farms. After the 2019 pilot year, the wagon will be made available to charities across Scotland for events, with all proceeds from the sale of the food going straight to their cause. The Mowi Salmon Wagon paid a visit to the Eilean Dorcha Festival (EDF)


UK news.indd 4

on the Isle of Benbecula in July, where it raised more than £1,700. And on August 24, it will turn up at the Lochaber Agricultural Games. Ian Roberts (pictured), Mowi Scotland’s director of communications, said in this month’s company newsletter, The Scoop: ‘ She’s looking great! A lot of work has gone into turning this little truck into a mobile Mowi kitchen. ‘We hosted a small event for Mowi friends and family in Inverness and the feedback on the vehicle and the food served was 100 per cent positive.’ He added: ‘Most importantly, it will be great, after months of planning, to finally launch the wagon and start raising money for charities and communities across Scotland.’

07/08/2019 16:12:04

All the latest industry news from the UK

Gael Force to supply new Skye organic farm GAEL Force Group has agreed an exclusive £4 million-plus deal with Scotland’s newest salmon farmer, Organic Sea Harvest, to supply its two new sites in 2020. The Inverness based company will supply turnkey solutions for two exposed sites at Invertote and Culnacnoc, off the coast of Skye, with a full range of established marine equipment, technology and supporting services. This will include SeaMate 350-tonne feed barges and SeaFeed feeding systems, SeaQurePen fish pens, SeaQureMoor moorings, and underwater technology. The two Highland based companies have been closely collaborating over the course of three years, sharing knowledge, experiences and expertise to ascertain the best and most suitable equipment specification for the challenging site conditions. Speaking after the two companies signed the deal, Gael Force Group sales director Jamie Young said: ‘We have taken the time to understand Organic Sea Harvest’s needs and challenges for many months now and, as a result, we have become very attuned to their objectives. ‘This has given both parties the complete confidence that we can be a key supply partner in helping Organic Sea Harvest to achieve the best possible results on their new farms.’ He added: ‘Throughout our discussions with the team from Organic Sea Harvest, it has also been very clear to us how much they value the importance of working with a local supply partner. ‘For our employees and the local communities in which we are present across Scotland, this is terrific news.’ Alex MacInnes, director of Organic Sea Harvest - the first independent farming start-up in Scotland since 1999 – said: ‘It means a huge amount to us that we have been able to source the highest quality of equipment and competence at competitive prices locally, and also, that we will be

Above- from L to R: Robert Gray (director, Organic Sea Harvest) Alex

MacInnes (director, Organic Sea Harvest), Jamie Young (sales director, Gael Force Group), Alister Mackinnon (director, Organic Sea Harvest) partnering with a Highlands and islands based supplier who has shown the enthusiasm and motivation to grow with us and help us in our objective to support the local community of Staffin.’ Despite being Scotland’s newest salmon farmer, the founding shareholders at Organic Sea Harvest come with a wealth of experience and background in fish farming. The company was created out of a desire to work with the local community, create employment and help retain as much of the generated wealth as is commercially practical in the communities of Skye and Lochalsh, while working to minimise environmental impacts. The two sites are due to be stocked in the spring and autumn of 2020. Each farm will have a maximum consent of 2,500 tonnes and use Staffin pier as a service base.

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07/08/2019 16:12:23

United Kingdom News

Farmed fish only food sector free of medicine residues AQUACULTURE is the only animal sector in the UK where no residues of medicines have been found in the end product for the whole of 2018 and 2019 to date. According to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), which publishes regular updates of veterinary residues in animals and animal products, farmed salmon and trout were free of such substances. The VMD document contains information on substances found in the UK where the level of concentration of a residue in an animal product is above the action point. Residues were detected above the reference point in dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Calves liver, cattle milk, sheep kidneys and hen eggs all had residues of medicines, such as penicillin, and residues were also found in game birds, including partridges and pheasants.


UK news.indd 6

Scotland gives Mowi huge Q2 boost

THE world’s biggest salmon farmer, Mowi, is reporting significantly increased harvest volumes from its The VMD undertakes statu- Scottish salmon farms, according tory surveillance on all animal to its 2019 second quarter trading sectors, including farmed fish, update, published last month. The output from its Farming checking for levels of subScotland division between April stances – for example, antimiand June has totalled 16,000 crobials, steroids, hormones, tonnes, compared with 9,000 and pesticides. Salmon farmers have invest- tonnes this time a year ago – a Top: Mowi Scotland has performed well rise of more than 70 per cent. ed heavily in non-medicinal The company’s smaller Irish approaches to disease and operation also performed well and doubled its harvest from 1,000 to parasite control measures, and the latest figures suggest 2,000 tonnes. In fact, most of Mowi’s farms around the world, apart from Canada, have that their efforts are not just working, but leading the field. increased second quarter production. Farming Norway is up by more than 3,000 tonnes to 51,500 tonnes, Medicinal use in salmon and Chile is one of its top performing operations, up by 5,000 tonnes to farming has fallen by 49 per 15,000 tonnes. cent in the last decade, said The total operational EBIT or gross profit for the group is approximately the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation in February. €208 million in Q2 2019, against €175 million in Q2 2018. The EBIT from Scotland has also increased, up from €2.35 per kilo in Q2 Meanwhile, spending on 2018 to €2.90 per kilo this year. But the EBIT from Canada and Norway innovation, natural prevention has fallen slightly this time. and alternative treatments Mowi’s total Q2 volume is likely to be 98,500 tonnes. The company’s has grown dramatically. second quarter results will be published on August 21 and, because of The VMD data covers the the higher harvest volumes from the likes of Scotland, are expected to be whole of Great Britain and positive. Northern Ireland. government/statistics/residues-of-veterinary-medicines-in-food-2018

Predator net investment pays off SCOTTISH Sea Farms has reported a significant reduction in ‘last resort’ seal shootings as its investment in rigid new pen netting systems exceeds £5.7 million. In the first six months of the current reporting period (February 2019 to January 2020), the salmon grower saw two seal deaths across its 43-strong estate of marine farms - a reduction of five compared with the same period last year, six compared with 2017 and seven compared with 2016. Scottish Sea Farms’ managing director Jim Gallagher said:‘We won’t be happy until we achieve zero seal deaths. However, our multi-million pound investment to roll out protective Seal Pro netting across as many of our farms as possible, as quickly as possible, is another example of our commitment to farm as responsibly and as sustainably as we can. ‘Not only do the tougher, more rigid nets help to deter seals, but by protecting our salmon from the stress of predation and the subse-

quent health challenges that can cause, they also contribute to fish welfare.’ Scottish Sea Farms has now equipped more than half of its marine farms with Seal Pro nets at a cost of £4.2 million, with a further £1.5 million worth of nets set to be deployed between August and October 2019, bringing the total investment to date to £5.7 million – with more to follow. Included in the latest roll-out will be next generation Seal Pro Excel netting which has been engineered to be the strongest, most unyielding version yet offering even greater protection. Scottish Sea Farms’ head of fish health, Dr Ralph Bickerdike, said: ‘In the hunt for food, seals are occasionally relocating from farms that have Seal Pro nets to nearby farms that have previously had no significant seal challenge, hence our drive to protect all farms.’ The company is also trialling the ‘electric fish’ deterrent pioneered by Dundee based Ace Aquatec.

07/08/2019 16:12:47

All the latest industry news from the UK

New vaccine hope for rainbow trout fry A NEW vaccine for rainbow trout is to be trialled in a project led by Dawnfresh, Scotland’s biggest trout farmer, and the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture (IoA). A consortium, which also includes Kames Fish Farming, another Scottish trout farm operator, and Tethys Aquaculture, an aquaculture research impact company, will test the rainbow trout fry syndrome (RTFS) vaccine during field trials in a bid to gain a licence for its use. Supported by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), the programme aims to improve fish welfare and unlock the sector’s potential. The vaccine was developed by the IoA as part of a five-year European Commission funded project called Targetfish, in which Tethys Aquaculture acted as the project’s industry forum leader. RTFS is a common disease in trout and has been responsible for the substantial loss of stocks, with some sites reporting high average early stage mortality rates. However, the diversity of the bacteria that cause RTFS has made vaccine development challenging, while the very small size at which fish tend to be affected renders injections unsuitable. Although antibiosis is a treatment option, the industry’s drive to minimise antibiotic usage, reduce losses, and improve welfare required a new approach. In response, the IoA team developed a dip vaccine for trout which can be administered to fry in a very low stress and low risk manner. It is hoped that the vaccine, combined with best farm management practices, will protect fish until they are large enough to fend off infection themselves. Dr Rowena Hoare, from the IoA, said: ‘RTFS has been a major problem for the rainbow trout industry for decades.

‘We are delighted that this project has been funded by SAIC, enabling our novel RTFS vaccine to be tested on two fish farm sites. ‘We hope in the future to combine this with other vaccines to assist in the sustainability of the trout industry.’ Richard Hopewell, fish health manager at Dawnfresh, added: ‘We are constantly striving to improve sustainability, health and welfare within the trout farming sector. ‘We believe this vaccine could bring great benefits in these areas, as well as the potential to reduce antibiotic usage even further to some of the lowest levels for all food producing animals.’ Polly Douglas, aquaculture innovation manager at SAIC, said that the vaccine could be a major step forward for trout wellbeing. ‘It’s another example of how industry and academia can work together to solve some of the biggest problems faced by aquaculture.’

ASC salmon review tailored to Scottish farms SSC suitors ‘could come from outside industry’ SCOTTISH salmon farms which use smolts raised in freshwater lochs will now be able to apply for ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certification following a review. The move updates the salmon standard and freshwater trout standard, resolving inconsistencies between the two and allowing for salmon smolt production to be audited against the trout standard. Norwegian owned Mowi has welcomed the change, which will

enable it to meet its goal of having all its farms ASC certified by 2020. Until now, Mowi Scotland had been excluded by ASC rules, because of the way it farms, rearing about half its smolts in freshwater lochs. Globally, Mowi farms account for more than one third of ASC certified salmon farms. The review followed a rigorous, science based process, said the ASC, and is part of its commitment to adapt to changes in the

UK news.indd 7

industry.With the updates, smolt production for all ASC certified salmon farms will now require an on-site audit for the first time. ‘We are pleased that ASC has amended its salmon standard to include consideration of freshwater lochs, and we welcome a science based approach to its certification programme,’ said Rory Campbell, technical manager at Mowi Scotland. In 2015, Mowi’s Loch Leven farm became the first in the UK to be ASC accredited. However, it had to allow for the certification to elapse, as it continued to work with the ASC on modification to the standard.The company is seeking a certification manager to oversee its ASC programme in Scotland.

part of the business. BIDS for the Scottish It said in a stateSalmon Company ment: ‘Among the could come from options being outside the inconsidered within dustry, a leading the framework Norwegian seaof the review are food analyst has several formal, suggested. non-binding expresCarl-Emil Kjølås sions of interest to Johannessen, who purchase part or works for the Nordic Above: Craig Anderson all of the company financial services that have been received by the company Pareto, said there company via its UK financial could be a number of potential buyers for the business, but advisor Daiwa Corporate Advisory Limited.’ ruled out Mowi as he believes Many of the major salmon it already has too much marplayers have been mentioned ket share. in various media channels as He told the Norwegian webpossible bidders. site there are likely Listed on the Olso Stock to be a wide range of bidders, Exchange seafood index, SSC including from both outside has a market capitalisation and inside the UK and from of NOK 4.82 billion or £447 financial players who currentmillion.The company reported ly have no connection with a 33 per cent jump in earnings aquaculture. in the first quarter of the year, Edinburgh based Scottish with revenue up 23 per cent, Salmon Company, which harvests around 30,000 tonnes an- totalling £53.5 million. Exports accounted for 65 per cent of nually, announced last month that it was looking to sell all or sales.


07/08/2019 16:13:06

European News


Top aquaculture professionals bound for Berlin

Above: The Estrel Hotel and Conference Centre, Berlin

THE European Aquaculture Society (EAS) said its next conference, in Berlin in October, could be one of its biggest yet – as well as the most varied.

The organisers have reported strong interest, with more than 880 abstracts received for presentation, and 55 sessions planned for the three-day event, to be held at

the Estrel Hotel and Conference Centre, Berlin, from October 7 to 11. The conference sessions will address all aspects of European aquaculture and

provide an insight into the latest research outputs from a range of initiatives. There are also nearly 150 exhibitors lined up from 23 countries for trade show that runs alongside the main conference. Special sessions at Aquaculture Europe 2019 (AE2019) are focused on marine litter, parasite management, nutrition and breeding innovations, shrimp production and aquaculture in central and Eastern Europe. There will also be a ‘Women in Aquaculture’ event, organised by the EAS and the Fish Site, exploring ways to ensure greater gender diversity at all

levels of the aquaculture sector. And Berlin will see the first Aquaculture Europe Innovation Forum, featuring start-ups and emerging business models in the aquaculture sector. The forum, to be held on October 9 in partnership with Hatch Blue and the German Startups Association, will involve pitches from 12 new companies seeking further investment to develop. The pitches will be assessed by a panel of experts, including Lucille Bonnet, of HighTech Gründerfonds Management (HTGF), Germany; Dominik

Ewald, of Monitorfish and the German Startups Association, Germany; Angela Schultz-Zehden, sPro, Germany; Margriet Drouillon, University of Gent, Belgium; Robin Shields, Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, UK; Viggo Halseth, Nutreco; Johan Verreth, EAS past president; and and Harald Sveier of Lerøy Seafood Group, Norway. The winner in each session will be awarded a free booth at AE2020 in Cork to showcase their innovation. For more information and to register for AE2019, visit www.

Norwegian fears over arrival of Boris Johnson as PM NORWAY’S seafood industry has expressed fears over the impact of a hard Brexit on its members now that Boris Johnson is Britain’s Prime Minister. Johnson has promised to take the UK out of the EU without a deal by October 31 if he cannot reach a new accord with Brussels. Hans Frode Asmyhr, the Norwegian Seafood Council’s man in London, has warned that it could have the worst possible outcome for certain sectors of the industry, including fish farmers and fishermen. Norway annually exports more than 200,000 tonnes of seafood worth £575 million (6.2 billion kroner) to the UK each year, of which at least two thirds will be salmon. It is the country’s fourth largest export market. Asmyhr said in a statement


European News.indd 8

that since Norway already has a transitional agreement with the UK, direct exports of seafood should be less affected, but he was very concerned about the 60,000 tonnes of indirect exports, mainly salmon, that go through the EU processing countries such as Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands. ‘It is highly uncertain what will happen to the trade between the EU and the UK if there is a hard Brexit,’ he said. ‘This is creating nervousness in the seafood industry, mainly because no one knows what will happen in the future.’ Asmyhr said he would continue to keep a close watch on developments, adding that the best advice he could give Norwegian seafood exporters at the moment was to keep in close dialogue with their British customers.

Above: Boris Johnson

07/08/2019 16:13:46

All the latest industry news from Europe

Iceland salmon exports hit new records THE export value of farmed salmon from Iceland’s still modest, but rapidly expanding, aquaculture sector is breaking new records. The latest official figures show that in the first five months of this year, Icelandic salmon farmers sold fish worth more than £70 million or 10.9 billion kroner (ISK) to overseas buyers. This represents a 68 per cent increase over the same period 12 months earlier. In a country where cod is still king in the seafood sector, salmon now accounts for 10 per cent of marine product exports – and the figure is growing. It is expected to reach 12 per cent by the end of 2019 from just two per cent five years ago. May was the best month, with salmon exports totalling £12 million (ISK 1,844 million) – almost twice the figure on May last year. However, the export figure of farmed trout has fallen slightly and netted just £2.5 million in May. Part of this is due to movements in the value of the ISK, which was 12 per cent weaker a couple of months ago. But it could also be down to some farmers concentrating on more lucrative salmon production. Several aquaculture companies have unveiled plans for significant salmon growth over the next two years, while a number of conventional fishing companies are discussing

Above: Icelandic fish farm

whether they, too, should move into the sector. But the industry continues to face heated opposition from the country’s environmental and sports fishing groups. This has led to Iceland Iceland’s fisheries minister, Kristján Thór Júlíusson, calling for a calmer debate on the issues.

Russia returns Norwegian salmon shipments RUSSIA sent back two large planeloads of Norwegian salmon bound for Asia earlier this month. One of the aircraft was carrying about 100 tonnes of the fish when it touched down in Moscow and was promptly ordered to return to Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport without explanation. Cato Kjelsberg, sales manager of Air Cargo Logistics, one of the freight forwarders involved, told Intrafish that he was still awaiting to hear from the Russians why the fish had to return. The aircraft left Norway totally unaware there was a problem. The air transport companies have since been notified that an embargo is in force. They have now contacted the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and the Norwegian embassy in Moscow to see if they can throw more light on the situation. Coast Seafood CEO Sverre Søra has told the Norwegian fish farming website that fish destined for South Korea has also been returned and it was now trying to find an alternative route. Five years ago, Russia imposed a ban on Norwegian foods of all types in retaliation for western sanctions over its aggressive actions in Ukraine. It was thought this might hit fish farmers, but they found a way around it by sending exports to Belarus, which has a customs union link with Russia.

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07/08/2019 16:14:09

European News

Mowi adds to portfolio with Norwegian acquisition MOWI has moved to strengthen its Norwegian base by buying the family owned salmon business of K. Strømmen Lakseoppdrett. The company confirmed the 790 million kroner (£73

million) deal, which is 70 per cent in cash and 30 per cent through Mowi issuing new shares. Mowi said the purchase would strengthen its position in central Norway, and ‘sup-

port our long term strategy of being a world leading producer of seafood proteins’. When Mowi rebranded from Marine Harvest last year it made it clear that it was in the market for further acquisitions, both at home and abroad. K. Strømmen Lakseoppdrett has four licences and operates with four separate locations, each with a maximum biomass of 780 tonnes. Established by aquaculture pioneer Kristen Strømmen in 1972, when salmon farming was still a relatively small industry in Norway, the business had an annual turnover in excess of 170 million kroner (around £15 million) last year. It also has a strong customer base and its Atlantic salmon is recognised in the industry as being of high quality. It is exported to major markets in Asia and Europe.

Norway hits back over Swedish salmon ban

AN unneighbourly row has broken out between Sweden and Norway over the merits of farmed salmon. It follows a decision by the Swedish ski resort of Åre to stop serving Norwegian salmon to local children after Peter Bergman, a former mayor of Åre, made claims about what fish farming was doing to the environment. But now the Norwegian Seafood Council has hit back, maintaining that the claims are the result of ‘untruths’ and false information. While it welcomed a factual debate on aquaculture, the council found it not only regrettable that untruths were being fed to the public, but that Swedish politicians were making decisions based on such falsehoods. The council said that every type of food production had some environmental footprint, but pointed out that meat such as pork released more than twice the amount of carbon dioxide as farmed salmon.

Help for algae affected salmon farms

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NORWEGIAN salmon farmers hit by the recent algae outbreak are to be allowed to increase production beyond their permitted licence limits to help compensate for heavy losses. Several companies in the Nordland and Troms regions, including Nordlaks and Lerøy, lost a total of 13,000 tonnes, or some eight million salmon, during the five-week long outbreak, regarded as the worst attack for almost 30 years. The value is estimated at 2.5 billion kroner and many workers are likely to temporarily lose their jobs because there are no fish to harvest. Conscious of warnings from the trawling industry and political opponents that the government should not make direct financial payments to ‘wealthy salmon farmers’, Norway’s fisheries minister, Harald Tom Nesvik, announced a series of alternative measures. He has introduced a scheme allowing the affected businesses to be allowed to increase production up to certain limits over the next five years to help them recover some of their losses.

Nesvik said he came to his decision after visiting several affected farms in Nordland. ‘It is important that we try to protect jobs over the long term so we are now giving salmon farmers affected by the algae bloom in the north the opportunity to recover some of the lost production. ‘Some companies have lost all their smolt and need at least 36 months to produce new salmon. Therefore, we are allowing the scheme to last for five years so that they can rebuild their stocks.’ The level of help is being set at 60 per cent of the documented losses. The minister said that this was a one-off help measure and companies should not automatically expect similar schemes if there were future incidents.

07/08/2019 16:14:33

All the latest industry news from Europe

Nordlaks reports pre-tax profits of £110 million THE Nordlaks group, which was badly hit by the algae outbreak, announced pre-tax profits of 1.2 billion kroner, or around £110 million, on a turnover of NOK 3 billion (£278 million) for last year. CEO Eirik Welde described the performance as a ‘very good financial result’. He said: ‘We had somewhat lower sales revenues and higher operating costs, but thanks to wellboat sales and lower financial costs, mainly due to the (lower) currency, the annual

Above: Eirik Welde

result was nevertheless higher than in 2017. ‘We see that both Nordlaks and the rest of the aquaculture industry year-on-year reduced productivity and increased costs, but due to the constantly high demand for our products, we still managed to create a good result.’ Welde said Nordlaks planned to invest between four and five billion kroner in the development of new technology and advanced production methods. ‘This year we will make a decision on the expansion of our factory on Børøya, while the smolt plant at Innhavet will be completed. And by 2020, the first of two Havfarmer and the first of two wellboats will be delivered to us.’ The 2018 results, he said, would strengthen the equity of the company and were absolutely crucial in its plans for the sustainable development of the aquaculture industry.

Supply giant formed by new merger A NEW Norwegian aquaculture supply company has been formed with the merger of Aqualine, AquaOptima and Steinsvik. The companies, which have formed ScaleAQ, have been working together for the past two years and complement each other well, according to acting chief executive Geir Myklebust. They have a combined 40 years of continuous experience from different areas of the aquaculture industry. ScaleAQ will have 900 employees and a presence in 11 countries, including in Scotland, where Steinsvik has been operating from an office in Fort William. Myklebust said of the new group: ‘We will be offering everything from well-known standalone products to turnkey projects in addition to consulting and engineering services. ‘A separate division for innovation, called ScaleAQ innovation, will strengthen the commitment to innovation and development within the four business areas, sea based, land based, digital and service.’ Aqualine, AquaOptima and Steinsvik will continue to exist as separate companies for a period, he added, to ensure that the merger serves customers in the best way possible. Innes Weir, Steinsvik’s UK general manager, becomes ScaleAQ’s UK and Ireland regional manager. ScaleAQ is exhibiting at Aqua Nor on stand A157 and at Skansen. More Aqua Nor reports from page 62.

European News.indd 11

Above: Geir Myklebust

Chinese demand boosts salmon exports

RISING demand from Europe and China have helped push Norwegian salmon exports to new heights, figures from the country’s Seafood Council show. Norway exported 506,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 34.6 billion during the first half of 2019, an increase on 2018 of five per cent in volume and six per cent, or NOK 2.1 billion, in value. Tom-Jørgen Gangsø, director of market insight and market access at the Seafood Council, said: ‘We have had stronger production growth of salmon in the first half of the year than was expected at the beginning of the year. ‘At the same time, we have experienced a growth in demand, especially from the EU and Asia. The growth in demand, together with a weak kroner, explains why we have also experienced price inflation, while volumes have increased.’ He added: ‘So far this year, we have seen growth in both value and volume in exports of fresh salmon to China. ‘Overall, 12,130 tonnes of fresh salmon from Norway went to China. This is already more than we exported during the whole of 2018.’ He said improved access and more efficient trading had helped salmon producers gain greater access to the Chinese markets and, if current growth trends continue, Chinese exports this year are expected to reach 20,000 tonnes. Last month’s figures show that salmon exports dropped by three per cent in volume to 82,300 tonnes but rose two per cent in value to NOK 5.7 billion. The average price for whole fresh salmon in July was NOK 59.55 per kilo, compared with NOK 56.38 a year ago. Farmed trout exports continue to rise, with sales up by 19 per cent during the first half of the year to 24,700 tonnes and the value up by 20 per cent to NOK 1.7 billion. Gangsø said there had been particularly strong demand from the United States, where trout was gaining both from the retail and restaurant sectors. Total Norwegian seafood exports, including white fish, shellfish and pelagics, during the first half of this year fell by 13 per cent to 1.3 million tonnes, but rose in value by seven per cent to NOK 51.2 billion.


07/08/2019 16:15:00

World News


Conference debates ‘new frontier’ of ocean farming

Above: Nelson, New Zealand

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A GROUP of leading scientists were due to meet in Nelson, New Zealand, early this month to debate moving aquaculture away from sheltered coastal areas to open ocean farming. The event was being hosted by New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation, the Cawthron Institute, at its inaugural Open Oceans aquaculture symposium, titled ‘Unlocking the potential of our oceans’. Under discussion at the meeting – from August 5-7 - was how open ocean aquaculture developments in both shellfish and finfish farming could revolutionise the global aquaculture industry. Cawthron Institute

CEO Professor Charles Eason said aquaculture in a number of countries, including New Zealand, was being constrained by limited inshore farm space. The new frontier, he believes, is open ocean aquaculture, where there are large tracts of consented space available, but also where farming in exposed waters was challenging. This will mean new engineering concepts and farming approaches to provide confidence for investors. ‘The Cawthron Institute is advancing open ocean aquaculture technology through the development of new tools and methods to cost effectively farm shellfish and

finfish,’ he said. Professor Eason said the symposium was a unique opportunity to bring together industry and global research leaders. Those due to attend included Hans V. Bjelland, director of Exposed Aquaculture at the Centre for research based innovation from Trondheim, Norway, and Arndt Hildebrandt from the Ludwig-Franzius Institute for Hydraulic, Estuarine, and Coastal Engineering in Hanover, Germany. Cawthron’s aquaculture specialist Kevin Heasman, who is leading the development of the methods to farm finfish and shellfish in the open ocean, was also addressing the symposium.

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World news.indd 12

GAEL Force Group has established a base in Canada – in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador. It will serve aquaculture producers in the province and across Atlantic Canada, Above: Gael Force will serve Canadian clients supporting customers with sales and technical service, product development, moorings design and assembly, pen building, cameras and feed system installations and technical support for fish farm site installations. Gael Force is already supporting Mowi as it grows its operations in Atlantic Canada. The salmon farmer bought Gray Aqua Group in 2017, with licences in New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. Stephen Divers, business development director at Gael Force, said: ‘Aquaculture has the potential to transform rural economies and we have seen first-hand how this has happened in Scotland over the past 30 years. ‘The similarities between Newfoundland and Labrador and the Highlands and islands of Scotland give us tremendous confidence that aquaculture can be transformative for the area.’

07/08/2019 16:15:47

World News

Salmon farm planned for landlocked Lesotho

Above: Lesotho has welcomed the salmon farm

THE southern African landlocked kingdom of Lesotho is to farm salmon in plans announced last month by RAS company Pure Salmon. A US$250 million land based farm with capacity for 20,000 tonnes will be developed in partnership with the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC). If successful, the venture could produce annual revenues accounting for eight per cent of the country’s GDP, said Pure Salmon. Located in the Butha-Buthe Highland region of Lesotho, the farm is due to be completed by 2023. It will generate more than 250 full time jobs in Lesotho and will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy from the adjacent hydroelectric power station. Pure Salmon and its parent company, 8F Asset

Management, will set up a foundation to support the local community, as part of the deal. This will include an aquaculture education programme at the National University of Lesotho, with 15 international internships available at Pure Salmon’s facilities across the world. One million free salmon meals per year will also be provided to local schools and orphanages during the first 10 years of the facility’s operation. And Pure Salmon will provide shares through direct ownership of the site to the communities which offer their unused land for the salmon farm. Stephane Farouze, board director of Pure Salmon and chairman and founder of 8F Asset Management, said: ‘Through our partnership with the LNDC and investment in the Lesotho site, we hope to provide increased opportunities for the local community through the production of sustainable salmon.’ LNDC CEO Mohato Seleke said: ‘I sincerely believe this partnership will yield tremendous results for Lesotho as a whole.’ Pure Salmon produces salmon in a RAS facility in Poland, developed with technology from Israeli RAS expert AquaMaof, and has projects in Japan, China, Bahrain, America and Europe. Lesotho, formerly Basutoland under British colonial rule, declared independence in 1966. It is a fully sovereign state, its territory located within South Africa.

Israel sees aquaculture as engine for growth THE Israeli government has unveiled a multi-million dollar plan to turn the city of Eliat into the country’s first dedicated aquaculture and marine biology centre. The announcement was made by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared that fish farming would become the ‘engine of growth’ for the city and Israel. He said he wanted to turn Eliat from a tourist destination into a centre for ‘producing food from the sea’. Part of the plan includes establishing a huge aqua-

culture and marine biology park. Netanyahu declared: ‘We cannot continue feeding humanity with protein from the land. It is expensive. It is inefficient. It pollutes and it is difficult.’ Aquaculture, he added, was ‘the food technology of tomorrow – and it is already here’. ‘We are going to form a concern and establish a centre here that will provide Eilat with an extraordinary future. I want to turn Eilat into a centre of knowledge and sea based food technology.’

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07/08/2019 16:16:20

World News

Plans to create new Qatar shrimp farm revealed

QATAR has unveiled plans to build a shrimp farm that could eventually become one of the largest in the world. The multi-million dollar contract has gone to Texas based Global Blue Technologies, which specialises in the design and building of RAS systems, and to UAE systems integrators ITQAN. The first phase of the project will include a hatchery and production modules to produce 3,000 tonnes of shrimp a year, as well as a Brood Stock Multiplication Centre (BMC) with

the capacity to raise 300,000 broodstock. The venture hopes to expand production to 100,000 tonnes over the next four or five years. The deal ends a search for the technology and expertise to position the Middle East state (with a population of 2.6 million) as a global centre for aquaculture excellence. It also underpins the growing importance of aquaculture to the region, as it bids to become more independent in food production. Global Blue Technologies

CEO Stephen White said: ‘All that we do is to show that an ethical better way exists for the benefit of people, the animals and the earth. We see Qatar as the perfect partner in this endeavour.’ ITQAN chairman Musallam Al-Nabit added: ‘Qatar insists on absolute fidelity to excellence in all we do. The long due diligence to determine the company and system that will best safeguard our nation’s land and water resources was time and effort well spent. ‘My pledge is that we will ensure every prawn our partnership produces will be the most exquisite the world will ever enjoy.’ The government of Qatar has spent the past 18 months vetting a dozen applicants for the contract. Global Blue Technologies said it has spent nearly two decades perfecting its bio-secure, recirculating aquaculture system.

New Nebraska algal oil plant targets salmon diets THE world’s largest factory for producing algal oil for salmon diets was officially opened last month. The commercial scale facility, in Blair, Nebraska, in the US, represents a $200 million investment by Veramaris, a joint venture between Evonik Animal Nutrition and Dutch company DSM. Through the fermentative manufacture of natural marine algae, the new plant produces algal oil containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, meaning that fish oil need not be a limiting factor for the further growth of aquaculture. The product enables salmon farmers to become net fish producers, while reversing the decade long decline of EPA and DHA omega-3 levels in salmon, said Veramaris. The initial algal oil produced in the plant could supply approximately 15 per cent of the annual demand the global salmon farming industry has for EPA and DHA, without using any fish oil from wild caught fish, the company said. The production of the Veramaris algal oil is based on the natural algae strain schizochytrium, which DSM has brought to the partnership with Evonik, the companies explained.

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07/08/2019 16:16:41

All the latest industry news from around the world

Cooke plans switch to trout in US farms COOKE Aquaculture remaining salmon pens was in talks last month are no longer allowed with Washington state to be used for farming officials to farm rainAtlantic salmon. bow/steelhead trout ‘We’ve said throughin its Atlantic salmon out the process, if we pens, which are set to weren’t permitted to be phased out by 2022. farm Atlantic salmon, The Canadian based Above: Joel Richardson we want to continue company currently has doing business in Wash800,000 Atlantic salmon stocked ington state,’ he said. in its remaining pens, down from ‘If that means we need to switch 3.5 million fish a few years ago. species, that’s something we In 2017, the collapse of one of have considered throughout this Cooke’s cages resulted in the process. escape of more than 250,000 ‘We would be using the same fish into Puget Sound, triggering type of species that the state the introduction of legislation by already currently stocks. They’re Washington state that outlaws native. the marine farming of non-native ‘This would be an opportunity species. to keep our people employed. Cooke’s Joel Richardson told The farms that we use have been IntraFish last month that the in operation for over 30 years in transition to another species Washington state, so aquaculture could happen when the company’s has a long history in the state.’

Genetic defence against tilapia disease THE discovery of a genetic trait for disease resistance in tilapia presents an opportunity for the industry to reduce infections and the use of antibiotic treatments. Benchmark announced the discovery of a significant quantitative trait locus (QTL) for resistance to Streptococcus iniae in Nile tilapia. Streptococcus infections are among the most critical disease challenges in tilapia production. Benchmark’s genomic analysis from controlled disease resistance trials has shown that a significant proportion of the genetic variation for resistance is caused by a small region of DNA – a Quantitative Trait Locus or QTL. The company has made a patent application in relation to its discovery. The QTL identified will be used to select broodstock with high levels of Streptococcus iniae resistance for the production of commercial fry. This is the first time that a significant QTL for disease resistance in tilapia has been identified and used for commercial breeding. It represents an important step forward in the genetic improvement of tilapia and in combating its most pressing disease challenges, said Benchmark. The company’s CEO, Malcolm Pye, said: ‘In arriving at this breakthrough, our international teams of geneticists have transferred knowledge from our well established breeding programmes in Atlantic salmon, which has shown to be of great benefit to the tilapia industry.’

World news.indd 15


07/08/2019 16:16:58


Farewell William Industry pays tribute to fish farming champion and friend BY JENNY HJUL


HE aquaculture industry, in Scotland and beyond, has paid tribute to William Dowds, Fish Farmer’s former commercial manager and a legendary figure throughout the industry for many years. William passed away on August 3, aged 52, after a long battle with cancer. ‘It is very sad indeed to lose a friend- and such a passionate advocate of our industry- long before his time,’ said Chris Hyde of Otaq. Nick Joy said: ‘When I think of William the word ‘irrepressible’ comes to mind. He was endlessly enthusiastic about fish farming, new projects and innovation. While he was scathing of the industry’s critics, I cannot but think of him with a smile on his face, reminiscing or discussing the current situation. ‘He was inquisitive, challenging, perceptive and determined, all the attributes of a good journalist but, added to that, he was damn good company.’ Rob Fletcher, senior editor at the Fish Site and former editor of Fish Farmer, wrote: ‘William was a colourful character even by the standards of a sector well-known for mavericks and non-conformists, and it was a pleasure to have known him.’ And Julie Macdonald of W&J Knox recalled her many exchanges with William: ‘He was always forthright, highly engaging and had a huge interest in what was happening, both in the aquaculture industry and in the wider world. ‘More than anything, he was never boring, and I can honestly say that his calls never felt like sales calls, which was a sign of a true professional, and a lovely man.’ Originally from Northern Ireland, William worked for international brands such as Coca-Cola, Diageo and British Aerospace, emerging as a talented salesman. The skills he picked up may not have appeared But his route to this fairly conventional profession was, in typical William style, transferable to his future livelihood, but the touring idiosyncratic. He spent his early adult life playing keyboards in a Belfast rock routine obviously suited him. band, even though – by his own admission- he had never had a music lesson He settled in Scotland and when he joined the in his life. world of aquaculture, he quickly made a name for himself, not only on his own patch, but around the world, on his extensive travels for Fish Farmer. He had a particular affinity with Norwegians – an invaluable trait in the salmon farming sector – and had enviable access to the CEOs of many of the biggest companies, a testament to his easy Irish charm (and all those late nights in the bars of Trondheim). William- latterly donning his beloved kilt- became a familiar sight at the aquaculture trade shows, even after poor health might have dictated a slower pace. He bounced back from repeated bouts of cancer treatment in the last six years to re-connect with his old contacts and make new friends, and never gave up hope that he would make it to Aqua Nor again later this month.


William.indd 16

Clockwise from top left Fish Farmer’s William Dowds; with Dave Hutchens of W&J Knox at Aqua Nor 2017; Shetland farm visit with then Fish Farmer editor Rob Fletcher; entertaining Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon and the then Norwegian fisheries minister Per Sandberg on the Scottish pavilion at Aqua Nor 2017; in Las Vegas with great friend Aubert Faivre; at the awards in Edinburgh in May with Rob Fletcher of 5m Publishing.

07/08/2019 16:24:18

Farewell William

In Scotland, as elsewhere, his industry colleagues were his friends and his job was also his favourite pastime. He acquired a deep understanding of the salmon farming business and used his acumen to raise Fish Farmer’s profile in the growing industry. He rarely missed an opportunity to turn a good story into an excellent advertising bonanza, but he was also unfailingly generous with his expertise, and was as often on the phone dishing out advice as he was closing a deal. In the offices of Fish Farmer, William would walk around with a headset, usually out of earshot as he chatted – for hours sometimes – to his valued customers. It therefore remains a mystery to most of us how he worked his magic. Outside, on the farms or in the exhibition halls, we could better witness him in action – but

William.indd 17

More than anything, he was never boring

William never made work look like work and that was perhaps the secret of his success. He retired from Fish Farmer last year on medical grounds but was immediately snapped up by another title in the industry, International Aquafeed. He was proud of the magazines he represented, and he was especially thrilled by the recognition he received at the Aquaculture Awards in Edinburgh in May, where he was presented with a special lifetime achievement award. The stoicism William brought to professional challenges was very much in evidence as he coped with one health setback after another.


07/08/2019 16:24:41


He made light of his aliments, joking ‘I’ve put my foot in my mouth’ when he had to have his jaw rebuilt with a bone from his leg, and complaining that his surgeons had not made him look more like Tom Cruise. In his final weeks, his wit never deserted him, even when a new tumour robbed him of the ability to speak clearly. Finlay Oman of W&J Knox remembered him as ‘a real character, who never gave up and made the very best of what he had left’. Scottish Sea Farms tweeted: ’His sparky personality and fierce belief in the sector will never be forgotten but it will be sorely missed.’ And Chris Haacke of Corbion spoke for many when he said William was a ‘much loved character and ever present wherever the aqua industry got together at the various conferences and trade shows. He will be very much missed.’ Aquaculture UK tweeted: ‘Thank you William for everything you brought to our industry. Rest in peace.’ And Gael Force said: ‘Farewell to a hugely popular figure within the industry. William will be missed by many.’ The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre,


William.indd 18

His fierce belief in the sector will never be forgotten but it will be sorely missed

07/08/2019 16:25:13

Farewell William

meanwhile, tweeted: ‘Many of us at SAIC have worked with William over the years, and have enjoyed his banter, knowledgeability and helpfulness.’ William’s colleague on Fish Farmer, Vince McDonagh, described William as ‘an excellent newspaperman with a sound grasp of the industry and a very shrewd eye’. From Norway, Rolf Mork-Knudsen said ‘Aqua Nor will not be the same without meeting him there’. And Gustav Erik Blaalid, the Norwegian journalist and publisher of Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian site,, who met William in the 90s, paid this tribute: ‘The good-humoured William was never afraid to talk to us, even though we were competitors. He didn’t look at it that way. In his eyes, we were colleagues, and that was more important. ‘Whether it was Aqua Nor in Trondheim, Aquaculture UK, Seafood Expo in Brussels or some aquaculture conference, the chances were great of meeting William.’ Blaalid said he had once offered William a job as sales manager at Fish Farming Expert, but he ‘politely declined…he was flattered by the offer, but out of loyalty to his Fish Farmer employer he wanted to stay’. ‘It was not only me, but many of us who worked in aquaculture media gladly shared some late hours (and half litres) with William. It was a pleasure.’ From the US, seafood entrepreneur Chris Edelman, writing on William’s Facebook page, summed up his courage: ‘It says everything and then some about your character and resolve- there you were, extended stay at Ninewells being rebuilt...making ME laugh on the other side of the computer. ‘You are a class act and a good man, William. You will be missed in this life, embraced in the next. You made people smile.’ William died peacefully at home in Glenrothes, with his wife Wendy by his side. His funeral was due to be held on August 16, at Kirkcaldy crematorium. William Dowds, born November 26, 1966, died August 3, 2019. FF

William.indd 19

Clockwise from top right: Aqua Nor 2017 with John Williamson of Skretting, the IoA’s James Dick and Alan Bourhill, then at Skretting; William in Las Vegas; at the EAS/ WAS in Montpellier last year with Chris Edelman; at an office party; with colleagues (third right); taking a trip over the Grand Canyon. Opposite (clockwise from top right): With Sir Jackie Stewart and Nicola Sturgeon at the Concours of Elegance in Edinburgh 2015; Shetland farm visit; Aquaculture UK in 2008; and Aviemore 2016 with colleagues Dave Edler and Fish Farmer editor Jenny Hjul


07/08/2019 16:25:34



Artifishal vision Patagonia’s film shows how blinded it is by anti-salmon farming prejudice


S the evening’s host opened the showing of Patagonia’s ‘Artifishal’ documentary, she announced how proud she was for another sell out. The three empty seats beside me and the many other unoccupied chairs spread about the small venue said different. I would soon realise that ignorance of reality about the world around us would be an underpinning theme of the evening. Most of us involved in aquaculture are now aware of the clothing company Patagonia and its dislike for salmon culture, and aquaculture in general. While the company’s interest in protecting our environment is commendable, its hypocrisy and blind incrimination of aquaculture, while itself exploiting wild fish, severely undermines its environmental credentials. Patagonia has now produced three documentaries condemning fish culture, and has specifically targeted Tasmania, Norway, Chile and the US. It doesn’t matter if you grow fish for conservation or commercial purposes, every one of us is on Patagonia’s naughty list. If you haven’t yet seen the documentary Artifishal, no problem, I can provide you with a quick summary. The only thing you’d be missing is the free alcohol you receive for showing up. Patagonia’s utopian vision for protecting fish is this: they want to ‘rewild’ all rivers, lakes and streams. Back to nature, 100 per cent. No need for any fish farming, salmon ranching, or stocking. It’s a lovely vision indeed, if it weren’t for the nearly eight billion people on this planet


Ian Roberts.indd 20

looking for a place in which to live, to drink fresh water, and to eat healthy food. I went to watch the film in Edinburgh at a lovely little angling club, surrounded by people who mostly enjoy hunting salmon and trout, and sponsored by the local angling shop. The hypocrisy went unnoticed to most attending. Evidence of harm? Artifishal’s repeated theme is that aquaculture doesn’t protect or conserve wild fish. It only harms them. The primary direction of finger pointing was at enhancement hatcheries, but the documentary failed to provide any scientific evidence to support its claim. There were plenty of opinions and anecdotes to make those who had a ‘feeling’ feel even better about that feeling. In fact, one segment went so far as to suggest that alcohol abuse can be directly linked to a lack of wild fish, which can be linked to supplementation of cultured fish. This is a documentary – it’s supposed to be one sided. But just a smidge of balance would have helped create some level of credibility, and perhaps would have kept the fella seated in front of me awake. Here’s just a wee bit of context that could have easily been included in the one-and-a-half-hour showing. While the documentary focused on US hatcheries, it chose to ignore the fact that Alaska is heavily invested in aquaculture – with hatcheries and net pen rearing providing up to about 40 per cent of the annual commercial salmon landings. Patagonia claims to proudly source salmon from Yakutat, Alaska. The Yakutat Regional Aquaculture Association (YRAA), formed in 2011, says its mission is: ‘To augment the State of Alaska common property fisheries in the Yakutat region that contribute to subsistence, sport, commercial, personal use and other Alaskan fisheries, through the rehabilitation of the State of Alaska salmon fisheries by artificial means.’ Note the correct spelling of ‘artificial’. In the Pacific north-west, pink salmon are by far the most popular cultured fish, with billions raised in hatcheries dotted along the US and Canadian coastlines to supplement sport and commercial fisheries. Patagonia’s website (Patagonia Provisions) states that: ‘In recent

Opposite: Scene from the documentary. Below: Anglers in Canada

07/08/2019 16:10:51

Artifishal vision

years, wild pink salmon have filled the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea in growing numbers.’ So, it isn’t all doom and gloom then, is it? Let’s all drink to that! In the question period that followed the film, I asked the Patagonia host: ‘If Patagonia wishes to rely on nature alone to produce fish, then we are left with a limited amount of wild fish available to those who can afford to eat it, or just hook it in the mouth and play with it for sport. Given that Patagonia has a financial interest in seafood procurement and sport fishing equipment, is it only ‘the one per cent’ that get access to these fish?’ Aquaculture today supplies more seafood than does wild-capture fisheries, so I thought this a reasonable question. The young host – who admitted she was six months on the job covering for maternity leave – didn’t understand my question. Instead, she responded by stating that Patagonia understands it has a massive environmental impact from manufacturing its clothing line and therefore must manage this impact responsibly. A bit off topic, but a welcomed response. So, I responded: ‘I agree, and this is how we would describe our acknowledgement of fish farming’s potential or real impact. We must manage for impacts to ensure the benefits far outweigh the risks.’ My response rose the ire of a few anglers, who claimed that the impact of clothing manufacturing is not comparable to fish farming. Sure, maybe not (take CO2 emissions as one example…not in Patagonia’s favour). But that wasn’t my point. My point was that we all must accept and effectively reduce our impacts as much as we can. I know that, when responsibly done, aquaculture benefits far outweigh the hazards. As much as I’d like to ban all clothing because of its massive environmental impact, I accept there is a clear benefit to wearing clothing.

Perhaps the company’s billionaire owner – an avid sports fisherman – believes he and his friends should be the only ones to access salmon and trout

Or, best, we should just agree to disagree and continue to provide healthy and affordable seafood in a sustainable way for the other 99 per cent. Ian Roberts has been salmon farming in Canada and the UK for 26 years. He is director of communications at Mowi Scotland. FF

Agree to disagree Perhaps we should just accept that Patagonia, like everyone else, has an active marketing department. Perhaps it wishes to distract from its own production impacts by diverting conversations. Perhaps Patagonia’s billionaire owner – an avid sports fisherman – really just believes that he and his friends should be the only ones to access salmon and trout for their own pleasure and pocket books.

Ian Roberts.indd 21


07/08/2019 16:11:09



Wild claims put to the test Mowi move presents unique opportunity to study impact of aquaculture zone


OWI announced last month that it would like to relocate the salmon farms in Loch Ewe and Loch Duich due to their ‘proximity to sensitive wild salmonid habitats’. The farm in Loch Ewe has been blamed for the collapse of the world renowned sea trout fishery in Loch Maree, and therefore has been the focus of continued campaigns. By comparison, the impact of the farm in Loch Duich has never been mentioned, including in the current media coverage. Loch Duich is about 50km south of Loch Ewe. The loch is about 8km long and is fed by two rivers which both enter the loch at its head. These are the River Croe and the River Shiel. A local fishing website describes the Croe as a small spate river running for four miles into Loch Duich at Morvich. The fishing on the Croe was once described as good, with salmon averaging six pounds, and sea trout two pounds. Owing to the collapse of stocks of migratory fish, the fishing has been closed in recent years. The fishing is under the management of the National Trust for Scotland, which probably explains why the fishing was stopped. The River Shiel is a 10-mile-long spate stream entering the sea at Shiel Bridge on Loch Duich. Fishing is restricted to the lower four miles of the river and the river should produce anything up to 50 salmon in a season, but stocks of sea trout have collapsed in recent years. Both rivers are included in the Croe fishery district and thus their catches are combined for statistical purposes by the Scottish government. Unfortunately, as is often the case, catch data for many of the smaller


Martin Jaffa.indd 22

rivers is not published so it is impossible to determine whether salmon farms have an impact on local wild stocks or not. The deficiency is a major obstacle to understanding the impacts of salmon farming. Despite repeated claims about the negative impacts of salmon farming, the wild fish sector still does not publish a significant amount of catch data from Scottish rivers at all, let alone in any acceptable time period. The catch data that is available is published annually, usually around April the following year. Salmon and grilse catches from the Croe fishery district show a slight decline since 1952. However, there are some questions about the accuracy of the data. In 1967, the data shows a massive catch, primarily of grilse, which far outweighs catches in the previous years and is even greater than the catch for the whole of the previous decade. It is likely that this is a reporting error as similar anomalies have been found in other fishery districts across Scotland. It seems that these were never questioned when the data was originally compiled, and the figure remains in the record. For salmon and grilse, catches have remained relatively stable over the whole period that data has been recorded. The fish caught are mainly larger salmon rather than grilse. The River Shiel is classified as a Category Three river so cannot be exploited for salmon and grilse. The River Croe has no classification. The sea trout catch data from the Croe fishery district also includes one year with a much higher catch than the rest of the data. Regardless, the catches show a downward trend. This is not unexpected given that the combined catches form all the rivers in the aquaculture zone show a similar downward trend. The salmon farm was established in Loch Duich in 1981 and it is likely that a case could be made,

The big question is what will happen to wild fish if the salmon farm in Loch Duich is removed

Left and opposite: Catch data - even if it’s available - is only published annually

07/08/2019 16:09:54

Wild claims put to the test as with the farm from Loch Ewe, that catches have crashed since the farm began operations. However, a trend analysis of the data prior to the arrival of salmon farming shows that sea trout catches were already in decline before 1981. The big question is what will happen to stocks of wild fish in the Rivers Croe and Shiel if the salmon farm in Loch Duich is removed. These two rivers present a unique opportunity to study if stocks, especially of sea trout, recover. This is because the River Croe is currently not fished and therefore its stock of wild fish may already be healthy. Without the records of fishing activity, it is impossible to know. But, given that the National Trust for Scotland has been rather critical of the salmon farming industry, it may be willing to help initiate a study to find out. As the River Shiel is currently fished, it would provide an interesting comparison. The reality is that salmon farming has been made a scapegoat for the decline of wild fish. The likelihood is that once the farm in Loch Duich is removed, the wild fish stocks in these two rivers will not improve. If they don’t, the probability is that the blame will be laid at the door of another farm. Loch Duich empties into Loch Alsh so any fish migrating out to sea must pass through that loch. Loch Alsh is home to another farm located near Ardintoul. This farm was established in 1985 and undoubtedly will attract the attention of the wild fish sector too. Determining the impact of the Loch Alsh farm is even more difficult because the southern shore of the loch where the farm is located falls within the Croe fishery district, but the northern shore is part of the Loch Long district. It is worth pointing out that there are two Loch Longs on the west coast as there are River Shiels. This particular Loch Long joins Loch Alsh in close vicinity to the widely photographed Eilean Donan Castle. The small Loch Long is fed by two small rivers, the Ling and the Eichag. Both these rivers have been classified by the Scottish government as Category Two and therefore can be exploited. This is not surprising because the catch data for salmon and grilse from these two rivers shows an increasing trend. Fish from Loch Long must migrate out and return past the farm in Loch Alsh to reach the sea. This suggests that the farm doesn’t have any impact on these wild fish. Catches were lower than expected during the 1990s and it might be argued that this was due to the impact of the local salmon farm. However, the catch data for the whole aquaculture zone shows a similar pattern. This occurred because, at the time, the wild fish sector conducted a major campaign telling anglers that salmon farming had wiped out stocks of wild fish in the region. No right minded angler would waste his money fishing in an area where there were no fish, so catches fell. Eventually, stories of good catches began to emerge, and anglers began to return in numbers to the region to fish and, consequently, catches improved.

Martin Jaffa.indd 23

The story of Loch Long mirrors Loch Ewe, where salmon and grilse catches have also increased, but unlike the rivers feeding Loch Long, which are classified as Category Two, the River Ewe is a Category One river. In common with the decline of sea trout catches in Loch Ewe and the Croe fishery district, the sea trout catch from Loch Long is also in decline. But the decline in Loch Long began well before salmon farming arrived in the vicinity. The salmon farm in Loch Duich is described as contentious. The catch data for salmon and grilse from nearby fisheries suggests otherwise. FF


07/08/2019 16:10:13

Trade Associations – Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation


How ‘no deal’ adds up The Brexit deadline in the run-up to Christmas could not be worse timing


UST consider these figures for a second: 911, 1,081 and 1,282. If plotted on a graph, they would show a steep but steady rise of 40 per cent from the first figure to the last. But what do they mean? They represent the average amount of salmon exported to Europe

through the Channel each week – in thousands of kilos - between October and Christmas. So, in an average week in October, about 911,000kg of Scottish salmon goes across to Boulogne. This rises to 1,081,000kg a week in


Fish Farmer VOLUME 42



aquaculture since Serving worldwide


Aqua Nor gears up yet for greatest show


HARD WORKING BOAT Scott Binnie reports from Southampton


FIRTH FOR EDINBURGH r l hosts Native Oyste Capita e Restoration Allianc


JULY 2019


for Tributes to Tavish 20 years of support


FOR ONE YEAR ONLY (QUOTE: FF1977) E: 02/07/2019 11:13:29

1 July Cover.indd


SSPO.indd 24


01778 392014

07/08/2019 16:08:32

How ‘no deal’ adds up November and then again to 1,282,000kg per week in the run-up to Christmas. But put a no deal Brexit into this progression and then it is easy to see why there is an issue here. At the moment, the UK is due to leave the EU without a deal right at the point when salmon exports start to really pick up for the Christmas rush. To say the timing could hardly have been worse is something of an understatement. Indeed, that is one of the ironies of Brexit. The farmed salmon sector was not ready for the previous deadline and would have struggled to have kept exports to the continent on track had we left on March 29, as planned, without a deal. But while farmers welcomed the six-month delay, glad to have time to sort through the certification issues and make sure everything is as ready as it can be, they know the new October 31 deadline will bring its own problems. In an ideal world, farmers would hold salmon back for the first few days and weeks after a no deal Brexit rather than risk getting the fish jammed up in queues at the Channel. But this is very difficult to do when the production cycle is geared towards a big, end-ofyear push to get huge amounts of fish to the continent in time for Christmas. Before the March deadline, the big Brexit issue for the sector was certification. Farmers were worried – with good cause – that the huge increase in the need for Export Health Certificates after a no deal Brexit would cause terrible delays at the Scottish end, which would hold up consignments destined for the continent. Those issues are not completely resolved but the sector, along with the hauliers, the Scottish government and the local authorities, have used the time since March to put plans in place which should alleviate the worst of these certification issues. The DFDS base at Larkhall – which dispatches most salmon to the continent – is in line to become a certification hub and South Lanarkshire Council has plans to hire enough new environmental health officers to cope with the upsurge in demand for certificates, should we leave the EU without a deal. As a result, attention has now switched to logistics and the possibility – some would say the probability – that lorry loads of salmon will leave Scotland on time but then become snarled up in queues to Dover and Folkestone with lorries from every other export sector, all trying to navigate chaotic new border arrangements put in place in haste if there is no deal. The French authorities have worked hard to convince us that routes on the French side, from Pas de Calais, will be kept clear and fish consignments will be fast-tracked to the main market in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Unfortunately, there is not the same confidence in arrangements on the English side of the Channel. First, there is the issue of drivers’ hours. At

SSPO.indd 25

the moment, a load of salmon can get from Larkhall to Boulogne on one driver. A delay of an hour or more would mean either taking two drivers (which is impractical on almost every level) or enforcing a rest break for the single driver taking the load. Then there is the market in Boulogne itself. If a driver has to take a rest break – either enforced by drivers’ hours regulations or because of delays getting to the Channel – then the load may arrive too late for the market. The Boulogne-sur-Mer market only normally operates in the morning so arriving late will miss connecting trucks and potentially put the salmon 24 hours behind schedule. It is at that point that the French supermarkets tend to ask for massive discounts on the salmon they buy. The only possible solution to this is to have dedicated lanes on the English side of the Channel so seafood products can be fast-tracked to the Eurotunnel entrance and to the Channel ports and then on to Boulogne on the designated lanes on the French side. The UK government had rejected all requests for designated seafood lanes but we are hopeful ministers will think again. The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation came together with white fish producers and processors recently to lobby ministers and officials to change their minds. At a meeting with the Department of Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs – with Michael Gove, the then Secretary of State making a brief appearance – officials were receptive But the real discussions now need to take place with the Department of Transport. The prospect of hundreds of thousands of kilos of salmon sitting in queues of traffic, unable to get to the Channel while European consumers wait with empty plates on the continent, is a very real one. It can be avoided. The SSPO has been promised a meeting with senior transport officials in the near future. Time is running out, but we believe there is still more than enough left before the October 31 deadline to get this sorted – if the will is there. FF

The “ prospect of

hundreds of thousands of kilos of salmon sitting in queues of traffic is a very real one


07/08/2019 16:08:51

Trade Associations – Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers

Trade Associations – ASSG


Cultivating growth Industry takes stock But new legislation needed to overhaul flawed planning rules

Production statistics little illuminate thevatitrue OOKING back, 2017 was a do packed yearto both for shellfish culti on status of the sector ‘positive ecosystem services’. So it would seem


and the wider world. Our conference at the end of October seems a distant memory, but I would hope that all those who made it to Oban HEngshellfi industry takes stock of how it is collectively performing will have gained some lasti valueshfrom the trip. when theminister, official Fergus MarineEwing, Scotland Cultivated Shellfish Production We are grateful to the Rural Economy for opening Survey published in June ( shshellfi sh2019). the event with a positive descripti on ofisour sector within the wider Scotti sh The year on year (2017/2018) producti on fi gures showed a decline aquaculture industry. for all species, whether for the table or for on-growing. Does this indicate There is no doubt that the support of the Scottish government in helping that 2018 was a poor year? After all, we had a long and exceptionally hot producers to be part of the rural economy is welcomed, and a good working summer, with some areas unable to harvest due to natural algal bloom relationship can be maintained to assist with future sustainable development. issues. It did strike me in listening to the minister whether we should be making a Or was the decline more to do with the successful 2017 production case for shellfish cultivation to be in its own right andfinot to be year andrecognised higher than average output gures? subsumed within the general title of Scotti sh aquaculture. The figures actually reflect the performance of the shellfish seed which


was placed into the water two or three years before, and the fact that

Positive achievements shellfish production follows natural conditions – far more than allowed by There have been a rangeanofaccountant’s achievementsspread for individual sheet! producers, often as Below: Oyster farminginvestment. a result of strategic The European me and Fisheries Undoubtedly, thereMariti continue to be a rangeFund of challenges for shellfish Opposite: demand (EMFF)Strong strategic funding has been well used by our sector andvariability has undoubtedgrowers, the greatest being natural of both seed and the growfor Scottish oysters ing conditi ons. from businesses. ly encouraged further private investment A more viewour of the statisticsfrom requires But looking forward, it is now just balanced next year that withdrawal the a longer time frame and a basic influences. EU will become a reality. (We willunderstanding not, of course, of bekey withdrawing from Europe as geographically we are all united by physical proximity, and in the marine environment this counts for a lot!). Hence, the question has to be, when it comes to strategic investment what needs to replace the EMFF type approach within Scotland to continue to see shellfish cultivation prosper? In part, the answer relates to the administrative and business planning framework we currently operate under, through the various requirements of site selection, consents to operate, lease agreements, physical location and public infrastructure (piers, roads, ferries and so on). These all greatly influence the ability for what are, primarily, small rural businesses to operate and contribute to the wider community and rural economy in a highly sustainable way. In determining what public investment may be required to help facilitate this we need to consider the wider public administrative system that private businesses are currently having to work under, and whether through changes it could yield benefits for businesses without over reliance on public finance.

appropriate that we should be seeking such a recognition of positive benefits within our regulatory Scottiand sh oysters administrative system for the development of During 2018 Scotland nued to maintain shellfi sh culti vationconti within Scotland. the existi ng approved zone status for allthe notiadded fiaSuch an approach could provide ble shellfi sh diseases. impetus to encourage private business investment In terms of oysters, all on, seedwhile stockrecognising can only the wider in shellfi sh cultivati be supplied by hatcheries approved as disease benefit to society of such activities and facilitating free, and any movement of part grown stock additional public sector engagement and support. must be assessed as part of a biosecurity plan It is worth remembering the fundamental benefit to limit any potential disease spread risk. of shellfi vation of producing a high To date, suchsha culti system has- that ensured that food source with a carbon oysterquality herpesprotein virus has remained outwith Scot-footprint far lower terrestrial land. Cauti on inthan securing seedlivestock supplies producti is whollyon. It also has the added benefi ts of providing many warranted as infected stock has the potential essenti al vitamins and minerals and the right profile to cause extremely high levels of mortality in of oils tocassist our lifetime health. juvenile Pacifi oyster. Even important in a business context is, of In areas of more the North Sea, France, England, Northern Ireland such losses course, thatand it is aIreland, highly sought afterhave food, to be ento be joyed made for up the by inputti ng vastly more seed.alone! taste and feel good factor

This ensures adequate survival to achieve sufficient outputs for theaccreditati market. on Sustainability Such aInseed producti onconsumer system has relatihungry on to the general expectation signifiof cant additional costs, which would environmental sustainability it hasbe also been exdifficult to sustain in Scotland. are productremely encouraging thatSeed Scotticosts sh mussel highertihere because we only source from on has achieved a world first. Hebridean mussels disease free suppliers; but the environmental were awarded the Aquaculture Stewardship Council considerations make this a worthwhile exercise. certification for their cultivated shellfish, a standard Growers will plan ahead for their seed rethat authenticates both the method of production quirements and, typically, there are no hatchery and environmental safeguards. shortages. This ifnow means that the vast majority of mussels However, excepti onal, natural on-growing accredited through one or lossesproduced occur dueintoScotland weatherare conditi ons, there of the independently verifiup ed shortschemes. can beother limited opportuniti es to make major retailers being to supply falls by With supply of part grownnow stock fromable other their consumers with products having a known disease free areas. sustainability profi le, thereinismarket a positive outlook in Hence, we can see variability outputs for a wide range of of economic securing greater sales Scottish and shellfish. production reasons.

Producer responsibilities

Environmental credentials One of the better headlines we attracted last year was ‘How mussel farms can boost biodiversity’ and a description of research to evaluate how mussel longlines can have a positive impact on the range of species within a farm site. Last year, I made a trip down to the Holmyards’ mussel farm (Offshore 26 Shellfish) and saw for myself the scale of the developments off the Devonshire coast. It is good to see that the impacts have been rigorously documented and reinforce what we already intuitively know – that, in the right location, shellfish cultivation has a range of positive benefits. Shellfish.indd 26

Strength Onofa demand less positive note, all ASSG members were It is noti worth ngrecent out that thefiproducti fiedpointi of the identi cation ofon oyster herpes surveyvirus doesinnot reference market conditi ons or the last ‘approved zone’ producti Above: Fergus Ewing; lastdesirability of Scottish production, other thanon area for Pacific oyster in Northern Ireland.

year’s Oban conference; Consequently, there should be no movement of ASSG award winners stock for on-growing or placing in Scottish waters Richard Tait, Judith Vajk and as they are currently all approved to be clear of this Craig Archibald. shellfi sh disease. Opposite page: Pacific oysters Fish health monitoring and control systems are in 07/08/2019 16:06:27

Industry takes stock

There continue to be a range of challenges for growers, the greatest being natural variability of both seed and growing conditions’

individual commodity prices. There has never been stronger demand for Scottish oysters within all the market sectors from farm gate sales to supermarkets. Unfortunately, we are not an industry where the supply tap can be turned on and off in an instant. No one is going to enter oyster farming as a business opportunity on a gold-rush basis. The businesses we have remain committed to producing high quality oysters for an appreciative customer base. Obviously, the consumer network is growing and so we will hope to see our producers progressively expanding production and encouraging new entrants into the industry to ensure the knowledge, experience and legacy of producing sustainable shellfish in Scottish lochs is maintained. For reassurance, the combined Pacific oyster production figures for the table and for on-growing amounted to almost 8.27 million shells in 2018, more or less the same level since 2015. Going native The Pacific oyster is the bedrock of the Scottish industry and without such production it would be difficult to perceive that native oyster (Ostrea edulis) cultivation would have been sustained in recent years. Again, the shellfish production statistics do little to illuminate the true status of this sector – or the development opportunities which may be emerging. Much is currently being made of the potential for native oyster habitat regeneration, and the desired re-emergence of the species over large areas of the North Sea, English Channel and beyond. There are a range of issues driving this interest and the recent Native Oyster Restoration Alliance (NORA) conference held in Edinburgh

Shellfish.indd 27

considered these (see Fish Farmer, July 2019). From a Scottish cultivation perspective, native oysters have always been in the mix, but only commercially undertaken by a few producers due to the specialist nature of such production. And disease free hatchery seed production can only be attempted on a small scale. With a long grow out period of around five years, and a tendency to be extremely sensitive to site cultivation conditions, numbers within the low hundreds of thousands, are currently produced for the table. The native oyster market attracts a premium price from connoisseurs, which makes maintaining a cultivation business as a stand-alone precarious, but with potential rewards. It is worth noting that despite the price premium received, production outputs for the table have progressively declined since 2009. On-growing (part grown stock in the water) outputs have varied dramatically from nothing to more than a million shells, and reflect, in part, the availability of batches of hatchery seed and success in keeping them alive. Are we beginning to see stock for on-growing produced by cultivation substitute for shells destined for the table market, as greater demand is building up from restoration projects? Whether this occurs will ultimately depend on the success of restoration projects and the ideology driving them; the native oyster is a Biodiversity Action Plan species with international conservation objectives. Self-recruitment may be a goal for some of these restoration projects, hence their success may remove the requirement for cultivated stock to augment the established populations. On the other hand, in many current projects the regenerated native oyster habitat is not likely to become subject to harvesting and so these schemes are unlikely to supply the table market as a food resource. There is also the question of how climate change resilient the native oyster will actually be. At what point will it be decided that chasing a rewilding dream in an environment that has become hostile to some of our native species is a good use of public resources? Natural balance In a Scottish context, there is another factor in supplying restoration projects with native oysters. Many areas where restoration is being considered are non-approved for disease purposes. The principal disease agent of native oyster is Bonamia spp., which Scotland has largely managed to prevent spreading in the wild. If restoration projects wish to relay stock which is partly resistant or has been challenged and survived Bonamia, this is not a product we can produce in Scotland as we are disease free. Therefore, Scottish shellfish producers or approved hatcheries will be restricted to those restoration projects requiring unchallenged stock. Ironically, the farming of Pacific oysters and the need for seed is not only assisting with the viability of hatcheries and allowing niche species such as the native oyster to be supplied, but also helping create suitable habitat for the natives. Most well-established Pacific oyster farm sites will report that native oysters have taken up residence around and often under their trestles on the foreshore. Presumably, they settle on to the course substrate often containing empty shells - with juveniles originating from the small pockets of wild stock we can still find, principally on the west coast. Maintaining biodiversity in Scotland may well be best achieved by en-


07/08/2019 16:06:57

Trade Associations - Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers Finding NAEMO That is relatively easy in this case! The North Atlantic and European Mussel Organisation (NAEMO) will hold its first meeting in Oban on October 30, hosted by the ASSG with support from Marine Scotland. Last year’s ASSG conference was the catalyst for the formation of this group, led by Åsa Strand, who gave an interesting analysis of mussel stock issues in Sweden, and blue mussel stock dynamics in the northern hemisphere. The conclusion was that no one organisation or international body had sufficient long-term evidence of the distribution or dynamics of the species. The NAEMO meeting will be an opportunity to bring together a wide range of international researchers with an interest in this area.

suring our scattered small beds of native oysters remain undisturbed and protected from disease – a role which some of our shellfish cultivation businesses have been quietly undertaking in many locations. Such incidents of increased biodiversity associated with shellfish cultivation are not uncommon (we will be hearing more of the scientific evidence for this at this year’s conference), but difficult to quantify as a benefit to the nation when considering at face value annual shellfish production statistics. Mussel production In Scotland, volume production of shellfish is reliant on the blue mussel (and what we now know are a range of hybrids of the Mytilus spp.). Seed supply is currently solely dependent on collection of ‘spat’ from the wild and natural selection for viability and growth characteristics. Annual success of spat collection at individual sites has been the major factor impacting industry outputs - with combined production for the table and on-growing amounting to 9,000 tonnes in 2018, based on the official statistics. In 2017, this was nearer 13,000 tonnes but that year was noted to be a highly productive year for seed at many locations around the Scottish coast. The natural variability of spat abundance within and between years dependent on location means that many shellfish businesses must take a balanced view of the likely availability of this raw resource. Resilience for any production business is based on the spreading of risk between inhouse spat collection and securing opportunities to buy spat in from other areas or sources. The apparent fall in 2018 outputs is of significance as in 2009 the industry produced only 500 tonnes less than the current 7,000 tonnes for the table. In the intervening years we have seen a major rise in the efficiency of businesses, considerable investment and larger sites established. If the resilience of the mussel cultivation industry is based on seed supply, that is where we need to focus our efforts to ensure continued success and consistency of production. We are not alone in Scotland in recognising that mussel seed supply is the cornerstone of the cultivation industry. Various other countries in the northern hemisphere have found similar constraints in predicting mussel spat supply, and the health of the wild stocks upon which they are reliant for both fisheries and aquaculture.


Shellfish.indd 28

ASSG conference 2019 Building the resilience of the Scottish shellfish cultivation industry is the overriding theme for this year’s event in Oban, from October 31 to November 1 - a theme that fits well with the roles of our sponsors, Crown Estate Scotland and Marine Scotland. On the first day, international experts will consider the suitability of bivalves for aquaculture production. The various levels of consumer expectations, in terms of supply to the key market sectors, will be covered by UK industry leaders. On the second day, the focus will be very much on industry development - covering deep water mussel cultivation in the Irish Sea, and also the scientific evaluation of the environmental benefits and biodiversity dividends associated with mussel longline systems. There will also be an assessment of the community benefit arising from shellfish cultivation, including determining an acceptable overall scale of production within the coastal environment. From a Scottish industry perspective, we will be focusing on the underlying requirement for hatchery seed supply to support oyster growers, against a background of disease and stock issues in other European countries. And, of course, the conference will feature the Best Scottish Shellfish competition, sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and the annual dinner on the evening of October 31 plus outstanding seafood lunches on both days. For the full programme of events, visit the ASSG website ( Dr Nick Lake is CEO of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers. FF

Above left: Oyster shucking Above and below: Scottish oysters

07/08/2019 16:07:23

Untitled-3 29

07/08/2019 11:07:09

Loch Duart at 20

The Loch Duart way CEO credits talented team for turning round company’s fortunes


OCH Duart marks its 20th anniversary this summer with the best gift any salmon farmer could wish for: the good health of its fish and its company. The small, independent producer, which farms in some of Scotland’s remotest locations, in Sutherland and the Uists in the Outer Hebrides, has brought sea lice under control to the point where treatments are largely a thing of the past. It has collected a clutch of awards, including Food and Drink Company of the Year in The Scottish Business Insider’s Made in Scotland Awards; Foodservice Product of the Year in the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards; and Regional Growth Business in The Food and Drink Federation Awards – all in the past 18 months alone. Last year, it was placed second out of Scottish headquartered companies and 21st nationwide in the Sunday Times list of private firms with the fastest growing profits over three years. And earlier this year, the business, based in Scourie, about 40 miles north of Ullapool, was named Exporter of the Year in the 2019 Made in Scotland Awards, in recognition of export sales that have increased by 68 per cent over the last two years. The recent success has come on the watch of Alban Denton, the the ebullient managing director who took on the job in 2015 and has overseen the change in Loch Duart’s fortunes, as it recovered from biological challenges and a devastating jellyfish attack five years ago.


Duart - Alban.indd 30

But Denton (CEO of the year in the HR Network awards in 2017) is quick to pass any credit to his staff. Talking to Fish Farmer in the icehouse (now boardroom) of the newly refurbished Badcall Salmon House, the company HQ in Sutherland, he said: ‘I joined this business when there were 115 people on the payroll; there are still 115 people and they are broadly the same people. ‘All the skills, all the talent, all the ability were in the business, I was just lucky. All we’ve done is unlock the latent talent that already existed in this place. We’ve changed the structure and some of the roles within the company. ‘I or anyone else doesn’t sit from a distance and bark instructions down the telephone.’ Instead, he trusts operations director Mark Warrington to be his ‘eyes and ears’, and puts great faith in his judgement. But at the heart of the business are the farm managers. Everyone’s job, including Denton’s, is to support them to make sure they’ve got what they need, when they need it. ‘We’ve given them all the authority. It’s their site, their fish and their environment - everybody else in this business is a support mechanism for the site managers.’ The company has spent 20 years developing a unique model that works, said Denton, and ‘doing things the Loch Duart way’, a mantra that is often repeated by staff. Approaching 6,000 tonnes a year, they are many times the size of the smallest Scottish farming company but a fraction of the size of the bigger Scottish salmon companies. Denton said this unique scale gives him a ‘relatively lonely voice’ on the SSPO (Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation) board but he is not afraid to champion his firm’s achievements and its different approach to farming. ‘Loch Duart has a small-scale set-up designed for minimising environmental impact and maximising husbandry which has proved ‘scalable’ – without diminishing these benefits. We’re very much in the land of harvesting lower volumes to higher specifications and ensuring

Above: Alban Denton Opposite: Denton with financial director Simon Maguire, operations director Mark Warrington, and sales director (and cofounder) Andy Bing.

07/08/2019 16:04:04

Photos: Angus Blackburn

The Loch Duart way

there is sustainable evidence around it.’ This ethos has been applied to the company’s successful cleaner fish programme, with small populations of fish in low density in small pen groups, much more akin to the natural environment in which wrasse would succeed in the wild. Being less intensive brings distinct advantages, and the introduction of wrasse as the new sea lice strategy was rolled out to all farms fast and with impressive results. ‘Once you’ve got enormous capital committed to fixed ways of working, making change becomes more difficult,’ said Denton. Loch Duart has the ‘ultimate flexibility’, which is ‘limited mechanisation and significant investment in our people’, at least in its sea lice measures. ‘Some might argue that moving the man is more difficult than moving the kit, but nonetheless that’s the principle’. Denton said some of the bigger companies might have jumped to the conclusion that what ‘little Loch Duart’ does wouldn’t work else-

I’d rather grow the “business from £40

million to £80 million than from 5,000 to 10,000 tonnes

Duart - Alban.indd 31

where, but he disagrees. ‘We’re uniquely proud about what we do and how we work and what we stand for, but I think it would be as ignorant of the wider industry to believe that our uniqueness means there is no knowledge that can be transferred, as it would be of Loch Duart to believe that we cannot learn from others as well.’ The company may be small but it has big ambitions, and Denton has publically defended its right to farm in the way that is best for the business, its environment and its fish. SEPA (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) proposals, published last November, to strengthen environmental controls over the salmon sector, anticipated ‘fewer fish farms in shallower, slow flowing waters and more fish farms in deeper and faster flowing waters’. Denton hit back, arguing that any move to larger, high energy, offshore operations would negatively impact the company more severely than larger operators. ‘Our successful business model is around smaller, gentler, less impactful operations,’ he said at the time. Loch Duart has been virtually lice free for the past two seasons and the techniques it uses to achieve this success are much less effective further out to sea, he said. When Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Rural Economy minister, announced reforms to the sector in June, he insisted that sites that are farming well should be allowed to continue. ‘I feel I’m listened to,’ said Denton. ‘Fergus is here for everyone in our industry. It’s really important to understand that one size doesn’t fit all. ‘The approach taken by the largest international farmers can achieve certain things and so can the approach of the smallest Scottish farmers. Neither is right or wrong, we need to be judged on our outputs not on our inputs. ‘We’ll choose to farm in a certain way but as long as our environmental and benthic performance, our sustainability credentials, and our health and safety record exceeds the demanding and minimum standards set, complies with the law, and ideally operates very significantly ahead of that, we should not just be allowed to continue, but be


07/08/2019 16:04:26

Loch Duart at 20

encouraged to continue and even expand. If you’ve got a proven model that’s delivering against any governance standards - SEPA, Marine Scotland standards or legal standards - and we fulfil them all, then we as an organisation, on behalf of society, for the economic and community return we bring, for our stewardship of the environment and care for the welfare of our fish, should not only be asked to maintain, we should be encouraged to grow and expand that model.’

Congratulations Loch Duart 20 years of extraordinary Scottish Salmon Warm wishes and congratulations from all of the team at Gael Force Group.

Clockwise from above left: Premium Loch Duart salmon at the Badcall bay farm; wrasse are carefully sourced from selected fishermen

Reputation built on trust As an aquaculture supply partner with a passion for delivering high levels of customer satisfaction you can rely on us to get things right. Our expert staff, product range and responsive can-do attitude projects a reputation of a supplier you can count on and trust.

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 +44 (0) 1463 229400

Loch Duart’s plans for growth could include taking over sites from bigger companies pursuing more offshore options – sites that might not work under a more industrial model but will work ‘superbly’ under Loch Duart’s gentler approach. ‘We want to grow, we’ve come through a turbulent period and we’ve clearly survived and stabilised and we’ve made ourselves sustainable and now we’re into a growth phase,’ said Denton. ‘I don’t know where our growth will take us but it will be sustainable, modest and probably internally resourced, so we can’t get too carried away. ‘But even if we were talking about doubling 5,000 tonnes to 10,000 tonnes, we’re not talking about doubling an industry from 170,000 to 350,000 tonnes. ‘Our doubling over the next few cycles would be the equivalent of the Scottish industry’s larger operators adding a farming site. ‘Doubling is a doubling of value in the business that will really drive us as an organisation, getting more for our brand products throughout the rest of the world. ‘I’d rather grow the Loch Duart business from

07/08/2019 16:04:49

The Loch Duart way

New markets for premium product

£40 million to £80 million than from 5,000 to 10,000 tonnes, and, idealistically, if I could double the value without increasing our farming footprint, that’s an even better result. ‘It’s a case of getting better at everything we do. We need to manage our speed of growth in our fish and business to make sure our flesh quality and service is the exceptional quality all our customers want all over the world.’ Loch Duart’s plans could include developing a combination of new and existing sites, in Sutherland and the Uists, or exploring a third area. Would growth in the existing communities be acceptable? ‘Yes, and many are encouraging us to do so although there are people who will object and they are utterly entitled to have that voice,’ said Denton. ‘I’ve got no issue with people who don’t agree with what we choose to do – but it is important that the discussion, debate and decisions are made with science and fact to the fore, not just strong opinion and emotion.’ But he agrees that the ability to grow the industry is going to depend to some extent on improving the social licence. Denton doesn’t want to talk for other produc-

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ers, but said as a member of an industry there is ‘some degree of cabinet responsibility’ that the industry has, to continually develop and refine how it communicates its positive, and occasionally challenging, impact. ‘The growth of salmon farming will be the successful outcome of us behaving in the right manner. ‘Everyone has to obtain minimum standards and it is my personal view, and that of Loch Duart’s, that these standards should always be challenged and pushed upwards. ‘As we talk about our 20th anniversary and what we might look like in 2040, I steer deliberately away from “we’ll double that, triple this and quadruple the rest”. ‘Everything is about how can we serve our customers, how do we make our quality even better, how do we further reduce our carbon footprint, how do we improve the welfare of our fish and how do we better contribute to our sustainable communities? ‘And we passionately believe that if we look after the fish, look after environment, look after the community, look after our people and look after the brand, then the growth of the business will come.’’ FF

EXPORTS are LochDuart’s main business driver, with 70 per cent of the company’s annual output sold to more than 20 countries last year. China is a new market, with the first sales planned to start in September, and Loch Duart co-founder and sales director Andy Bing said a Chinese film crew was visiting Scourie so they could communicate the business and its key messages on traceability, sustainability, welfare and quality to potential customers. ‘We’ve always gone to markets where people see the unique selling points we have, and sometimes they prioritise these benefits in a different way,’ said Bing. ‘In Europe, issues such as welfare, taste and sustainability are top priority. In China, we learn that healthiness and traceability are paramount.’ Loch Duart is the first company in the northern hemisphere to partner with Oritain, the New Zealand based specialists in scientifically proving the origin of food products. The system is a means of helping the company protect its brand and prevent unscrupulous suppliers trying to pass off other salmon as Loch Duart’s, which is sold to many of the world’s top restaurants and wholesalers. ‘We have invested heavily in this technology and Oritain will provide Loch Duart with an independent ‘food fingerprinting’ service to help protect our premium brand and continue to build consumer confidence in our salmon,’ said Bing. ‘Oritain gives us the ability to take a sample of fresh salmon in any kitchen in the world and test it to see if it really is Loch Duart salmon.’ CEO Alban Denton said potential markets for the future could include India, where there is currently a market for mainly frozen salmon. ‘People are predicting that by 2030 India will be the most populous country in the world. We don’t yet sell a single salmon there, so that does seem like a market opportunity over the next couple of years. ‘We suffer from this unique problem that we haven’t got enough fish yet to be able to do it. We’ve got lots of customers who need looking after.’

Image: Loch Duart salmon


07/08/2019 16:05:11

Loch Duart at 20 – Origins

How it all began From three ‘mad men’ on a mission, to award winning salmon producer BY NICK JOY


T’S the turn of winter into spring in 1999 and all has suddenly turned to hell in a handcart. One of Wester Ross Fisheries’ sites has been declared suspicious for ISA, and though it was highly unlikely and proved to be unwarranted, it nearly scuppered our attempt to buy the salmon farming arm of Joseph Johnston and Sons. But I am getting the cart before the horse. About two years earlier, I was attending a meeting of the West Sutherland Fisheries Trust (which I now chair), when I had a conversation with the then chair, Dr Jean Balfour. I was out of work, having left Joseph Johnston and Sons the previous year. She asked after their well-being and I replied that I was not sure, but life had been rather difficult. It cumulated in a discussion about the company being bought out and Jean asked whether I would buy them. I pointed out that I had only one problem with that, in that I had no money. She replied- and I will always remember this because it changed my life: ‘I wouldn’t let that stop you!’ Of course, she was right. I can see that now but then it seemed impossible. Some time later, having thought more about it, I contacted Andy Bing, an old friend with whom I had worked at Joseph Johnston. He decided, rather amazingly, that I was not mad and that he would like to join in the fun. On further discussion, we showed our initial figures to another potential mad man and to our utter amazement he asked if there was space in the project for him. So Alan Balfour joined the team and we were on our way. Or not quite, as business plan and market concept needed to be written. I had never done this before and assumed it would be relatively simple. But there are some times when you realise just how over optimistic you have been. This turned out to be one of them. I had always believed in farming with environment and welfare at the top of the agenda, so working with Andy to produce the market strategy was easy and very enjoyable. The financial part was not funny at all. As I was the fish farmer in the team, it fell to me to produce it, with no accountancy experience and very little knowledge. It resulted in the production of a 40-page Excel workbook plan with P & Ls and cash flows. However, I did not create the balance sheets till last. This will produce loud guffaws of laughter from anyone who has ever had anything to do with

accounts, but to the uninitiated it is a nightmare, as every line has to balance between the two different sets of sheets. I only discovered this when we were due to have a meeting with a major bank. In two nights I had about three hours of sleep, but I managed to get the sheets to balance in the end. We presented to many different financial institutions, not least of which was Scottish Enterprise, which used the services of Ashdown Milan to write a critique of our market strategy. I still have it and go to it when I want to have a good laugh. The essence of their argument was that our story was too complicated, it would never get to the customer and that, anyway, no primary product had ever been branded before. So, in other words, our market strategy wouldn’t work and thus our business plan would also be a failure. Of course, they couldn’t know the enormous talent in the team or how utterly brilliant (for that, read mad) we were! I should point out that during this process we

Top: Proud salmon farm owners Andy Bing, Alan Balfour and Nick Joy, with Charles Marsham, one of the original investors, pictured in August 1999. Above: Balfour, Joy and Bing

20TH ANNIVERSARY CONGRATULATIONS Highlands and Islands Enterprise would like to offer their congratulations to the extraordinary people at Loch Duart. Always producing extraordinary Scottish salmon. 34

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07/08/2019 16:02:58

How it all began were negotiating with Joseph Johnston and Sons to purchase the sites. The obvious difficulty was not letting the potential seller know that the potential buyer didn’t have the wherewithal. It all looks so convoluted now when I look back and I am not entirely sure how we managed it. The spectre of ISA made the idea of purchasing a salmon farm less attractive. Certainly, that made it llook less attractive to investors, as we found out repeatedly. However, the sites we wanted to acquire were more than 100 miles from the nearest outbreak and we made a big stand on this, which enabled us to draw together the funds. And then the Wester Ross scare occurred and we lost pretty well all of our funding overnight. Well, we wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t succeeded, but it taught me an enormous amount about accounting, finance, funding and how luck plays a huge part in most projects. On August 29, 1999, in a meeting with Ewos in a hotel in Dunkeld, I learnt that my partners had signed the deal with Joseph Johnston and Sons and we were the proud owners of a salmon farming business. We had come up with the name Loch Duart after many long discussions, having rejected such great ideas as Badcall Salmon (where our head office is) and a few others. It was a heady moment, full of hope and fulfilment; Loch Duart salmon was born and the roller coaster ride had started. Within two years, our backs were hard against the wall, as the stocks on site at the time of buying refused to perform and some we bought refused to perform too. It was a time which tested loyalty and friendship and we fast found out those who were as good as their word and those who vanished when times were tough. We got through because we let all of our suppliers, customers and financial support know how difficult it was going to be, and then delivered what we said we would. Crest of the wave Within four years, we had bought the farm next door and entered a competition entitled Taste of Britain, sponsored by the Telegraph and Sainsbury’s. This was the crest of the wave for us and will remain on my memory as one of the best times of my life. We knew we had been short-listed for the prize and were invited down to the awards ceremony in the House of Lords. As it was against the entire food industry, we doubted that we had been commended, but Andy Bing and I decided to go anyway as it would be good PR at worst. We stayed in a cheap hotel across the river and walked in from there to the House of Lords, wearing our kilts. You may not be surprised to hear that we were followed across Westminster Bridge, giggling madly, by a large bunch of enthusiastic tourists with cameras. It put us in a very good mood and we went in through security to the ceremony with about the biggest smiles it is possible to have. Anyone who goes to awards ceremonies knows that they can be a bit dull and they tend to drag until the awards part. But the food was very good and the wine was lovely, so we may have taken a drop more than we normally would. They went through the commended categories one by one, and cheeses and bacons passed us by without a mention of Scotland, let alone Loch Duart. All that was left was the final prize. I will never forget the moment when we looked at each other as Loch Duart was called out. After all that the company had been through, it was such a vindication. When we first took over we asked all our team to come to the village hall to explain who we were. I asked them if they thought they produced anything special and only one person put their hand up. Here, finally, was the proof of what the market thought of what we did, and all the team that fought the elements and worked so hard were represented in that moment. Like all of our lives, there are highs and lows. I could talk about the moment that Andy, on a sales trip, entered a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. It was run by a Japanese American and was very Japanese in style, with the

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There are many days I would rather not go through again but I would not change a thing

first of the conveyer belts with chefs in the centre. As Andy walked in, the owner announced that he represented Loch Duart and all the staff stopped work and applauded. When Andy told me, I asked him what colour his shoes were as I knew he would have been dreadfully embarrassed. We both tend to check out our shoes when we are complimented. Since these amazing days, Loch Duart has had ups and downs, but our team carried us through. There are many days I would rather not go through again but I would not change a thing. As time passes, so one generation hands over to another, and if you are lucky - and I am- you get to see what they do with the concept. I am now a non-executive director with Loch Duart and my last trip showed what a special group of people work there. Passionate, committed and delivering at an extraordinary level, the stock that I saw were some of the best I have seen in my career. The broodstock were magnificent and still so obviously different from the general industry stocks. The health status was also of the highest order. It was utterly wonderful to see. Would these stocks win the Taste of Britain now if the competition still existed? Well, of course, it was so much better in my day, or was it? Who knows and, to be honest, who cares? The stocks were magnificent and Loch Duart goes on doing the things that Andy, Alan and I dreamed about back in the late 90s. Isn’t that just the most amazing thing? FF

Congratulations to Loch Duart on their 20th Anniversary

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07/08/2019 16:03:17

Loch Duart at 20 – Farming

Bay watch Brand new robots and old fashioned husbandry help original inshore farm rear healthy fish

The good “thing about


HE two sites in Badcall Bay are some of the original farms and ‘a great insight into the early days of Loch Duart’, said operations manager Hazel Wade. Just a short boat ride from Badcall Salmon House, the first site Fish Farmer was taken to during a visit in early June had around 90,000 fish in its grid of 14 x 15m square steel pens. Two pens are kept unstocked but the rest contained 6,000-7,000 fish of around 1.5kg that are due to begin harvesting late November. The fish were moved here in May from Badcall’s sister site, Calbha, just around the corner, said site manager Robert Shaw. The site is equipped with nylon pen nets, and an HDPE predator net, made by Boris Nets, ‘a giant cube, that surrounds the whole grid’, said Wade. There is also an Ace Aquatec acoustic deterrent device on the site. Every pen is draped with what looks like layers of black plastic bin liners, an increasingly familiar sight at salmon farms. These are the wrasse hides, drying in the sun (when it eventually emerges), while a second set are submerged in the pen. ‘The success of the cleaner fish has turned around this company,’ said Wade. ‘We’re seeing much better growth and survival thanks to them and the use of freshwater baths.’ The health team includes Beth Osborne, the fish health manager, plus two biologists on the mainland and one in the Uists. Osborne was overseeing a freshwater bath treatment treatment at another site on the day of Fish Farmer’s visit, with the Mowi wellboat Inter


Duart - Hazel.indd 36

being a relatively small company is if we have ideas they can be acted on quickly

Caledonia, using its reverse osmosis system. The wellboat is very much in demand throughout the industry and therefore Loch Duart has also developed an effective freshwater bathing system of its own to treat AGD. This includes a barge based, containerised, desalination unit, made by Akva Fresh, which is dispatched to wherever it is needed. A tarpaulin is placed in one of the pens and the freshwater created is piped into it. Fish are then transferred (via a second barge with pump and dewaterer) into the freshwater. It takes a couple of hours to transfer the fish over, and they are held in the tarpaulin for up to four hours. A landing craft then removes the tarpaulin and the fish remain where they are, reducing the amount of handling that is necessary. ‘It’s a proactive therapy measure,’ said Wade, adding that the health team is watchful and carries out weekly gill checks, together with the weekly sea lice monitoring, which continues to report Loch Duart as virtually lice free. Further freshwater facilities could be an option when a new boat on order for Migdale Transport becomes operational in 2020. This is ‘definitely something we’d consider using if its available’, Wade said. Feed in Badcall Bay is distributed from two Akva concrete feed barges, serving the two walkways, and these also run an aeration system into the pens – 24/7 during summer

07/08/2019 16:00:44

Bay watch

months if necessary, said Wade. The company is also in the process of setting up a barge with a portable oxygen generation system on it. It is designed to respond to low oxygen levels on site, supplying additional oxygenated water to the pens as necessary. Made by Sterner, this is currently under construction in Lochinver and was due to be on site for trials by the end of July. To clean the nets, Loch Duart uses a swimthrough system, leaving the nets up to air dry. The team completes cleaning the whole site every six to seven weeks, which gives them a chance to inspect both the fish and the nets. One swimthrough on the 15m pens takes a morning and involves a couple of people. On a 24m pen this will take all day. But automisation has now been introduced, with the recent purchase of four AutoBoss robotic cleaners, made by Trimara. Representing an overall investment of £1 million, the four units have been deployed in Sutherland and the Uists following a successful trial, and Wade and Shaw said they were very happy with the results. On the second Badcall Bay site, one of the AutoBoss machines was at work. Lowered into place by a crane aboard the workboat Lady Ann, it takes about 30 minutes to get round the pen, and can be controlled from a tablet. The operator sets the depth and an alarm goes off if there is a problem, but otherwise it can be left alone. It ‘walks’ its way around the net, and the difference is visible even beneath the surface. The

Duart - Hazel.indd 37

machine is deployed every couple of weeks. The fish can stay in the pen during cleaning and they seem not to mind the low hum of the machine, feeding again within an hour. Loch Duart also has several sites dedicated to its unique broodstock programme - one sea site, one freshwater hatchery for egg stripping, the main hatchery at Duartmore (running into the freshwater Loch Duart, after which the business and brand are named) and a freshwater loch site for parr at Loch Na Thuill. The broodstock are initially earmarked from production pens that are doing well, and the team bring in expertise from the Fish Vet Group to assist in selecting the best fish, ultrasounding them to check for maturation. ‘A lot of our sites are starting to look different,’ said Wade. Most sites now have 24m squares or circular pens. She has been at Loch Duart for 15 years. From Middlesbrough, she studied marine biology at Liverpool and worked for a marine conservation NGO in Vietnam, developing MPAs, then moved to Malaysia to research polyculture systems. Her experiences in Asia introduced her to the world of aquaculture and, by chance, she made contact with someone coming back to work at Loch Duart. She started work for the company as a lab technician and was in the fish health team for nine years before moving into production, as production controller, then becoming area manager and, this year, operations manager. She dots around the sites, seeing most of the farming teams several times a week, and holds regular production catch-up meetings with the seven farm managers. ‘The good thing about being a relatively small company is if we have ideas they can be acted on quickly,’ she said. FF

British Made Cage Nets In Nylon & Dyneema Predator Exclusion Nets Anti Foul Coatings Ropes - Large Stock All Sizes Above: Loch Duart operations manager Hazel Wade Opposite top: Badcall Bay site manager Robert Shaw Opposite below: Assistant site manager Garry Trotter and his son Owen

Floats, Buoys, Cushion Buoys Chain & Chain Weights Tarpaulins



07/08/2019 16:01:02

Loch Duart at 20 – Community

Salmon Pool

makes a splash Fund for local projects part of company’s long-term commitment


OCH Duart CEO Alban Denton said there is a symbiotic relationship between the company and the community. ‘We cannot succeed without the community and while I would hesitate to put the words into other people’s mouths, it feels that the local community would be a poorer place if it wasn’t for Loch Duart, both in terms of the employment we offer and our investment, sponsorship and support.’ The salmon farmer’s contribution to the areas it farms, in Sutherland and the Uists, includes financial support for local groups and projects, including improvements to the village hall, funding for a lifeboat station, a range of school projects and the main sponsorship for Hebridean mountain biker and championships hopeful Kerry MacPhee. Last year, the company established the Salmon Pool fund, in conjunction with Cargill, its feed supplier, as part of its continued community commitment. The principal aim of the Salmon Pool is to provide financial support to organisations for projects which bring tangible benefits to the local


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communities of Sutherland and Uist. The idea is that every time Loch Duart buys feed, a proportion of the cost goes into a pot for the community fund and people can apply for specific projects. So far, more than £30,000 has been distributed, and there is ‘a very good turnaround’, said Rebecca MacInnes, Loch Duart’s HR manager and its representative on the fund. ‘I believe that Salmon Pool is making a fabulous impact,’ said MacInnes. ‘A lot of local groups or causes can’t get what they’re looking for from other sources until they’ve spent the money. However, we can, and often do, release the money quickly.’ Among the initiatives to receive support are: • £1,396 to Scourie Primary School to provide outdoor clothing and learning equipment so the children can optimise the educational potential of their local environment; • £2,358 to Durness Golf Club, available to all residents in North West Sutherland for new equipment; • £3,336 to North Uist United Juniors Football Club for new equipment; • £10,000 to Scourie Community Council to enhance the community play park and replace equipment; • £1,500 to Connect Assynt to extend the community transport service for isolated people and vulnerable adults; • £4,000 to Scourie anf Badcall Grazings Committee to complete the footpath network within the woodlands adjacent to Scourie village; • £750 to North Sutherland Sportive for the hall fees for juitsui; • £3,239 to Lochinver Public Hall to enhance the exterior of the hall; • £1,500 to Kinlochbervie Primary School to give Downs Syndrome children the experience of working with horses, from learning to care from animals to learning to ride; • £2,000 to Uist Coastal Rowing Club to-

Left: Rebecca MacInnes Above: North Uist

United Juniors Football Club - the team received Salmon Pool funding

07/08/2019 15:58:30

Salmon Pool makes a splash

wards the build of a new skiff boat; • £1,500 to Community Care Assynt to purchase a defibrillator. Loch Duart ‘celebration plaques’ are given to each project supported by the fund. Loch Duart has committed to the programme for three years initially but it will hopefully be extended, said MacInnes. Even before the Salmon Pool, though, Loch Duart donated to local groups. ‘We’ve always played a big part in both communities [in Sutherland and the Hebrides]. Very rarely do we ever refuse anything,’ said MacInnes, who has been with Loch Duart from the beginning. A Scourie local herself, she is on the Scourie hall committee and the Scourie gala committee, all on different nights of the week. There might not be much time for herself but, she said, ‘it’s a small community so you take part in these things’. She also makes regular trips to the Uists, via the ferry from Uig on Skye to the Loch Duart

Duart - Salmon Pool.indd 39

offices at Lochmaddy, and said there are good relationships with the community there too. MacInnes came to Loch Duart 20 years ago for two weeks’ work experience in the hatchery and decided to stay on when they were short staffed in the office. She worked her way up and was appointed the company’s first HR boss three years ago, overseeing many changes since then. There are more opportunities now, and new departments - cleaner fish, for example - with jobs that didn’t exist not so long ago. People are staying in the company for longer, staff are more dedicated and want to make a career out of it. The two highlights, she said, were, firstly, the transformation of the culture in the business, which has created engagement, a positive ‘can do’ spirit and a real pride in the business, its salmon and its brand. And, secondly, the improvement in remuneration packages, with everybody now on living wage rates of no less than £9 an hour - and the introduction of a profit sharing scheme for employees. There are training options for staff through UHI, including open learning courses and training on site, and every individual has their own personal development programme. In March, Loch Duart won silver accreditation from IIP (Investors in People), a ‘great achievement’, said Alban Denton, who has now set MacInnes and her team the goal of getting gold next year. FF

A lot “of these

groups can’t get what they’re looking for and we can release the money really quickly


07/08/2019 15:58:58

Loch Duart at 20– Students

First taste of fish farming for London students Food ambassador introduces trainee chefs to salmon aquaculture


ATRICK Evans is Loch Duart’s food ambassador, a first in the Scottish salmon farming industry, and possibly the Scottish seafood sector. Appointed in 2017, he brings his chef’s experience to the company and builds on its already strong connection with the culinary world, in the UK and worldwide. His role is certainly varied – and very busy. At the Brussels seafood show in May he was an indefatigable presence, in the kitchen preparing Loch Duart salmon for international visitors. But he can also be found on the farm sites, introducing the next generation of chefs to finest Scottish salmon at its source. He is well versed in all aspects of farming, including salmon husbandry, and has joined Loch Duart’s fish biologists in conducting fish health and flesh quality checks. The group of six students he brought to Badcall Bay in June had never been to Scotland before, let alone to a fish farm, and their excitement was palpable. From Greenwich College, part of LSEC (London South East Colleges), they were led by Lilian Martin, a chef lecturer, who said the youngsters were ‘gobsmacked by the scenery’. The students, aged 16 to 22, had been able to see the salmon during their early stages in the cycle through the hatchery, all the way out to the sea sites – a unique opportunity given Loch Duart’s position as the last fully integrated Scottish salmon farmer. During the visit they were also given the opportunity to get very hands on with some salmon and were able to prepare a few salmon dishes, splitting into two competing teams. The winning dish was Loch Duart salmon with black pudding and a cream and mushroom sauce The trip was an eye opener for Martin too, she said: ‘As a chef who’s been in the industry


Loch Duart - Students.indd 40

for 30 odd years, when I’m cutting large salmon I never thought they’d be three years old. It’s a lot of investment to get the fish to maturity and so much can go wrong – because they are out in the open, you’re against nature all the time. ‘I like the environmental issues here and how passionate they are ...making the fish farms cutting edge and sustainable, it’s so, so important.’ Martin said salmon is used a lot and people like it because it is a very versatile, ‘lazy fish’, meaty but with hardly any bones. ‘Even if you’re not a big fish fan, salmon is very easy to eat.’ FF

Above: Loch Duart food ambassador Patrick Evans with Lilian Martin and students Reem Grwan, Aaron Tariq Sadoune

to get the “It’s a lotfishof toinvestment maturity ”

07/08/2019 15:57:20


20 years -

Congratulations to Loch Duart, AKVA Group are proud to support you

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.

AKVA Group - HI RES.indd 41

07/08/2019 11:08:50

Loch Duart at 20 – Cleaner fish

Leap of faith Trusting small numbers of wrasse to do their job produces ‘miraculous’ results


HEN the cleaner fish team at Loch Duart discovered what ballan wrasse could do for their sea lice problem, it was a ‘eureka’ moment, said operations director Mark Warrington. That was five years ago and the company, like most salmon producers at the time, was struggling to keep sea lice numbers down. Regular treating was having little effect and when they heard the results other farmers were achieving from wrasse, they decided to run their own trials, setting up a few local fishermen with equipment. ‘We were aware that wrasse had a history in aquaculture but had only used them on a very small scale as there had been problems with sourcing them and rumours of aggression to salmon,’ said Warrington, who has worked in the industry since the mid-80s. ‘We knew Wester Ross was doing very well and we were invited to speak with them to learn the basics and then we started to apply that on our own farms.’ In January 2015, after months of trials with all wrasse species, cleaner fish manager Lewis Bennett re-captured 200 ballan wrasse from a mix of pens on the site and focused them all into a single pen of about 12,000 salmon on the site at Badcall Bay. Within two weeks the lice loading had halved and within four weeks the pen had a count of 0.0 adult females and all other lice stages. ‘That was the turning point for us; we said, okay these things work, this is the way forward,’ said Warrington. Sourcing the best quality and the volumes of wild wrasse they needed was the next big challenge. They set up a number of fishermen in the Sutherland area initially, but that wasn’t getting the numbers they needed , nor would it ever be sustainable.


Loch Duart - Cleanerfish.indd 42

‘We had to spread the supply out and reduce pressure on all fishing grounds,’ said Bennett.. Then Warrington had what he calls ‘a bit of a brainwave’. One of Loch Duart’s employees, Ben Jennings, had worked at the lobster hatchery in Padstow in the south-west of England and he knew many fishermen in the area. He and Warrington headed south and, going round the ports, were soon astounded by the number of wrasse the fishermen said they caught down there. ‘They were catching them as an unrecorded bycatch. They were so plentiful the guys were using them as creel bait,’ said Warrington. ‘You were looking at all these bait tubs in all these ports in the south-west of England, ballan wrasse of a kilogram or more, chopped up into bits to be used as bait, it was soul destroying!’ But the fishermen were making a good enough living from crabs and lobsters and were not that interested in working a new fishery with different equipment. ‘We wanted to do it properly, on a smaller scale, and we wanted to work with fishermen who were going to give us absolutely the best quality wrasse we could get,’ said Warrington. By luck, they met a couple of fishermen at a fish factory in Falmouth who knew Jennings. Cameron and Ivor Hendry are ‘switched on, innovative’ fishermen who worked closely with the inshore fisheries bodies and could see the need to preserve the fishery for future generations. Their father was from Shetland, and while in the merchant navy got stranded in a storm in the south-west, met a local girl. and settled in Cornwall. Warrington, who worked for many years in Shetland, said they hit it off straight away. The following months were spent working with the family, weighting creels, trialling various fishing grounds, improving fish holding practices, putting transport in place and focusing on how to fish properly in the south-west for this new species. Bennett, who joined Loch Duart in 2014 after Left: Mark Warrington graduating with a degree in aquaculture from the Opposite: Lewis Bennett University of Greenwich, said the fishermen were an integral part of the team and without them it wouldn’t have been possible to achieve such results. ‘We have developed excellent working relationships with all of our fisherman, in many ways treating them as staff rather than just as suppliers. We provided training, equipment and transparency,

07/08/2019 15:55:14

Leap of faith

I’m confident that what we’ve done with the wrasse here we could do with any big company

so they knew our best practices, goals and strategy. ‘We’ve flown fishermen up to the north-west of Sutherland, so they can see what we’re doing, what salmon farming is about, the scale and what it takes to achieve the results at sea.’ Warrington said they wanted to apply the same principles to the fishing in Scotland and standardise the fishing practices and concrete a new income for small fishing operations. Last year, about 20,000 wrasse were supplied to the company from Scotland and 10,000 from the south coast. These numbers were down 50 per cent from English sources and 35 per cent from Scottish sources. ‘The projections for 2019 are that we will be purchasing considerably less in 2019 as a result of fantastic lice control and continuous improvements in survival and best practice,’ said Bennett. The focus is always on quality. Loch Duart pays higher than any other farmers for its ballan wrasse which, Bennett admitted, has caused some controversy, but they have no plans to change their strategy. ‘It allows us to be very particular about the stock we purchase, so we’re actually making sure the quality is the best it can be. ‘It keeps the fishermen very happy, as they know that the few fish that they are catching are bringing in a good value per fish and making the price reflect the efforts. ‘The price also makes up for the catch and release of all other species, targeting one species, reducing our annual requirements of wild wrasse and our own historical expenses on sea lice control. ‘Our colleagues at all levels thought we were mad, clearly, but the results easily justified the outlay and strategy.’ Loch Duart also transports its fish differently, to meet the needs of the wrasse and not to cut costs, said Bennett. The company uses Frontfish UK, based in Devon.

Loch Duart - Cleanerfish.indd 43

Managing director Neil Fuzzard and his team have more than 20 years’ experience transporting a wide range of marine and freshwater species in the UK and Europe. ‘They have shown a great way of meeting our needs and share our ethical views on meeting the highest fish welfare standards,’ said Bennett. ‘We move the captured wrasse more regularly, with fewer than five days in holding – it does cost more in transport but the quality you get from moving

Frontfish UK Cleaner Fish Transport

Congratulations to Loch Duart on 20 years in the aquaculture industry Phone: Neil 07971 807754 or Dave 07810 117336 Email: 43

07/08/2019 15:55:33

Loch Duart at 20 – Cleaner fish

During the night they reside in the habitats provided. Nutrition has been a chief focus, adapted to find new feed options to meet the varied diets of the species. ‘We have used live diets in the past, which Farming with wrasse The need to look after the demands of salmon and wrasse together require a include crushed molluscs and green crab, but this has its limitations for the ballan wrasse, as mixture of scientific and practical expertise, said Warrington. our varied sizes of fish present some fish with He and Bennet have managed a quick roll out of the cleaner fish programme to all the sites, taking less than two years to achieve results, with limited nutrition,’ said Bennett. ‘A 10-15cm wrasse could, in theory, could ‘vast reductions’ in use of medicinal treatments. survive on net growth and small invertebrates, ‘This has been easy, given our company size, the ease of communicawhereas a larger ballan wrasse over 15cm will tion and our site teams quickly seeing results in our farms, one after the require more substance on a regular basis to other. maintain optimal condition. ‘They know the alternatives, and the work involved, and quickly decided ‘In 2018, we exclusively used the BioMar symit was easier to go down the cleaner fish route. bio block diet, and the wrasse took to this very ‘From having to go out every three or four weeks to not having to treat fish for whole cycles allows us to concentrate on growing even better fish.’ well. Later in the year, we made the change to a new diet developed by Vita Aqua Feeds; this Bennett said when they began using wrasse back in 2014 and 2015, they were using stocking densities of five to six per cent of all wrasse spe- is a grazing block made under cold extrusion, which preserves the nutritional value of the cies. This had varied results and now they are achieving more effective ingredients and comes a range of different sizes control with as little as 0.4 to 2.0 per cent. and forms. ‘Our requirements for wild wrasse have decreased by over 60 per cent ‘The diet is better suited operationally. It’s annually since we upscaled in 2015 - a combination of using ballan wrasse delivered in recyclable buckets, reduces labour only, our price per fish premium, , improved nutrition, better survival and doesn’t need chilling due to its shelf life of rates at sea and improvements in efficiency,’ said Bennett. two years.’ Loch Duart uses wrasse up to 28cm, stipulated by regulations set and Above: Wrasse are mostly Bennett said that since trialling the diet, they mixes the sizes within the pens, which helps reduce aggression as the around 22-28cm have recorded an increase in survival rates, a reballan wrasse are a territorial creature. duction in feed costs and good responses from Welfare is key, and a happy and healthy wrasse will exhibit the behavall the site teams. Survival rates are about 60iour of a natural grazing species, ‘which is what we need’, said Bennett plus per cent - because the focus is on smaller ‘They are opportunistic feeders, their requirements change with the seasons and therefore we need to adapt our management to meet these numbers and re-using these valuable fish, with health checks carried out prior to re-use. seasonal differences,’ said Bennett. ‘We don’t believe the results achieved are In the summer, ballan wrasse exhibit more of a predatory behaviour, specific to the scale we farm,’ said Bennett. ‘All during the day spending much of the time roaming around the pen. them more regularly suits us, the fishermen and, ultimately, the wrasse. ‘They use more focused life support systems, which meet the health requirements of the wrasse in transport, and the quality of the wrasse is vastly improved.’

We “ wanted to

work with fishermen who were going to give us the best quality we could get


Loch Duart - Cleanerfish.indd 44

07/08/2019 15:55:54

Leap of faith They looked at the mechanical delicers, and did a lot of research on the our sites vary and include locations in Uist that although produce smaller tonnage, still replicate effects of crowding on the fish. One finding was that a high percentage of larger industrial producers in terms of tidal flow adult lice and eggs are released from salmon during crowding. ‘We were a bit wary of many of those mechanical methods. We didn’t and location. want to go down that route. ‘We know we can get this to work anywhere when you get the buy-in from site managers and ‘I’m a strong believer in as little intervention in the fish as possible once they’re in the sea, I think that’s the key thing,’ said Warrington. staff, and they realise how effective it is.’ Warrington said: ‘There is a very specific way to ‘The industry’s problem comes back to the scale at which they operate use cleaner fish. Due to the scale we farm and the and being able to keep on top of the problem. scale of the wrasse project here, I’m confident that ‘We’ve been really lucky because we’re a small management team, we’ve what we’ve done can be done the same at any big proven on a small scale on a few pens that wrasse would work well for us, and then it was just a case of scaling that up.’ company, any size of pen and any location.’ Warrington described the implementation of Loch Duart’s wrasse strateBoth he and Bennett stressed the importance of sticking to their strategy, putting faith in the gy as ‘a career highlight’ for him. ‘From a business struggling under the pressure from sea lice to what the wrasse, and being patient. ‘We had to change the thinking of the old days team have achieved today is nothing short of miraculous in fish farming.’ Bennett agreed. Although it had been difficult ‘trying to turn around a where we kneejerk react and we want to treat,’ position of sheer terror in the summer months to one of a relaxed non said Warrington. ‘In the past, we would have intervened regular- panic’, belief in the strategy has paid off. ly - with bath treatments and so on - treating fish ‘Fish farming always throws up its challenges, and there is rarely a silver every three or four weeks, the same as the rest bullet solution. But for the time being, cleaner fish has given a level of control which has been hugely significant for Loch Duart.’ FF of the industry.’

England shows the way in fishery regulation BY MARK WARRINGTON AND LEWIS BENNETT

WRASSE fishing on the south coast of England started to receive publicity in summer 2017. We were very aware that a lot of wrasse had been moving under the public radar before our involvement in 2016 and we wanted to keep everything as transparent as possible. Initial discussions with the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCA) in southern England suggested that a sustainable fishery could be established, based on historical scientific data and studies, along with ongoing data collection that we and our fishermen were happy to contribute. Loch Duart has been instrumental in developing management in Cornwall, where in 2019 a by-law was passed decreeing that all fishermen in the county had to be registered to fish wrasse under a permit scheme. There are only five permits issued under the Cornwall IFCA, in order to monitor catch rates and develop the fishery gradually under a precautionary measurement. Colin Trundle and the team at Cornwall IFCA have spent much time developing this management regime, securing the future for the fishermen who have supported the scientists. Similar management is being used in Devon. And Dorset, headed by the team at Southern IFCA, has a different management system, which is currently proving effective at meeting the requirements of a sustainable fishery, with the fisherman working closely with Loch Duart and other salmon farms. The IFCA in all three counties has been nothing short of excellent. They were fast in

Loch Duart - Cleanerfish.indd 45

Above: Wrasse

developing management measures and the enforcement has been superb. The work they have conducted has created a sustainable system for the capture of wild wrasse. It has been a great experience working with them and a great example to the rest of the UK. The wrasse fishery gained great interest at all levels with senior scientists at CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science), with Peter White and Tamsin Cochrane-Dyet (a former Loch Duart fish health biologist) showing great enthusiasm for working in a new fishery and seeing more involvement in the Scottish salmon sector.

Wrasse species have seen limited research outside Scotland, and the input of these professionals, their help and assistance has added to our confidence in our strategy and made the project even more enjoyable to establish. While voluntary guidance takes place in Scotland, it is understood that we don’t have the same regulatory framework or resource to adequately manage the fishery on our west coast and islands. We’ve got areas we’ve been fishing for four years, near Skye, and every year the ballan wrasse stocks seem to be better than they were the year before. So maybe ‘cropping’ isn’t such a bad thing. This is a key area Loch Duart feels needs to be addressed. There are SSPO (Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation) guidelines for wrasse fishermen in Scotland, with a minimum recommended size of 12cm. This is in contrast to Cornwall, where 16cm is the minimum, or Dorset, where it is 18cm. We strongly feel that the English regulators have shown the way forward in establishing a sustainable fishery. There is a need to better understand the impact of removing high numbers of wrasse from the waters of the United Kingdom and the effect this has on marine eco systems in which they are cropped. There are enough historical cases to tell us that limited management on a fishery only has one result – and it is negative. We therefore call on Marine Scotland and the industry to establish further controls, look at the work being done in England and to regulate the wrasse fishery properly.


07/08/2019 15:56:11

Loch Duart at 20 – Cleaner fish

The future is farmed…one day Little love lost over lumpfish THE Loch Duart cleaner fish team said it would welcome the offer of some contract grown wrasse from one of the current producers. ‘Ultimately, the aim for the industry has to be self-sufficiency in farmed ballan wrasse, although we know this process is in its infancy,’ said Lewis Bennett. Ballan wrasse that are bred are very different to those from the wild, which tend to be quite nomadic and move around the pens confidently, he said. ‘The ones that come from the hatchery seem relatively soft, timid and require different acclimatisation to their wild counterparts. ‘We have been told they don’t cope well with strong tides or large water exchange; of course, they have been raised in a tank with little variation.’ There is farmed wrasse production at Machrihanish in Campbeltown, funded by Mowi and Sccottish Sea Farms, and Mowi is also developing a wrasse facility in Penmon, Anglesey, on the site of a former sea bass farm. Otter Ferry, meanwhile, on Loch Fyne, is expanding its wrasse hatchery, which is expected to double current capacity. ‘We have visited Otter Ferry and it was very impressive to see the strides made over the last three years,’ said Bennett. Scottish self-sufficiency is still some way off, Bennett believes, and the over reliance on wild caught fish will continue for some time yet. ‘There will never be a clear cut-off from wild supply because any mortality in farmed fish may leave the industry short, and there would be a need for the numbers to replace them. ‘If you have a low confidence in the farmed and higher in the wild, you will need a transition phase and better efficacy of farmed wrasse. ‘Until then, one cannot completely rule out the wild stock being required.’

Above: Wrasse. Right: Lumpfish. Above: Wrasse


Loch Duart - Cleanerfish.indd 46

LOCH Duart ‘dabbled’ in lumpfish a few years ago, taking eggs from Iceland and growing them in its own facility. The fish were used in various stocking densities on a couple of sites. ‘But despite all of the great results we were hearing from others, we couldn’t replicate them on our own sites,’ said Lewis Bennett. They decided that the lumpfish presented too many welfare and health challenges, high summer mortality, and only worked during the winter. Wrasse, on the other hand, seemed to have fewer health challenges. All this, combined with limited lice control, brought an end to the use of lumpfish at Loch Duart sites. Operations director Mark Warrington said: ‘If you’ve got ballan and lumpfish mixed in I think people will find that it’s actually the ballan doing the trick. ‘People will say how the lumpfish are, and then you find it’s the one per cent ballan in with them that are getting the results.’ To change his mind, ‘someone would need to take me to a lice free site, where that result has been achieved solely by using 100 per cent lumpfish, but without the need to top up several times due to mortalities’, he said. Bennett thinks there is an industry trend away from lumpfish, with wrasse increasingly favoured both here and in southern Norway. ‘The site managers like the wrasse. People on the farm see what’s working and that drives everyone,’ he said, while acknowledging that lumpfish production is far more reliable and supplies much more readily available.

07/08/2019 15:56:38

VITA AQUA FEEDS – Advertorial

New kids on the block Revolutionary feed for cleaner fish


ORKSHIRE based feed manufacturer World Feeds has specialised in aquatic nutrition since its inception in 2004. Since then, the company’s unique aquatic diets have been supplied to some of the largest public aquariums around the world. Each feed is tailored to the specific nutritional needs of diverse species from around the globe.The company is now poised to revolutionise how cleaner fish are fed and maintained in aquaculture with a new brand,Vita Aqua Feeds (VAF), a unique product targeted at one of salmon farming’s biggest issues – the control of sea lice. The company’s ethos and passion is to improve the way fish are fed by providing the highest standard of nutrition, and that’s exactly what the cleaner fish feed blocks bring to the table. Designed specifically for lumpfish and wrasse, the elongated blocks are produced using bespoke machinery, designed in-house. Employing a cold extrusion process, the grooved feed blocks are soft and malleable, making them highly digestible and attractive to the cleaner fish. Crucially, as the blocks maintain integrity in water for up to 24 hours, they encourage and facilitate natural grazing behaviour, allowing the larger fish to satiate before the smaller fish take their turn. This subsequently leads to reduced aggression during feeding. VAF blocks are complete diets and require no refrigeration or mixing and have a two-year shelf life, reducing storage costs and preparation time. Following extensive trials in Scotland with Loch Duart, and in Norway with GIFAS, studies have demonstrated the high effectiveness and benefits of feed blocks compared to other commercially available feeds.

World Feed - PED.indd 47

It was found that fish fed with VAF blocks maintained stable and controlled growth rates, negating the symptoms of artificially high growth rates. Improved efficacy is also achieved by huge reductions in cataract development. At the end of the trial period, there was a 77 per cent reduction in cataract prevalence compared with fish fed with a pelleted diet. Studies also recorded improvements to general health and welfare, indicative of the selection of high quality, sustainably sourced ingredients contained within the feed. VAF’s engineering expertise comes into play when considering how to deliver the nutrition. To complement the pioneering feed blocks, the company has developed feeding stations designed for practicality and to maximise efficiency. The VAF Manual Line Deployment (MLD) system can be easily loaded direct from the pack in situ at the pen.The MLD can be deployed vertically or horizontally as required and floats back to the surface once the block has been consumed. VAF recommends strategically placing several MLDs around the pen, depending on livestock numbers and behaviour. Looking to the future,VAF is in the final stages of developing a groundbreaking Automatic Deployment Station (ADS).This buoyant dispensing system is designed to deliver the complete and balanced feed block diet over longer periods with minimal supervision and maintenance. The apparatus will also have almost limitless potential for operational data collection and research applications. VAF aims to make a huge impact on fish farms with innovative fish nutrition and practical, efficient forms of delivery. FF

Studies “ have shown

the benefits of feed blocks compared to other available feeds

Top: Cleaner fish feed blocks Above: Wrasse feeding Left: Loch Duart cleaner fish manager Lewis Bennett with the MLD system


07/08/2019 15:53:25

Loch Duart at 20 – Coastal Workboats

Keel cool

and carry on New utility vessel handed over to Loch Duart



OW big a crane can we have?’ That, according to Brian Pogson of Coastal Workboats Scotland (CWS), is the first question asked of him by fish farms when they are looking to invest in a new workboat. And that was the starting point when Pogson and his wife Julie worked with Loch Duart, and with Karl Scott of Maritime Aqua, whose in-

depth knowledge of the industry proved to be an invaluable help. The end result came in July in Oban when a brand new Landing Utility Vessel (LUV)1608, the Lady Rebecca, was officially handed over to Loch Duart from CWS. The workboat is designed and licensed by Damen of Gorinchem in the Netherlands, which Pogson approached once he had the precise requirements and modifications agreed with Loch Duart. This is the fourth boat CWS has built for Loch Duart. Two were 8.5m aluminium support boats, capable of carrying one tonne on deck and operating day and night, but this is the first built to the fish farmer’s specific design. So what is the answer to the original question on the crane? Pogson explains: ‘The crane is an HS Marine AK67 supplied along with the capstans by Maritime Aqua. It can extend to 13.62m and at that extension has a load lifting capability of 3,095kg.’ The hull was developed to accommodate the impressively large crane for this size of vessel. The boat weighs 92 tonnes, has a 7.5m wide beam and a total length of 16.5m. This is the perfect size to get around the pens but CWS has the capability to extend the length of any new builds in 3m derivatives up to a total length of 22.5m. What else does this LUV have to offer? The ramp on the LUV 1608 has a shallower angle, meaning much easier and quicker access. Another innovation for a boat this length is the raised height of the Clockwise from top left: Julie and Brian Pogson of Coastal Workboats Scotland and Mike Besijn of Damen Shipyards; The Lady Rebecca in Oban; drying lockers; Loch Duart HR manager Rebecca MacInnes, after whom the boat was named. ‘Rebecca was our first employee when we set up 20 years ago,’ said Loch Duart MD Alban Denton. ‘The Lady Rebecca, in boat and human form, are our two most valuable assets!’


Coastal Workboats.indd 48

07/08/2019 15:50:56

Keel cool and carry on

wheelhouse, giving the pilot the ability to see over the end of the ramp, combined with extra large windows to give 360 degree visibility. The bridge is fully joystick controlled and has a thermal imaging camera for added safety in darkness. Everything can be controlled from here and gives a real ‘big boat feel’. The engine room has bright LED lighting and is fireproofed for hazardous cargo. The boat runs on twin Volvo D9A2L engines with a total power of 710 bhp, connected to keel coolers recessed under the vessel, perfectly suited for shallow water operations and grounding. On the 80m2 deck, with it’s 40 -tonne deck load capacity, the customer’s requirements have also been met.

The hull was developed to accommodate the impressively large crane for this size of vessel

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07/08/2019 15:51:21

Loch Duart at 20 – Coastal Workboats

There is a three-tonne capstan on both port and starboard, plus an opening gate on both sides. A secondary helm control is at the forward bow. There is also a fuel transfer system and a 13-tonne ballast tank if needed. ‘We have listened to the industry to give the crew all they require,’ said Julie Pogson. ‘The mess room has a big seating area and a fully equipped galley. ‘And there are nine drying lockers with elements underneath to heat and dry work clothes, and there is good storage space for crew and kit, including all safety equipment.’

Above: The HS Marine crane Top right: The galley and mess room Right: Inside the wheelhouse

Damen’s Mike Besijn sees the potential of this design for the aquaculture market. ‘This boat is so versatile on site. To service the Scottish fish farm market, it makes sense for these to be built in the UK. ‘Our next three boats will be built by CWS and sub-contracted out by Damen.’ Damen is exhibiting at Aqua Nor on stand D-364 FF

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07/08/2019 15:51:45

The future of aquaculture support has landed.




The Damen Landing Utility Vessel 1608 is the product of shared industrial expertise. Designed by Damen, engineered by OSD-IMT and built by Coastal Workboats Scotland, this is a vessel versatile in its aquacultural support functionality. It features landing craft capabilities for go-anywhere geographic suitability and a crane offering between 14 tonnes (3.5 metres) and 3 tonnes (13 metres) lifting capacity. Feeding tomorrow, together.


Damen.indd 51 ADV-4-007-1907-Landing Utility Vessel 1608 210x297 v02.indd 1

07/08/2019 11:44:55 05.08.2019 17:19:44

Transport and logistics

Incredible journey Happy 60th anniversary to Highlands haulier Ferguson Transport & Shipping!


HEN staff at Ferguson Transport & Shipping encounter a new challenge, they write it down on boards in the company’s offices so that everyone can see it. ‘If we can’t supply what the customer is looking for, we share it because there might be someone else in the company that can come up with a solution,’ said group managing director Alasdair Ferguson. This way, they all bounce ideas around and collectively create workable logistics for the aquaculture industry, which represents 50 per cent of the business, or the other sectors, such as forestry, agriculture, aluminium and whisky, that they serve. It is this kind of practical approach that has seen the family firm grow to become one of the Highlands’ biggest independent hauliers and contractors, and reach its milestone 60th anniversary this summer. Today, Ferguson employs around 200 people - ranging from HGV drivers and mechanics to marine staff, shore based engineers and office management staff - and had a group turnover last year of around £18 million. There are three generations of Fergusons in the business now, with Alasdair and his siblings, Carol (group company secretary and financial director), Jack (operations director) and Leslie (group director), at the helm.

It has been ‘an incredible journey’, said Ferguson, from the modest venture his parents set up in Ardrishaig, Argyll, in 1959. These days, the company, headquartered in Corpach, has a fleet of more than 170 trailers, 70 trucks, six vessels and its own port and warehousing facilities at Kishorn in Wester Ross. It is far removed from the firm’s origins, which in fact can be traced back almost 100 years, to 1920, when Ferguson’s great uncle, Andrew Grinlaw, became one of the first haulage contractors in Argyll, operating horsedrawn carts and coaches. Ferguson’s late father, Archie, worked with his uncle after completing National Service, with the focus then on agricultural supplies, forestry and coal. Archie, with his wife Anne, eventually took over the lorries and, after much of the forestry in Argyll was flattened in a storm in the late

Left: On the quayside: Carol Mackinnon and Jack Ferguson Opposite: Family firm (from left to right): Alasdair Ferguson, Leslie Innes, Jill Ferguson, Carly Ferguson, Jodie Ferguson, Carhie Mackinnon, Kevin Ferguson and Christopher Innes


Ferguson Shipping.indd 52

07/08/2019 15:45:56

Incredible journey

1960s, they moved the business North to Spean Bridge, Lochaber. ‘Once the timber was tidied up there wasn’t a lot of work in Argyll and most of my father’s work was up north,’ said Ferguson, talking to Fish Farmer last month from his boardroom in Corpach. The move took place in 1974 when Ferguson was 11, but just four years later he would be joining the family firm too. In Lochaber, the business was mostly loading and unloading ships at the Corpach Basin for Wiggins Teape Pulp and Paper Mill, as well as transporting Roundwood to Riddoch of Rothemay Sawmill at Corpach, the sawmill site that Ferguson Transport & Shipping now owns. But then, about 50 years ago, a new industry began to emerge on Ferguson’s doorstep, with the first salmon farms established by Marine Harvest at Lochailort. ‘Because we had timber lorries with grabs on them suitable for handling the cage sections and rafts, my father was approached to help out with some of the cage building and movements,’ said Ferguson. They transported and helped put together the first wooden and polystyrene fish cages for Lochailort, made by a local joiner. As the industry graduated to steel, Ferguson shifted the steel cage sections from Blackhall Engineering in Edinburgh to the galvanisers in Elgin. Once galvanised, the haulier then delivered them to the fish farm sites. Some years later, the industry moved on to circular plastic pens.

Ferguson Shipping.indd 53

‘We’ve seen the whole industry adapt over the years,’ said Ferguson, admitting he was ‘chuffed to bits’ at how his business has evolved alongside the aquaculture sector. From moving cages around the lochs on the west coast, Ferguson Transport & Shipping established strong links with the growing salmon farming industry. They soon progressed to lifting and moving smolt tanks and then transported feed by road, as well as fish harvests and bins. To begin with, the feed was in small volumes, coming up by road from a supplier in Norwich and Bury St Edmonds, before the big feed companies such as Ewos, BioMar and Skretting started manufacturing in Scotland. By 1997, Ferguson was commercial director of the business and had been invited by Marine Harvest to oversee the logistics of its entire feed distribution. His father was interested in the venture and was due to attend the meeting with Marine Harvest executives, when he was killed in a forestry accident. ‘He had recognised the potential in the growing industry, and it’s good that he was a part of it,’ said Ferguson. On the evening of his father’s accident, Alasdair phoned the drivers and explained what had happened; he asked them to come back to the yard in the morning and park up. But later that night, walking around the yard with his sister Carol, they realised that life would have to go on. They had wages to pay, contracts to fulfil and customers to reassure. Ferguson called all the drivers back at midnight and said: ‘You all know what you are going to be doing in the morning, so please go ahead as planned and we will take each day at a time.’ Recalling those days now, he said: ‘Everybody rolled their sleeves up and pulled in one direction, which is what our father would have wanted, and it was this galvanising of the team and the family that is one of the core strengths of our business today. ‘We’d grown up with the business and didn’t know what we were capable of because my father was always there to deal with any issues.’ It was still a small company, with a staff of 35, but the Marine Harvest

My father recognised the potential in the growing industry and it’s good he was a part of it


07/08/2019 15:46:16

Transport and logistics

contract was soon secured. Ferguson said they had ‘great fun’ going out to the islands and along the coast ‘to places you wouldn’t believe lorries could go to’. However, within a couple of years driving along single track roads delivering feed, with the trailers getting bigger to supply the growing salmon farming industry, Ferguson realised that the traditional road based transport operation was not sustainable in the long term. His plan was to develop Corpach as a central location for transporting feed by sea; however, for a number of reasons, this didn’t work out and he had to think again. ‘A light bulb flickered on,’ he said. ‘One Sunday morning I woke up at 6am and asked my wife if she wanted a day out in Kishorn.’ He had remembered the massive dry dock, a former oil and gas fabrication yard which, in its heyday, had seen 3,000 to 5,000 people working on the site. The yard had closed in the mid-80s and by 1999 nothing much had happened there for nearly 20 years, apart from some work on the Skye Bridge in 1995. Ferguson - unaccompanied by his wife, Jill, also now a general manager in the company - headed north to explore Kishorn’s potential. ‘I jumped the fence and walked the whole site, about 2.5km long, with four big deep water berths and the dry dock. It was quite dilapidated but breathtaking at the same time.’ After contacting the Crown Estate and the Applecross Trust (who were keen to regenerate the area), he deployed his machinery to tidy up the yard even before he had a stake in it. Ferguson said he had to prove his concept for feed distribution by sea and, if it worked, he would take out a lease on the port and dock area. He chartered a small, 300-tonne vessel, the Von, to show the producers and feed manufacturers that they could deliver feed directly to the hoppers on the barges by sea. As the Von made her trial voyage, Ferguson, following by road, filmed the trip, from Cuddy Point to Mull, to demonstrate how distribution by sea could work. The customers were duly impressed and soon Ferguson Transport & Shipping was operating as a fully integrated land and water based transport business.


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Clockwise from top left: Alasdair Ferguson’s brother-in-law Colin Mackinnon, transport and general manager, and transport manager Michael Oliver; the newly developed logistic hub – 160,000 square foot of warehousing and hardstanding, representing a further investment of £750,000; the Von deployed on bin harvests; the Harvest Caroline II at Corpach; anniversary celebrations

As the feed tonnages built up, the company’s fleet gradually increased to six vessels, with more than 90 per cent of its fish feed deliveries by sea. However, change is inevitable with industry growth, said Ferguson, and the recent development by Mowi (formerly Marine Harvest) of its feed plant at Kyleakin on Skye has had an impact on his firm’s role. The feed facility, which recently began its first supplies to Mowi sites, will be serviced mainly by two Mowi vessels from Norway, including one silo to silo boat that eliminates the need for packaging. Ferguson will continue to support Mowi with some of the feed logistics by sea, also including transporting feed to the farms, road logistics from the factory and delivering early start up feeds to the hatcheries and inshore farms. The company will also be playing its part with

07/08/2019 15:48:23

Incredible journey

and also to support the activities we are developing at Kishorn Port.’ The company has had vessels fitted in the past with thermolicers and hydrolicers and, with the industry’s ambition to grow 40 or 50 per cent, Ferguson sees scope for further investment in its shipping. The business also operates in the Northern Isles and it distributes cleaner fish, working with other specialist logistic companies. ‘We’re keen to support the whole industry, we’re a contractor and a supplier in the logistics chain and are keen to continue to grow within that,’ said Ferguson. ‘There have been all these changes in the sector and we’ve been very much a part of these changes, which we are very proud of.’ FF

storage, warehousing and distribution facilities at Kishorn and Corpach. ‘Whilst the dynamics are changing, and some elements of this work we may not be doing the bulk of in the future, through good working relationships, continued logistics and affordable solutions, we can still be part of something bigger,’ said Ferguson. Because of the Kyleakin factory’s capacity, there will be other opportunities, he believes. While they have been distributing 60,000 to 80,000 tonnes of feed a year to date for Mowi, the new Skye mill can produce up to 170,000 tonnes. ‘Going forward, although we may not be doing 100 per cent of the work from the factory, even moving a small percentage by sea and road is still a reasonable tonnage and worthwhile doing and being a part of.’ Mowi’s vessels will also use Kishorn for berthing and collecting cargo for distribution. And, of course, Ferguson works with most of Scotland’s other salmon farmers and feed companies. ‘Each of our customers are very important to us. We want to continue to distribute feed as the opportunities arise,’ said Ferguson. ‘We have a very good marine team and marine crew. We knew the factory was coming and have looked to see where we can diversify. ‘It’s a transition phase now, and we’re supporting Mowi with that. We will look to fill any gaps and see what other opportunities arise within this industry. ‘We’re looking at additional vessels we want to put in the market now, including multi cats and workboats for the aquaculture industry,

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knew “theWeKyleakin factory was coming and have looked to see where we can diversify

Thanks for helping us down those long and windy roads and rough seas, and congratulations on celebrating 60 years! 55

07/08/2019 15:48:47

Transport and logistics

Uplifting innovation with new mort solution

STAYING one step ahead has been key to the success of Ferguson Transport & Shipping, said Alasdair Ferguson. That demands a team effort, which seems to be as smoothly oiled as the company’s HGVs: While Alasdair may recognise a new challenge, in any of the sectors they work in, it is his brother Jack who develops the technical and practical solutions, and sister Carol who then organises the administration. ‘Innovation is developed on the back of a need for it,’ said Ferguson. ‘The closer we work with the customers on their challenges – and the more they allow you to take the strain and deal with these- the easier it is to come up with those solutions.’ In the early days of salmon farming, the business handled the bin harvests for Marine Harvest, on boats and the back of flatbed trucks. And then, with the establishment of the £500,000 harvesting station at Mallaig 15 years ago, and the arrival of the well boat Ronja Commander to transport the fish, Ferguson’s role changed again. ‘We put our heads together with the trailer manufacturer Crossland Tankers and Ian Armstrong of Marine Harvest [who managed the Mallaig operation],’ said Ferguson. ‘And we came up with the best cylindrical tanks for insulation, with temperature control and no baffles.’ Ferguson now has 16 of these tanks on the road, moving fish from Mallaig to Mowi’s processing plant at Blar Mhor in Fort William. ‘It’s all part of evolution, and no doubt what we see in 10 years’ time will be completely different again,’ said Ferguson. ‘We’ve really worked hard at understanding how we can be part of change.’ The company’s latest aquaculture innovation has been kept under the radar until now, but having proved its efficiency, Ferguson is hoping to extend the concept to the bigger market. Called the ‘Biosecure Mort Management Solution’, it is a typically simple, but cost-effective Ferguson-style means of removing waste from farms with as little disruption as possible. Ferguson ‘saw a gap in the industry’ and his brother Jack then came up with the solution ‘because he knows the boats, the cranes, the equipment, the tanks…his input has been tremendous’. ‘We have picked up mortalities for a few years, but two years ago we began studying it in more detail and rolled out the new equipment a year ago,’ said Ferguson. ‘Historically, you need net collectors from the pens, bins, skips, steam cleaners, and people trying to get bins on and off ferries; and there have been real issues with odour.’ The new system involves sealed cylindrical tanks, which can be loaded on to a vessel and taken directly to the pens. ‘We’ve designed and built these tanks so when we go to unloading points, there are large outlets at the rear for tipping’ said Ferguson. Two tanks can be reversed on to a vessel. And there is a ‘clam shell’ de-waterer fitted to the crane on the vessel so all the water goes back into the sea at the pens after the morts are airlifted out. There is minimal manpower – one farm worker can operate the uplift, and there are no bins of dead fish on the shore base or loading of bins on to trucks.


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‘We currently have a pool of tanks and the vessel has an uplift system of circa 20 tonnes per hour,’ said Ferguson. Each tank can hold around 20 tonnes at a time and all the equipment is modular, which means when not uplifting fish, the vessels can be deployed elsewhere. But Ferguson sees the system just as much as a small scale, pen to pen service for regular collections, if required. ‘We’re trying to get the message across that we can do small uplifts as well as on a larger scale,’ said Ferguson. ‘We can have vessels in a number of different areas uplifting regular mortalities.’ The waste goes to disposal and recycling centres as far away as Cumbernauld or Dumfries, but Ferguson said it would be more economic and environmentally friendly if there were ensiled waste points strategically and centrally placed closer to the farms, which could then potentially sell ensiled waste for biogas or other energy from waste processes. One company in particular (in the energy market) has shown a strong interest in what Ferguson is doing and discussions with them and salmon farmers are already taking place, he said. Ferguson would also like to see how it can support the farmers further, sharing the cost of handling waste and perhaps supporting a ‘bus stop’ collection, with the vessels going round the farms retrieving morts as part of day to day site maintenance. The company has invested £400,000-500,000 in the equipment to date so that it is available for everyone in the salmon farming industry. ‘We’re trying to centralise, localise and come up with affordable, sustainable solutions that will keep costs down. It still involves vehicles, vessels, and equipment which is what we specialise in,’ said Ferguson. ‘No one wants to talk about dead fish but as the industry keeps growing, there will be a certain percentage of mortalities.’ This is a fact of life of farming, he said, although he understands that people are more nervous about talking about it because of recent bad press. ‘It’s about removing dead fish as quickly and efficiently as possible and collecting out at sea, at source, as opposed to the alternatives. ‘Once the road transport modular tank is full, it’s buttoned up, a security seal is put in place and away it goes. ’

Above and top: The Biosecure Mort Management Solution in action

07/08/2019 15:49:07

Incredible journey

Floating ideas for the future THE regeneration of the port and 160m dry dock at Kishorn – one of the biggest in western Europe – offers great potential for the aquaculture industry, said Alasdair Ferguson. It is currently in use for oil and gas decommissioning, and the renewables sector, and could be a construction site for large offshore farm concepts, such as the SalMar Ocean Farm. ‘You could manufacture large concrete or steel structures in the dry dock,’ said Ferguson. ‘Our joint venture partner in Kishorn Leiths Scotland Limited - has a quarry on site, with 6.5 million tonnes of suitable aggregate available for subsea concrete.’ The dock has an 80m deep channel in Loch Kishorn and there is access to 100m deep Above: Kishorn provides unique Scottish facilties to develop aquaculture berths in Raasay Sound. ‘We’ve just put in an order with Gael Force the port and dry dock area on a regular basis exhibition in Norway later this month – his (for over £1 million) for the anchors for the now. second visit to the show – to promote all gates, so when we take the gates out of the ‘We have Akva building fish farm cages with his company’s services, including those at dock, we can moor them, and then we can about 20 people on site, the Scottish Salmon Kishorn. take structures in and out of the dock, and Looking ahead, he thinks some of the bigger Company hatchery, Kishorn fabrication and float them straight up the west coast. boat yard, Leiths quarry, along with other Scottish producers might be able to make use ‘We have to keep one eye on this market contractors for mooring upgrades and other of the dry dock, which is available for rent for and make sure that, in time, we speak to the port based, marine activities. manufacturing to any sector. right people to promote and highlight that we ‘There is a lot happening at the site now There are facilities available for on-site have these facilities in Scotland.’ and in the loch, whereas ten years ago this accommodation, and a community of around Alasdair Ferguson will be at the Aqua Nor was not necessarily the case.’ 100-125 people are working in and around


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Ferguson Transport & Shipping, Integrated Freight Facility, Annat, Corpach PH33 7NN For all enquiries please contact us on: 01397 773840

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07/08/2019 15:49:40

Research – Genetic modification



But scientific advances face uphill battle for legal and public approval


HE small town of Albany, Indiana, was recently thrust into the headlines as the biotechnology company AquaBounty began farming genetically modified (GM) salmon at its nearby aquaculture facility. This came after a decades long battle to gain regulatory clearance in the US. The company created a line of GM salmon in 1989 using recombinant DNA technology. Two genes – a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon and a promoter gene from the ocean pout – were inserted into the genome of Atlantic salmon. The resulting ‘AquAdvantage’ salmon can grow to market size twice as quickly as non-GM Atlantic salmon farmed under the same conditions, and requires 25 per cent less feed in the process. This form of genetic modification, in which genes from one or more organisms are inserted into the genome of another organism to produce novel traits, is referred to as transgenesis. In November 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved AquAdvantage salmon for human consumption in the US. It is the first and only GM animal to have gained that accreditation. However, it wasn’t until March 2019 that the FDA lifted an import ban preventing AquAdvantage salmon eggs (produced in Canada) from entering the US. This cleared the way for production to begin in Albany and the company expects a first harvest in late 2020. It is anticipated that the facility will produce 1,200 tonnes of fish annually once operating at full capacity. In April 2019, AquaBounty received approval from Environment and Climate Change Canada to also grow fish at its Rollo Bay facility on Prince Edward Island. AquAdvantage salmon has been sold to consumers in Canada for several years, having been farmed in Panama to date. As AquaBounty fought for regulatory approval of its transgenic salmon in North America, a revolutionary new technique for genetic modification, called CRISPR-Cas9, has made waves in the scientific community. CRISPR-Cas9 is a naturally occurring gene editing system, first detect-


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“of USA survey adults

found over 90 per cent of respondents felt some level of opposition to GM foods

ed within the genomes of bacteria. The system has two key components that work in tandem to produce mutations in DNA: the Cas9 enzyme, sometimes described as a pair of ‘molecular scissors’ that cuts through DNA to allow ‘edits’ (for example, the addition or removal of genetic material); and guide RNA, which binds to the targeted DNA to ensure that Cas9 cuts in the right location. Together, these molecules form one of the most rapid and accurate tools for genetic modification currently available to researchers. CRISPR-Cas9 has many potential applications in the aquaculture industry. Researchers have used the system to create organisms with traits such as increased size, pathogen resistance and sterility; the latter viewed as particularly desirable in GMOs to prevent ‘contamination’ of wild organisms if they escape into the natural environment. In Japan, CRISPR-Cas9 has been used by scientists to create a more muscular version of a highly prized fish species, the red seabream. The myostatin gene, known to restrict muscle development, was knocked out and resultant GM seabream were found to possess 16 per cent more skeletal muscle than the non-GM organism. A landmark ruling handed down by the top court in Europe, the European Court of Justice, in 2018 made gene edited organisms created with technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 subject to the same controls as other GM organisms. Whether these gene edited organisms will also be subject to lengthy regulatory review in the US comparable to that required of AquaBounty’s transgenic salmon remains to be seen. In mid-June 2019, President Trump signed an executive order instructing federal agencies to streamline the regulation of GM crops and other organisms.

07/08/2019 15:43:48

Gene genius

The commercial success of products such as the AquAdvantage salmon will ultimately be determined by the willingness of consumers to embrace GM technology. Techniques for genetic modification present a key avenue of opportunity for improving traits in farmed stocks such as growth rate, nutritional content, resource use efficiency, and resistance to environmental stress and pathogens. But the safety and ethical implications of GM crops in the agricultural industry have been a subject of contentious debate for decades. A survey of US adults recently published in Nature Human Behaviour (2019) found that more than 90 per cent of respondents felt ‘some level of opposition’ to GM foods. Interestingly, there may be a particularly strong antipathy towards GM animal products. This is seen in a separate survey (Thomson Reuters, 2010), in which 60 per cent of respondents were willing to consume GM plants, but GM meat and fish products were acceptable to just 38 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. A variety of concerns have been raised about the environmental risks posed by GM organisms. These include the increased use of pesticides and herbicides on GM organisms designed to be resistant, the escape of GM organisms into the natural environment where they may genetically ‘contaminate’ or out-compete non-GM organisms, and the potential impact of GM organisms on biodiversity. Concern about the safety of GM foods for human consumption (for instance, unintended effects on allergenicity and toxicity) is also widespread. The Pew Research Centre (2018) reported

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that 49 per cent of US adults believe that ‘foods containing GM ingredients are worse for one’s health’ than those that do not. Only time will tell how effectively AquaBounty and other proponents of GM technology can respond to such concerns in the court of public opinion. But if their dogged pursuit of regulatory approval over the last three decades is any indication, it’s a safe bet that they won’t shy away from the challenge. FF

Top:AquAdvantage GM salmon Right (top): Scientific advances wil be tested in the court of public opinion Right (below): GM concerns are still widespread


07/08/2019 15:44:10

Research – ARCH-UK

Marketing matters How can the industry help consumers connect with seafood, asks SAIC intern Benjamin Kao


T was eye opening to be able to listen to academics discuss cutting edge aquaculture research at the ARCH-UK Annual Science Event 2019, held in Stirling on June 26 and 27. The event was important because of the opportunity for various stakeholders within aquaculture in the UK to come together and discuss collaboration opportunities and industry trends. There were two keynote talks on seafood consumption from a retail perspective, and new paradigms in invertebrate health and disease. And there were working groups covering topics such as Finfish Nutrition, Knowledge Exchange, Creating Economic Growth with Social Acceptability, and Environment, Climate Change and Capacity. I will reflect primarily on the social scien-


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tific aspects of the discussions that were held because they show the potential for interdisciplinary collaborations within academia in order to support the aquaculture industry. Traditionally, fisheries and aquaculture have been grouped together because they both deal with fish as a product. However, it was noted during the discussion in the session about social acceptability and the economic viability of aquaculture, that aquaculture has more in common with agriculture than fisheries. Both industries are concerned with precision farming of food and, to a certain extent, they compete with one another. People at the event brought up the integration of agriculture into communities as an example of something that aquaculture can emulate. Agriculture has had centuries to make this sort of impact on communities and popular culture, and for aquaculture, integration will take time. Above: Benjamin Kao However, the benefits of living in the era of the internet and social media cannot be underestimated. For aquaculture, a more thorough understanding of the agriculture sector may be helpful in improving public perception. From the ARCH-UK seminar, it became clear to me that marketing and

07/08/2019 15:41:07

Marketing matters

perception are among the top of the industry’s concerns going forward. Producers have a stake in considering consumer purchasing behaviour. Increasing capacity is as much a technological, economic, and environmental issue as it is a marketing issue. The topic of UK seafood consumption was brought up during the keynote talk by Sainsbury’s Ally Dingwall, and also in the session on social acceptability and economic viability of aquaculture in two of the talks (by Professor Rachel Norman and marketer Karen Galloway). The speakers noted that the consumption of seafood and, by extension, fish, is seen as a primarily middle class endeavour. Other protein alternatives, such as chicken, pork, beef or even vegan options, are cheaper than seafood and considered more filling. Many consumers believe that seafood is less convenient to prepare at home and leaves a lingering smell. As a result, people would choose seafood when they are dining out (fish and chips, for example), but not as a part of their regular diets. Consumers in the UK also have clear favourite species for consumption and are less comfortable with trying new species of seafood. While there is value in being considered as a dish for special occasions, this is not conducive to increasing the ubiquity of seafood in diets. From an aquaculture perspective, the health benefits of eating fish may need to be emphasised to the public in marketing narratives. Looking at the bigger picture, I think that there may be systemic issues that the food industry as a whole would need to address with regards to the public’s relationship with food in general. It can be argued that the current generation is ever disconnected from their food sources, which results in the valuing of lower prices and convenience over quality and health. It may take concerted efforts for cultural change to occur. This challenge presents new opportunities for the aquaculture industry to widen its market share in the UK, if the sector can share narratives that influence UK seafood consumption. I feel it is timely for such seafood narratives in the UK to become more personal, helping the consumer to connect with seafood. Until recently, economic arguments have taken centre stage in seafood stories. A salient example of the power of shifting narratives is Nestlé’s expansion into the coffee market in Japan in the 1970s. Nestlé hired a marketing consultant, Dr Rapaille, to create a strategy to break into the Japanese market. What the consultant noted was a need to break tea’s monopoly on Japanese beverage consumption. With this information, Nestlé introduced coffee flavoured candy to create generations of cultural connections to coffee. Nestlé gained a strong foothold in the Japanese market through under-

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Aquaculture has more in “ common with agriculture than fisheries ”

standing the power of personal connections in driving consumption. Although not the sole factor influencing Japanese coffee consumption, it was a positive contributing element in consumer purchasing behaviour. On reflection, aquaculture can learn from agriculture regarding community integration. Marketing and consumer perception of the seafood industry is mportant to producers as well as retailers. It may be a prerogative that stakeholders in the industry collaborate in order to create a positive narrative to share with the public. The issues involved with aquaculture creating a more integrated cultural connection are inevitably more complex than the beverage industry. Aquaculture needs to connect closely with the public ethical considerations that come with fish management, health, and welfare. Perhaps more consequentially, aquaculture deals with the topic of food security, a key issue that will affect millions of people around the globe. Further integration of aquaculture into communities directly affected by the industry, or the redesign of a cohesive marketing strategy, may be possible trajectories to take. Regardless, there may be room for more collaboration between academia and industry in order to devise innovative methods to increase aquaculture’s social capital.

Benjamin Kao is a Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) intern. FF


07/08/2019 15:42:03

Aqua Nor 2019 – Preview

Flying the flag for Scotland Show set to be a ‘game changer’ for Gael Force Group


COTTISH aquaculture supplier Gael Force is hoping Aqua Nor 2019 will be a game changer for the group. ‘We want the global aquaculture sector to see Gael Force for what we truly are – a trusted, credible and alternative supply partner to competing Norwegian suppliers,’ said marketing manager Marc Wilson, as the Inverness based company was making its final preparations for the exhibition. Gael Force will be flying the flag for Scotland, with a greatly increased presence compared to the firm’s appearance in 2017. And it will host a visit to the stand from Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing. ‘Two years ago, we had a very small footprint at Aqua Nor – 12 square metres,’ said Wilson. ‘It was our first time in over decade that we had exhibited at Aqua Nor and, with the benefit of hindsight, we realised that the stand space we took then was not befitting of the established product and service range we offer. ‘This time round, we feel we have got it right. We will be highly visible in Hall D, which has been traditionally known as the main hall in the Trondheim Spektrum in previous years,

alongside other well-known suppliers. ‘We will have a footprint of 84 square metres, with an upper deck for meetings and hospitality. It’s a game changer for us.’ SeaQurePen At Aqua Nor 2017, Gael Force launched its SeaFeed Offshore Feed System, which has gone from strength to strength since then, and is visible across fish farms in Scotland. This year it is the turn of SeaQurePen 500 which, said Wilson, is an innovative and evolutionary plastic fish pen, packed with a range of exciting features. SeaQurePen reduces pen furniture and related maintenance and increases reliability, which will lower farming costs for producers. Its main features include: • An all plastic base unit which is resilient against impact, flexible in big waves and has a very long lifespan due to no corrosion; • An innovatively designed Hinged Service Deck which offers farm operatives safe and easy access to sub-surface utilities and connections, lessening the risk of having to make difficult manoeuvres around the platform; • Service Distribution, which provides integrated, secure, hazard free distribution of power, air and communications systems around the pen via

want “theWeglobal

aquaculture sector to see us as an alternative to competing Norwegian suppliers

SCOTTISH SUPPLY CHAIN SEMINAR Highlands and Islands Enterprise appreciates the significant contribution the aquaculture industry makes to the Highlands and Islands and to the rest of Scotland. Investment and innovation in the aquaculture supply chain in Scotland will enable new sector growth in domestic and overseas markets alike. Together with Scottish Development International and SAIC, we are holding a Supply Chain Seminar on the opening day of Aqua Nor to showcase the capabilities and ambition of Scottish supply chain businesses to potential customers worldwide. 62

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07/08/2019 15:38:18

Flying the flag for Scotland

ducting points below the deck; • SeaQureLift Marine Winch System, which has been designed for many years of reliable service in the rugged marine environment; and • Recessed, integrated connection point for moorings/sinker tubes, which ensures the walkway is clear and safe for personnel. SeaQurePen will be ‘in the flesh’ on Gael Force’s stand after the team at the company’s Oban base spent many hours ensuring that a section was prepared before being dispatched late in July. ‘The team at Gael Force Fusion worked immensely hard to ensure that SeaQurePen was put together professionally and readied for Aqua Nor,’ said Wilson. ‘I may be biased but, from what I have honestly seen and heard from some early feedback, it really is the best fish pen design out on the market. ‘The team have done their very best to make sure that visitors to our stand can get a real sense of that and can see all the features we are so proud to be talking about to our customers.’ In fact, Gael Force’s customers have played a huge part in the design of SeaQurePen, collaborating over months - years even. Multiple locations and farming conditions were considered, which helped Gael Force produce this fully integrated system for high energy environments. In addition to the launch of SeaQure Pen, visitors to the stand can view the company’s range of

technology and software products. These include the SeaFeed Pellet Detection software, which has full system integration capability with the SeaFeed Feed System to provide automatic control of feeding. ‘The user can set configurable parameters and then the level of pellets detected during feeding will help determine future feed plans,’ explained Wilson. ‘There is also the added benefit of having additional reporting, which is derived from system data in order to assist in future feed plans. ‘Automated feeding is something that we have been very keen to develop and our Pellet Detection software does just that.’ Gael Force’s steel and concrete feed barge range will also be demon-

Above: Gael Force will launch its SeaQurePen 500 at Aqua Nor

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07/08/2019 15:38:50

Aqua Nor 2019 – Preview

strated at Aqua Nor, via the medium of an interactive touchscreen, giving the user an insight into the internal parts of the barge. ‘Having a feed barge on our stand is something that was clearly not possible, but we wanted to give people the ability to interactively explore the range,’ said Wilson. ‘So we have had a touchscreen presentation developed for us that visitors themselves will be able to get to grips with. ‘It’s a very exciting piece of software and we’re looking forward to sharing it.’ Reception On the opening day of the show, Tuesday, August 20, at 3pm, Gael Force will welcome Scotland’s Rural Economy minister, Fergus Ewing, to the stand for a reception to celebrate the official launch of SeaQurePen. All visitors to Aqua Nor are invited to attend the reception and enjoy

Left: SeaQurePen 500 some Scottish hospitality, while having the opportunity to hear from the minister. And, continuing the theme of launches, Gael Force will be unveiling a 92-page full colour catalogue showcasing its range of equipment, technology and services. ‘The catalogue is something we have been keen to develop for years now,’ said Wilson, adding that it ‘made perfect sense’ to bring together news of the company’s turnkey installations for farm sites and its established range in one publication.

Gael Force Group’s new catalogue will be available at its stand, D-335. FF

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07/08/2019 15:39:24

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07/08/2019 11:11:45

Aqua Nor 2019 – Preview

Innovation showcase Busy seminar programme from Scottish sector


HE Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) will be showcasing the excellence of the Scottish aquaculture sector and sharing innovation insights on its stand at Aqua Nor. It is also one of the organisers – with Scottish Development International and Highlands and Islands Enterprise – of a Scottish supply chain seminar, featuring Fergus Ewing, the Scottish minister for the Rural Economy. Taking place on Tuesday, August 20, from 12pm to 2pm (VIP Premium L meeting room in Hall A), this will highlight the ambition and capability of the Scottish aquaculture supply chain. As well as Ewing as keynote speaker, the seminar programme will include an industry plenary session to discuss what the ambitious Scottish supply chain can bring to the global marketplace. Seminar delegates will also be able to enjoy a video showcase, a networking lunch, and a taste of Scotland’s national drink in the shape of some fine single malt whisky.


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SAIC’s stand (A-145) will host a separate programme of events as follows: • August 20, 4pm - SAIC CEO Heather Jones will give an overview of the Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) initiative; • August 21, 10.30am - The Institute of Aquaculture from Stirling University will discuss its nutrition analytical service; • August 21, 10.30am - An overview of Stirling University’s Institute of Aquaculture; • August 21, 4pm - Scottish reception, sponsored by the Institute of Aquaculture; • August 22, 2pm - Cleaner fish research at the Institute of Aquaculture, in collaboration with SAIC. FF Aqua Nor 2019, Trondheim, August 20-23

Above: Trondheim will host Aqua Nor 2019 later this month.

07/08/2019 15:21:52

Your partner partner in in Your aquaculture aquaculture



Aqua 2019 – Preview Feed –Nor Innovation

Lights, camera, action! Automatic salmon lice counting with advanced machine vision


ORWEGIAN innovator Ecotone – one of

BY COLINthe LEY three finalists for this year’s Aqua

Nor Innovation Award – has patented the technology for a hyperspectral camera that works underwater. SpectraLice can count and report salmon lice automatically, 24 hours a day. Thanks to sensors and software, which can detect and interpret a wide range of colours, it can be used to detect small differences and nuances. Ecotone co-founder and director Ivar Erdal said: ‘When it comes to salmon lice counting, everything is about ectively ENEWED producti oneff growth for detecti salmonng farming is one of the priority He was speaking during the official launch of NuFrontiers, held during F&A differences. objectives set by Nutreco NuFrontiers, the newly launched innovation Next, an agri-innovation event run by Wageningen University and Research ‘Down the cage there lightifeed ng group. andininvestment divisionare of poor the Dutch (WUR) in the Netherlands with the precise aim of connecting agribusiness conditions, and ordinary cameras struggle to ‘There’s been no expansion in salmon output since 2012 due to the in- start-ups with potential investors. see thenot diffhaving erence salmon dustry thebetween licence toregular grow, due to environmental issues,’ said Viggo Suitably equipped with EUR 20 million to invest over the next five years in sick fish, as well as skin injuries conditi ons. told Fish Farmer that the skin andNutreco’s salmon lice. Left: SpectraLice Halseth, chief innovation officer. start-upsand andother scale-ups, Halseth new division’s prime ‘This is possible because salmon lice and salmon skinanhave different ‘With SpectraLice, we see not only the diff er‘What we’re looking for through NuFrontiers, therefore, is to discover totally focus would be on aquaculture, industry which he said has enormous scope signaturesfor - they reflgrowth. ect the In light different ence between skin and - we can also new technology which willlice help producers tosee overcomehyperspectral these current confurther thatincontext, thewavelengths immediate challenge presented by the diff erence between, for example, fresh and • Conti nued on page 70 cerns to enable the sector to start moving forward again.’ salmon farming’s six-year standstill will head NuFrontiers’ innovation hit list. ‘We will be looking for opportunities to create and back ‘moonshot’ projects that address major bottlenecks in the feed and food value chain,’ he said. ‘This includes investing in starts-ups and scale-ups which are involved in new technologies, ingredients and formulations, while also entering into partnerships and joint ventures with innovative companies and products across the protein value chain.’ Halseth agreed that working with these types of start-ups was relatively new territory for Nutreco and that the launch of NuFrontiers represented something of a step outside the company’s traditional arena. ‘The fact is, however, that a lot of money is already going into ag-tech and start-ups,’ he said. ‘As a result, a lot of new benefits will emerge in the future and we need to understand what is happening in this area, while also becoming involved in developments that are relevant to our producers and to us as a company. ‘We don’t want to arrive too late into new developments, being forced to settle for a market rather than innovation role. From now on, in fact, we will be seeking to gain access to something unique.’ Although he added that the company doesn’t have ‘major past experience of working with start-ups or scale-ups’, Halseth said he had no doubt that NuFrontiers can make a major contribution, going forward. ‘We have a lot of knowledge concerning how animals and fish, raised under commercial conditions, react to our feeds, as supplied through Skretting and Trouw,’ he said. ‘Innovators know all about new technology, of course, but they often don’t have the capacity to test their ideas on animals or fish under real farming conditions, and they don’t have an efficient route to market. These are the gaps we can fill through our established place in the value chain.’ The selection of aquaculture as the prime focus for NuFrontiers is based Feed solutions for in consistent on the sector’s relative youth, comparison with other farmed species, and performance enormous growth potentifor al. your farm. ‘We believe aquaculture has room for much more innovation than agriculture,’ said Halseth. ‘In relation to salmon farming, for example, with no recent growth in output, there are huge needs for innovative solutions to be applied to the environmental issues which are holding it back. These include dealing with sea lice concerns, escapes into the

New frontiers

Nutreco’s foray into farming marks increase in aquaculture investment

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50 68

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Proud contributor to safe and healthy seafood Fish is the most consumed source of animal protein in the world today. The supply from capture fisheries has plateaued whilst demand continues to rise. The resulting gap can only be filled by the continued development of successful and sustainable aquaculture – globally. Critical to this success will be fish health management tools that are available to all commercially farmed species. PHARMAQ have a proven track record in the development of these tools through its market led R&D and innovative “continuum of care” programme covering all aspects of fish health. To learn more, visit and Meet the PHARMAQ team at Aqua Nor 2019 stand D-355.

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Aqua Nor 2019 – Preview and thus have different optical ‘fingerprints’. ‘When we further develop the system, there are many possibilities besides lice counting. For example, we can look at the gender and maturation of lice, injuries and irregularities on the fish. ‘This development takes place in close cooperation with our customers in the aquaculture industry,’ added Erdal. Having delivered products and services to customers within the oil and gas industry, as well as to research and management, the company is now investing heavily in the aquaculture industry. SpectraLice is currently mounted in several cages along the Norwegian coast. For fish farmers, the goal is that the manual count, which requires much time and resources, and results in far less data, can be phased out. ‘We want to deliver the first system for uninterrupted and automatic salmon lice counting that is put into operation in the industry,’ said Erdal. There are other uses for the hyperspectral camera technology, such as identifying and mapping the prevalence of species and organisms, and gauging how cages affect life on the seabed below the site. By using automatic hyperspectral mapping of the entire area under the site, fish farmers can get far better documentation of their environmental footprint. Erdal is looking forward to Aqua Nor and expects the award nomination will help bring more visitors to Ecotone’s stand.

ON IN BIOMASS MEASUREMENT ‘The timing is perfect. We have been working on the development of SpectraLice for the last three years, and have always had the goal of coming to Aqua Nor 2019 with a finished product. ‘Then it fits incredibly well that the jury recognises our innovation work right now.’ Visit Ecotone at stand F-568. FF

Left: Ecotone co-founder and director Ivar Erdal Below: Innovative technology

takes place “inThisclosedevelopment cooperation with our customers in the aquaculture industry



permanently in each cage, fish are continually measured and every cage, the daily overview of average weight, growth is available 24/7. Pentair has assembled a team n aquaculture, with decades of research and commercial DAILY overview. rate information, real timeVAKI dataBIOMASS and reliable a Vaki Biomass Daily frame placed permanently in each cage, fish are continually measured —ASK US! With with pinpoint accuracy. For every site and every cage, the daily overview of average weight,

Visit us at AQUA NOR STAND NO. F-526

size distribution, condition-factor and growth is available 24/7. Pentair has assembled a team of experts with diverse backgrounds in aquaculture, with decades of research and commercial industry application experience. information, timeReserved. data and reliable overview. ©2018 PentairAccurate Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc.real All Rights Trust in a team that’s here to help you—ASK US!

6.3939 • +1 407.886.3939


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©2018 Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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All our products are designed to withstand the harsh weather and currents of the North Atlantic, and can be tailor made for your specific needs.

Visit us at Aqua Nor - Stand D-320

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07/08/2019 11:17:22

Aqua Nor 2019 – OCEIN advertorial

Stealth health Revolutionary technology brings efficient and gentle net washing


CEIN (Ocean Innovation), the Norwegian innovation and development company, has further increased its presence within the aquaculture industry. Ocein has utilised its experience in the blue water industries of oil and gas, diving, construction and aquaculture, to bring the Stealth Cleaner Mark2 -ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to market. After two years in development and a test period which involved washing 3,500 nets, Ocein is confident it has a completely new and innovative solution for the gentle and efficient washing of nets. Ocein COO Roy Magne Ohren told Fish Farmer: ‘Stealth Cleaner is probably the most efficient and gentle multi-tool groove cleaner on the market, combining a large amount of water with low pressure to reduce wear and tear on use.’ The unique triangular design of the Stealth Cleaner gives 360-degree manoeuvrability which allows the ROV to get to even the most difficult places within the nets, ensuring unparalleled cleaning with the minimum of disruption. A revolutionary pressure flow technology delivers exceptionally effective cleaning without any wearing on the groove. This multi-tool is of an electric powered, modular design, which means the Stealth Cleaner can ‘swim’ harmoniously with the fish in the cages without any risk of spillage and without high frequency sounds or vibrations, therefore keeping stress to a minimum. ‘This is very important for fish health,’ said Ohren. ‘Fish react negatively to high frequencies and vibration, and as the Stealth Cleaner is electric, there is no danger of damaging the fish or the environment.’ Fitted with seven thrusters and seven washing discs, four cameras and four LED lights, a high pressure umbilical hose and a patented front cleaning tool, the Stealth Cleaner is highly efficient and effective as both a washer and inspection robot. The success of this ROV can be measured with sales already reaching 30 units since its launch. The increase in demand is attracting overseas interest, which has seen the company expand and employ more staff and seek distribution opportunities in other territories. The cleaner washes at a speed of 3-4 knots, combines large amounts of water with low pres-

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sure, and is easy to control, even in the most difficult areas. The ROV moves smoothly and easily through the water, meaning it can be quickly moved on to the next cage. It is both fast and efficient, and with the benefit of four cameras, washing is easily monitored, particularly ensuring effective removal of any fouling in or on the groove. And after the inspection and cleaning process, the Stealth Cleaner facilitates documentation and reporting. ‘Stealth Cleaner is probably the only multi-tool in the industry,’ said Ohren. ‘Further development will be to build on this concept - that one product can be used for several operations. It supports our philosophy on sustainability.’ Ingrid Sara Grimstad Amundsgård, CCO at Ocein, said: ‘Our mission at Ocein is to make service operations for aquaculture safer and more efficient - for people, for fish, and for the environment. At Ocein, our vision is to see and go ‘beyond innovations’.’ Visit Ocein at stand A-115, and S-905 (

Stealth “Cleaner is

probably the most efficient and gentle multitool groove cleaner on the market

Left: Stealth Drum Below: Stealth Cleaner Mk II


07/08/2019 15:17:32

Aqua Nor 2019 – Morenot advertorial


offers mower Norwegian company introduces sustainable robotic technology


HE opening day of Aqua Nor will see the winner of the Nor-Fishing Innovation Award announced. Nominated as one of the three finalists is Mørenot's NetRobot X2, a new autonomous underwater, net cleaning robot. Mørenot Robotics has developed a robot that prevents fouling growth on the net. The company is experiencing high interest in the product, which is expected to increase further due to the innovation competition, where the company is up against CleanTreat, from Benchmark, and SpectraLice, developed by Ecotone NetRobot X2 is an autonomous underwater robot that when placed on to a clean net underwater will keep the net wall continuously clean and free of fouling through low intensity brushing. The underlying principle is the same as for a robot lawn mower, and the innovative product developed by Mørenot Robotics has received much positive attention. 'Mørenot strives to be a leader – both in thought and action – in driving the sustainable


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development of the fishing and aquaculture industries,' said May-Linn Harvik, marketing manager at Mørenot. 'NetRobot X2 is an example of our innovative solutions that contribute to the environment, the fish’s well-being and growth performance, as well as the economic result of the farmer. 'We have experienced high interest in the product, and we are proud to be nominated for the innovation award at Aqua Nor.' Norway based Mørenot is currently present in key markets and is expanding, amid expectations of rising demand for its products and services. This is fuelled by an increasing need for sustainably harvested food from the sea as the world’s population grows. According to the World Health Organisation, the total food fish supply and hence consumption has been growing at a rate of 3.6 per cent per year since 1961, while the world’s population has been expanding at 1.8 per cent per year. The average per capita consumption of seafood increased from about 9kg per year in the early 1960s to 16kg in 1997. The per capita availability of fish and fishery products has therefore nearly doubled in 40 years, outpacing population growth. Along with increased supply and demand comes a need for more

Far left: Rune Rorstad (middle) CEO of Morenot Robotics and inventor of NetRobot Below: The NetRobot X2on trial on a cage Opposite: The NetRobot X2

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Morenot offers mower

is gentle both on the “netTheandprocess the fish....and cost efficient compared with traditional net cleaning methods

sustainable operations, driven by demand from consumers and industry regulations. Harvik said:'Mørenot experiences a high demand for solutions that reduce costs, boost efficiency and promote sustainable operations for customers in the fishing and aquaculture industry. 'At a time of rapid climate change and growing populations, we are setting new industry standards to sustainably harvest food from the sea.' Fouling on aquaculture nets follows the same cycle as in nature – the organisms start to grow in spring and continue growing throughout the summer and autumn. When the seawater gets warmer, the amount of fouling increases, and nets may need to be cleaned every two weeks. NetRobot X2 is quiet and works continuously so that fouling organisms are not allowed to settle on the net. The robot has electric thrusters that ensure proper pressure against the net and manoeuvering according to the operating pattern needed to clean the entire net wall. The brushing process is gentle, both on the net and on the fish. The solution is also cost efficient compared with traditional net cleaning methods. 'The fish show no sign of stress when a NetRobot X2 is working,' said Harvik. 'The operation will therefore not cause a reduction in the feed intake, and a healthy growth rate can be maintained. 'The robot brushes the net 24/7, thereby preventing the fouling from settling and eliminating the need for jetting. The underlying principle is the same as for a robot lawn mower.' Mørenot begun the development of NetRobot X2 together with Plastfabrikken at Bodø two years ago. The robotic technology is inspired by similar technology used to collect oil spills and has been tested by pilot costumers. Over the past months, a number of contracts have been signed and the NetRobot X2 has been at work in numerous locations along the Norwegian coast. Mørenot Aquaculture is exhibiting at Aqua Nor 2019 on stand A-101. FF

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The NetRobot X2 • Developed by Mørenot Robotics, a part of the Mørenot Group • The fully automatic NetRobot X2 is designed to keep nets free from fouling through continuous low intensity brushing • The internal brushes are gentle both on the net and on the fish • Two thrusters keep the machine pressed against the net, while four additional thrusters control horizontal and vertical movements • The fish show no sign of stress when a NetRobot X2 is working – it will therefore not cause a reduction in the feed intake • The NetRobot X2 is cost efficient compared with traditional net cleaning methods • The robot weighs 15kg and is built with PE plastic. Dimensions: 75 x 75 x 15 cm. Some 25 metres of cable connect the robot to power (350 watt per hour)

Above: The NetRobot X2 on a net


07/08/2019 15:16:02

Aqua Nor 2019– VAKI advertorial

VAKI makes the grade Aqua Nor launch for new Smart Grader and Smart Flow System


HE VAKI product range has been setting standards and providing cutting edge technology in the aquaculture industry for more than 30 years. The accurate reporting of information that its products provide, has given the industry the ability to maximise operational efficiency, improve resource planning and optimise decision making. Established in 1986, VAKI has built up a strong business worldwide in over 60 countries. Focusing on the design and manufacture of high quality fish handling, counting


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and grading solutions, the company prides itself on working closely with customers to identify needs, with a continuous focus and drive towards future innovation and development for the aquaculture industry. The latest innovative development is the VAKI Smart Grader and Smart Flow System, which the company will be unveiling at Aqua Nor. VAKI Smart Flow System allows the farmer to simultaneously control and monitor the complete pumping, grading and counting process from one device. The Smart Flow System gathers and stores information on the selection of size and quantity for all the graded and counted fish. With the recent advances in machine to machine (M2M) technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), VAKI has integrated the two technologies and applied them to the Smart Flow System. Advancements enable the machines to communicate, collect, store, exchange and report data autonomously. Minimal human involvement or intervention is required, as the machines ‘talk’ to each other and work together to make decisions and perform tasks. The most integral part of the VAKI Smart Flow System is the ability to optimise and maximise the accuracy and precision of the pumping, grading and counting process through a remote, connectivity powered collection of data. The VAKI Smart Grader is a 10-track grader and has a uniquely designed inlet which allows the fish to be evenly distributed across the width of the grader, thus utilising all the 10 tracks for maximum results. To deliver accurate grading of the fish, the rollers are machined and balanced in high precision specialised laser equipment. The grader out-

Left and opposite: The VAKI Smart Grader Opposite (top): Diagram showing how all the devices can be controlled electronically ‘on the fly’

07/08/2019 15:14:21

VAKI makes the grade

lets can be mounted either side of the grader, are easily removed for cleaning, and designed with a double slope to both minimise any impact on the fish and ensure free flow away from the grader. From the touch screen, the rotation speed of the rollers can be finely controlled and the inclination of the main sorting unit raised from 0 - 10° electronically. The opening of the grader is with electric linear actuators that can be controlled either directly from the touchscreen on the grader or remotely from the VAKI counter, or in Smart Flow mode automatically by the VAKI counter which counts, size measures and calculates the split between the grades. By integrating a feedback loop between the grader and the counter, both opening and rotation settings of the grader can be adjusted automatically to reach the optimal quantity of fish in each category. The opening for each grade is displayed on a digital display. The grader is built in high grade stainless steel 316L and selected plastic materials that are corrosion and water resistant. ‘As a company, we are always looking towards the future and will continue to do so through our dedication to technical innovation and new solutions to the aquaculture industry,’ said Gareth Hammond from VAKI. The VAKI Smart Flow and VAKI Smart are the next generation in technical innovation, incorporating machine to machine and the Internet of Things technology to improve the operational efficiency on-site. By enhancing the precision

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The VAKI Smart grader is a 10 track grader and has “a uniquely designed inlet which allows the fish to be

evenly distributed across the width of the grader thus utilising all the 10 tracks for maximum results

and accuracy of the pumping, grading and counting process using the Smart Flow system, and by adopting new technology to further enhance business performance, the company can help the sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry. FF VAKI will be at Aqua Nor on stand F-526


07/08/2019 15:14:41

Aqua Nor 2019 – Normex advertorial

Catching the Razone Sustainable systems for aquaculture water treatment and disinfection


HE Norway based company Normex has more than 16 years’ experience in developing innovative disinfecting and water treatment solutions for the aquaculture and seafood industry. Since its start-up in 2003, the Aalesund firm has delivered more than 300 systems to various companies in aquaculture, maritime and fisheries worldwide. Normex environmentally friendly technology provides clean water, increased fish welfare, increased biosecurity and disinfection without the use of chemicals. The company claims to provide complete solutions, taking part in the entire process from design and engineering to commissioning, user training and follow-up through service agreements. The overall goal of the company is ‘making a clean difference’ and Normex therefore has a strong focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions that are in line with several of the UN’s sustainability goals.

‘Ozone plays a central role in our solutions,’ said Normex managing director Stig Ove Johansen. ‘Ozone is formed by oxygen (O2) in an electric discharge in an ozone generator. Ozone (O3) is a very powerful and effective oxidising agent and eliminates micro-organisms and pathogens in water. ‘After ozone has reacted with micro-organisms in the water, it returns to its original form: oxygen. ‘Since 2003, we have built up a very broad expertise in disinfection and purification of water, process water and waste water. ‘Together with international industrial partners, and public research institutions, we have developed several innovative solutions in our product portfolio.’ The key to land based farming is good water quality, said Normex. By eliminating micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, biosecurity increases and the risk of disease is reduced. By removing micro-particles and colour in the water, the fish welfare increases. The end product is higher quality and survival. For breeders, this means increased dividends and a stronger environmental profile for customers who are becoming increasingly aware of sustainable solutions and environmental footprints.” Normex Razone ozone skimmer Normex has developed an optimal water quality system for land based fish farming, for increased biosafety and fish welfare. Top right: Normex Razone skimmer installed in a RAS system Right: Water samples from the RAS system. Raw water in left bucket. Other buckets after phase 1 and phase 2 treatment Far left: Shoving floated material developed during the skimming process Left: Skimmed off material without algae


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Catching the Razone

‘Normex Razone is a unique solution for water purification in land-based farming,’ said Johansen. ‘The system contributes to a significant improvement in water quality. ‘In RAS systems, the organic load is often high. The danger is, therefore, great for both infections and blooms of harmful micro-organisms, micro-particles, micro-pollutants and adverse H2S problems.’ Normex has developed Normex Razone to meet these challenges through the efficient elimination of micro-organisms and the removal of micro-particles and contaminants through an ozone flocculation and skimming process. Normex Razone skimmer works just as well in freshwater as in seawater, and it is compact, easy to operate and has low operating costs, said the company. ‘Our control system regulates ozone concentrations against the current water quality and can be linked to the overall control system for the plant,’ said Johansen. ‘By removing micro-particles, micro-organisms and micro-pollutants, the water gets optimal quality which improves fish health, biosecurity and fish welfare, and prevents the build-up of micro-pollutants in aquaculture RAS systems.’ Normex Razone ozone skimmer effectively removes unwanted micro-particles, which are not extracted using existing treatment solutions. The water is treated in a two-phase skimming process, in a side stream configuration. In phase 1, the water is ozonated and microflocculated and in phase 2 the waste materials are skimmed out. ‘In our solutions, ozone plays a very central role,’ said Johansen. ‘Ozone (O3) reacts with all oxidisable material, organic as well as inorganic, and is far more reactive than chlorine to render bacteria, fungi and viruses harmless. ‘The reaction time for ozone is very short and requires much less contact time than other chemical substances. Ozone is also very effective in removing and clearing water.’ The company claims that the use of Normex Razone ozone skimmer gives: • Improved biosecurity • Improved fish welfare • More effective feed utilisation • Increased fish growth • Reduced risk of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) build-up. For more information contact Stig Ove Johansen on +47 91 70 80 23 or email, Normex is exhibiting at Aqua Nor on stand A-152.

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The water gets optimal quality which “improves fish health, biosecurity and fish welfare ”

The Normex Razone skimmer system operates in two Phases: Phase 1: Circulation water in RAS, or inlet water to the through-flow system, is led into the NORMEX RAZONETM reaction tank. The cleaning process takes place by: • Ozone is injected • Oxidation occurs • Clearing and color removal • Formation of microflocks

Phase 2: In phase 2 Tiny microbubbles are injected and flocculated particles are passed to the surface and form a sludge layer consisting of: • Microparticles • Algae • Dissolved metals • Ammonium and nitrite • Feed leftovers and stools The sludge layer is removed from the top and led to the sludge tank.


07/08/2019 15:13:01

Aqua Nor 2019 – Nauplius Workboats advertorial

All you need is LUV Workboat co-operator is also a systems integrator


ASED in Groningen, the Netherlands, Nauplius Workboats designs, develops and delivers turnkey solutions for the aquaculture industry worldwide, innovating workspace and increasing efficiency. Its founding partners and CEOs, Gerrit Knol and Jaap van den Hul-Kuijten, grew up on boats. Their focus had always been marine oriented, when they teamed up and created their own yachting and workboat designs. Next generation LUVs In 2018, Nauplius Workboats became the first company to design and build vessels in line with the demands of fish farming. The 1907 Landing Utility Vessel (LUV) is a hybrid design - between a landing craft and a multi-cat vessel, placing the wheelhouse on the side. The decision to invest in a larger work deck and easier access has been appreciated as the company makes a name for itself in the Scottish fish farming market. Last year, several of its 1907 LUVs were operational with Marine Harvest Scotland, now Mowi. Ship’s length workdeck The new generation 1907 LUVs are certified for


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60 nautical miles and designed for the harsh environments of the North Sea. Nauplius Workboats recognises that those in the fish farming and maritime world rightly expect more than a standard workboat these days, with increasing demand for specific working conditions. All aspects and practical experience, with feedback from operators, is put to use by continuously updating the design. ‘The 1907 LUV distinguishes itself by a special layout: a work deck on starboard along the entire ship’s length, facing the side of the pen,’ said Knol, who is also technical director of Nauplius Workboats. ‘This was realised by placing the superstructure at portside. ‘There is also enough space for a large crane, an HS Marine AK40 HE4 and an Akva net washer mounted on deck.’ The 1907 LUV is designed for manoeuvrability. At 20m in length and with 7.25m beam, it has a relatively small footprint, making it cost efficient. It has a dead weight of 60 tonnes. However, there is still ample space for four occupants in the two cabins, each with a bunk bed. The vessels are equipped with all the modern day comforts, with each occupant having an optional wall mounted TV and access to the internet. Mowi Scotland is incorporating the 1907 LUVs at Uist, Barra and Muck. The fourth vessel will go to Carradale before Christmas 2019. ‘Keeping all Nauplius Workboats vessels 100 per cent tailor made is our mission and always fully in line with the requirements of our client,’ said Knol. ‘And keeping the operational costs for the client as low as possible is cooperating on mutualy beneficial ground.’ The formula is working out, with the success of the 1907 LUVs leading to a follow up order for three more boats- for the larger version, the 2712 LUV.

Above: Beinn Dearg 2712 LUV during transit to Scotland for Mowi Opposite - (top): Askival 1907 LUV in operation in Scotland for Mowi (Below): Beinn Dearg 2712 LUV being loaded on to a pen in Scotland for Mowi

07/08/2019 14:59:11

All you need is LUV

Keeping all Nauplius vessels 100 per cent tailormade is our mission

cranes, an HS Marine AKC 145-20 HE4 and an AK 48-18,5 E5, as well as several trucks, and deck space for seven 20-feet containers and three 10-feet containers. System integration Nauplius Workboats also functions as a system integrator. Having completed the third 2712 LUV, which is to be deployed in the North Sea with DESS Aquaculture Shipping Norway, Nauplius Workboats is converting the vessel in the Netherlands, installing a four-line hydrolicer. ‘Seen from the designer’s perspective, we believe that a closer integration between the development of the marine platform and the working systems on board will give a far better operation of the vessel,’ said Kohl. ‘Currently, the 2712 LUV is fitted with a four-line hydrolicer, optimising the workdeck space within the Workboat Code. ‘This again will lead to reduced space consumption, fuel consumption, and reduced emissions, hence a greener operation.’

Both the 1907 and 2712 LUVs are built to the local laws and guidelines and the highest safety standards. Expanding and extending The 2712 LUV is equally suitable for the open sea, and these three boats will be used as service boats and for fish feed deliveries. Designed as a six, single cabin vessel, and providing a relaxing environment for free time, means the crew on board return to work refreshed and ready for their next shift. Quality is always a consideration. The 27m long vessel has space for two

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Complete on-deck units Nauplius Workboats is committed to delivering the very best vessels, cost efficiency and work solutions to aquaculture. The company recognises, alongside its clients, that the fish farming industry is experiencing a challenging transformation, like many other industries. Nauplius Workboats aim to continue to assist by providing very reasonably priced custom built Landing Utility Vessels, leading to efficiencies in customer operations, including while carrying out delicing or peroxiding. Nauplius has created a new efficient design for complete on-deck units. The company is building heavy fuel oil (HFO) booster units for third parties, together with the recent development to design and build oxygen dosing units, and hydrogen peroxide dosing units. Enhancing workboat design and delivery processes, together with the recent development of further creating treatment systems and integration, have always been a strategic focus for the company. ‘We are grateful for the developing chances that this offers- vessels that exceed expectation and therefore lead to new assignments,’ said Knol. ‘Always emphasising the clients’ targets means that we are now adding services to our products, always customised to fit the needs.’ Nauplius Workboats is exhibiting at Aqua Nor 2019 on stand A-186.



07/08/2019 14:59:42

Our team h

“Through dedication, exper ie we strive to beat the un be

Value Proposition +47 456 07 019

Green Sea Lice.indd 82

07/08/2019 14:57:50

m have a dream

er ience and innovative thinking, un beatable at SealiceHunter� Visit us at Aqua Nor STAND No. S-910

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07/08/2019 14:58:11

Sea Machines – Advertorial



Workboats net big gains with autonomous technology


HE autonomous technology company Sea Machines, now based in Hamburg in addition to the company’s Boston, Massachusetts, home, knows exactly why it is in the aquaculture industry. European director Peter Holm explains: ‘Already providing nearly 50 per cent of the world’s fish for human consumption, the saquaculture industry will grow exponentially between now and 2050 to meet the nutritional demands of an expanding global population, which is expected to jump from seven to nine billion people during that same period.’ Establishing new fish farms both nearshore and very far offshore is one way to support future demands. But today’s industry leaders must also look at ways of increasing productivity and efficiency, as well as reducing operating costs, of existing operations to meet future needs, said Holm. Most fish farms are reliant upon a critical network of workboats, which may include any combination of live fish carriers, tugboats, patrol boats, fish feed barges, crew transfer vessels, pontoon boats, platform supply vessels (PSVs), dredgers and other types of utility craft. While each is specialised in some way, the total fleet is generally targeted towards three primary activities: fish handling; infrastructure installation and deactivation; and maintenance, support and transfer activities. In most cases, these marine assets provide the only access to offshore fish farms and others located in remote areas. ‘Workboats account for 20 per cent of the total cost of aquaculture,’ said Holm, ‘a reality that can hinder companies’ ability to expand operations and increase yields. ‘The good news is that innovative, new technology - specifically, Sea Machines autonomous command and remote control products- can be installed aboard existing or new build aquaculture boats to dramatically increase productivity, predictability, efficiency and safety.’ Fish handling The workboats that transport and distribute live fish and feed, perform delousing treatments and perform all other fish handling tasks are ideal

The aquaculture industry will grow to meet global nutritional demands

Clockwise from top left: . Sea Machines can be installed aboard vessels to increase productivity, predictability and safety; Sea Machines can be added to workboats as a retrofit or as part of newbuild specifications. Return on investment is typically seen within a year.


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candidates for marine autonomy. With a Sea Machines system on board, vessel routes can be programmed to optimise transport or station keeping (especially to deep sea fish farming sites), ensure obstacle avoidance and reduce crewing requirements. These benefits save time and money, while increasing safety, and ultimately helping operators to be more productive and efficient. Infrastructure installation and deactivation Operators looking to establish new farms will require towing and mooring support, marine anchoring and drilling, infrastructure construction and dredging. Each task will be performed by workboats, which can be optimised by autonomy. Pontoons and PSVs hauling out cage materials, construction supplies and fish farming equipment benefit from programmed routes and plans. Multiple workboats can be programmed to work collaboratively while maintaining a set speed and distance. This multiplier effect is especially beneficial for routine work, such as the installation of mooring and anchor systems. Using autonomous systems, operators aboard a mothership can also control a second unmanned workboat, such as a tugboat or daughter-craft,

07/08/2019 14:56:13

All photos : Sea Machines

Optimising autonomy

via remote control to reduce crewing costs. During deactivation phases, all the above capabilities apply, making decommissioning work more productive, efficient and safer. Maintenance, support and transfer The majority of workboat costs are associated with the maintenance of farms. Once established, automated aquaculture workboats can optimise most routine tasks. Workboats using programmable routes and patterns to haul feed, monitor operation sites, clean nets and dredge the sea beds beneath farms can be tasked to operate in an unmanned autonomous configuration or via remote control. Sea Machines enabled boats don’t require stop-work periods for crew shift changes or reduced night-time operations. When operators’ boats are equipped with complimentary technology, such as thermal cameras, autonomous and unmanned workboats can operate 24/7, in nearly all sea states and conditions (ideal for offshore farms). Obstacle avoidance features also prevent costly on-site incidents that can damage cage systems and marine assets. The workboats that transfer personnel, such as feed barge operators and divers, similarly benefit from obstacle avoidance, collaborative and

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remote operations and more. Further, the programmed routes and station keeping capabilities reduce operator fatigue, a major casualty factor in marine incidents during nighttime operations, long distance transfers and challenging sea states. ‘Sea Machines designed its products to work collaboratively with other remote operated systems, and on-board equipment that supports cage fish farming,’ said Holm. These may include payload controls for marine equipment, such as winches and cranes, surface, underwater and thermal cameras; specialised sensors; and aquaculture monitoring systems. Such connectivity optimises performance and data collection. Leaders in the fisheries and aquaculture industries are already starting to optimise their operations with autonomy. Those who take advantage of Sea Machines’ products will, in most cases, see return on investment realised within a year due to increases productivity, predictability and efficiency, said the company. The Sea Machines SM300 or SM200 can be added to workboats as a retrofit or as part of new-build specifications, typically requiring only 10 components to install. Even for small fleets, the system is surprisingly accessible, thanks to an affordable price point or flexible leasing options. These systems are designed to support fishery workboats in a wide range of coastal, harbour and offshore aquaculture activities and across all climates, from Arctic to tropical. Holm concludes: ‘Sea Machines ensures aquaculture fish farming workboats perform at the most productive and efficient level, allowing operators to feed and grow fish. You can upgrade your aquaculture operations by contacting Sea Machines today.’ FF


07/08/2019 14:56:34

Sunderland Marine – Advertorial

Insure onshore Premium service for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems


HE development and management of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) is key to the future of fish farming, Allan Lyons, risk management surveyor for Sunderland Marine Insurance, told Fish Farmer.. Dublin based Lyons cut his teeth in the mid 2000s working in the then newly emerging technology in Australia and in the UK. He has been surveying farms worldwide for Sunderland Marine over the last 11 years. ‘I’ve seen everything from the multi-million dollar sites, right down to systems with only a couple of tanks and a second hand pump,’ he said. RAS has been used to rear salmon smolts for many years, producing significantly more fish than flow through systems, using the same amount of water. The reliability of equipment and increased efficiency enables farmers to locate near markets and avoid air transport costs (possibly also avoiding trade tariffs!) In the past, species such as tilapia and trout were grown to market size in RAS systems, but growing salmon to market size was not viable, for a number of reasons, said Lyons. These include the large size of a marketable salmon, which means a much larger standing biomass in the system; the higher cost compared to traditional cage farming; the perceived higher risk of mortality events in RAS farms; and a poor flavour profile in RAS produced fish. Modern RAS farms are being built which can now address these issues, meaning the farming of market size salmon in RAS farms is a fast growing sector of the industry. Improved technology has led to more reliable and cheaper equipment. Static probes monitor almost every parameter the farmer needs. These can be

linked to computer controlled systems which can be accessed remotely from anywhere in the world using Internet of Things (IoT). The highest risk period for RAS is the start-up phase, during the initial 12 to 18 months of production. Systems have become so large and complex that design and operating issues will inevitably occur. Ideally, proper monitoring and alarms will pick up on these issues before they result in large losses.

Photo: Patrick Tigges at Billund Aquaculture

Above: Huon Aquaculture’s new Whale Point RAS salmon smolt facility Left: The Whale Point, Tasmania, facility, where smolts can be grown to 500g Opposite: Whale Point facility from above; Allan Lyons of Sunderland Marine Insurance


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Insure onshore

But accidents do still happen, said Lyons. RAS reared fish typically have much lower medicine use than fish grown in traditional systems as diseases can be prevented from entering the system through good biosecurity protocols. However, if disease does somehow manage to get into the system, then it can be very difficult to stop it spreading through the entire site. Despite the significant advances in equipment and monitoring, the number one risk factor in RAS is often still human error, believes Lyons. ‘Properly trained staff is at the core of every successful RAS,’ he said. A farm can have all the monitors and alarms in the world, but the staff must be able to understand exactly what issues can arise and know how to react. ‘Having proper protocols in place goes a long way to preventing problems occurring and, if problems do occur, preventing them resulting in mortality events. ‘Good staff can spot a potential issue long before any alarm sounds, the fish themselves can also signal a problem through their behaviour, and staff should be able to pick up the early warning signs.’ Historically, insuring RAS farms has been a difficult task, but with modern systems, well trained staff and good risk management, these systems are now insurable as stand-alone entities instead of as part of larger farming enterprises. Lyons told Fish Farmer: ‘When we visit RAS farms, we like to see healthy, happy fish which are growing well. We want to make sure that all equipment is maintained properly by well trained staff and there are ample back-ups within the system and spares on site are readily available to be installed by competent people.

Sunderland Marine.indd 87

‘We also want to see that the site staff have a full understanding of water quality and that there is comprehensive monitoring in place.’ Looking to the future, pressure from environmental groups means that there is a growing market for salmon farmed in RAS allowing competition with traditional farming systems. ‘It is likely that RAS may become the only viable way to produce smolts for salmon farming due to production and environmental pressures,’ said Lyons. For the medium term, this will likely remain the main use of RAS and will be the driver for much of the technological advances and increased availability of training courses for staff. Despite improvements, RAS farming is still a relatively risky operation compared to traditional farming systems and this is reflected in current insurance premiums. Full production of salmon in RAS will continue to grow as the market demands. It will be a long time before full RAS production comes close to the levels of production of traditional cage production farming, but at its current pace of growth and investment, soon big cage farming companies will be looking over their shoulders at these potential market disruptors. ‘With increased, significant and continued technology advances and acceptable insurance results, it is probable that premiums will reduce for RAS in the future,’ said Lyons. ‘As climate change affects the cage culture environment more, it may not be too long before we see parity in the insurance rates of RAS and traditional cage farming due to changing risk profiles.’ For further information, contact Allan Lyons, risk management surveyor at Sunderland Marine Insurance: (www. FF

With increased, significant and continued technology advances and acceptable insurance results, it is probable that premiums will reduce for RAS in the future


07/08/2019 14:52:56


Young’s in safe hands Future bright with new buyer and new boss for seafood giant BY VINCE MCDONAGH


IFTEEN months of uncertainty have finally come to a close for Young’s Seafood and its 2,000 strong workforce. When a private equity group led by Lion Capital put the company up for sale in April last year, most observers thought a deal would be struck by the end of the summer of 2018. Several names were flagged up as potential buyers, including the Japanese corporate giant Mitsubishi and Sun Capital Partners, best known as owners of the Bonmarche fashion chain and the bedmaker Dreams. But CapVest, Young’s private equity owner of 11 years ago, was always waiting in the wings and now they have been reunited, this time through a tie up with the pork producer Karro Foods, which CapVest bought two years ago. The union has created what is described as a ‘multi-protein food group with significant potential for further growth’. The two will operate as separate businesses, although under the direction of Karro’s highly regarded chairman, Di Walker, who is now chief executive of the enlarged organisation. She has already made her intentions clear, declaring it was an opportunity to develop an ambitious food business of considerable scale. Young’s and Karro, she added, were complementary businesses which would have strong market positions in two important protein categories that were experiencing consistent long term growth. It has been a difficult and unsettling year and a half for Young’s, particularly following the closure of the Pinneys salmon site at Annan which saw production moved to Grimsby. But perhaps the biggest surprise in the whole package was the appointment of Seachill managing director, Simon Smith, the man behind Seachill’s highly successful Saucy Fish brand, as chief executive of Young’s.


Vince.indd 88

Bill Showalter’s departure was not entirely unexpected after he had successfully completed the sale process. He had also boosted sales and launched Young’s products into North America during his tenure, and no doubt he may look for something new in either seafood or food. Simon Smith taking over will be well received in Grimsby. No one knows the seafood industry better and he has a talent for predicting eating trends among the public. He will also have a loyalty and commitment to Grimsby, which is still Europe’s largest single seafood processing centre. And he is likely to bring the same product innovation to Young’s as he brought to Seachill with Saucy Fish a few years ago. Young’s, which has more than a £500 million a year turnover, will now want to look forward. It took a lot of flak from politicians in Scotland when it closed Pinneys – although, in reality, the business was not sustainable even when

We are “certain to

see a more dynamic company, with new products and possible further overseas expansion

Top: Simon Smith Left: Young’s Scampi Popcorn Bites Opposite (top): Di Walker (middle): Bill Showalter (below): Wynne Griffiths

07/08/2019 14:51:08

Young’s in safe hands

Young’s bought it in 2009. And it took a long time to recover from the loss of the Sainsbury’s salmon contract to what was then Marine Harvest in 2015, a loss said to have cost the company at least £80 million. But on the plus side, turnover has held up reasonably well, important new contracts have been secured and Young’s has made a successful foray into the North American market. It has also bought a large site in Grimsby, almost certainly as a foundation for future expansion. Clearly, to have come back a second time, CapVest must have a lot of faith in Young’s and will do everything to drive its growth. Young’s former chief executive, Wynne Griffiths, told the Grimsby Telegraph he had tremendous support from CapVest during his time at the helm and felt sure the reunion would hugely benefit the business. Young’s is Britain’s biggest seafood brand and it also has a sizeable own label business, with Asda and Marks & Spencer among its customers. It supplies almost every type of seafood, from salmon and shellfish to cod and haddock. Its Gastro and Chip Shop ranges are best-selling brands. But to the outsider, fish and pork might seem strange bedfellows. And this is the second major deal of this kind; some 18 months ago, the red meat supplier Hilton Foods paid £80 million for Seachill.

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Hilton is well pleased with its purchase, saying recently that it is making a strong contribution to sales and profits. And Seachill is now Hilton’s template for seafood expansion overseas. CapVest must be hoping that Young’s and Karro will soon start to blaze a similar trail. Although not immediately evident, there are a lot of synergies between the two that should make this happen. The likes of Hilton and Karro are coming under a great deal of pressure, with the food police urging people to eat less meat for the sake of their health and the planet, claiming that cattle are a major contributor to greenhouse gases. The casual observer will have noticed the increasing appearance of vegan or plant based food products on the supermarket shelves over the past year or so, catering to a new type of consumer. So having a more diverse protein portfolio makes business sense. Seafood companies have pressures of their own, not least the rising cost of the main raw materials. Cod and haddock prices have risen by an average of 15 per cent over the past 18 months and, with further quota cuts looming, are likely to go even higher. And, apart from the occasional short lived price dip, it is the same story with salmon. There is also the task of winning over the under 25s, who do not see fish as a convenient foodstuff. It is interesting to note that Young’s has recently launched its Scampi Popcorn Bites, a product clearly aimed at a younger audience, who like to snack. Seachill has also introduced cod croquettes, which have the same attraction, and no doubt there will be more innovations of this type from these two Grimsby stables. CapVest is determined that Young’s and Karro should not stand still, and we are certain to see a more dynamic Young’s, with new products and possible further overseas expansion. China and Europe (Brexit permitting) are two possibilities. And, who knows? It may not be too long before Young’s is listed on the London Stock Exchange. FF


07/08/2019 14:51:43

Processing News

Scottish food brands join forces

Grimsby firms sees organic sales soar

John Ross Jr has announced a new collaboration with fellow Scottish business and Royal Warrant holder Donald Russell, Britain’s leading online and mail order meat supplier. succulent texture and delicate flavour, since 1857. John Ross Jr’s ‘slow food’ ethos aligns perfectly with that of Donald Russell, which is proud to keep the traditional craft of butchery alive and also uses time honoured techniques to prepare its meat by hand. Christopher Leigh, John Ross Jr CEO, said: ‘We’re delighted to partner with another longstanding and much loved food Above: Christopher Leigh lights the kilns (photo: John Ross Jr) brand, especially one that shares the mark of to Donald Russell’s Salmon with Malt JOHN Ross Jr, one of excellence afforded by Inverurie premises, Whisky and Scottish the last remaining the Royal Warrant. and are listed by Hisproducers of tradition- Smoked Salmon with ‘Donald Russell is toric Scotland for their Cracked Black Pepper. ally prepared Scottish well known for its John Ross Jr’s tradi- cultural significance. smoked salmon, has exceptional approach They have also been tional red brick kilns created two products used to smoke salmon to providing the very are situated on the exclusively for Donald best produce via mail Russell, which include edge of Aberdeen har- using artisanal techbour, the nearest port niques, which creates a order and we’re proud a Scottish Smoked

Cultural significance

We’re delighted to partner with another longstanding and much loved food brand

to be making our products available to its international customer base.’ Tazio Gagliardi, managing director of Donald Russell, added: ‘We are lucky to have such expertise and talent on our doorstep. ‘It gives me great pleasure to join forces with another world renowned company to showcase our fantastic local produce.’

Expanding Rosyth sets new records THE Consumer Products team at Mowi Scotland’s Rosyth factory celebrated its best month ever in May, with a 43 per cent increase in volume compared to the same period last year. Rosyth produced 8,900 tonnes, compared to 6,225 tonnes in May 2018, according to the July issue of Mowi’s newsletter, The Scoop. The team went on to smash another record in June, recording the biggest volume of head on gutted salmon processed in a week: 485 tonnes.

Above: Mowi Scotland processing plant

Gary Paterson, head of operations at Rosyth, said: ‘We simply would not have achieved these results without the goodwill and strong teamwork that is part of our culture here at Rosyth.’

Processor in major expansion

Rosyth is also in the middle of developing Hall B and increasing the chilled storage capacity. A new by-products area will also be created as this has been identified as a growth area for the company. The additions to the site at Rosyth will be completed in the autumn. Mowi expects to produce more than 60,000 tonnes of salmon in Scotland in 2019, and is already using the company’s Irish processing facility, in Donegal, to absorb some of its production.

will continue to invest in the seafood industry.’ LESS than three months after being taken Nissui is the world’s second largest seafood over by the Japanese marine giant Nissui, and marine business and in May its European the Grimsby seafood processing company arm acquired a 75 per cent stake in Flatfish, Flatfish is embarking on a multi-million regarded as one of the most advanced seafood pound expansion. businesses in the UK. The development was announced Nissui is also a global leader in farmed salmon during a visit to the company in July by and trout with extensive facilities in Chile. It fisheries minister Robert Goodwill. has an annual turnover of 7.8 billion yen. Flatfish plans to double its production Nissui said in a statement that the acquisition capacity, mainly to serve the supermarket Above: Robert Goodwill fitted well with its strategy to strengthen its chain Waitrose, its principal customer. seafood supply chain in the UK following its acquisition The investment will also include a new training facility. of Sealord Caistor (formerly Sealord), near Grimsby two Chief executive Steve Stansfield told the minister it years ago. would be a world class facility, adding: ‘Despite Brexit, we


Processing News.indd 90

Above: Frozen team leader Iuliana Popescu and JCS Fish founder and director Andrew Coulbeck

GRIMSBY based JCS Fish said sales of its organic salmon are up by about 25 per cent since last year. Some 35 per cent of the company’s BigFish brand are now organic and this figure is expected to increase. This month, the company achieved Organic Food Federation Conformity status for the ninth consecutive year. The family owned firm remains one of only a handful of UK salmon suppliers accredited to handle and sell certified organic salmon. Jack Coulbeck, JCS commercial manager, said: ‘BigFish organic salmon fillets are a premium product, made using fish reared more slowly and farmed using the most natural conditions possible.’ The UK organic food market overall is estimated to be worth £2.33 billion a year, according to the Soil Association Organic Market 2019 report. The majority of BigFish organic sales are online.

07/08/2019 14:50:07


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Opinion – Inside track

Electric dreams BY NICK JOY


N April 2016, under no illusions about likelihood, I put a deposit down on a Tesla 3. The word then was that I would get it around the end of 2017 and it would cost around £27k. I didn’t believe either statement. I did it because I believe that those of us who can, should try to reduce our footprints, and leading the way is also critical. Within a month, Tesla had 400,000 cars ordered around the world, and so it continued. As the deposit was £1,000, Tesla had raised £0.4 billion! It’s not a bad way to fund your business and to show your backers that your market and brand are strong. So, about a month ago I finally got word from Tesla that my car would be arriving fairly soon, not bad after three years. I will not go into the difficulties of dealing with the sales team or getting information, or the convoluted system for reaching the point of delivery. Suffice it to say that Elon Musk is undoubtedly a great innovator and motivator, but he and his organisation are not great administrators. I look forward to receiving my car whenever it arrives. Meanwhile, people continue debating whether such cars are a good idea. I find this attitude challenging but Luddites have been around a long time. These cars are ready and the infrastructure is good enough. There are also advantages about them that I had not anticipated. The Tesla 3 actually states in its manual that it is not expected it will be serviced, adding to the cheapness of the energy to run it. After all, the car will do 200 or more miles on a single charge and the cost of charging is around 2p per mile. My colleague, the MD of a Scottish textile company, who has an ‘S’, said that his only problem was not using the brakes enough. Because the energy is recovered from stopping, the driver rarely uses the brakes. In time, this can cause them to require maintenance. The current forecast on these cars is that they are designed for a life of 500,000 miles. That should see me to the point when I have no wish to drive any more. So, apart from feeling smug at finally getting my car, what relevance does this have to aquaculture? We are already a highly environmentally friendly form of healthy food production, but in my view we can do better. All my career, I have operated vans, pick-ups and cars on the west coast of Scotland. These fleets often did very short trips and some of them low mileages. They are extremely necessary to our operation and usually return to the same place every night. They require refuelling and the fuel has to be transported to local tanks so that it can be readily available. As we all know, maintenance is such a pain in remote rural areas and getting engineers or mechanics is tough too. But electricity is usually available and easily accessible in


Nick Joy.indd 94

Our industry “has always

broken new ground and electric vehicles should be another area in which we lead’

most of our areas. So why has no company yet declared that their local fleets (apart from lorries and boats) would be all electric? Let’s even take it one step further; the managers often do large mileages but as modern electric cars now have the capacity to do more than 200 miles on a single charge, they too could convert. A bank of chargers on site would ensure that there was always a car available. Once installed, these units last an extremely long time. And it’s not as though it would be logistically difficult. There are a plethora of makes now and commercial vehicles are available too. Agriculture is starting to see the advent of electrically operated machinery and this will come too for aquaculture. Our industry has always broken new ground and this should be another area in which we lead. FF

07/08/2019 14:44:57



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Profile for Fish Farmer Magazine

Fish Farmer Magazine August 2019  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine August 2019  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977