Fish Farmer January 2022

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Fish Farmer JANUARY 2022



New approaches, new ingredients

Farming the high seas


The impact on aquaculture


Wild salmon

Debate over the industry’s future

Restocking the River Carron

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Editor’s Editor’s Welcome Welcome


ierra del Fuego, the southernmost province of Argen�na, has a good claim to the �tle he start newworld.” year always holds out hope of innova�on and change, even if the “The endofofa the persistence of the pandemic means 2022 is s� ll looking a li� le too Earlier this monthCovid-19 the regional legislature of that the province voted to ban open net much like last year. salmon farming. Coming on top of the Danish government’s decision last autumn to this issue of Fish we look at examples of freshstruggle thinking,offrom the curtail anyInfurther growth of fiFarmer sh farming at sea, and the ongoing the industry in ambi�ous designthe forclosure an “Ocean Ark” in floa� fish farmIslands, for loca� ons far out at sea, Canada to resist of farms theng Discovery it is clearer than evertothat the Finnish inventors who have found way in toorder repurpose shipping containers as fithe sh farming industry needs to make itsacase just toold stay in business. infrastructure for land-based farms. It’s not all gloom, however. At the North Atlan�c Seafood Forum – held online this year NeilPrime also reports a new development from Aquaculture Stewardship Council, – Sandy Norway’s MinisteronErna Solberg reiterated her the belief that investment in the blue which is using analysis of trace to ensure that the provenance seafood is what it economy is a route to saving theelements environment, not harming it. Also at theofNASF, chief is claimed be.analysts alike were in agreement that the industry’s biggest challenge is execu� ves to and We also look developments aquafeed, whereforalterna� ve protein sourcesthat’s are a good finding ways toat meet the world’singrowing demand their product – arguably, increasingly being explored in order to reduce the industry’s dependence on wild-caught fish. problem to have. The coming year will also bring some important policy choices. Bipar� san legisla� on In this issue we report on the NASF and also present the first part of a preview of Aqua Nor currently both the US Senate and the House of Representa�ves seeks to open 2021, onegoing of thethrough industry’s biggest trade shows. What’s happening in aq the a regenera� on of aoffprofi shore aquaculture in the United States. Theway Julytoissue also features le of Norcod, currently the front runner in the race to in the UK and around th In Canada, Joyce Murray, the newly appointed Minister of Fisheries, andRiber, the revive the cod farming industry. Find out why Norcod’s Chief Execu�ve,Oceans Chris�an What’s happening in aquacu Na�onalthis Coastguard, whether to follow her predecessor Bernade�e Jordan in believes �me theymust havedecide a model that works. w in the UK and around the wo taking a hard line net-pen aquaculture, the la�er’sand decision to end salmon We also focus onon two aquaculture projects in Guatemala The Bahamas that arefarming being JENNY HJUL –– EDITOR JENNYwhile HJUL EDITOR in the Discovery IslandsKvarøy region Arc� is currently under scru�ny byproject the Federal supported by Norway’s c, and on the “Øymerd” whichCourt. is se�ng out to JENNY JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR Meanwhile in Scotland, a new regulatory regime is taking shape. Dr Mar�n Jaffa’s column create a fish farm based on a floa�ng concrete island. Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions suggests that thelooks framework being sh proposed theleSco� sh Environment Protec� on Agency Nicki Holmyard at the shellfi farmers’byba� against tubeworm and this issue also places too much emphasis on the unproven impact of fi sh farms on wild salmon, while features special industry reports on Breeding and Gene�cs, Transport and Logis�cs and Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions HE salmon farming sector in Scotland, when it was to Hamish Macdonell Sco� shmonth Parliament appear towhere be increasingly he focus this istopictures on Europe, the internati is no coincidence that and videos of unhealthy Sthe Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal Li� ing and Cranes. reports that membersTof be thewere subject ofScotti a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced the aware of the industry’s importance. HEsalmon industry willsent soon gathering the (European to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti sh news from the shScotland, parliamentary inquiry into salmon farming sector in when itEAS was tosalmon he focus this month istopictures on Europe, the internati T is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal opportunity this would provide to explain how it month. operated. Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at the start of this These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy Best wishes, 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 Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had nothing to hide and, if given aof fair hearing, could Meet thehealth new chief exe We wishOutram all our readers a happy, safeopportunity sustainable 2022. conference, to be staged over fi ve days in the southern French images had this litt le to do with the current state Scotland’s fi sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fi ve Robert would provide explain how it month. operated. 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 address much of the criti cism levelled against it. Robert Outram city ofngs, Asto well asand, highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice are in decline and, inwe fact, at abe five- Meet meeti in nothing private, tolevels consider their report and must Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had hide if given fair hearing, thehealth new chief executiv conference, to beto staged over days in theaof southern images had litt le do with thefive current state Scotland’s ficould sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five Fish Farmer supported this but at times salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsohas feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, their recommendati ons been address much of the criti cism levelled against it. 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 farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions on emerging markets and look atinvolves the role ofthe fishusual This latest propaganda campaign, all made harder by leaks from within to anti -salmon Fish Farmer supported this atthe times salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsohas feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, theirbut recommendati ons been angling lobby, which had called foras the investi gatiRural on. But asngs the farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti anti -aquaculture suspects, came Holyrood’s Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4) farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions onpropaganda emerging markets and look atinvolves the role fishusual This campaign, allofthe madelatest harder by leaks from within the to anti -salmon sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat thethe social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the summer recess we to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom itgati suggests committ ee angling lobby, which had called for the investi on. But as farming inThe alleviati ngofpoverty. Increasingly, ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, as Economy activists. latest thesecame (see ourHolyrood’s newsindustry storyRural onmeeti page 4) became more opti misti c.into Weand now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture the contributi on it makes to global consider its draft report the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat the committ social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the summer recess we to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom it suggests ee Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977 food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that is toanti welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens cahoots with -farming Those who want toWe shut down thein asbe shut down this sector, rather than to those who operate became more misti c. now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability ofopti aquaculture and the contributi on ithave, makes toexpected, global consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to Also investi gati ngacti initi aties, veswhich inregard thenow developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry in a Dr favourable stepped their viti involve the within it.up food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that is tobreaching welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens cahoots with anti -farming Those who want to shut down thein asbe expected, shut down this sector, rather thanthe tohave, those who operate Meet the team Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about farming potenti al inthe Fish Farmer: Volume 44 Number 07 Volume 45 Number 01 light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental biosecure environments of farm sites to snatch photographs in Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, in any case, Also investi gati ngacti initi aties, veswhich inregard thenow developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry in a Dr favourable stepped viti involve breaching the within it.up their Editorial Board: Nigeria, both in catf ish and ti lapia culti vati on. Editorial Advisory Advisory Board: responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Contact us Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental biosecure environments of farm sites tosomething snatch photographs ingame Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, inof any case,ngthe Steve In Scotland, the summer has been a waiti Steve Bracken, Bracken, Hervé Hervé Migaud, Migaud, Jim Jim Treasurer, Treasurer, What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 campaigner fibeen lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for minister, dead haveboth always fortunate to have the support of their Nigeria, catf ish and tilapia culti vati on. responsibiliti seriously and will only ever invest the hope of fies nding incriminati ng businesses evidence against farmers. Onein committ ee’s fiin ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fish farmers Chris while the parliament is inthat recess and thethose members of Holyrood’s Chris Mitchell, Mitchell, Jason Jason Cleaversmith Cleaversmith Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 If the committ ee members, especially who have yet to fi shthat at aEwing, Marine site. Another saidofhea saw ‘hundreds’ Fergus toHarvest growhas sustainably. In Scotland, the summer something ngminister, game of Phil What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Thomas growth isfibeen sustainable. campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always fortunate tobeen have the support ofwaiti their and Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up and Hamish Hamish Macdonell Macdonell Email: Email: editor@fi visit aparliament farm, like tothe learn more about the of infested salmon in awould pen, but we only have his word against that But itsalmon should not go unchallenged that some MSPs onsubject the REC while the isroutram@fi in recess and members of Holyrood’s If the committ ee members, especially those who have yet to fi sh at Marine site. Another said hefarming. saw ‘hundreds’ Fergus toHarvest grow sustainably. theaEwing, evidence in their inquiry into salmon We don’tof expect Editor: Outram Editor: Robert RobertRural Outram their we have plenty of good stories in our May Even and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue weigh up Head Offi ce: Special Publica� ons, Fe� es Park, of theinquiry, professional vets and biologists who manage theissue. welfare of committ ee, with their own against the growth of Head Offi ce: Special Publica� ons, Fe� esto Park, visit a Economy farm, like toagendas learn more about the subject ofthetime infested salmon in go awould but we only have his word against that Buttheir itsalmon should not unchallenged that some MSPs on the REC report unti l pen, the autumn but hope the MSPs are using the bett er,farms they could head to Highlands later this month, where 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DL 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DLWe the evidence in their inquiry into salmon farming. don’t expect Designer: Balahura Designer: Andrew Andrewtheir Balahura these on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they wefully have plenty of good stories in ourgrowth May toinquiry, become acquainted with the facts about fithe shissue. farming. of the professional vets andagendas biologists who manage welfare of committ ee, with their own against the of theEven Doug McLeod Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s theirthey report unti l the autumn but hope the MSPs areas using theittiis, meit Ifthey the is proud of its high standards, itsalmon says are inwill aindustry positi on to inflthe uence the future course of farming, Commercial Commercial Manager: Manager: bett er, could head to Highlands later this month, where This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Subscriptions to become fully with the facts aboutof fish farming. biggest fish acquainted farming show. must mount aaquaculture much more robust defence itself, through its and of businesses vital toBracken. Scotland’s economy, we have a right Janice Janice Johnston Johnston Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod they will meet the industry en masse at Scotland’s serving employee, Steve We had no Subscrip� ons Fish Farmer Subscrip� ons Address: Fish Farmer If the isto proud of itsAddress: high standards, as itsalmon says itcollecti is, it ng are in aindustry positi on inflthe uence the future course oftrouble farming, This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore and look jjohnston@fi representati ve body, the SSPO, than it has done to date. The to know who they are, and we hope the industry, through its warm from his friendsdefence and colleagues tohave mark the biggest fishtributes farming show. Magazine Subscrip� ons, Warners Group Magazine Subscrip� ons, Warners Group must mount a much more robust of itself, through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we a right serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had nonothing, trouble collecti ng forward toand, seeing many of you there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gate before Publisher: Benne� Publisher: Alister Alisterrepresentati Benne� milestone along with rest of the industry, thefarmers team We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore and look Publica� ons plc, The Mal� ngs, Publica� ons plc, The Mal� ngs, vethey body, the SSPO, than itthe has done tothrough date. The to know who are, and wethe hope industry, its at Fish warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the should be prepared to fi ght back. the REC report is published. Farmer wish him all the very best for the future. West Street, Bourne West Street, Bourne forward toand, seeing many of the you there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gateatbefore Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet milestone along with rest of thenothing, industry, thefarmers team Fish Lincolnshire Lincolnshire PE10 9PH should prepared to fivery ghtPE10 back. the RECbe report published. Farmer wish himis all the best9PH for the future.

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

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


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

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

Cover: Salmon and Cover: Fish farm sturgeon farm maintenance ship Photo: Shu� in Skanevik�erstock orden, Norway Photo: Shu�erstock

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Tel: Tel: +44 +44 (0)1778 (0)1778 392014 392014

ons: UK Subscrip� ons: £75 £75 aa year year nowSubscrip� on @fishfarmermag Fish Farmer isUK ROW aa year ROW Subscrip� Subscrip�ons: ons: £95 £ year including including Facebook and Twitter Fish Farmer is now postage on -- All postage All Air Air Mail Facebook andthe Twitter Contact us Meet team

Meet thebybyteam Printed JJ Thomson Printed in in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Media Ltd Ltd Thomson Colour Colour Printers Printers Ltd, Ltd, Glasgow Glasgow ISSN ISSN 0262-9615 0262-9615 Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 Contact us Meet the team

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

Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit


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

3 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 Migaud, PatrickJim Smith and Jim Hervé Patrick Smith, PatrickMigaud, Smith, Treasurer and Fax: email: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, jhjul@fi Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowdsemail: William Dowds Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New player Dawn new Migaud, PatrickJim Smith and Jim Hervé Patrick Smith, PatrickMigaud, Smith, Treasurer and Editor: Jenny Hjul jhjul@fi Treasurer, Wiliam 12/07/2021 15:32:14 Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds Head Office: Special Publications, Dawn 11/01/2022 12:07:34 Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New player new Designer: Andrew Balahura


Fish F armer In the January issue... News

What’s happening in the UK and around the world

Processing News


Update from the processing sector



Martin Jaffa

Salmon Scotland


Hamish Macdonell



Nicki Holmyard



Sandy Neil

Lerøy Seafood Group


Vince McDonagh

Land-based farming


Sandy Neil

Climate change


Vince McDonagh



Difficult agenda for the new Fisheries Minister

Offshore farming

Ocean Ark offers a new concept in fish farming

Wild salmon

Robert Outram on the River Carron restocking project


Latest developments in aquafeed

Water treatments, systems and analysis Ensuring a good environment for fish

Underwater services What’s New Monthly update on industry innovations and solutions

Aqua Source Directory All the latest aquaculture events, conferences and courses Nick Joy


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44-45 46-51 52-54

60 62-63

Find all you need for the industry




From divers to drones

Industry Diary


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10/01/2022 14:38:35

United Kingdom News


Fall in wild salmon numbers ‘not down to fish farms’

FISH farms are not to blame for declining salmon numbers in Scotland, according to a research paper that has analysed rod-catch data collected over seven decades. The peer-reviewed study has been published in independent journal Aquaculture & Fisheries Studies. Author Dr Martin Jaffa, an aquaculture expert who now specialises in the interaction between wild and farmed fish, and a columnist at Fish Farmer magazine, said the research should end the “scapegoating of the salmon farming industry as the cause of population declines in wild salmon”. The paper analyses rod-catch data from as far back as 1952, separating this into larger Atlantic salmon that spend up to four years at sea before returning to rivers, and the smaller “grilse” salmon that spend just one winter at sea. Previous research has usually combined these types of wild salmon, showing differences in trends between salmon in east and west coast rivers – which some campaigners have attributed to the presence of salmon farms on the west coast of Scotland. However, the new data shows that overall numbers of larger salmon have declined in the east coast, where there are no farms – whereas there has been an increase


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in grilse catches on both east and west coasts. The report suggests that cyclical patterns resulting from changing sea temperatures and variations in marine growth rates can explain the fluctuations in wild salmon stocks – not the presence of farms. Further evidence in the paper shows that these cyclical patterns can be documented as far back as 1740, with trends showing that both larger salmon and grilse numbers go through peaks and troughs lasting over 50-year periods – and the recent proportional increase in grilse on the east coast is similarly matched on the west coast. Jaffa said: “This analysis shows that between 1952 and 2010, catches of grilse have steadily increased. “Increasing numbers of grilse returning to Scotland’s rivers means that they cannot have succumbed to sea lice after making their way out to sea as some anglers claim, and thus salmon farms are not having a negative impact on wild stocks at all. “Catches of large salmon may have declined, but they have declined across all of Scotland even in areas where there is no salmon farming. “Those concerned about safeguarding the future of wild salmon should start to address the real

issues affecting wild salmon rather than scapegoating the salmon farming industry as the cause of population declines in wild salmon.” The peer-reviewed paper, titled “Merged Data Hides Differences in the Catch Trends of Scottish Salmon”, concludes: “Analysis of the catch data for grilse, salmon, and grilse and salmon combined, shows that the presentation of combined salmon and grilse catches hides important differences between salmon and grilse. “Analysis of the make-up of the grilse and salmon components of the catch shows that larger salmon dominated catches of NW Highland catches until about 1990 even though they were in decline.

“This decline masked the increased catches of grilse, which would eventually dominate the total catch between 1990 and 2010. “The observed overall decline in salmon reflected the decline in large salmon catches that has occurred across all of Scotland. “At the same time, grilse catches have increased in the NW Highlands, but not enough to show a noticeable increase in the total catch when grilse and salmon data are shown together. “It is apparent that more detailed analysis and presentation of Scottish salmon catch data is required to ascertain the true underlying trends of salmon catches in Scottish rivers. “This is important because salmon catch data is often used as an indication of the state of local and national stocks. “Without presenting the full picture, which in this case is a presentation of both grilse and salmon data separately, it is difficult to expect regional management and riparian owners to be able to respond appropriately to changes in salmon catches to help ensure the long-term conservation of stocks.” Above: Wild salmon Below: Wild salmon changing fortunes graph

11/01/2022 12:32:28

All the latest industry news from the UK

UK government pledges £75m for seafood sector FISHINg ports, processing facilities and aquaculture are among the beneficiaries of additional funding from the UK Government, it was announced late last year by the Department for Environment. Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The £75m promised includes a £65m infrastructure scheme that will be made available for projects such as modernising ports and harbours alongside increasing capacity and efficiency at processing and aquaculture facilities.There will be a comAbove: Burghead Harbour petition to identify the best the Science and Innovation pillar, anprojects, prioritising those nounced in September, which is aimed that reduce carbon emissions, helping increase the sustainability of the sector and at supporting the development of new technology. contributing towards the UK’s commitEnvironment Secretary George Eustice ment to reach Net Zero by 2050. said: “We are committed to levelling up Up to £10m will also be used to encourcoastal communities across the UK, and age new entrants into the processing, this marks a period of rejuvenation for catching and aquaculture sectors, alongour fishing industry.” side training and upskilling current workThe UK Government’s Minister for ers.The government aims to offer an Scotland, Malcolm Offord, said: “We want improved package of training to people to guarantee our fishing industry has a joining the industry and make it easier bright future and today’s allocation of for people from coastal communities to funding is a great step forward. From upprogress through their career. grading ports and improving processing The two funding schemes are the facilities to boosting training and encoursecond and third parts of a £100m UK Seafood Fund designed to level up coastal aging recruitment, it all brings a massive boost for the industry. communities across the UK.This follows

“Our engagement with Scotland’s fish and seafood sector is ongoing. We are listening to concerns and we are acting upon them for the benefit of business owners, workers and Scotland’s wider coastal communities.” The funding programme also aims to support greater sustainability – for example, by helping the industry shift to electric power from diesel. Defra is inviting applications for infrastructure funding from:  organisations, businesses or charities engaged within the fishing, processing and aquaculture sectors;  trade associations engaged in fishing, processing and aquaculture activities;  public bodies/local authorities with a focus on fishing, processing or aquaculture activities (including trust ports, local authority ports and public bodies using funds for environmental improvements/ management of fisheries);  cooperatives or groups of businesses engaged within the fishing, aquaculture or processing sector; and  officially recognised bodies set up by fishery or aquaculture producers. Skills and training funding is open to applications from accredited training providers with access to other sources of funding that can deliver by March 2024.

Bakkafrost reports Scottish harvest for Q4 down by almost half AS expected, output from Bakkafrost’s Scottish operation was well down during the final three months of 2021. The Faroese fish farmer published its fourth-quarter trading update, which shows a Scottish harvest of 5,100 tonnes, against 9,300 tonnes for the same period in 2020. The company warned a few weeks ago that serious gill-health-related problems at its Scottish operation were continuing to generate increased mortality and financial losses into the final quarter of the year. The Faroese salmon farmer also issued a profits warning, stating that what it described as “extraordinary mortality” has led to a loss of 174.6m Danish kroner (DKK) – or £20m – during October and November, although the situation is now believed to be improving. Bakkafrost acquired the Scottish Salmon Company in November 2019. The company’s Faroe Islands business fared a lot better, reporting a total

UK News v2.indd 7

harvest of 20,700 tonnes up from 16,000 tonnes in Q4 2020. Farming North produced 9,300 tonnes, Farming West 8,900 tonnes and Farming South 2,500 tonnes. The total harvest for 2021 in the Faroe Islands was 67,200 tonnes and in Scotland (SSC) the total harvest in 2021 was 29,700 tonnes. The total harvest from the Bakkafrost Group in

2021 was 96,900 tonnes. Feed sales in Q4 2021 were 32,600 tonnes with Havsbrún sourcing 27,300 tonnes of raw materials during the period. The total feed sales for 2021 was 128,500 tonnes and in total 152,400 tonnes of raw material were sourced last year. The full Q4 report will be published on 22 February.

Above: The new Cooke office


11/01/2022 12:33:17

United Kingdom News

Grant for innovation at Scottish Salmon Company’s post-smolt facility A four-year aquaculture research and development project has been awarded up to £5m in public-sector funding.The post-smolt innovation project is being carried out at The Scottish Salmon Company’s Applecross sites in the northwest Highlands. The initiative will create around 30 new rural jobs and significantly advance salmon Above: The Applecross Building farming in Scotland. Highlands and Islands A central aim is to increase Enterprise has approved up to smolt size from around 100g £3m investment and a further to 500g in an ecologically £2m has been confirmed by sustainable way, using Marine Scotland. innovative recirculating The project is being led by aquaculture system The Scottish Salmon Company technology. as part of longer-term It will include innovative commitment by its parent husbandry, and enhanced company, the Bakkafrost Group. smolt testing and vaccination

Cooke saw Scottish profits fall to £34.2m in 2020 TURNOVER for Cooke’s Scottish fish farming business held steady during 2020, the year Covid-19 hit the industry, but pre-tax profits were down by just over 14%. Cooke Aquaculture Scotland reported turnover of £170.7m for the 12 months to 21 December 2020 (2019; £169.3m). Profit before tax was £34.2m, down from £39.9m the previous year. The company saw its cost of sales rising 6.7% from £112.7m in 2019 to £120.3m. Profit after tax was £27.6m (2019: £32.7m). The company paid a dividend of £79.8m (2019: £2.3m) to the group’s holding company, the family-owned Cooke Aquaculture Inc, based in Canada. Cooke has marine sites in Orkney and Shetland, and freshwater operations on the Scottish mainland. More than 60% of Cooke Aquaculture Scotland’s turnover derives from exports to the rest of Europe, but the directors’ report says:“We have implemented changes to our export processes to ensure our product can be exported to the EU in an efficient and timely manner.” It also warned, however, that Brexit continued to create “some uncertainty”. On the impact of Covid-19, the directors said:“Our main markets have proven to be robust and trading continues at levels experienced prior to the pandemic.” Directors’ remuneration for the company totalled £500,947 and the highest paid individual earned £228,000. Disposals saw the company’s fixed asset investments fall around £1.5m to £472,927.


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methods to improve fish welfare while increasing production. Greater control of the freshwater rearing environment allows the length of time smolts spend in the freshwater phase of production to be increased.The marine phase, where the fish are most

at risk to environmental and biological challenges,such as predation and disease, will be shortened.This will reduce biological risk and enable greater productivity and quality. Announcing the funding, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:“I welcome the new approach being taken by The Scottish Salmon Company since it became part of the Bakkafrost Group and the introduction of new management. “The project will deliver on improved fish and welfare, applies innovation to address key challenges and contributes towards sustainability. It also supports the creation of new jobs, which will boost the wider economy.”

Walrus is surprise visitor at Shetland salmon farm A salmon pen in Shetland has become a temporary home for an unusual visitor – a walrus weighing three-quarters of a tonne. The female walrus, which has been named “Freya”, has set up camp on a salmon pen Above: Freya the walrus at Cooke Aquaculbe finding an abundant food ture’s fish farm at Aith Ness, on the coast of Shet- supply so far. A spokesperson for the comland’s West Mainland. pany said: “We have been able Walruses normally stay in to work around her without Arctic waters, but this indidisturbing her.We are very vidual has been spotted in the happy that Freya has chosen to North Sea, on the coast of spend some time with us.” Northumberland and even as The company has warned far south as the Netherlands. budding naturalists not to Walruses are pinnipeds, disturb Freya by approaching related to seals and sea lions. her, and to be aware that Aith They are benthic feeders, living is a working salmon farm – so off shellfish and other invertevisitors are advised to keep a brates on the sea bed, and typdistance from the pens,for their ically resting on ice floes – or own safety and that of the fish. in Freya’s case the platform of Walruses are rare visitors to a salmon pen. Salmon are not Shetland and there is no telling their natural prey and, Cooke how long this individual will said, Freya poses no threat to stay at Aith Ness before her the fish in the pen, which seem urge to wander takes her to quite relaxed about their new other shores. neighbour. She appears to

11/01/2022 12:34:27

All the latest industry news from the UK

Benchmark hires Roslin’s Professor Ross Houston BENCHMARK Genetics (BG) has recruited the Roslin Institute’s Professor Ross Houston as Director of Innovation, Genetics. A leading scientist in his field, Professor Houston currently holds a Personal Chair of Aquaculture Genetics at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, where he leads the aquaculture genetics team. He is also the Roslin Institute’s Deputy Director for Translation and Commercialisation. Professor Houston will be joining Benchmark Genetics on 1 March 2022. He began his career with a PhD in pig genetics at the University of Aberdeen in 2004 before moving into salmon genetics in a postdoc position at Roslin. Ever since, he has built an international reputation in the field, including discovering a major quantitative trait locus associated with resistance to infectious pancreatic necrosis in 2008, which remains an exemplar of using genetics to help control disease and improve health. Professor Houston leads several high-profile international aquaculture research projects focusing on application of genomics and genome editing technologies to improve disease resistance. He has authored and co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has received several awards for his contributions to the scientific community. In the role of Director of Innovation, he will lead BG’s strategic development of innovation and R&D to support business growth and secure the company’s competitive advantages. He will also develop and lead collaborative projects both internally and externally, including harnessing synergies on innovation across the field of genetics, health,and nutrition within BG as a member of Benchmark’s cross-divisional Innovation Board. The new role will also involve product development for the BG in-house breeding programmes in salmon, shrimp and tilapia, and expanding the portfolio of external clients for applied genetics consultancy services. Announcing the news, Dr Morten Rye, Director of Genetics at Benchmark, said:“Getting Ross Houston on board significantly strengthens our genetics R&D capacities and is also a great acknowledgement to the reputation of our organisation. Genetics technologies are rapidly advancing and I am convinced that having Ross to lead our strategic development of innovation and R&D will place Benchmark at the forefront of this progress”. Professor Houston said:“I have been collaborating with Benchmark scientists for several years, and I am impressed at how the genetics business area has developed during this time. I’m very motivated by translating the latest scientific developments into commercial practice to benefit the organisation as well as enhancing the sustainability of the industry”.

Above: Professor Ross Houston

UK News v2.indd 9

Above: Seals in salmon pen after biting through top bird protection netting


11/01/2022 12:35:34

United Kingdom News

Mowi Invasion Bay site wins organic certification MOWI’S Invasion Bay farm has received organic certification from the UK’s Soil Association. The site, on Loch Sunart along Scotland’s west coast, is Mowi’s fourth seawater farm in Scotland to attain this certification. The company said: “Credit must be given to Farm Manager Iman Ismail and his dedicated team for this achievement.” Meanwhile, representatives from one of Europe’s largest organic certification bodies, Naturland, also visited a number of Mowi sites in November (pictured). Gai Fox, Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager at Naturland, visited several of the Mowi’s freshwater and seawater farms as well as the feed mill at Kyleakin and the Blar Mhor processing plant. Georgina Wright, Head of Sales at Mowi Scotland, said: “The ability to supply organic products to Germany and other parts of Europe from Scotland is a strategic step forward as we align our Irish and Scotland supply under the one Mowi organic brand.”

Above: (From left) Nicola MacColl, Quality Systems Manager; Gai Fox, Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager at Naturland; Dougie Hunter, Technical Director

Grieg formally seals Shetland assets sale

GRIEG Seafood has formally completed the sale of its Shetland business to Scottish Sea Farms. The deal, reported to be worth £164m (NOK 1.9bn), was cleared by the UK competition authorities in December.The sale assets include 21 salmon farms across Shetland and Skye, a freshwater facility and a salmon processing plant. “Grieg Seafood Shetland Ltd” is now “SSF Shetland Ltd”. Grieg CEO Andreas Kvame said: “The sale represents an important milestone in our communicated strategy to concentrate future farming activities in Norway and Canada, where we see the largest potential for profitable and sustainable growth.


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“Following a three-year period of restructuring and operational improvement, our Shetland business has been turned around. “The region has improved sea lice control and survival significantly, and delivered solid profits during the two previous quarters. I am pleased to say that we hand over operations in good shape.” He added: “I want to

sincerely thank all our Shetland employees for their impressive efforts and dedication to Grieg Seafood, especially during the difficult times of the pandemic. “I am confident that the Shetland business is in good hands [with Scottish Sea Farms] and that salmon farming will continue to create value for the local communities in Shetland for years to come.”

Grieg, which plans to concentrate on its Norwegian and Canadian operations, said it was aiming for global growth, cost improvements repositioning the company in the market through downstream partnership. Scottish Sea Farms is jointly owned by two of Norway’s largest salmon farmers, SalMar and the Lerøy Seafood Group.

Top left: Andreas Kvame. Above: The Shetland farm is now owned by Scottish Sea Farms

11/01/2022 12:36:37

All the latest industry news from the UK

Young’s Gastro sales soar 18% to £76m YOUNG’S Seafood, the UK’s leading fish and seafood company, is celebrating success for its Gastro brand after reporting sales worth £76.3m in the last 12 months. In the last two years Gastro has grown by 18.3%, outperforming the total frozen fish market, which grew by 15.5% over the same period, and it has maintained that performance in 52 weeks to October 2021. The leading premium frozen fish brand for over 10 years, Gastro provides consumers with restaurant-style fish, targeting customers who are looking to create an “eating out” experience in the comfort of their own home. Grimsby-based Young’s said the brand’s significant growth contributed an overall increase of 8.1% across the last 52-week period, seeing it rise by eight positions from the previous year to 35th in the nation’s biggest grocery brands.

The Gastro range includes Wholetail Scampi and Lightly Dusted Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper Basa Fillets (pictured). Young’s Gastro has also seen a high percentage of repeat shoppers loyal to the brand and consumers trading up their product choices.Across a 12-month period, 53.2% of shoppers continued to add it to their baskets, up from 51.7% from the previous year. Gareth Roberts, Head of Category Management at Young’s Seafood, said:“Gastro is one of our category leading brands, so it’s fantastic to see strong growth over the last 12 months.” “In particular, new product development throughout the year has helped contribute to the brand’s success. “For example, the launch of our Tempura Battered Chunky Alaska Pollock Fish Fingers earlier this year has resulted in an increase of 25.6% for Gastro

Above: Young’s Gastro Lemon Sole Fillet

fish finger sales, with a total of £5.2m in the last year alone.” He added:“We’re always looking for ways we can attract new shoppers and keep our existing customers excited about fish, and we hope to do so with the launch of new, innovative and great-tasting products that respond to consumer needs.

“Our new products will introduce new species to the range, and include Lightly Dusted Sicilian Lemon and Black Pepper Sole Fillets and Salmon Puff Pastry Parcels with Creamy Spinach and Cheddar Sauce. The new products are available to buy in Iceland, the UK retailer.

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11/01/2022 12:38:49

European News


Investment fund takes controlling stake in Bio Marine

Above: Bio Marine oxygenation in a salmon pen

SEAFOOD investor Bluefront Equity has invested an undisclosed amount in Bio Marine AS, a specialist in oxygen and lighting solutions for fish farming. Former Mowi Chief Executive Officer Alf-Helge Aarskog has been appointed as the new chairperson of Bio Marine. Bio Marine offers equipment and systems for environmental control in aquaculture, particularly for ocean-based pens.The company, which is headquartered in Surnadal, Norway, is a leading player within oxygen systems for aquaculture and offers a variety of other solutions for environmental control of pens, including monitoring and logging, lighting, pumps and lice skirts. The company has also developed its own oxygen diffusion technology. Additional oxygen in pens is important for the vascular environment, fish health and growth, and can also contribute to less disease and lower mortality rates. Martin Gausen, Managing Director of Bio Marine, commented:“A number of investors have contacted us in the past few years, but we have decided to team up with Bluefront Equity because we share both the same market view and values related to continuity and continuous development of our products and organisation. In addition, they are very friendly people who focus on what matters.” Bluefront Equity’s first investment was in Redox, which is an ozone and oxygen specialist that develops environmentally friendly technologies that improve fish welfare and biosecurity for the aquaculture industry.


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Redox has collaborated over several years with Bio Marine and Bluefront hopes to create a “cluster” of companies in the field of environmental control and oxygenation of pens. The investment will be made via Bluefront Equity’s first fund, Bluefront Capital I, as a combination of a share issue and purchase of shares from existing shareholders.The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction. Prior to the transaction, assets, employees and intellectual property rights related to the aquaculture industry have been transferred from Bio Marine’s former parent company, Oxyvision AS, to Bio Marine. Bluefront Equity will own 59% of Bio Marine. The remaining shares are held by current shareholders, which include the company’s management. As well as the appointment of Aarskog as chairperson of Bio Marine, Kjetil Haga, who is a partner at Bluefront Equity, will join the company’s board of directors. Bluefront Capital I is a certified sustainability fund in line with the EU’s comprehensive taxonomy guidelines, a so-called “Article 8 fund”. Among the named investors in the Bluefront Capital I fund are the Bergesen family’s Havfonn, Nysnø Klimainvesteringer, the Anker family, Klaveness Marine, Steensland-gruppen, Commonfund, Cubera’s new impact fund, in addition to aquaculture industry seniors such as Alf-Helge Aarskog,Aino Olaisen, Jan Sverre Røsstad and Bjørn Apeland.

Arctic Seafarm clears another approval hurdle A land-based salmon farm in northern Norway has secured a government permit for its flowthrough system.The move opens the way for a farm with the capacity to produce up 15,000 tonnes annually. Arctic Seafarm will be based at the Nesna Industrial Park in Norway.Alf-Gøran Knutsen, Chief Executive Officer of family-owned salmon farmer Kvarøy Arctic and Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett, has been appointed Chairman of the board of Arctic Seafarm Holding, the company that owns Arctic Seafarm Langset AS. Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett is the largest shareholder in the project and its centre of operations, the island of Kvarøy, is located just 30 minutes away from the Arctic Seafarm site. Arctic Seafarm Chief Executive Officer Carsten Rimer said:“We are happy to have Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett AS on board with us.Their knowledge of fish welfare and sustainable aquaculture will be an important key to our success. I’m confident their experience and involvement in every step of the value chain from smolt deliveries through to distribution will allow this collaboration to prosper.” Arctic Seafarm said its land-based flow-through system solved many of the persistent concerns ocean-based farms face globally, including the risk of disease, unpredictable threatening ocean events, escapes, and the effects on the surrounding environment, among other factors. A state-of-the-art flow-through system will retrieve clean, cold water from 80 metres below the sea surface, a depth that minimises the need for sea lice control measures. For added security, the water will be filtered for sediment and treated with a UV light before entering the flow-through system.Water temperatures will remain consistent throughout the year to facilitate optimal growing conditions. Arctic Seafarm will maintain a low climate footprint, sourcing energy from solar, hydro technology,and biofuel. Further energy-saving measures will be explored, including the use of residual waste from salmon production.

11/01/2022 12:41:06

All the latest industry news from Europe

Laxar Fiskeldi and Ice Fish Farm set to merge Man killed in New Year fish farm accident

Above: Laxar Fiskeldi farm, Iceland

TWO of Iceland’s leading fish farming companies have announced they are to press ahead with merger plans. Ice Fish Farm has said it is buying Laxar Fiskeldi through a share deal. Both are financially linked through the majority shareholders, Måsøval Eiendom, Skinney Þinganes and Eggjahvita. They have also worked together in a number of areas. In a joint announcement, the companies said the long term goal was to create a highly efficient and environmentally aware business delivering highquality premium salmon. The two business began negotiations to “explore future strategic opportunities” back in June this year. Some of their salmon farms in eastern Iceland are physically fairly close to each other. The new, enlarged company will be largely concentrated on the eastern part of Iceland with a

A man in his 20s was killed in a fish farming accident in Norway on New Year’s Day. According to reports the victim, who has not been named yet, became stuck between a boat and the quayside. He was critically injured and died later. The accident took place at a SalMar-owned facility near Frøya in the current total biomass of 36,000 tonnes. However, Ice Fish Farm also Trøndelag region, but the individual operates in the south of the country concerned was working for the and has applications pending for an shipping and aquaculture support company FSV. additional 17,000 tonnes. SalMar said in a brief statement: Laxar Fiskeldi is a fully integrated “SalMar Farming AS confirms that business and also has its own smolt there has been a serious work acciproduction and hatchery facilities. It dent at the hired company FSV AS. produces high-quality salmon mainly The accident happened at SalMar’s for markets in the United States and location Ruggstein (outside Frøya). Europe. The person involved is employed by Ice Fish Farm, which is listed on FSV AS.” Oslo’s EuroNext Growth market, A local police official told the successfully turned loss into profit broadcaster NRK that a post morduring the final quarter of last year. tem examination would be It reported an operating EBIT carried out and the incident or profit of NOK 9.2m (£768,000) would be the subject of a and saw revenues shoot up from full investigation.The police NOK 8m to NOK 50.9m. It also are currently taking witness said investment in smolt capacity statements to find out exactly was moving at a faster pace than originally planned. The proposed deal is the latest in a series of mergers among salmon Right: A service vessel businesses. operated by the FSV Group

what happened. The victim reportedly came from the Møre og Romsdal area in the west of Norway. NRK also said that the Frøya municipality’s crisis team, the Accident Investigation Board Norway and the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority have been notified of the accident. Norway has around 30 deaths in the workplace each year and a number of them are in the aquaculture industry where there are clear risks, particularly involving the movement of personnel around boats and quaysides. Meanwhile, in Chile, diver Cristián González died in mid-December after reportedly becoming trapped between the propellers of a boat. He had been working on a salmon farm in the Aysén region.

Energy firm in bid to make cod farming greener TWO companies with strong environmental credentials are poised to launch a project to make cod farming far more sustainable. They are the Gadus Group, a fully integrated Norwegian seafood business producing quality cod from roe to the finished product and Inseanergy, a high-tech business delivering green energy to the aquaculture sector. The two have signed a letter of intent for the development of a zero-emissions energy system specifically designed for cod farming. They said in a press release that the collaboration was based on a common overall goal of finding sustainable and profitable solutions to reduce CO2 emissions, diesel consumption and noise, in addition to reusing components such as plastic. “All in all, green solutions can strengthen the operating economy, minimise the environmental footprint and enable aquaculture facilities for cod to become green power plants,” they added. Inseanergy said that its patented floating solar cell power plant, SUB SolarTM, had

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been developed with a technology that reuses excess floating rings from fish farms that would otherwise go to destruction or recycling. The floating ring is equipped with a solar cell panel attached to flexible technical textiles, so that it is converted into a floating solar cell power plant that can produce shortdistance, emission-free energy.

Above: Inseanergy CEO Jan Erik Våge Klepp

This should give the floating rings a new lease of life, Inseanergy said, leading to reduced material consumption and a reduction in the carbon footprint of the aquaculture industry. The Gadus Group said it wanted to look at the possibility of using Inseanergy’s technology in its cod farming facilities, and the two Ålesund-based entrepreneurial companies look forward to starting the collaboration early this year. Ola Kvalheim, CEO of Gadus Group, said it had followed Inseanergy over a period of time and believed it had the potential to take a strong position in the green shift. He added: “We believe in the team and the solution they have developed that hits well in view of the aquaculture industry’s need to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the use of fossil fuels.” Jan Erik Våge Klepp, CEO of Inseanergy said it viewed the Gadus Group as a player with a large community involvement, both when it comes to creating jobs but also as a company working actively to reduce its environmental footprint.


11/01/2022 12:41:32

European News

AKVA pioneers 100% recycled plastic salmon pens

Photo: Oceanize

AQUACULTURE supplier AKVA is hoping to produce the world’s first salmon pen made entirely of recycled plastic. The AKVA group is working with plastic recycling business Oceanize and manufacturer Plasto in a project supported by the Handelens Miljøfond (the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund). Due to requirements for material quality that are regulated by a technical standard, NS 9415 (2009), mainly virgin plastic is used in load-bearing structures in salmon pens.The project partners aim to show that recycled plastic from a discarded aquaculture facility has the qualities to meet the standard’s requirements.

AKVA group has already used recycled plastic on the pen walkways, but this project will make it possible to produce the entire pen based on recycled plastic from discarded pens. Up to 12,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated annually from the aquaculture industry, and the plastic resources are reused or collected and recycled. Potential climate savings from national management of plastic waste is up to 50 million kilograms of CO2 by preventing, among other things, the incineration and export of resources. Oceanize has extensive experience in collecting and recycling plastic from aquaculture structures, turning the material into high-quality plastic granulate.

Trude Vareide-Giskås, Project Manager with Oceanize, said: “The project is a major circular economic milestone. Now we get the opportunity to show the qualities of our plastic granulate.At the same time, complete solutions like these are central in a sustainability perspective.” “Pens today are not a big litter problem, but there is a great potential for using the plastic in new pens. In this project we will achieve short, national value chains as the project participants are all established in Norway,” said Trude Olafsen, Project Manager at AKVA group. Helgeland Plast (a wholly owned subsidiary of AKVA group) will produces the pens in Mo i Rana. Oceanize already collects pens along the Norwegian coast and has a granulation factory in Rørvik, and Plasto produces parts for the pens in Åndalsnes. AKVA hopes to be able to spread knowledge to other fish farming nations where the group sells plastic pens. Left: Granulated plastic

SalMar Aker Ocean picks new chief A new man has been appointed to lead SalMar projects in the maritime sector and offshore, and Aker Ocean, potentially one of the most exciting has been at the helm of Fjordlaks for the past fish farming operations over the next decade. three years. The group is a joint venture between fish For 20 years he was a key leader in Aker Yards farming giant SalMar and the industrial and CEO of what is now the shipyard group Vard. investment company Aker ASA. Reite has considerable experience of leading He is Roy Reite, currently General Manager companies, and he has contributed to building a of the seafood company Fjordlaks, and takes business with more than 10,000 employees and a over as CEO of the joint venture, which plans to turnover of NOK 12bn (£1bn). produce 150,000 tonnes of sustainable salmon at He said: “In SalMar Aker Ocean, I see a further offshore locations around the world. company with significant growth potential and Reite replaces Olav Andreas Ervik, who that motivates me strongly. announced his resignation after just a few weeks, “The company has determined, knowledgeable citing family reasons and the long commute from and capital-strong owners in combination with his home in Lofoten. skilled employees and concrete plans to create SalMar Aker Ocean Chairman Atle Eide said: a new, Norwegian industrial adventure with “Roy Reite has valuable international international ambitions, and the foundation experience from industrial construction for it all is the belief in – and the need and Norwegian finance, and he for – sustainable production of has in-depth knowledge of coastal healthy seafood.” culture. SalMar Aker Ocean has already “He provides insights that are completed two production cycles important and necessary to realise with Ocean Farm 1, and the SalMar Aker Ocean’s ambitions.” company is now building a new and Reite has considerable experience, larger version, Ocean Farm 2, which working with large construction is under development. Above: Roy Reite


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Salmon Evolution’s new farm to run on hydropower

AQUACULTURE business Salmon Evolution has struck a deal with Norway’s stateowned power supplier to ensure that its new land-based farm at Indre Harøy will run on renewable energy. Salmon Evolution’s agreement with Statkraft, which is fully owned by the Norwegian state, means that the new plant will be run entirely on hydroelectric power. Statkraft is Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The electricity will be sourced from Statkraft’s hydropower plant at Grytten in Rauma Municipality, only around 60km from Indre Harøy, where farming operations are expected to commence during March 2022. As part of the agreement, Salmon Evolution has secured a fixed electricity price covering the vast majority of the company’s electricity needs for 2022 and 2023 at what the company calls “highly attractive commercial terms”, confirming original budget assumptions. Trond Håkon Schaug-Pettersen, Chief Financial Officer at Salmon Evolution, said: “The execution of a green power purchase agreement directly with Statkraft’s Nordic Origination team is yet another strong testament to Salmon Evolution’s credibility in the market. “Furthermore, this agreement is a great example of delivering on our vision, Extending the Ocean Potential, where we continuously push for an acceleration of new circular blue economies. Also, as our company now approach commercial operations, our customers can be 100% certain that our salmon is produced with the lowest possible environmental footprint, setting a new benchmark for sustainably produced salmon.” The first phase at Indre Harøy will provide an annual capacity of 9 000 tonnes of salmon. After the full project has been completed with the third phase in 2028, annual capacity will have increased to 36 000 tonnes. The company said that the plant would have a lower risk profile than many large, landbased salmon farms, because it will operate a hybrid flow-through system rather than a pure recirculation aquaculture system model. Salmon Evolution is also constructing a land-based salmon farm in South Korea in association with local conglomerate Dongwon Industries.

11/01/2022 16:04:29

All the latest industry news from Europe

needs protection. Mowi had a similar problem in northern Norway last year when it wanted to open a salmon farm in the Vega Islands, a UNESCO heritage area. The plan was opposed by several groups and was initially rejected, although provisional permission was eventually granted. However, the company was allowed to go ahead following an appeal and support from the local community who said it would create badly needed jobs and prosperity. Mowi Ireland said it intended to start a public consultation with the community in Connemara. Irish newspaper Sunday Independent wrote that details of the project had been circulated to notifiable bodies, including Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority. It said both state bodies had reservations about the location, and the possible impact on wild salmon and sea trout, adding that IFI had already submitted its own views on the plan. The final decision rests with Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. Set against Norway and Scotland, Mowi Ireland is a relatively small operation for the world’s largest salmon farmer. But it produces high-quality organic salmon that is much in demand worldwide. It has organic farms in five counties along Ireland’s Atlantic seaboard, with further expansion planned in Bantry Bay, Cork. Meanwhile, after 40 years working in salmon aquaculture, Jan Feenstra, Managing Director at Mowi Ireland, has announced he will be retiring as from 1 July 2022. Feenstra first joined the Irish operation in 1982 when it was called Fanad Fisheries, which at that time had a 50/50 joint venture with Mowi. He took on the leadership role in 1997 and participated in several ownership and name changes over subsequent years. Ivan Vindheim, Mowi CEO, said: “I am most grateful for Jan’s long tenure with our company during a period that has seen our Irish business unit grow into a world-leading supplier of premium organic salmon. Jan’s vast experience raising organic salmon and his ability to lead a highly effective and motivated team will be difficult to replace, so we are pleased that Jan will continue to support Mowi throughout 2022 in order to share his knowledge.”




MOWI could be facing official opposition to its latest salmon farm plan in the west of Ireland. The state organisation Inland Fisheries Ireland, which is responsible for the protection of river and lake fish, is reported to be preparing to question company plans to develop a 22-cage facility in Ballinakill in Connemara. The problem for the company is that the site is set in a proposed Natural Heritage Area – an area considered important for the habitats present or that holds species of plants and animals whose habitat

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Top: Jan Feentra. Above: Ballinakill, Connemara

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11/01/2022 12:45:13

European News

Norwegian seafood exports hit new all-time record

NORWEGIAN seafood exports hit a new record last year, earning the country’s fishermen and fish farmers revenue of NOK 120.8bn (£10bn). At NOK 81.4bn (£6.6bn), salmon accounted for around two-thirds of that total. In volume terms, Norway sold just over three million tonnes of seafood of all types, making fish its second largest export earner after oil and gas. The main species export figures for 2021 were: • Salmon NOK 81.4bn (+ 16%) • Cod NOK 9.8bn (+ 2%) • Mackerel NOK 5.9bn (+ 18%) • Herring NOK 4.2bn (+11%) • Trout NOK 4bn (+ 5%) Norwegian Seafood Council CEO

Renate Larsen said: “We are in “A reopening of society, Larsen warned, however, that the very favourable position that increased socialisation and open people must be careful not we have products that the whole restaurants raised demand in to interpret export growth as world wants – even in times of 2021. Salmon has obviously delivering increased profitability crisis. adapted to the new ways of buying for everyone, adding: “Challenges “This has resulted in demand food, such as home delivery and with market access and increased growth, record volumes and a takeaway.” costs related to operations, total export value that Norway Although volumes were down purchasing and distribution led to has never experienced before. by 12%, it was also a reasonably weakened margins in parts of the It is impressive and shows that good year for farmed trout, with industry last year. Norwegian seafood is one of our the value increasing by 5% or “In order to develop, invest and most important industries of the NOK 181m (£15m) to NOK 4bn continue to be a leading seafood future.” (approx. £330m). Prices were nation, the industry needs secure Fisheries Minister Bjørnar boosted by a reduction in output framework conditions and good Skjæran added: “Through a last year. market access.” challenging year, the seafood industry has delivered fantastic results. “The Government has very high ambitions for the seafood industry. Together with all the skilled professionals in the seafood industry, we will continue to work for further growth in the export of climate-friendly food and more activity along the coast.” Salmon exports total 1.3 million tonnes, a volume rise of 13% on 2020 and the value increasing by 16% or NOK 11.3bn (almost £1bn). Seafood Council analyst Paul T Aandahl said: “Despite the Covid-19 pandemic still making its mark on the markets, we had another record year for Norwegian Top left: Renate Larsen Above: Norwegian salmon salmon exports.

Colleagues pay tribute to Pål Tangvik COLLEAGUES in the aquaculture sector are mourning Pål Tangvik, a wellknown and popular figure in Norway and Scotland, who died of a heart attack on 28 December, aged 58. Tangvik was Freshwater Manager for Mowi’s operations in northern Norway, but had previously spent nearly seven years as Head of Freshwater Farming with Scottish Sea Farms (SSF), tasked with overhauling the company’s freshwater production strategy, including the creation of its new state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture system hatchery at Barcaldine. Scottish Sea Farms’ CEO, Jim Gallagher, broke the news to colleagues and paid tribute to Tangvik and his contribution to SSF’s development. Gallagher said: “Over those years, the quiet man with the deadpan delivery yet mischievous glint in his eye became far more than a respected colleague to many of us. He became a good and loyal friend.” Tangvik joined SSF from Lerøy, which co-owns the Scottish business along with SalMar. He had worked in the salmon farming industry since 1989. At SSF, he oversaw the design, location and build of the new hatchery at Barcaldine; streamlined the


European News v2.indd 16

company’s pre-existing freshwater estate in preparation for its opening; and brought together a sector-leading team that is now delivering the full smolt requirement of SSF’s 42-strong estate of marine farms. In 2020, he announced that it was time to return to his native Norway. He said at the time: “My whole reason for coming to Scotland was to help Scottish Sea Farms bring Barcaldine Hatchery into being and see the finished facility deliver its first generation of smolts. With that now achieved, and with five young grandchildren having arrived while I have been here in Scotland, it now feels like the right time to return to Norway where I can be closer to my family, young and old, and be part of the day-today once again.” In an interview with in January 2021, Tangvik said: “Working for the world’s largest salmon farmer [Mowi] I think is both exciting and challenging. What I have seen so f ar bodes well, with lots of good and knowledgeable colleagues.” Mowi stated that Tangvik would be remembered as a very good colleague, Kyst reported. Left: Pål Tangvik

11/01/2022 12:46:40

PATHFINDER SCOTLAND’S FIRST AQUACULTURE AND ANIMAL HEALTH BUSINESS ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME March 2022 Fully-funded places available to businesses in the Highlands and Islands




European News v2.indd 17


10/01/2022 14:42:55

World News


New president could mean change for Chile’s salmon industry

CHILE’S salmon farmers face an uncertain future following the election victory in December of Gabriel Boric as the country’s new left-wing president. The 35-year-old former student protest leader was openly hostile about fish farming during the election campaign and warned companies they would have to rein in their activities.

Salmon is Chile’s second largest export commodity and the sector is one of the country’s principal rural employers. Boric, who was brought up in a fish farming district, was a clear winner over Antonio Kast, his right-wing rival. He has promised to spread the country’s wealth by raising taxes on Chile’s super rich,and to introduce other major

social reforms. His victory was greeted with wild celebrations in the country’s capital, Santiago. But it is his warnings about aquaculture that will have fish farming companies worried. So far they have held back on commenting about the result, hoping Boric will have more important issues to worry about. During the campaign he accused salmon companies of polluting the environment with chemicals and fish waste, leaving the cleanup bill to be paid for by ordinary taxpayers. He also hinted at partnationalisation, saying salmon businesses should be “properly regulated and decentralised” although he did not spell out how he planned to carry out that threat. Boric also told the electorate that more of the revenues from

aquaculture should stay in those areas where the industry is based. He declared dureing the campaign: “It is not just about breeding and exports. Fish farming should be an affiliated industry and while jobs are important they should not be at the expense of the environment.”

Above: Gabriel Boric

China reduces import tariffs THE Chinese authorities are introducing lower, temporary tariffs on almost 1,000 goods, including seafood. The new rates include lower tariffs on fresh and frozen salmon, frozen herring and frozen cold-water shrimp. The change entails an adjustment in so-called MFN tariffs (“best terms principle”) when exporting to China. MFN tariffs are used when countries do not have an agreement on other tariff preferences and are available to all countries that are members of the World Trade Organization. The temporary reduced tariffs took effect for a number of seafood products on 1 January. Reduced-tariff products include a fresh whole Atlantic salmon, which drops from 10% to 7%. Other products set to enjoy lower import duties include


World News v2.indd 18

frozen blue halibut, and frozen herring and cod for which tariffs are being reduced from 7% down to 2%. And a further boost for seafood exports following a trade agreement known as a Regional Economic Partnership, in effect as of 1 January, comes into force. The deal is designed to generate increased trade in the Asia-Pacific region and should eventually mean additional growth for European seafood exporters such as Norway, Scotland and Iceland. The Partnership Agreement already includes countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, and will now add five new countries, namely Australia, Japan, China, South Korea and New Zealand. Right: Seafood market in China

11/01/2022 12:47:54

All the latest industry news from around the world

Seafood Expo Asia confirmed for Singapore

Above: Singapore

DATES have been confirmed for Seafood Expo Asia, one of the sector’s leading trade shows.The 2022 event will take place from 14 to 16 September 2022 at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. The show is the 10th for this expo, which is a major seafood marketplace for Asia, but it is the first to be held in Singapore. Liz Plizga, Group VicePresident, Diversified Communications, said: “Findings from third-party independent research revealed that, driven by growing consumption and imports, Southeast Asia has a growing need to meet with international seafood suppliers. Seafood Expo Asia is well positioned to serve a wider Asian audience and create opportunity for the seafood community throughout Asia and the world.The relocation will better position Seafood Expo Asia as a hub event to facilitate both Southeast and East Asia buyers in strong growing markets with easy accessibility.” Seafood Expo Asia’s new

World News v2.indd 19

home, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, has over 20 years of experience in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions industry. The venue is conveniently located in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District with direct access to six renowned hotels and a wide selection of food, entertainment and shopping options, and is only a 20-minute drive from Singapore Changi Airport. Poh Chi Chuan, Executive Director, Exhibitions & Conferences, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “Seafood Expo Asia is the definitive seafood trade show for Asia, and its presence in Singapore shows the continued confidence our valued partners place in Singapore as a safe, reliable and trusted destination for business events. We look forward to extending a warm welcome to all participants to a safe and meaningful event in Singapore.” For more information and event updates, visit the website at www.seafoodexpo. com/asia.

ASC reassures consumers over Seafood Watch’s BC downgrade THE salmon industry on Canada’s west coast was dealt a blow late last year when Seafood Watch, the widely followed sustainability ratings initiative, downgraded British Columbia’s salmon to “avoid” status. Certification body the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has stressed, however, that the “avoid warning” does not apply to ASCcertified farms. Seafood Watch is updated annually by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the US, and offers a worldwide guide for consumers on the comparative sustainability of seafood by species and region. The latest ratings moved Atlantic salmon from BC to the “avoid” category, joining other regions such as the UK (apart from Orkney), Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada’s east coast, Chile apart from the Magallanes region and most of Norway, other than Finnmark. Atlantic salmon from some other regions – including Faroes, Nova Scotia, Orkney and Finnmark is classed as “buy, but be aware of concerns.” Salmon reared in recirculating systems with wastewater treatment is rated a “buy”. In a blog published on 17 December, however, the ASC has pointed out that all ASC-certified salmon, regardless of region, is a “buy” recommendation. The ASC said: “If it’s ASC certified, you can be assured that it’s been responsibly produced. And that’s a pretty good rule of thumb no matter where the salmon was produced.” ASC certification takes into account fish welfare, environmental impact and social responsibility. Unlike Seafood Watch’s regional ratings, the ASC’s certification is granted on a site-by-site basis. For example, Mowi now has eight ASCcertified sites in Scotland and all of its farm sites in the Campbell River region of BC are certified. For Grieg, 13 out of its 16 farms in BC are ASC certified and the rest are under assessment. Grieg is aiming at 100% ASC certification for its farms by 2023. The Seafood Watch ratings can be viewed at


11/01/2022 12:48:32

World News

Armed robbers hold up £100,000 salmon truck A truck carrying salmon worth more than £100,000 was held up by armed robbers in Chile over the Christmas holiday in a modern scene reminiscent of the old Wild West. The gang attacked the vehicle as the driver slept in his cab, stuck a gun in his face and then handcuffed him and tied up his feet. The early morning incident took place near the lakeside city of Puerto Montt in the south of the country, which is also an important fish farming area. They then emptied the refrigerated vehicle of its content, Above Puerto Montt premium frozen salmon worth at least 100 million Chilean pesos, which was destined for export. According to regional newspaper Soy Puerto Montt, the truck was parked up in a service station rest area at around 5.30am when two assailants got into the truck and threatened the driver with firearms.

They then drove him and the vehicle for several miles to an isolated area before moving the entire load into two unidentified trucks and making their escape. The terrified driver was later found bound hand and foot. Soy Puerto Montt reported that the regional prosecutor had called the incident “robbery with intimidation”. The police are still trying to track down the bandits. Unfortunately, such robberies are not new to Chile. The last few years has seen an increase in attacks where armed gangs hold up seafood trucks on isolated roads and tie up the driver. Representatives of the Chilean salmon industry have held security talks with the police, but arming drivers has been ruled out because of fears it could lead to shoot-outs and murder.

US aquaculture industry welcomes draft bill A bipartisan bill to pave the way for an expansion of offshore aquaculture in the US has been introduced in the House of Representatives. The draft legislation is intended to support the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act, which was introduced in the US Senate in October 2021.The latest bill was introduced by Republican representative Steven Palazzo and Democrat Ed Case. The AQUAA Act sets out to increase production of sustainable

seafood through the raising of fish in federal waters, creating a robust industry in America including new jobs. It would establish national standards for offshore aquaculture and clarify a regulatory system for the farming of fish in the US Exclusive Economic Zone.The bill would also establish a research and technology grant programme to fund innovative research and extension services focused on improving and advancing sustainable domestic aquaculture.

Congressman Palazzo said: “Restaurants and grocery stores rely on seafood imports, which amount to 90% of seafood that is consumed in the US.The AQUAA Act provides a pathway to decrease that percentage and sustainably meet this demand. I am proud to introduce the AQUAA Act in the 117th Congress to support job creation along coastal areas, create a new market for agriculture products and expand seafood processing – measures that can impact every part of the United States.” Congressman Case said:“For decades we have pursued the promise of open ocean aquaculture as part of our larger goal of sustainable management of our marine resources. States like Hawai’i have led the way in developing sustainable and safe aquaculture in state waters, but development in federal waters throughout our

Exclusive Economic Zone has been hampered by a confusing and often contradicting regulatory scheme that does not sufficiently protect our marine environment. Our bipartisan, bicameral AQUAA Act would provide a consistent efficient regulatory umbrella to help fully unlock the potential of open ocean aquaculture in a sustainable, environmentally sensitive and science-based way, and grow economies for coastal states and food security for the nation.” The move is supported by lobby group Stronger America Through Seafood (SATS). SATS Campaign Manager Sarah Brenholt said:“At a time when supply chain challenges and a global pandemic are slowing the delivery of seafood to America’s storefronts and kitchens, the expansion of American aquaculture is an opportunity to try to solve these problems.”

Canadian industry launches code of practice CANADA has drawn up its first national code of practice for the care and safe handling of salmonids – mainly salmon and trout species. The fish farming industry hopes that an explicit code of practice will send an important message to consumers. The code sets out expectations across a number of issues including water quality, stocking


World News v2.indd 20

density, fish handling, health and monitoring, slaughter and lighting, and feed withdrawal and sea lice. The committee involved in drawing up the code included representatives with expertise in animal science and fish behaviour, health and welfare. See Canada feature, page 38. Right Trout salmonids

11/01/2022 12:49:22

All the latest industry news from around the world

Global Seafood Alliance CEO Wally Stevens set to retire SEAFOOD industry veteran Wally Stevens has stepped down from his post of Chief Executive Officer at the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA). He retired at the end of December and Brian Perkins, who joined GSA as Chief Operating Officer on 1 March, assumed the role of CEO on 1 January. Formerly known as the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the Global Seafood Alliance is an international, not-for-profit trade association dedicated to advancing responsible seafood practices through education, advocacy and thirdparty assurances. While stepping away from his day-to-day responsibilities, Stevens will remain a member of the GSA board of directors and GSA executive committee. He said: “It has been an honour to work with such professional, passionate, devoted, smart women and men here at the Global Seafood Alliance and throughout the industry. We have done good for society globally through our education and advocacy work as well as by providing third-party assurances through certification for farmraised seafood and more recently for wild-caught seafood. The challenges that lie ahead will be best addressed by our associates at GSA working collectively and collaboratively with others to find solutions.” Stevens added: “Over my lengthy career in the seafood industry, the lasting reward is being associated with women and men who care deeply about the mission of an organisation and its role in the industry, and that these people achieve positive results that make for wonderful career opportunities. As I think of Brian Perkins becoming the CEO of GSA, I see such a person. His vast experience in many aspects relating to our industry uniquely positions him to lead GSA.” Brian Perkins came to GSA after a six-year stint as Regional Director,

Americas, for the Marine Stewardship Council. He said: “It’s been an honour to work directly with Wally for the past nine months. His leadership and passion for the seafood industry are evident in the way GSA carries itself as an organisation. We have a great team here at GSA, and I look forward to working with them to take the organisation to even greater heights.” Stevens joined GAA as executive director in 2007. He played a critical role in the organisation’s growth, particularly the development of the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification programme. The number of BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills has ballooned from just over 100 in 2007 to well over 3,000 today. Stevens was also instrumental in the establishment of the multistakeholder Standards Oversight Committee, which oversees the BAP standards development process. More recently, Stevens played an instrumental role in GSA’s budding involvement in wild-capture fisheries through the introduction of BSP, the world’s only thirdparty certification programme capable of providing credible third-party assurances linking responsible wild-capture fisheries to the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard-certified vessels and Seafood Processing Plant Standard-certified facilities. George Chamberlain, GSA’s President and founder, said: “Wally was exactly the force that GAA needed in 2007 to energise it, centralise it and embolden it to stretch for goals that we thought were beyond our reach. What a blessing it has been to work with him.” Top Wally Stevens Above: Brian Perkins

Sludge collection from open cages For the first time in fish farming history, we can proudly introduce a technology for collecting sludge on full-scale open cage sites. Results showing a sludge collection of 70% throughout a generation.

We are commited to supporting sustainable aquaculture.

LiftUP combi

Patented combined mort and sludge collector

The system is designed to pump waste with a LiftUP Combi collector through an automated system back to the barge for filtration, to avoid accumulation on the seabed. The concentrated waste is stored in tanks and then shipped to a biogas plant. Here, it is converted into renewable energy, and a high-absorption agricultural liquid fertiliser product.

World News v2.indd 21

The Combi collector enables collection of sludge/ sh waste in open cages 21

11/01/2022 12:52:13

Processing News

Seafood industry skills initiative launches Seafood businesses in Scotland will be offered a new set of training packages as part of a Business Improvement Programme launched by Seafood Scotland

Above: Business improvement programme

SEAFOOD SCOTLAND has been awarded £100,000 of funding from the National Transition Training Fund and Skills Development Scotland to support onshore activities of seafood businesses across the country, upskilling and training employees to support

company growth. The programme will provide bespoke training packages to companies to help support their objectives. Free webinars and funded courses will be available to meet business and team needs and strategic goals. Companies will have

access to over 60 courses covering four key training areas: • upskilling and multiskilling staff – training for employees and teams; • career recruitment and retention toolkits for businesses – helping them to develop recruitment and

retention policies; • process automation and business implications; and • women in Seafood in Scotland. The programme will be delivered to current staff members over the age of 25 using flexible and hybrid methods, such as self-taught online modules and guided virtual sessions. Courses range from fish frying, knife skills and monger training to customer and human resource services, as well as guidance on business planning and strategy. Donna Fordyce, Chief Executive at Seafood Scotland, said: “It’s important that the businesses in our onshore seafood

We will help “ companies plan their training opportunities

sector continue to grow and this funding can help them do just that. With the support received from the National Transition Training Fund and Skills Development Scotland, we will help companies plan their training opportuni-

ties and the courses available to them in line with their business objectives. “The window for this funding is open until March and I would strongly encourage any onshore seafood businesses to take this great opportunity to upskill and train staff without the burden of additional costs.” The National Transition Training Fund was launched in 2020 by Skills Development Scotland following the rise in unemployment due to the Covid pandemic. The scheme aims to give individuals the opportunity to gain industry-recognised qualifications to help find employment.

Want not, waste not for Seafood Village The UK’s largest fish-processing complex has recently set an impressive new recycling record. In the past year it has successfully disposed of 240,000 polystyrene boxes – enough to fill more than 100 40-foot long vehicle trailers – plus 6.2 tonnes of cardboard and 3,500 wooden pallets. The Seafood Village is a large business park focused on processing. It is home to 21


Processing News v2.indd 22

different seafood companies working on fish of all types, farmed and wild caught. Seafood Village Joint Managing Director Peter Dalton said: “Gary Cadey [also Co-Managing Director] and I are very proud with what we have achieved. “If you put all the polystyrene boxes end to end they would stretch for 17 miles – and that is a lot of polystyrene needing to be recycled. They are ground

down and made into new boxes again. And the same goes for the wooden pallets.” The Seafood Village team worked closely with Adrian Rowlands from the recycling company Enviro Grimsby. Dalton said: “They were very helpful and guided us through what we should do. We set up a compound in the middle of the village with a special section where users could put their waste, and the response was great.” He said fish, by its nature, created a lot of packaging waste, which is why it was important to establish a proper scheme. Grimsby Seafood Village is the brainchild of Dalton and Cadey, who changed the face of seafood processing in Grimsby by bringing companies together and sharing common facilities rather than have them scattered over the fish docks. The park opened in 2012 and

is now full, home to more than 20 firms processing everything from cod to salmon. “We are getting an increasing amount of salmon from Norway and Scotland these days,” Dalton said. “Fortunately, we have managed to weather the pandemic quite well and the firms down here had very few people on furlough.” He said fish remained popular with the public, but had become quite expensive in recent weeks. Left: Grimsby Seafood Village Above: Polystyrene box

11/01/2022 14:06:45

Processing News

Bakkafrost takes majority Hilton snaps up Dutch salmon specialist Foppen world are seeking affordable, high-quality, The hilton UK meat and seafood group has stake in Danish cannery acquired and sustainable protein, and this acquisithe Dutch Seafood Company that

BAKKAFROST has acquired a controlling stake in Danish canned salmon and general fish company Munkebo Seafood AS. The Faroese fish farming group, which has major interests in Scotland, said it had acquired 90% of the shares in Munkebo from Paul Lybech, who has been involved with the business for the past 25 years. The remaining 10% is held by General Manager Michael Karlsen, who will continue in that post. Bakkafrost has not disclosed how much it is paying for the business. Munkebo, which employs around 40 people, had an operational EBIT of DKK 4.8m (£550,000) in 2020. Its products are mainly sold in grocery stores in the European Union. Munkebo Seafood AS was founded in 1974 and has, since its formation, been engaged in production of canned fish at the factory in the Danish city of Munkebo. Today the company operates a modern canning facility and offers a wide range of products, of which the largest share is based on salmon. Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen said his company had been one of the largest suppliers of raw materials for Munkebo Seafood for the past few years, making it “a great extension of Bakkafrost’s value chain”. He added: “With a planned increase in production of salmon over the coming years, from Bakkafrost’s farms in the Faroe Islands and in Scotland, Munkebo Seafood will have a strengthened raw material base and Bakkafrost will strengthen the ability to further increase the value derived from its salmon byproducts. “With the acquisition of Munkebo Seafood, Bakkafrost can now offer a wider range of products. Bakkafrost offers fresh, frozen and smoked salmon products, and now canned food is added”. Bakkafrost said that its global sales network meant Munkebo Seafood’s products will now be offered to a wider market as a supplement to Bakkafrost’s other consumer-packaged products.

Processing News v2.indd 23

trades under the Foppen salmon brand in a deal worth around €90m. (£76m). Based in Huntingdon, Hilton Food already owns Grimsby-based Seachill (formerly Icelandic Seachill), which supplies salmon and other seafood to various retailers including Tesco. With annual sales of around €139m (£118m), Foppen is a hot and cold smoked salmon specialist supplier with a history stretching back to the First World War, when it produced smoked eel. It has two smoked salmon operations employing almost 500 people, one in the Netherlands and the other in Greece. The deal gives hilton an important foothold in the Netherlands and in the United States, where Foppen supplies grocery chain Costco. hilton is raising money from shareholders to pay for the acquisition through a £75m equity placing. Hilton CEO Philip Heffer said: “The acquisition of Foppen is an exceptional opportunity for hilton and another step towards our goal of becoming the global protein partner of choice. “More and more consumers around the

tion will help Hilton take our offer into new markets and to new global customers for the first time. He added: “Foppen’s premium product portfolio and strong customer relationships are a great fit for Hilton’s model, while Hilton’s strong environmental social and governance credentials in seafood will make sure our future growth plans are sustainable in every sense of the word. “We welcome Foppen’s management and employees and look forward to delivering profitable growth through the combination of hilton and Foppen.”

Above: Foppen salmon

Mowi UK chooses Maritech Eye quality scanner MOWI Consumer Products in the UK has teamed up with software technology company Maritech to help enhance the quality of its smoked salmon products. Using a device known as the Maritech “Eye”, the system was specially developed to scan defects at speed. The development work included Maritech, Mowi UK and the Norwegian research organisation Nofima. Maritech said its solution used “advanced algorithms and hyperspectral camera technology from HySpex/

Above: The Maritech Eye scanner

NeO to detect and document spots in the fillets, including size and location.” The company said the eye is the only product of its kind in the world, and it operates at industrial speed. Live data is sent to both operators and management.” Gary Paterson, Head of Operations at Mowi Consumer Products UK, said: “For our business here in the UK and in particular the Mowi brand, this gives us the ability to pre-select fillets based on a specification to reduce the manual intervention of removing blemishes once the

fillets have been sliced. “Furthermore, sorting by quality and providing objective information gives us the ability to allocate the material accordingly and allows us to utilise our resources more efficiently and effectively.” Per Alfred Holte, Vice-President of Technical Solutions at Maritech, said: “Mowi is one of the most innovative seafood companies in the global seafood industry, and we are proud that it chose Maritech Eye.” He added: “Mowi Consumer Products UK is currently one of three international Maritech Eye redfish projects, and we are impressed by how the Mowi team has handled the development and implementation in a period when it still has been difficult to travel due to Covid-19. “Our team has only been at the site in Scotland once this year since the initial physical installation of the equipment.”


11/01/2022 16:05:19



New year, new beginning? 2022 will see some important decisions being made about the future of the regulatory regime for Scottish salmon farming


T’S hard to believe that here we are in 2022. Despite the con�nuing pandemic, the year that has just passed appeared to vanish as quickly as it started. Regardless of ongoing problems, farmed salmon was the year’s star performer in the fresh meat, fish and poultry sector of retail. Trade magazine The Grocer reported that this growth was driven by supermarket sales of an extra 21.1 million packs of salmon. Could 2022 see even greater growth? There is no reason why not. Without prejudging any announcement, 2022 may be the year that salmon farming can start a new phase a�er Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Mairi Gougeon, commissioned Professor Griggs to undertake a review of aquaculture regula�on. Industry cri�cs immediately condemned the process, asking how many reviews are required before ac�on is taken. However, while past parliamentary inquiries recommended some changes, they did not propose how those changes would be ins�gated. Professor Griggs has been asked to consider how a new regulatory system can be made both efficient and transparent, but most importantly it needs to be workable. The cri�cs, mostly uninformed, are unlikely to accept any findings as they just want to see the industry closed down and put on shore. It can’t be said that Professor Griggs will hear only one side of the debate – he has been provided with a list of consultees, which appears dominated by those who are not involved in the aquaculture industry. Professor Griggs’ review is not the only consulta�on happening in 2022: the Sco�sh Environment Protec�on Agency (SEPA) launched a consulta�on into the establishment of wild salmon protec�on zones on Scotland’s west coast. SEPA has been given the role of lead body responsible for managing the risk to wild salmon from salmon farms. This is a new role for SEPA, having only taken up the challenge in October 2021. However, it does seem that it is having some difficul-


Comment (Martin Jaffa) v2.indd 24

ty understanding the task because at the launch of the consulta�on Terry A’Hearn, SEPA’s Chief Execu�ve, said: “We know that sea lice from marine finfish farms can be a significant hazard” to wild salmon. The consulta�on document goes further saying: “Substan�al impacts on the survival of wild salmon” result from sea lice. Yet a year previously, SEPA’s Head of Ecology, Peter Pollard, told the Sco�sh Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connec�vity Commi�ee that sea lice from salmon farms were not responsible for the decline of wild salmon. A’Hearn a�ended the same mee�ng. Clearly one of these statements is wrong and SEPA must clarify which it is before the consulta�on can be taken seriously. The primary aim of the consulta�on is to assess support for ambi�ous proposals that would create a series of protec�on zones around the west coast. This is intended to control sea lice numbers, to protect wild salmon post-smolts as they migrate away from the coast. Presumably, the idea is to ensure the maximum number of fish can migrate to their feeding grounds and then return to west coast rivers to breed and propagate the next genera�on.

Top left: Terry A’Hearn Left: Russell Griggs Above: Fishing on the

River Tay

12/01/2022 09:27:47

New year, new beginning?

It seems ludicrous to go to all this effort, however, if returning fish fail to get far enough up the rivers in order to breed. In 2020, this happened to 149 returning salmon in areas covered by the proposed protection zones. These are fish that were caught and killed by anglers for their sport. SEPA says that wild salmon are now “a national priority” so it seems rather pointless if salmon are only going to be a priority for parts of their life cycle. Surely any protection should always cover salmon for all their life cycle. Thus, any form of angling should be banned in areas deemed to be a protection zone whether in the sea or in freshwater. It is already clear that partial protection does not work. Take the case of the biggest salmon rivers in Scotland, such as the River Tay. In recent years, catches have largely collapsed, despite being much quoted as a Special Area of Conservation. However, this protection for conservation does not extend to catching and killing salmon because the protection relates only to the river habitat not to the fish. SEPA’s proposals only seem to relate to trying to keep salmon farming away from wild fish, not any other of the key pressures identified as impacting wild salmon. Clearly, any protection must safeguard salmon from

every influence, not just those that anglers claim is causing the decline of wild salmon. SEPA’s consultation will only have any validity if it goes beyond the questionnaire that has been provided for interested parties to complete. Professor Griggs has been out and about talking directly to a whole range of consultees to garner their opinions and views. SEPA must do the same and not restrict its consultation to those selected voices that suit its desired narrative. This is already apparent from the statements made at the launch, which are clearly based more on preconceptions rather than known facts. FF

of these statements is wrong and “OneSEPA must clarify which it is ”

EMPOWERING world leader in electric underwater robotics

Comment (Martin Jaffa) v2.indd 25


11/01/2022 14:09:33

Salmon Scotland


The message MSPs are, increasingly, listening to what the industry has to say


t has been three years now since the Sco�sh salmon sector last held a Christmas recep�on at Holyrood. In December 2018, dozens of MSPs were there. There were at least four cabinet secretaries, a good sma�ering of junior ministers as well as special advisers, poli�cal editors and columnists, all ea�ng, drinking, laughing and apprecia�ng the posi�vity exuding from a sector with a good tale to tell. Since then, a combina�on of difficult elec�on �ming and Covid has put paid to all subsequent plans. Indeed, on the evening earmarked for our Sco�sh Parliament recep�on last month, the lights were off in the members’ restaurant at the parliament, the staff were all at home and you could almost see the poli�cal equivalent of tumbleweed blowing through the corridors and hallways of parliament. Our inability to get that social, face-to-face contact with MSPs for the last three years has been deeply frustra�ng. It has been just one of the barriers we have faced in ge�ng our message across to the country’s decision-makers. We have not been able to hold parliamentary exhibi�ons – usually a sure-fire way of engaging directly with numerous MSPs of all par�es; we have not been able to take many of them out to farms and those invaluable in-person mee�ngs have also disappeared in a puff of pandemic-induced worry.

But all that just makes Salmon Scotland’s achievements over the past three years all the more remarkable. Despite the restric�ons, the lack of mee�ngs, the cancelled recep�ons and limited contact, our reputa�on among Scotland’s parliamentarians is up – significantly. In 2018, before our last Christmas recep�on, we commissioned a survey of MSPs to find out how we were viewed by our parliamentarians. In 2018, a total of 34% of MSPs were favourable towards the salmon sector and 25% had an unfavourable view – a net favourability ra�ng of plus nine points. In the three years since, our favourability has grown year on year. The latest survey, in 2021, found that a total of 46% of MSPs now have a favourable impression of salmon farming in Scotland and just 19% are unfavourable – a net ra�ng of plus 27 points. Our favourability is up 12 points in three years and our unfavourability score has dropped by six points over the same �me. This would be good in any period. Turning a plus nine ra�ng into a plus 27-point ra�ng would be an achievement to be applauded, but to do so during a pandemic that has cut face-to-face access to almost nothing is a really solid and quan�fiable success. I pointed out in a previous column how we at Salmon Scotland had changed tac�cs and started to emphasise the wider salmon supply chain to MSPs outside our tradi�onal farming areas and how successful that had been.

Our reputa�on among Scotland’s “ parliamentarians is up – significantly ” 26

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11/01/2022 14:11:02

The message

Top: Sco�sh salmon Above: Sco�sh salmon farm Opposite: Sco�sh Parliament

That has certainly been a factor, but we were also very conscious of the changing nature of the parliament in the last year. A�er the elec�on in 2021, about a third of the MSPs were new to the parliament and most were new to poli�cs. We started working on them before and a�er the elec�on, knowing that they would come to parliament ready to hear ra�onal and compelling arguments, unburdened by the misinforma�on and myths peddled by our opponents. And so it has proved. The surveyors we commissioned interviewed 25 new MSPs this year and found that 22 of them had not just had communica�ons from Salmon Scotland,

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but every single one was sa�sfied with the contacts they had had from our organisa�on. However, the most important aspect of this survey work is that it iden�fies where we s�ll need to make significant progress. Salmon farming enjoys considerable support among Highlands and Islands MSPs (not surprisingly), but we have some way to go to persuade central belt MSPs to share the same view. The economic arguments are well known and clearly understood, but the good environmental story we have to tell – and the drive for longterm, world-leading sustainability – s�ll has not cut through. The Sco�sh Parliament is obviously not the whole story because it is not just MSPs who are key decision-makers for our sector. Councillors, par�cularly in our farming regions and especially those with a key role in planning decisions, are also vitally important to the long-term, sustainable growth of our sector. They will be facing elec�ons this year, so the engagement exercise, which we have pioneered so successfully at Holyrood, needs to be rolled out in Inverness, Lerwick, Lochgilphead, Stornoway and a hundred places in between. The message we take to them will be similar to that which has worked so well for our na�onal poli�cians: our farmers produce a healthy, nutri�ous, locally sourced food to world-leading standards. They provide solid founda�ons for dozens of communi�es in remote rural Scotland, support thousands of jobs across the country and have millions of sa�sfied customers around the world. However, by far the most sa�sfying part of this whole process has been the realisa�on that, when presented with the facts, the evidence and the context, our decision-makers have been able to look at the wild cri�cisms that drop into their inboxes (like the green-inked le�ers of old) with fresh eyes, seeing the misinforma�on for what it is. We s�ll have a long way to go, there is no doubt about that. But this is a contest we are winning. This year’s MSPs’ survey shows that the trend is heading in the right direc�on and we are determined, absolutely determined, to keep it going that way. FF


11/01/2022 14:11:49



Bothered by Brexit UK shellfish producers look back on 2021 as a year of missed opportunities


REXIT, one year on! Where to start? Unfortunately, a phone around of shellfish farmers found not one person with anything good to say about it. Our industry approached 2021 being told that “it will be business as usual”. We had expressed doubts about this for the previous two years, but had been reassured in wri�ng by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that we would s�ll be able to export, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It is now almost one year since we transi�oned out of Europe and almost one year since our worst nightmares were realised. It transpired that the UK nego�a�ng team had failed to ask the right ques�ons about expor�ng live shellfish, leaving anyone with bivalves grown in Class B waters unable to send them to Europe without first depura�ng the animals. Pre-Brexit, this trade was unhindered. There followed months of fran�c phone calls, bad-tempered mee�ngs with Defra and the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) officials, Ministers, MPs and anyone we thought might be able to help. We ini�ated a prominent media campaign, with radio, TV, newsprint and online papers eager to highlight another Brexit disaster. Our own company also threatened to sue the Government and we have spent considerable �me, money and energy closeted with lawyers. Our collec�ve case was not helped by the Secretary of State for the Envi-

ronment placing the blame squarely and very publicly on the shoulders of the European Commission, sta�ng that they had “changed the rules”. They had not: Defra officials had failed to understand those rules and had failed to listen to industry, as was found by the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commi�ee in its inves�ga�on of meat and fish exports. A pot of money offered to shellfish farmers to build depura�on facili�es completely ignored the reality, which had repeatedly been explained to the Minister, that buyers in Europe do not want depurated shellfish. Depura�on is already an integral part of their own process and to do it twice shortens shelf life. Exports of bulk quan��es of bivalves from Class B waters represent the majority of produc�on in England and Wales. Ignoring this issue was a huge omission.


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Left: Na�ve oysters, Sailors Creek Shellfish Above: Queen scallops Opposite: Mussels packed

11/01/2022 14:13:36

Bothered by Brexit

seems as “ifItMinisters have no idea about our business

Diver�ng such large extra volumes into the UK market is not feasible, because that market does not exist. Mussel sales have been sta�c, if not reducing in the UK in recent years, despite plenty of availability, and to expect an overnight doubling is unrealis�c. Funds were made available for those struggling to export to enable them to develop home delivery sales, and a number of companies successfully entered this space. Whether they will con�nue in the long term remains to be seen. Sales of shellfish in retail and home delivery picked up for a while, as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns, but the same level of interest has not been maintained. Advice by officials to “export outside of the EU” was most unhelpful to bulk suppliers. There is not another con�nent that lies within reach by road, and 20-tonne loads of live, wet shellfish packed in one-tonne bulk bags are not air-cargo friendly. Some people have gone out of business, while others struggle to maintain investor confidence, due to the ongoing level of uncertainty about future exports. This situa�on has also induced anxiety in employees over long-term job security. Mar�n Laity, who runs Cornish-based Sailor’s Creek Shellfish, explains that his company is “well down on sales since Brexit by as much as 60%.” He adds: “I have nothing posi�ve to say about this year. The limita�ons imposed by the need to purify all shellfish from Class B waters – even queen scallops – are madness. We just can’t get the shelf life we used to, which means we don’t have such a good product and the value is reduced. It seems as if Ministers have no idea about our business – or even care.” Laity had hoped that a�er 32 years of lobbying by the industry, the water classifica�on system would be revised to be in line with the rest of Europe.

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“We thought that this would be sorted by the FSA [the Food Standards Agency] and Cefas, that they would overhaul the system and figure out how to clean up our waters, and it has been a huge disappointment that they have not sorted it. Yes, we have issues with river pollu�on, but so has every other shellfish-producing country in Europe and they manage to have thriving industries,” he says. He refers to the “�nkering around the edges” with the water classifica�on system that the FSA undertook in the spring following intense lobbying from industry, and a report ini�ated by an industry group and undertaken by Seafish that showed that the UK was alone in implemen�ng a severe interpreta�on of the EU Water Framework Direc�ve. For all shellfish exporters, the paperwork burden has increased over the past year, and inspec�ons at border control posts have lengthened journey �mes, resul�ng in higher transport costs, loss of shelf life and the constant threat of a rejected load. Further changes to EU paperwork are due in January, when a veterinary surgeon will be required to cer�fy and sign off each load. This process will add, �me, money and stress to each export. Electronic cer�fica�on, which is another year or so away, may help with this burden. David Jarrad, Chief Execu�ve of the Shellfish Associa�on of Great Britain, explains that producers who supply the domes�c market had not been affected by Brexit and that a general shortage of oysters meant they were not currently looking to export. However, the new rules on Class B shellfish mean that such an opportunity is not available to them unless depura�on facili�es are in place. “The mood for export is extremely dour to say the least and the uncertainty created by the new EU Animal Health Regula�on makes the situa�on even more complicated,” he says. The UK is endeavouring to tackle the issue of expor�ng Class B molluscs through the official channel of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Commi�ee, but this process is slow and uncertain. “We made some progress with FSA on water classifica�on, but lots more needs to be and could be done to support the sector,” says Jarrad. It is ironic that the Seafood 2040 and English Aquaculture Strategies promote aquaculture as an important contributor to food security and GDP. Without industry confidence and a thriving export trade, this will never be realised. “There is no Brexit bonus and there is no upside to this. It is an unmi�gated disaster and we are simply paying the cost of a poli�cal vanity project,” John Holmyard, MD of Offshore Shellfish, says. FF


11/01/2022 14:14:17


An elementary


A certification body has unveiled new tech in the fight against seafood fraud



OW can seafood consumers know that what they’re ea�ng is what they’ve paid for, and how can seafood producers assure that their product is authen�c? In the latest development, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is pioneering new technology in the US to verify seafood back to its farm of origin “with be�er than 95% accuracy”. How big a problem is seafood fraud? According to US ocean conserva�on charity Oceana: “Seafood fraud is the prac�ce of misleading consumers about their seafood in order to increase profits. Along with ripping off shoppers, these ac�ons can have nega�ve impacts on marine conserva�on efforts and human health. “Types of seafood fraud include subs�tu�ng one species for another without changing the label, including less seafood in the package than is indicated on the label, adding too much ice to seafood in order to increase the weight and shipping seafood products through different countries in order to avoid du�es and tariffs.” Oceana says: “Although seafood is one of the most popular foods in the US, consumers are rou�nely given li�le or no informa�on about where their seafood is from. Plus, the informa�on provided on seafood labels is o�en misleading or fraudulent. “Despite growing concern about where our food comes from, consumers are frequently served the wrong fish – a completely different species than the one they paid for. Recent studies have found that seafood may be mislabelled as o�en as 25% to 70% of the �me for fish such as red snapper, wild salmon and Atlan�c cod, disguising species that are less desirable, cheaper or more readily available. In order to prevent fraud, consumers need to know where seafood comes from and be able to trace it all the way back to the sea.” The Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s new technology – based on trace element fingerprin�ng (TEF) – will, in part, help the organisa�on further reduce seafood fraud and mislabelling, occurrences all too common in both wild-caught and farmed seafood. “The


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problem with fraudulent seafood is the unknown – if it is from an unknown source, it’s not possible to know what other issues it may have,” says the ASC’s Head of Media, Jack Cu�orth. He explains: “These could range from false claims of species or origin to bad environmental or social prac�ces. That’s why the ASC already invests so much �me and resources in protec�ng the supply chain of cer�fied seafood from the farm to the plate, because consumers deserve to know exactly what they’re ea�ng. “By its very nature, this prac�ce is hard to quan�fy and a lot of evidence is anecdotal. It would definitely be wrong to overes�mate the problem, but even one case is too many, and it’s enough of an issue to warrant our a�en�on and keep improving assurance in the supply chain. Emerging technologies like TEF can help us to do that.” Peter Redmond is Senior Market Development Manager, ASC North America. He says: “If you want to make claims about being the ‘best’ or ‘sustainable’, you must be able to verify where and how the seafood was raised. We are encouraged by the opportunity this technology brings to further strengthen our cer�fica�on programme.” The ASC, which describes itself as the world’s leading provider of farmed seafood cer�fica�on, says this is “the only cer�fying programme that can verify your seafood is what it claims to be, where it came from, how it was responsibly raised and how it got to you. “Now, with TEF, the ASC has the ability to trace farmed seafood with even more accuracy.” Tests have already been conducted at several ASC-

Left: It looks tasty, but what kind of fish is it? Opposite: Mislabelled shrimp may come from an uncer�fied farm

11/01/2022 14:16:02

An elementary solution

cer�fied shrimp farms in Southeast Asia. In these, the ASC and its partners were able to correctly iden�fy the farms of origin in all samples and achieved be�er than 95% accuracy compared with lower accuracy rates for conven�onal sta�s�cal methodologies. “The ASC’s use of TEF technology reflects the concept that ‘you are what you eat,’” says Redmond. “The environment in which you eat, drink and live leaves a footprint in your body, and the same is true of farmed seafood. Trace elements from the local soils, groundwater, surrounding environment and food are taken in by plants and animals and, with our use of TEF technology, we can link them back to their place of origin.” “While our label is a symbol to consumers that their product comes from a cer�fied responsible farm, we also need to constantly adapt to new technologies,” says Wendy Banta, the ASC’s Senior Program Assurance Manager. “Now, with TEF technology, we are further pushing mislabelling and fraud out of this industry and driving what we call, ‘the new way to seafood’.” Why is the traceability ini�a�ve be�er than relying on, for example, blockchain and verified distribu�on processes? “All of these methods have their own advantages and they may be strongest when used

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together,” says Cu�orth. “The Trace Element Fingerprin�ng being trialled by the ASC offers an excellent level of accuracy when it comes to iden�fying the origin of seafood. At the ASC our cer�fica�on is based on individual farm performance, so that accuracy would be a big poten�al advantage for us. “But the key thing is using different tools in complementary ways. TEF isn’t the only way we’re improving assurance in the supply chain. We will con�nue to work with our partners in shrimp-producing countries to iden�fy risks, educate producers and processors, and inves�gate thoroughly when necessary. We will con�nue to insist on integrity from all our cer�fied producers and suppliers. And we will con�nue to develop other tools, such as digitally tracking key product data along the supply chain, to improve traceability.” He adds: “We’re s�ll fairly early in the process of trialling this technology. Ini�ally it will be used by the ASC in specific inves�ga�ons. Eventually its use is likely to become more rou�ne as part of regular ASC assurance opera�ons. But these discussions are in an early stage as we con�nue to test the technology.” The organisa�on will con�nue to test and refine TEF technology and aims to implement it on all ASC-cer�fied farms. Consumers can find the sea green “ASC-cer�fied” responsible seafood label on more than 19,400 products worldwide. FF

are frequently served the “Consumers wrong fish ”


11/01/2022 14:16:54

Lerøy Seafood Group

Investing in organic Lerøy is investigating new, organic practices for its salmon as well as the possibilities for a new crop – seaweed BY VINCE MCDONAGH


OULD “organic” be the next big global development in world aquaculture? Lerøy Seafood seems to think so, which is probably why it has introduced a new salmon quality mark and is accelera�ng its seaweed project. Lerøy Organic has been launched in response to high demand and as a pla�orm offering a full range of quality-marked cer�fied seafoods.  Organic salmon is not new, of course, but it remains at the margins for most fish farming companies. That could be about to change, however. Lerøy’s Head of Sales and Distribu�on, Lene Fammestad, said recently: “We want to be a complete supplier of seafood and we are seeing that a growing number of people want organic, as well as conven�onal, salmon.” So far, Lerøy Organic consists of the product Organic Salmon and the new seaweed brand called Mǽr.  The quality mark assures consumers that their food has been produced according to organic principles. Strict EU regula�ons apply when labelling a product as organic. They ensure that the produc�on process is kept as natural as possible and with minimum impact on the environment. Currently, Lerøy’s organic salmon is produced at four fish farms in the Norwegian county of Vestland. Normally, the nets in which fish are held are impregnated with a product that contains copper to prevent bivalves and algae growing on them. When copper comes


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into contact with water, it erodes, which can nega�vely impact condi�ons on the sea floor. Copper can not therefore be used in organic produc�on. The maximum density of salmon in the nets is also less than half what it is for conven�onal salmon, which minimises the environmental impact of the aquaculture. In conven�onal produc�on, salmon cons�tutes up to 2.5% of the volume in cages, but in organic farming it is just 1%, leaving 99% as water. “Lerøy’s organic salmon is of excellent quality, so naturally it is in high demand. Our hope is that more and more people will no�ce this, so we can distribute it to even more consumers around the world,” Fammestad explains. Another plus is that the salmon is only fed on organic feed, with a higher content of marine-based ingredients than that given to conven�onally reared salmon. The characteris�c pink colour is obtained by using Panaferd, a feed addi�ve derived from micro-

Above: Sugar kelp Left: Lene Fammestad Opposite from top:

Organic salmon; Organic Ocean Forest seaweed from Lerøy

11/01/2022 14:18:39

Investing in organic

It is the “most sustainable food on Earth!

organisms that contains carotenoids, which are good for the health of the fish as well as ensuring an a�rac�ve colour, the company maintains. So what about taste? Fredrik Hald, a trained chef who is Head of Product Development at Lerøy, says the organic offering is different from that of normal salmon and has a firmer consistency. “It has a rich and mild taste: part sweet, part sea and part pleasant vegetable tones”, says Hald. The Lerøy organic project – a wide range of salmon products are on offer – will be watched closely by rival companies. If it takes off in a big way, others are sure to follow. Seaweed as a superfood? The same goes for seaweed cul�va�on. In Europe, only a few years ago it was largely the curious preserve of coastal communi�es and a small band of environmentalists. Both groups have always been full of praise for seaweed as a food with genuine health benefits, although the jury is s�ll out on this claim. Nevertheless, seaweed is today considered

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a superfood, and contains vitamins A, B, C and E. It is also packed with minerals such as potassium, which our bodies need in order for our nerves, muscles and kidneys to func�on properly. Lerøy believes it has real poten�al now to extend its focus beyond animal protein, which is why the company has established Mǽr as part of its work to develop seaweed for human consump�on. The company is currently concentra�ng on sugar kelp, a common form of seaweed found in northern shallow seas. Torbjørn Baugstø, the Sales and Concept Manager for Mǽr, says seaweed doesn’t need land, fresh water, feed, fer�liser or large farms, so the produc�on is completely sustainable. He says: “It is the most sustainable food on Earth!” Despite its name, sugar kelp has a naturally salty taste and contains high levels of glutamic acid, which can help learning and memory. The salt content is quite low and is a healthier alterna�ve to ordinary salt. Torbjørn said: “The sugar kelp we grow in the northern part of Austevoll gets everything it needs in the sea – nutrients from the water and plenty of sunlight – so there are no environmental downsides to its produc�on. “Marine algae, including sugar kelp, are also responsible for most of the world’s oxygen produc�on, and they are more efficient at capturing carbon than rain forests.” He adds: “The sugar kelp we grow in the northern part of Austevoll gets everything it needs in the sea – nutrients from the water and plenty of sunlight – so there are no environmental downsides to its produc�on.” Work on pu�ng out this year’s crop of kelp began a few months ago. In winter, the water is now cold enough so that the other organisms that grow on the sugar kelp, and which represent a threat to it, are less dominant. “Kelp prefers cold water and naturally it grows from autumn un�l spring. By mid-June it begins to break down due to excessively high water temperatures and algal blooms”, says Ocean Forest’s Produc�on Manager for Kelp Cu�ngs, Sunniva Tangen Haldorsen. When the kelp is harvested in May, it is fermented and sent to Denmark as an ingredient in feed for farm animals, including ca�le where it has a very unusual use. Ca�le produce very high methane emissions, and if they eat kelp it actually means they emit less wind. “Kelp has also been shown to improve the intes�nal health of piglets, reducing the need for an�bio�cs,” Sunniva says. With a tasty, nutri�ous crop that has the poten�al to eat up the excess carbon we produce, the “blue economy” looks set to be greener than ever. FF


11/01/2022 14:19:13

Land based farming

Thinking inside the box

Finnish engineers have created a modular fish farm system based on shipping containers BY SANDY NEIL


econd-hand shipping containers have found all sorts of uses, from schools and theatres to pools and labs. Now, thanks to Finland’s natural Resources Institute, we can add another: a prototype salmonid farm. how does it work? “The unit includes both a fish tank and the necessary water recycling technology,” explains the foundation, which is also known by its Finnish acronym “Luke”. The container-based modular solution enables scalable plug-and-play farm solutions. The core idea of the developed plant concept is “modularity”, and the utilisation of multi-functional technologies in water treatment. Project leader Tapio Kiuru says the modular concept brings savings in design costs, component manufacturing and procurement costs, and plant set-up costs. other benefits, he adds, include low water consumption, energy efficiency and a fast production cycle. The fish farm, assembled from ready-made modules, also enables a rapid assembly and start of production. Production can be phased and it can be flexibly scaled. The foundation said: “The modular plant concept and the possibility of a simpler partial circulation of water instead of full recirculation also makes implementation of new technology easier.”


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Above: hand feeding, before feeding automation was installed Opposite from top: The pilot farm; The engine room

Kiuru adds: “Luke’s method can meet several of the current key challenges in circulating aquaculture, such as high investment costs and, for example, high feed and labour costs. The key idea, he explains, is the use of multi-functional technologies in order to save investment and running costs. Other advantages include energy efficiency and low water consumption, as well as allowing a production strategy to ensure there are no “off-flavour” problems. he says: “When it comes to shipping containers, we are not the first to bring them to aquaculture, but Luke’s new innovation makes the effective utilisation of shipping containers possible in aquaculture.” a prototype of a fish container unit has been tested in Laukaa. how successful has it been so far? “We have grown six batches of rainbow trout so far in our pilot farm which has two 40-foot

11/01/2022 14:24:26

Thinking inside the box

have been “Results extremely good in all respects ” container units and one 20-foot container unit,” Kiuru explains. “Results have been extremely good in all respects and there have been no off-flavour problems at all when we have used these systems in intensive partial re-use aquaculture system (PRAS) mode. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) has been below 1.0 in all six patches that have been produced so far. “We were quite surprised to see below 1.0 FCRs even when the final size of the trout was 3.4kg. It might well be that the full production capacity has not been seen yet, as the bestperforming group was actually the one that had highest final density (105kg/m3) that we have tested so far. In this case, final size of trout was 1.27kg and FCR was 0.83. Also other production parameters were quite impressive – specific growth rate (SGR) of 1.48 and mortality of 0.05%. “Our full-scale experiments with trout sizes from 90g to over 3,000g have shown that over 100kg/m3 final densities are possible in these systems. Maximum feed load in our trials have been 1kg of feed per 1m3 tank water per day, so in theory maximum production capacity of one 40-foot unit could be over 20 tonnes per year, as water volume is about 50m3. However, it is not possible to use all tanks with full capacity all the time. Our results suggest that 10–12 tonnes per year is a realistic production capacity for one 40-foot container unit and production capacity of the farm depends on number of the units.” Luke has applied for a patent for the developed technology and Business Finland Research has granted funding of €378,000 (£323,000) for a commercialisation project.

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“We believe more reliable and cost-effective technology can attract producers not only from recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) sectors, but also from traditional sectors when sustainable intensification is sought after. We believe this technology fits especially well to small or medium-sized producers,” says Tapio. “This is, in a way, a reversal of current trends in building larger and larger RAS farms, but our first results have shown that the cost per production capacity will be very competitive compared with current RAS technologies, even in much smaller scale. Modularity brings some benefits as well. Rap-up time will be shorter and gradual expansion is possible. Plug-and-play systems could be used not only in novel farms but also to increase capacity rapidly in existing farms. “Europe is a leader in trout and salmonid consumption, and there is an obvious need for aquaculture intensification too. The European market is therefore probably the most interesting for this technology. However, simplicity, easiness of transportation and lower requirements for local infrastructure could make these systems very potential way of food production in third countries too. Also site-specific risks are lower as these units can be relocated if necessary; it secures the value of the investment. This is, of course, something new and beneficial in all markets, but especially in areas that have more site-related uncertainties. “We have produced only rainbow trout with our prototypes so far, and as we are cold water specialists ourselves, the salmonids are natural choice for our first target. However, we are aware of other potential fish species and even shrimp as well, but other species is the area that we are looking forward to enter a bit later.” FF


11/01/2022 14:25:09

Climate change


Feeling the heat Warming oceans represent a clear and present danger for fishing and fish farming, a new report concludes


LOBAL warming poses a bigger threat to the future growth of aquaculture than many realise, a new study suggests, with salmon and mussels par�cularly at risk. The University of Bri�sh Columbia (UBC), close to Canada’s main salmon ac�vity and the world’s largest ocean, has completed a major research project that shows that fish farms are not immune to the impact of climate change. The poten�al consequences are seriously worrying. Sea warming is already being blamed for the increase in salmon lice and diseases such as infec�ous salmon anaemia (ISA), but the UBC study says that if no ac�on is taken to

mi�gate climate change the supply of salmon and mussels could drop by 16% globally over the next 70 years. The researchers from the UBC’s research unit, known as the Ins�tute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), used a complex model incorpora�ng extreme annual ocean temperatures in exclusive economic zones, where the majority of global fish catches occur, into climate-related projec�ons for fish, fisheries and their dependent human communi�es.

Above: Muhammed Oyinlola Left: Glacier mel�ng Opposite: Bangladesh fishing boat


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11/01/2022 14:31:23

Feeling the heat

Ocean-farmed seafood or mariculture is o�en seen as a solu�on to the problems of depleted stocks of wild fish and growing human demand. It is expected to grow substan�ally in the coming years, says Dr Muhammed Oyinlola, the report’s lead author. But Dr Oyinlola, who is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Ins�tute for the Oceans and Fisheries, warns the industry is as vulnerable to the effects of climate change as any other, adding: “If we con�nue to burn fossil fuels at our current rate, the amount of seafood such as fish or mussels able to be farmed sustainably will increase by only 8% by 2050, and decline by 16% by 2090.” But there is also an upside. The study says in a “low emissions” scenario, where ac�on is taken to mi�gate climate change, mariculture is projected to grow by about 17% by the mid-21st century, and by about 33% per cent by the end of the century, rela�ve to the present �me. The model takes into account many factors, including changing ocean temperatures, suitable mariculture areas in the future, and the supply of fishmeal and fish oil. It examined approximately 70% of the world’s mariculture produc�on as of 2015, focusing on exclusive economic zones. Climate change will affect mariculture produc�on differently depending on where farms are in the world and what they produce, says Dr Oyinlola. The hardest-hit regions iden�fied in the high-emissions scenario are Norway and the Netherlands (and, presumably, Scotland and the Faroe Islands because of their proximity to Norway) along with warm climate countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh and China. These could all see their aquaculture produc�on decline by as much as 40% to 90%.

Climate change - Vince 2 v2.indd 37

The report also maintains that the climate effects on aquaculture include changes in the area of viable ocean in which fish can be farmed, as well as in the stock of food used to feed them. Fish farms tend to use fishmeal and fish oil, which are largely composed of smaller fish such as herring and anchovy – stocks that are also threatened by climate change. “Some regions produce more bivalves, such as mussels, oysters and clams, and in these regions the impact is smaller,” Dr Oyinlola says. “In regions that produce more finfish, such as salmon, the impact will be high due to reduc�on in the supply of fishmeal and fish oil.” Under current carbon emission rates, finfish farming, includings salmon, is projected to decrease globally by 3% by 2050, and 14% by 2090. Bivalve farming is projected to increase by 2050 and decrease by 2090 under both climate scenarios. The study also found that subs�tu�ng plant-based foods such as soybeans for fishmeal and fish oil could help alleviate the impact of climate change from fish farming opera�ons. When a quarter of the fish food was subs�tuted with alterna�ves, under a low-emissions scenario, mariculture produc�on was projected to increase by 25% by 2050 and 31% by 2090. With no change to current emissions, when a quarter of the fish food was subs�tuted with alterna�ves, mariculture produc�on was projected to increase by 15% by 2050 and 4% by 2090. When half the food was subs�tuted in both climate scenarios, these percentages increased. “This study highlights the need to diversify mariculture development from the current focus on fish,” says senior author Dr William Cheung, IOF professor and director. Climate-adapted mariculture would include species that are not dependent on fishmeal and fish oil, such as shellfish or algae, or those that can u�lise non-fish-based feed. The report says: “Farming these species generally helps to reduce exposure of seafood farming to climate hazards.” While there is enthusiasm about ocean mariculture helping to increase the produc�on of seafood, the study shows that if humans don’t address climate change, such enthusiasm will be tempered, says Dr Cheung. He concludes: “Climate change affects everything, including aspects of seafood farming we’ve not previously considered. We need to act, and quickly, to mi�gate climate change rather than rely on one solu�on to solve all our seafood produc�on problems.” FF

This study “highlights the need to diversify mariculture development


11/01/2022 14:32:11


BC at the crossroads Canada’s new Fisheries Minister has inherited a fierce controversy BY ROBERT OUTRAM AND VINCE MCDONAGH


HE news in October that Joyce Murray had been appointed as Canada’s Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Na�onal Coastguard was greeted with warm words from the country’s fish farming industry. The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance issued a diploma�cally worded statement congratula�ng Murray on her appointment. It said: “Our members would like to welcome the Honourable Joyce Murray as the new Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, and express their enthusiasm to work together to realise the opportuni�es for Canada through sector development. “According to the United Na�ons’ Food and Agriculture Organiza�on, the global and domes�c demand for seafood con�nues to increase 7% to 10% a year. The new government has commi�ed to ensuring that Canada is posi�oned to succeed in the fast-growing global sector of the blue economy.” Grieg Seafood also warmly welcomed Murray. Grieg Seafood BC (Bri�sh Columbia) Managing Director Rocky Boschman said: “On behalf of myself and Grieg Seafood, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Minister Murray and her team. We look forward to reaching out to both her and her staff in the coming weeks to extend these sen�ments directly, as well as extend an invita�on to come and view our opera�ons and learn more about Grieg, our employees and our fish, as well as our commitment to con�nuous improvement, innova�on and the adap�on of technology into our opera�ons.” The coming year may see rela�ons turn fros�er, however. Murray was appointed as the successor Bernade�e Jordan, who failed to win re-elec�on last year despite her party, the Liberals, returning to power.


Canada update v2.indd 38

Like Jordan, Murray has a reputa�on for being cri�cal of aquaculture’s environmental impact and she has inherited a crucially important court case over the industry’s future. In December 2020, Jordan effec�vely ordered an end to net-pen fish farming ac�vity in the Discovery Islands region of Bri�sh Columbia by June 2022. The Government even put a stop on the movement of juvenile salmon to Bri�sh Columbia, which angered companies such as Mowi, which warned that up to three million fish would have to be culled and many jobs lost as result. Cermaq also condemned the decision, accusing Jordan of a lack of understanding about fish farming. All four companies affected by the Government’s decision launched an appeal in the Federal Court, O�awa. Their case is based on the claim that the orders lacked fairness, were totally irra�onal and driven by poli�cal considera�on rather than led by scien�fic evidence. Mowi Canada told the court that the minister’s decision was made without any consulta�on, saying it threatened its opera�ons in Bri�sh Columbia. Grieg and Cermaq have also asked the court to intervene in Jordan’s decisions. Following hearings last autumn, a ruling from the Federal Court is expected in the first half of this year. The Bri�sh Columbia Salmon Farmers Associa�on told Fish Farmer that the industry requires certainty about its future in order to invest in be�er technology and improved fish welfare: “In terms of the future of salmon farming technology, we follow science and research for the best direc�on in technological advancements and want to pursue the technology with the lowest carbon footprint and environmental

This page from top: Joyce Murray MP; Bernade�e Jordan; Klemtu Spirit salmon Opposite: Grieg, Nootka Sound

11/01/2022 14:36:05

BC at the crossroads

impact, with the best fish welfare practices. Continued research and development is ongoing and new technology is being trialled. However, a secure future is needed in order to gain the investment needed to continue with this effort.” Jordan had cited opposition to salmon farms on the part of First Nations representatives as a key reason for the Discovery Islands farming ban. In practice, however, the issue of salmon farming has divided the region’s indigenous communities. For example, in June 2021, the Tlowitsis Nation and Grieg Seafood BC together submitted an application to the regulators for an additional salmon farm in the Tlowitsis Nation’s traditional territory of Clio Channel. The two partners also recently entered into a net-washing agreement while supporting Grieg Seafood’s need for local service providers and more workers. Tlowitsis Chief John Smith said: “We have built a solid relationship with Grieg Seafood over more than 10 years of many meetings, visiting their farms and travelling to Ottawa, Vancouver and Victoria to speak to regulators about our views of aquaculture. “Our Guardians are on the water monitoring the farm activities as well as our members employed by Grieg. We have taken a lot of

West is committed “Mowi Canada to reconciliation ”

Canada update v2.indd 39

time to learn about the industry and our partner before we decided to become involved more directly, and for us adding more farms in our territory is the clear way forward. Our net-wash service company will also benefit from additional work for our members at a new farm.” Some of the neighbouring First Nations are less happy, however. Independent news website The Narwhal reported that hereditary chiefs from several Kwakwaka’wakw Nations are sending a letter to Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, stating that the application for a salmon farm near Knight Inlet — between the Broughton Archipelago and the Discovery Islands where fish farms are being removed — infringes on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Aboriginal Rights and Title. “We are vehemently opposed to any fish farms within Kwakwaka’wakw territorial waters, and they are contrary to our way of life, culture and potlatch laws,” the letter says. “As hereditary chiefs of our nations, we vow to protect our food and sacred Awinakola [which means ‘We are one with the land and sea’], the land, sea and air we own. As keepers and stewards of the land, we find this application outside your nation’s jurisdiction.” Meanwhile, Walmart Canada has become the first large retailer to market salmon produce from the First Nation people of the Kitasoo and Xai’xais, British Columbia. “Klemtu Spirit Hot Smoked Atlantic Salmon” has been created in partnership with Mowi Canada West and packaged by the First Nation group in Klemtu, BC. They were directly involved in approving the locally inspired name and artwork for this new product. Klemtu Spirit is the culmination of a 30year partnership between the Kitasoo-Xai’xais First Nation and Mowi. Fish farming and processing is the main source of employment in Klemtu, generating more than 50 jobs for the small, remote community on the central coast of British Columbia. Currently, Mowi Canada West’s (MCW) has formal agreements with 15 Nations and eight First Nation-owned businesses, and a significant part of Mowi’s workforce is Indigenous.


11/01/2022 14:36:42


Mowi told Fish Farmer: “MCW recognises the indigenous right to self-determina�on and the rights of Na�ons to make decisions on ma�ers that impact their territories. Agreements between company and Na�on are built around shared values, and also developed to address specific interests and exper�se that each party offers. Collabora�ve business ac�vi�es have grown over two decades of working together, and have included fish hauling, harves�ng, processing, net cleaning, scuba diving, crew boat services, fish processing and smoking, and environmental monitoring. “MCW is commi�ed to reconcilia�on and this includes enhanced communica�on and informa�on sharing, capacity building within Na�ons to support evidence-based decision-making, equitable economic opportuni�es and establishing a framework for long-term rela�onships.” Consumer confusion Most Canadians love their salmon, but millions are badly misinformed and confused about current produc�on methods, a report published

Above: Canadian Federal Court Right: Grieg, Tlowitsis Na�on Opposite: Wild salmon in Bri�sh Columbia


Canada update v2.indd 40

towards the end of 2021 suggests. Researchers at Dalhousie University in Nova Sco�a have carried out a detailed na�onwide study on thousands of consumers because they wanted to get a be�er sense of how much they knew about the various methods used to cul�vate the fish and their buying habits. The Agri-Food Analy�cs Lab, in partnership with Caddle, polled 10,000 Canadians in June 2021 to be�er understand how people perceive salmon produc�on methods, how o�en they eat the fish and if they preferred certain species. The level of consump�on suggests a majority of the popula�on may not agree with the legislators that salmon farming needs to be curtailed. The researchers found that a total of 79% of the popula�on do eat salmon, with 10% of those ea�ng it weekly. More than half of those polled believe that aquaculture is a sustainable way to harvest salmon. When assessing people’s percep�on related to salmon and the two main fish farming produc�on methods – ocean-based pens and landbased farms – Canadians appear to support ocean farm produc�on. Nonetheless, the results suggest that 50% of respondents misunderstand the differences between land-based and ocean farming. Dr Stefanie Colombo, lead researcher for the project and Canada Research Chair in Aquaculture Nutri�on at Dalhousie, says the survey results reveal how confused and misinformed Canadians are about salmon produc�on and

11/01/2022 14:37:47

BC at the crossroads

how important science-based data is in shaping public opinion. “There seems to be a lot of confusion around how salmon are raised in ocean farms, but it appears Canadians see them as a very sustainable method of produc�on, in addi�on to land-based produc�on,” says Dr Colombo. She argues in the report: “The future exclusion of ocean net-pen farming eliminates the opportunity for sustainable use of our coastline in appropriate areas for food produc�on. Both produc�on models will con�nue to improve and evolve to produce sustainable, nutri�ous salmon for all Canadians.” A total of 21% of Canadians prefer salmon raised on a land-based farm and 39% prefer ocean-farmed salmon. About 44% of Canadians say they eat salmon at home, with 8% preferring to order it at a restaurant. Among those who do not eat salmon, 42% cited taste as the reason, while 30% said they do not eat any kind of fish. When it came to produc�on methods, 49% of Canadians say they prefer wild salmon, while 42% had no preference. About 29% believe wild salmon to be more nutri�ous, even though recent research suggests otherwise, says the university. Sylvain Charlebois, Director of the Agri-Food Analy�cs Lab at Dalhousie, warns in the study: “If we mo�vate the industry to produce more salmon using land-based farms, we could poten�ally make salmon less affordable in the immediate future for a growing number of Canadians.”

Canada update v2.indd 41

We are vehemently opposed to any fish farms … they are contrary to our way of life

Spotlight on fish welfare Meanwhile, Canada has drawn up its first na�onal code of prac�ce for the care and safe handling of salmonids - which mainly comprises salmon and trout species. The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, which ini�ated the project three years ago, and the Na�onal Farm Animal Care Council have worked together on the project which they say will greatly improve sustainability and fish welfare. Dr Barry Milligan, a veterinarian who has held senior roles in both salmonid produc�on and fish health, said: “Our industry’s par�cipa�on in the code development process demonstrates our producers’ commitment to animal health and welfare, and dedica�on to responsible fish husbandry. The code includes several issues including water quality, stocking density, fish handling, health and monitoring, slaughter and ligh�ng, and feed withdrawal and sea lice. Codes of prac�ce in Canada are regarded as a powerful tool for mee�ng rising consumer expecta�ons and for ensuring that animal welfare is regarded as a priority in farming. Helping with the work to produce the code was a commi�ee that included animal science and veterinary exper�se in fish behaviour, health and welfare. Leigh Gaffney, who represents World Animal Protec�on Canada on the Code Commi�ee, said: “I commend the aquaculture sector for ini�a�ng the development of this code. A significant milestone has been achieved in releasing Canada’s first Code of Prac�ce for the Care and Handling of Farmed Salmonids. This code reflects the hard but very important conversa�ons we had on how to bring meaningful improvements to the welfare of farmed salmonids in Canada.” Fish farmer Arlen Taylor, who owns five rainbow trout hatcheries in Toronto and who sits on the code development commi�ee, said: “We are very proud to be releasing the first Code of Prac�ce for farmed salmonids in Canada. This code is a valuable resource for large and small farms alike. It will allow us all to improve our prac�ces while con�nuing to innovate for the future be�erment of animal care.” FF


11/01/2022 14:38:28

Offshore farming

Oceanic ambition A new concept in fish farming has cleared an important regulatory hurdle


lans for a massive fish farming vessel – the Ocean Ark – have received approval in principle from RINA, the marine classification society. The go-head means the order to build this impressive-looking concept in offshore salmon farming has moved up several gears. Looking like an aircraft carrier without the flight deck, it has been developed by Ocean Ark Tech of Chile (also known as OATECH) and is likely to be positioned off that country. OATECH also has a UK-based strategic ally called Ocean Sovereign. The developers, who have won national awards for their project, say Ocean Ark is set to revolutionise the industry by dramatically improving fish health, crew comfort and the industry’s image. By deploying Ocean Ark far from costly and often devastating events such as heatwaves, storms and algae blooms, the developers hope it will be able to produce higher-quality fish. OATECH founder Rodrigo Sanchez Raccaro, who has considerable experience in salmon farming, says: “We have applied all our knowledge and experience in the design, engineering and development of this farming


Ocean Ark v2.indd 42

Above: The Ocean Ark Opposite from top: The Ocean Ark; The Havfarm1; Guoxin 101

ark superyacht, including the dynamic and static modelling that test wave resistance. “The ships offer a solid business plan for fish production. This superyacht fish farm was designed to operate offshore, where the best conditions are met for the fish. This technology allows low-density production of healthier, higher-quality fish at lower costs than the offshore, land-based and coastal aquaculture systems now available.” The vessel is a self-propelled, low-emission trimaran 170 metres long and 64 metres wide. Artificial intelligence and self-cleaning fish cages of copper help secure fish health and welfare. It will have a biomass capacity of up to 3,900 tonnes. The developers say it can produce higher-quality fish at lower costs than current offshore or land and open-net fish farms.

11/01/2022 14:43:29

Photo: Lanqing


Oceanic ambition

A memorandum of understanding to build the vessel has been signed with shipyards in Turkey and China, but so far there is no indication as to when the order will be given. “This is an unusual vessel,” says Patrizio Di Francesco, RINA Marine Principal Engineer for Northwest Europe. “It presents a milestone for both the fish farming industry and for the classification of unconventional ships. It is an innovative approach to the sustainable harvesting of fish to help secure food security and sovereignty, and one that may revolutionise fish farming for the future.”

Photo: Lanqing

Alternative visions Ocean Ark is not the only project to envisage a massive vessel as a fish farm site. In Norway back in 2020, salmon farmer Nordlaks sailed its massive offshore platform, Havfarm 1, 15,000 miles from China, where it had been built. Nordlaks hopes that the floating platform, which is designed to be robust enough to survive high-energy environments, will overcome

Ocean Ark v2.indd 43

It may revolutionise fish farming for the future

IN NUMBERS: THE OCEAN ARK The vessel will be 550ft long and 197ft wide.It will be able to withstand waves of up to seven metres high. Diesel/electric motors will operate at 4,000kw and the vessel will be able to travel at up to four knots under its own power. It can also be towed into position.

some of the problems associated with inshore fish farming. The company was dealt a blow last year, however, when the Norwegian authorities determined that welfare issues meant it could not be granted a permanent licence. Officially named Jostein Albert after the company’s former chairman Jostein Albert Refnes, the platform is one of two such 385-metre-long vessels planned by Nordlaks. Each is capable of holding up to 10,000 tonnes of salmon. Meanwhile in China itself, last November saw the launch of the Guoxin 101, now undergoing testing in the South China Sea. This vessel is intended as the platform for an “intelligent” fish farm operating far offshore where ocean currents will be able to wash away its waste and the impact on the environment will be minimised. The developer, state-owned company Qingdao Conson Group, hopes to trial salmon farming and possibly also yellow croaker, a local species. FF

The cages will have 4mm diameter copper -zinc alloy meshes, with 4x4cm mesh holes. The vessel can support either eight cages 115ft long x 104ft wide x 66ft deep, or four cages 115ft long x 210ft wide x 66ft deep. Estimated production capacity is up to 3,900 tonnes in one cycle of salmon. The Ocean Ark will have a crew of 20.


11/01/2022 14:44:07

Wild salmon

Back from the brink

A new study suggests that captive breeding to restore native stock can help to revive ailing wild salmon populations BY ROBERT OUTRAM


AN stocking programmes offer a lasting solution to the problem of declining fish numbers in Scotland’s salmon rivers? A recent study carried out by a team at the University of the Highlands and Islands sought to answer that question. During the 1990s, the River Carron in Wester Ross saw a dramatic decline in salmon numbers. The owners, Riparian, with biologist and keen salmon fisherman Bob Kindness, set up the River Carron Conservation Association, which has been adding to the wild stock since 1995. The stocked fish are all native to the Carron. Initially stocking was carried out using eggs stripped from wild salmon hens, but the available numbers were quite limited. From 2001, the association has been using captive broodstock – all Carron fish – to bring the numbers of fry released up from 5,000–10,000 to 150,000 or more. Judging by recorded catches, the number of salmon in the Carron has gone up steeply, increasing from a five-year annual average of 10.6 in 2001 to 187.2 in 2020, according to Marine Scotland Science (MSS). MSS does not support stocking from captive broodstock, however, as Bob Kindness explains: “If a river’s salmon stock is low, the only way to obtain enough eggs for stocking to be effective,is to create a captive broodstock as insufficient wild brood fish can be taken from the river.” MSS is also against stocking out young fish beyond the un-fed stage. Kindness adds: “There is a suggestion that any fish that is reared in captivity before release loses its ability to cope in the wild. MSS believes that if you rear fish in tanks they become domesticated - they can’t feed


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had “anWealmost

in the wild and they can’t avoid predation.” So,could the increase in salmon numbers be attributed to the stocking programme or was it due to some other cause? One way to find out was to see how many of the adult fish and smolts in the river were from the programme. Tagging or otherwise marking fish is intrusive so it was decided to use DNA analysis. The Rivers and Lochs Institute at Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), have now analysed the DNA from three years of salmon catches. The results were then compared with DNA from the salmon broodstock used in the stocking programme to find out whether the stocked juvenile fish were surviving to return as adults. They compared samples from fish in the river with records of the 2014 broodstock. The latter actually comprised three groups: two separate groups of captive broodstock and one “wild” group hatched from eggs stripped from wild fish and fertilised in the hatchery. They were able to do this because Kindness has been collecting samples for DNA analysis from catches on the river over the past decade by clipping a small piece from each salmon’s tail fin. As well as adults returning from the sea to spawn, the team also analysed DNA from smolts caught in a screw trap on their way out to sea.

pris�ne river, but there were no fish

11/01/2022 14:52:13

Back from the brink

Left: Bob Kindness with HRH Prince Charles Above: Bob Kindness in the River Carron Below: Loch Sgabhain, source of the Carron Top right: Stripping eggs from a small wild grilse hen Right: The screw trap in posi�on towards the lower end of the river

The UHI team found that of the adult returners during 2017 to 2019, up to 27.7% originated from the 2014 broodstock that had been released as fry in 2015. Since the analysis did not include broodstock from 2013 and 2015, this almost certainly underestimates the proportion of stocked fish, which Kindness believes could be around 40–50% in total. There are two important conclusions from the report. First, it is apparent that stocking has contributed substantially to the increase in the Carron’s salmon population. Second, the UHI team concludes: “We observed no major differences in measures of genetic diversity and inbreeding between the three broodstocks [two captive and one “wild”], their offspring, and other fish trapped in the river. Thus there is no indication that the 2014 stocking presented a risk to the genetic diversity of Carron Atlantic salmon as a whole.” The fact that there was very little difference in the performance of the “captive” and “wild” broodstocks suggests that fish raised in hatcheries from captive broodstock do not suffer any inherent disadvantage. The research vindicates the strategy adopted by Kindness and the River Carron Conservation Association. But does it have lessons for other depleted salmon rivers? The official view is that restoring river habitats is the answer. Others suggest that simply removing salmon farms will help restore wild populations, although the presence of several farm sites in the Carron system does not appear to have prevented the recovery. Kindness says: “We keep being told that stocking doesn’t work. Instead, you should improve the habitat and plant trees. If you have a degraded habitat, that will help, but if you have a good habitat, as we did, with no problems apart from the winter spates, you can’t do much about it. “We had an almost pristine river, but there were no fish.” The Carron’s riverside environment and water quality were in good shape in the 1990s, but fish numbers were still tumbling before the stocking programme. Kindness believes there were two key challenges: first, increasing predation by the salmon’s natural enemies; and, second, the increasing severity of “spates” – short-lived but intense floods caused by heavy bursts of rain. Spates are a particular problem for the shorter rivers along Scotland’s west coast and they can wash away the gravel in which wild salmon lay their eggs, preventing them from hatching. Intense but sporadic rainfall appears to be becoming more common thanks to climate change and deforestation can also make flooding more of a problem, Kindness says.

Wild salmon conservation v2.indd 45

This, he explains, is one of the reasons why stocking with established fry is so important: it gives the salmon a chance to develop as fry before they have to take their chances in the river. Could other rivers, then, emulate the Carron project? Stocking in this way does not require a huge capital investment, Kindness argues. As he puts it: “I have no buildings, I don’t use electricity. We use gravity-fed water and simple tanks. It’s not like a big commercial farming operation. “What’s more important is to have someone who knows what they’re doing.” In addition to the stocking programme, the owners of the Carron, Riparian, has worked to improve the biodiversity of the glen through which the river runs and to mitigate the water runoff that contributes to spates. Some 370,000 trees have been planted on the Glencarron Estate alone. The next stage is to extend the research to get a broader picture. The report stresses that continued analysis will provide essential further insight – however, genomic analysis costs money. Kindness says: “Knowing now that the DNA analysis can tell us so much more about the effects of stocking, the next stage of the project is for UHI to analyse the data from a much larger number of samples of DNA that we hold. This will be an expensive undertaking and we need help to fund the RLI to do that work. “We are pretty confident that there are enough salmon enthusiasts and river owners interested in the conservation of Atlantic salmon to raise the funds to do this. We are so lucky to have a university right on our doorstep to help us with this work and together we can lead the way in developing the science to help fight the decline of Atlantic salmon.” FF


11/01/2022 14:53:02


Aquafeed alternatives




RASS�FED meat may be the gold standard in terrestrial farming, but grass hasn’t been seen as a feed ingredient in aquaculture. That might be an oversight, however. In its search for new fish feed ingredients, Aller Aqua is tes�ng “green protein” from BioRefine, a company based in Janderup, Denmark. The material is an organic protein concentrate made of grass harvested from 3,000 hectares of land in Denmark. Out of this, BioRefine produces 7,000 tonnes of green protein concentrate suitable for animal nutri�on per year. The green and organic protein concentrate has a similar nutrient profile to soybean meal and therefore has the poten�al to play a part in Aller


Feed v2.indd 46

Aqua’s fish feed. By way of comparison, Denmark imports around 50,000 tonnes of organic soy annually. BioRefine has been launched by three agricultural companies – DLG, Danish Agro and DLF – with the inten�on to create a climateand environment-efficient alterna�ve protein source for animal feed. The func�onality of BioRefine’s green protein in fish feed will be evaluated in feeding trials conducted at Aller Aqua Research, Aller Aqua’s trial sta�on located in Büsum, Germany. In nutrient diges�bility and growth trials, the green protein will be tested in feed for rainbow trout, the main fish species in Danish aquaculture. Grass protein could be a valuable raw material for reducing the carbon-footprint of fish feed in Denmark. Dr Hanno Slawski, Group Research and Development Director at Aller Aqua, says: “New raw materials are seldom found. And here we have an en�rely new and locally produced raw material. It is a perfect match for us because this is the kind of raw material we are searching

Here we have an en�rely new and locally produced raw material

Above: The Skre�ng and eniferBio teams – from le�: Heikki Keskitalo, Ana Ward, Gunvor Baardsen, Me�e Me�e Lütcherath, Joost Ma�hijssen, Erik Tveteraas and Joosu Kuivanen Left: Grass

11/01/2022 14:54:53

Working together to

Transform science into sustainable farming

Find out more at:

2021-12-Fish Farmer 47 full page.indd 1 Alltech Coppens.indd

17-12-2021 16:44:22 10/01/2022 14:44:42


for. We are looking very much forward to be the first company tes�ng – and possibly eventually including – this raw material in our feed.” In November last year, eniferBio, the Finnish biotech startup and winner of the 2020 Nutreco Feed & Food Tech Challenge, visited Nutreco’s aquaculture division, Skre�ng, in Stavanger to discuss the results of the first stage of valida�on of their PEKILO® mycoprotein.

Hatcheries Around the World Rely on Reed Mariculture Feeds Our Instant Algae® and Instant Zooplankton® are the most convenient and effective phototropic marine microalgae feeds for growth, enrichment and greenwater productivity. They are used by over 500 hatcheries, universities, and marine ornamental operations in more than 90 countries around the world. LEARN MORE: © 2022 Reed Mariculture, Inc. All rights reserved. Instant Algae, & Ensuring Hatchery Success are trademarks or registered trademarks of Reed Mariculture Inc.


Feed v2.indd 48

Ini�al indica�ons are promising, Skre�ng says, with the novel protein showing diges�bility results comparable to fish meal. Joost Ma�hijssen, Director of Venturing at Nutreco’s breakthrough investment arm, NuFron�ers, said following the visit: “I’m proud to see that we are one step closer to bringing a new raw material to the aquaculture industry. For aquaculture to be able to grow, we absolutely need new and sustainable protein raw materials that can be produced in large volumes.” PEKILO® mycoprotein, Skre�ng says, offers exci�ng poten�al as a sustainable, locally produced alterna�ve for soy protein concentrate. Gunvor Baardsen, Manager, Quality and Ingredients, at Skre�ng Aquaculture Research Centre, says: “One of the first steps when evalua�ng new raw materials is to run a diges�bility trial in fish. In this case, we tested PEKILO® in Atlan�c salmon and the protein diges�bility coefficient was comparable to what we see in fish meal. More steps are to be taken before we can start using it at scale, but it is encouraging

Top: Alltech Coppens ACAC turbidity Above: Alltech CoppensGuelph system

11/01/2022 14:55:50

Aquafeed alternatives

Replacing fishmeal is an old story – we know that we can do it

to see posi�ve results from a new protein raw material coming our way.” It should be noted, however, that while IFFO, the organisa�on represen�ng marine ingredients producers, accepts that alterna�ve sources of protein can help relieve the pressure on the wild fish stocks that are currently a key source of fish and animal feed, it has expressed scep�cism over whether “zero fishmeal” will ever be a prac�cal goal. The latest figures from IFFO show that total cumula�ve produc�ons of the countries considered in IFFO’s reports during the first 10 months of 2021 were higher year on year, with fishmeal up by 5% and fish oil up by 8%. In terms of fishmeal, the increase was down to three countries – Peru, Chile and India – which reported a higher cumula�ve produc�on in 2021 with respect to the same period in 2020. Similarly, in terms of fish oil, Peru, Chile and India are also the regions that so far have increased their cumula�ve produc�on during the first 10 months of 2021. Worldwide aquafeed output, specifically, rose year on year for October 2021, IFFO says, with the increase in output accompanied by price increases in aquafeed. Research facility expands In September last year, Alltech Coppens formally opened its expanded world-class research facility. The diges�bility research facility of the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre has been increased by 50%. In total, the ACAC now contains seven different systems concentra�ng on different areas from nutri�on requirements to diges�bility, palatability, performance and impact on water quality, all focusing on recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) produc�on. Philip Lyons, Global Manager, Aquaculture Research, at Alltech Coppens, explains: “We are looking at more fish species so, for example, the new systems can collect faeces from a broader range of fish, and we can assess diges�bility and growth factors at the same �me. “We see that demand is going to go up. Take ca�ish, for example – this market is growing all the �me in Africa.” Ben Lamberigts, Manager, Quality, Research and Nutri�on, says: “Aquafeed is 20 years behind feed for land animals such as pigs and poultry. Also, our industry is becoming much more client-specific – or, rather, system-specific. That is something we’ve already seen in poultry, for example.” He adds: “We have not yet gone as far as we can – for example, in finding alterna�ve protein sources [other than fishmeal and fish oil]. “For example, EPA-DHA long-chain fa�y acids, which the fish need and are part of their diet in the wild, represent ‘low-hanging fruit’. There are two essen�al fa�y acids the fish need and they can be provided by algae-based feed.” Of course, at the present �me that entails a cost. The ques�on is whether farmers are prepared to pay it in order to help the cause of sustainability and preserve stocks of wild fish. Philip Lyons says: “Replacing fish meal is an old story – we know that we can do it and it’s been done for a long �me.” Species of growing interest for Alltech Coppens include perch and saibling, which is a salmonid species closely related to Arc�c char (Salvelinus alpinus) and appears to be more resistant to viral hemorrhagic sep�caemia (VHS). Trout and ca�ish represent big markets for Alltech Coppens, as well as eel and ornamental fish, such as koi carp. The company is also beginning to get involved with developing feed for �lapia in collabora�on with its sister company, Alltech Guabi, in Brazil. Feed supplement specialist Adisseo is also involved in research into the future of aquafeed. The second edi�on of the company’s Aqu@ Event by Adisseo took place on 23 November combining an online

Feed v2.indd 49


11/01/2022 14:56:39


webinar and booth pla�orm. Under the theme “The New Blue is Green”, five experts shared their insights on the use of novel technologies to improve the sustainability and climate resilience of aquaculture. Topics ranged from insect protein to the significance of the microbiome and gut health for shrimp producers. Bjorn Kok of Blonk Consultants explained how sustainability can be quan�fied in aquaculture, illustrated with cases showing the poten�al of Adisseo’s speciality feed addi�ves to mi�gate the environmental impact from aquaculture. Dr Peter Cou�eau, BU Director Aquaculture at Adisseo, said: “Addi�ves can significantly reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint of aquaculture through mul�ple ways, including reformula�on using more sustainable ingredients, enhancing feed intake and diges�ve/metabolic efficiency, or simply improving survival thanks to a be�er health status of your fish or shrimp.” Feeding control systems Fish farmers are increasingly recognising

the need for precision and control in feeding. This is even more true of land-based RAS produc�on. Arvo-Tec, based in Joroinen, Finland, offers an integrated feeding control system that includes water quality monitoring, data logging and alarm func�ons. The control system monitors water temperature and oxygen levels, while making use of a mathema�cal/biological energy demand model to calculate the right amount of feed for each dosing unit in real �me based on the size and species of fish. More precise monitoring and control means less waste, which is not only good for the bo�om line, but also promotes fish welfare by preserving water quality. The team at California-based Reed Mariculture describe themselves as “the plankton people”. Reed provides specialist feeds for a range of uses such as fish hatcheries for aquaculture and hobbyists, shrimp hatcheries and bivalve molluscs. This includes ‘instant algae’ for bivalve molluscs, live zooplankton for fish and shrimp feed, and otohime pellet feeds. The latest addi�on to its range is ARPods™ 500, a highly effec�ve live copepod and artemia replacement. They are frozen biomass of intact cyclops copepods – fresh frozen at sea for maximum nutri�on and gamma irradiated for maximum biosecurity. Finally, it’s important not to forget some of the species we don’t eat, but which are s�ll important in aquaculture. Farmers using cleaner fish to help control sea lice need to be aware of their nutri�onal needs. World Feeds’ complete, balanced Vita Aqua Feeds feed block diets are tailored to wrasse and lumpfish. The large feed blocks can be stored in a cool, dry place – requiring no refrigera�on – and have a two-year shelf life. The feed blocks require no mixing or prepara�on and can simply be loaded onto the bespoke manual line deployment feeding sta�on in situ at the side of the pen, directly out of the pack. FF

Top left: Reed Mariculture ARPods Above: World Feed Vita Aqua Feed block Left: Farmed shrimp


Feed v2.indd 50

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Aquafeed alternatives


Share Our Vision

Species-specific solutions for a sustainable and profitable aquaculture At Adisseo, we offer species-specific nutrition and health solutions to aquaculture customers around the world. There is a lot to gain by optimizing your feed additive strategy. Our aqua experts are passionate to help you find out how to increase your productivity and profitability.

A AQ036-08

We look forward to sharing our vision with you!

Tailored Feed Block Diets for Wrasse & Lumpfish Improved Health & Welfare, Reduced Aggression



Strategic Feeding Systems - Practical & Efficient No Preparation, No Refrigeration High Quality, Sustainably Sourced Ingredients

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Water treatments, systems and analysis

New ways with water A range of technologies exists to help manage and monitor water quality


OLLOWING a period of successful tes�ng, Norway-based farmer And�ord Salmon has verified the “laminar water flow” technology at its first pool at Kvalnes, Andøya. Laminar flow is a type of flow pa�ern for a fluid in which all the par�cles are flowing in parallel lines, as opposed to turbulent flow, where the par�cles flow in random and chao�c direc�ons. A flow-through system with laminar water flow reduces energy consump�on and associated costs significantly, as there is no need to li�, filter or heat the seawater. For And�ord’s site, the seawater is clean and already at the right temperature, as it is sourced directly from the nearby And�orden. The laminar water flow is the heart of And�ord Salmon’s flow-through technology. It is this technology that enables the crea�on of a natural environment in which the salmon can thrive. It also enables the company to produce fish at an energy cost at only 1kWh per kilo. Mar�n Rasmussen, CEO of And�ord Salmon, says: “In prac�ce, this confirms that we have been able to recreate wild salmon’s natural habitat on land. In the wild, salmon swims in laminar water flows in the ocean, similar to what we now have in our pool at Andøya. Never have I been more certain that we will meet our ambi�on of building the world’s most sustainable aquaculture facility of its kind.”

The tests have included u�lisa�on of the complete water inlet and outlet infrastructure, filling of pool, ac�va�on of power adapters, gradual increase of the laminar water flow – from minimum to maximum – and measurements of the water flow, plus analyses of how the pool infrastructure reacts to the laminar water flow. Mar�n Rasmussen adds: “This is a major technological milestone for And�ord Salmon and a really nice Christmas present for our shareholders [the results were announced in December], u�lising our own technology. We were always confident in the technological capabili�es, but… demonstra�ng it in prac�ce is what ma�ers. As such, the successful verifica�on of the laminar water flow helps to de-risk our business case substan�ally. The tes�ng and fine-tuning of the laminar water

Above: Mar�n Rasmussen Left: And�ord laminar flow test Opposite from top: FiiZKfiltra�on skid model; Aquacare Inline Tanks, Barramundi farm, Australia; Havlandet Norcod


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New ways with water facility to supply a growing market with high-quality fry. The FiiZK Aqua (formerly, AkvaFresh) water treatment plant is designed to produce high-quality water for fish farming, from hatcheries to post-smolt produc�on in land-based systems and gentle “freshwater” treatments for sea lice management. FiiZK Aqua uses membrane filtra�on to stop unwanted substances and prevent par�cle contamina�on, organic pollu�on and biological pollu�on (parasites, bacteria and viruses). The membrane pore ranges from ultrafiltra�on (pore size 0.01–1.0µm), nanofiltra�on (pore size 0.001–0.01µm) and reverse osmosis (pore size <0.001µm).

flow technology and other pool func�ons,will con�nue over the coming months. And�ord Salmon’s aim is to release the first smolt during the second quarter of 2022. The company, which aims to be the world’s most fish friendly and sustainable aquaculture facility of its kind, conducted a successful private placement last year, raising NOK 88.2m to fast-track the expansion at Kvalnes. Clean water for cod Meanwhile, cod producer Havlandet Norcod has chosen FiiZK Aqua water filtra�on solu�ons for its new cod fry produc�on facility, being built at Fjord Base in Florø, Norway, where the company has been opera�ng land-based cod farming since 2001. The system being delivered by FiiZK contains two skid-based membrane filtra�on solu�ons with a total membrane area of 7,680m² with pore size 0.02µm. The plant will deliver over 200m³/h ultrafiltered seawater for fry produc�on. With this filtra�on size, the FiiZK system can guarantee the intake water is free of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and algae. The ultrafiltra�on units are fully automated, and controlled and monitored locally and/or via remote access. Delivery will be completed in the summer of 2022, with water produc�on star�ng in early autumn. This is the first major order for FiiZK Aqua since FiiZK’s acquisi�on of AkvaFresh AS in the autumn of 2021. By choosing to invest in the FiiZK Aqua water-filtra�on system, Havlandet says the company can ensure the best growing condi�ons at the new

Water Treatments, Systems & Analysis v2.indd 53

is “a This major

technological milestone

Oxygena�on solu�ons Aquacare Environment Inc. also supplies controlled environment aquaculture technology. The company develops, designs and supplies complete fish farms for clients worldwide, and can supply cost-effec�ve, prefabricated system components to exis�ng farms. Aquacare is a distributor for FOX, a specialist oxygena�on technology company based in France, which developed the OxyFlow system. In 2010, JLH Consul�ng and Aquacare began an ini�a�ve to lower the cost of land-based intensive fish farming opera�ons. This ini�a�ve focused on two of the largest cost factors: pumping head and oxygena�on. The pumping head has now been reduced by several metres by lowering the biofilter and CO2 strippers to a level where gravity can supply them, and only pumping clean filtered water back to the fish tanks with high-flow, low-head pumps. This reduc�on in pumping head led to another challenge: how to achieve oxygena�on with a lower head. The solu�on is OxyFlow, which operates in a sealed vessel, thus not breaking head pressure. Process water enters the top of the unit under mild pressure of about 0.3 bar. The water then passes through a horizontal drilled plate with specially shaped orifice holes, which jets the water downward though an oxygen atmosphere approximately 20cm deep. When the jets strike the water surface below, they cause high turbulence and create a bubble cloud of pure oxygen that extends downwards to 40cm below the surface of the water. These bubbles flow upwards, counter to the downward water flow in such a way that the downward velocity is not strong enough to carry the bubbles out of the chamber, hence the only way the oxygen gas can escape the OxyFlow unit is to become dissolved in the water. Bubbles that break the water surface inside the unit are again subjected to the turbulence of the downward jets un�l they become dissolved. A small amount of nitrogen gas that remains in the oxygen-rich atmosphere is vented off to prevent it from becoming dissolved in the water, enabling reliable, cost-effec�ve transfer of gaseous oxygen into dissolved oxygen. It’s always helpful to be able to verify the effec�veness of any water treatment system against an objec�ve benchmark. Late last year, James Hu�on Limited, the commercial arm of the James Hu�on Ins�tute, based in Scotland, can now offer Environmental


11/01/2022 15:03:24

Water treatments, systems and analysis

Technology Verification (ETV) reports on environmental technologies in the UK, including water treatment. This service means that producers developing new environmental technologies, and their potential customers, can get an independent assessment of the technology in question. ETV reporting is based on an international standard for verification and James Hutton’s own processes are themselves subject to international testing standards. Real-time information For farm sites at sea, real-time monitoring can help to keep on top of a range of risks. Innovasea has developed a wireless aquaculture monitoring system called aquaCurrent, which allows producers to monitor environmental conditions online in real time. Each farm is populated with a suite of cable-less sensors called aquaMeasure. These use a unique underwater acoustic protocol to send data to a central unit called aquaHub. The aquaMeasure sensors measure temperature and tilt alongside their initial parameter, such as dissolved oxygen (DO), salinity, DO/ depth, chlorophyll, turbidity, BG algae (freshwater and marine) and CDOM/FDOM. AquaHub is the core of the Aquaculture Intelligence system. It is situated at the surface and can be easily mounted on existing infrastructure or feed barges. The hub receives real-time data

Real-time “monitoring

can help to keep on top of a range of risks

via a multichannel hydrophone, deployed at a depth of 10m, which can support up to 100 sensors within a 500m range. AquaCurrent is a complementary, cloud-based software system that enables the user to visualise their data in real time via computer or iOS and Android app. FF

Left: The aquaHub

James Hutton Limited to offer ETV reports on environmental technologies


verifier and interested parties. It is transparent and credible, being ames Hutton Limited is pleased to announce that based on reliable test results and robust procedures which are the business has become the second UK-based themselves accredited to ISO 17025, the standard for laboratory organisation to offer Environmental Technology testing.” Verification (ETV) reports on environmental For further information, please contact Gareth Newman at technologies in the United Kingdom and the only James Hutton Limited or visit the website partner within the Water Test Network, a partnership of more on the Water Test Network can be found at: 10 European technology and testing centres, designated to support SMEs (small-medium sized enterprises) in developing new technologies for the water sector. ETV is an International Standard (BS EN ISO 14034) developed with the objective of providing credible, reliable and independent verification of environmental technologies which have an impact on, or added value for, the environment. For technology producers, ETV provides credibility and assurance on their products and claims while for purchasers, it guarantees selection of the best fitted eco-technology and helps determine its performance in accordance with policies and regulations. Gareth Newman, Service Delivery Manager, James Hutton Limited, said: “Climate change and environmental issues are a global problem and standards, regulations, guidelines and tools such as this are part of potential solutions. ISO 14034 works in parallel with other 14000 series standards and will ensure environmental issues are handled proactively Top: ETV supports product development by providing credibility and assurances by stakeholders. It is a technical standard with a conformity assessment. for producers and buyers. Above: The ETV standard is based on reliable test results and robust procedures which are themselves accredited to ISO 17025 “The standard is achieved through a dialogue between the applicant,


Water Treatments, Systems & Analysis v2.indd 54

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DON’T GET CAUGHT WITH A FAILED PUMP ON THE JOB. Bring confidence to your net cleaning job, with the most reliable pump on the market.

© Copyright 2022 NLB Corp. | PSaleAqua_22_002_v2

NLB’s high-pressure water jet pumps are proven reliable for offshore and onshore net cleaning. Engineered specifically for the aquaculture market, they withstand the harsh conditions of open seas, foul weather, and salt corrosion, all while delivering the same performance and durability NLB has been recognized for since 1971. Our units also offer a compatible interface with the industry’s leading head cleaning systems. NLB will go the extra mile to make the switch easy for you. Contact us today to discuss your options!


NLB Corp.indd 55

NLB has international branch locations to ensure our pumps and support are readily available when you need them.

10/01/2022 14:53:07

Underwater services

Below the


Underwater operations and monitoring are being served by the latest technology


Y defini�on, much of what needs to be done in fish farming takes place underwater, which can present a challenging environment. One regular task, net cleaning, is much easier with equipment that can carry out the task in situ, remotely operated. In September, Mithal’s Remora net cleaner was deployed at Mowi’s site in Salvågvika, Norway, for the first �me. The Remora is a Norwegian-developed, autonomous robot that cleans cages gently and in a process that is energy efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable, while monitoring the environmental condi�ons and ensuring that the meshes in the net are intact. The system requires minimal maintenance. The Remora has been developed in collabora�on with SINTEF, the Norwegian Research Council and Innova�on Norway. In October, Mithal announced the appointment of Brage C Amundsen as CEO. Amundsen has plenty of experience with startups, having previously been co-founder of two tech businesses and a partner with consultancy Elleve. Ocein AS, located in the coastal town of Kris�ansund, develops technology and smart solu�ons for seawater fish farming and it has also developed an underwater net cleaning system. The company says its StealthCleaner is probably the most efficient and gentle net cleaner in the market, combining a large volume of water with low pressure to reduce wear and tear of the net. Ocein says: “A�er cleaning more than 8,000 nets with the Stealth Cleaner, we are very confident in its


Underwater Services and Products v2.indd 56

unrivalled performance.” The Stealth Cleaner is produced in close coopera�on with manufacturer, Kystdesign. Featuring the stateof-the-art XCS control system and seven powerful thrusters, the ROV can move swi�ly and under full control in any direc�on. Some underwater net cleaning systems use water at high pressure, and so require pumps to produce that power. NLB’s 225 and 325 Series water-je�ng pumps are specifically designed for the demanding rigours of net cleaning in the harshest of environments. Extremely reliable, proven pump systems provide up to 4,000psi (275 bar) of trouble-free, low-maintenance performance. These units can be easily integrated with many exis�ng net-cleaning head systems. Kevin Onclin, CEO of net cleaning business Badino� Canada, endorses the product based on his experience of using them at his own company. He says

This page from the top: Ross-

shire Diving Services Ltd;

Brage Amundsen; The

Remora net cleaner

Opposite, clockwise from top right: The Saab Seaeye

Falcon topside; The Ocein AS StealthCleaner; The SubCEyes drone; SubC3D biomass camera shot; Saab Seaeye Falcon

11/01/2022 15:06:58

Below the surface

The eWROV is more efficient and cleaner than the hydraulic alterna�ves

cost-benefit analysis has shown that, using the NLB pumps, repair and maintenance costs could be reduced by about 50%. Onclin adds: “The �me taken to service or repair the pumps was less, due to the simple way that the NLB pumps are made. They are a working person’s pump.” As reported in What’s New, Fish Farmer December 2021, SAAB Seaeye – a Bri�sh-based company that builds underwater remotely operated vessels – has signed a poten�ally ground-breaking deal to sell 10 of its latest eWROV vehicles to marine robo�cs company Ocean Infinity. The new eWROV product will be built at Saab Seaeye’s facility in Fareham, Hampshire. It is the culmina�on of four years of research and development, resul�ng in a larger and more powerful ROV compared with those designed for light work and observa�on tasks. Ocean Infinity is developing the world’s largest fleet of remote-controlled robo�c vessels – the Armada – and will be the eWROV’s launch customer. No financial details on the transac�on were disclosed. The eWROV benefits from Saab Seaeye’s iCON™ intelligent system architecture, making it capable of fully autonomous opera�on. Thanks to the deal and further contracts, Saab Seaeye is adding a further 3,236 square metres to its Fareham site and is currently recrui�ng. Magnus Lewis-Olsson, Chairman of Saab UK, says: “Ocean Infinity’s order is the largest in Saab Seaeye’s history, and highlights the need for intelligent, adaptable and flexible underwater robo�cs. “The eWROV is more efficient and cleaner than the hydraulic alterna�ves and it also requires less human involvement and will play an important role in future autonomous vessel fleets. We are confident the eWROV will serve Ocean Infinity well.” Of course, not all underwater opera�ons are (yet, anyway) carried out by remotely controlled drones. Human divers s�ll have an important part to play. One example is Rossshire Diving Services Ltd, a commercial diving contractor opera�ng in the West Highlands of Scotland. The company carries out diving opera�ons

Underwater Services and Products v2.indd 57

from its base in Kishorn, Wester Ross, for clients including Marine Harvest , Sco�sh Sea Farms, The Sco�sh Salmon Company, Cooke Aquaculture and Loch Duart Salmon. In addi�on, Ross-shire Diving Services provides services to harbour authori�es and the fishing industry. November 2021 saw the start of a project to renovate the company’s catamaran. The renova�ons are designed by Kyle-based naval architect IK Macleod & Associates, with works to be carried out by local boatbuilders Northwest Engineering Limited from its Russel yard at Loch Kishorn. The bespoke design converts the exis�ng vessel to a 16m steel workboat with two Doosan MD136Ti engines rated at 230hp and fi�ed with Dong I 3-1 reduc�on gearboxes. The vessel will have an 18.5 tonne-metre Palfinger crane on its large working deck, two five-tonne capstans and a five-tonne towing winch. It has been designed with a large wheelhouse, four-berth accommoda�on, dive panels and a moonpool for dedicated dive support. Meanwhile, giving fish farmers a greater ability to see and otherwise monitor what is going on below the surface will make a huge difference to fish welfare. Two recent examples of technology addressing this are Monitorfish and SubC3D. Monitorfish is based in Berlin, Germany, and offers ways to use the cogni�ve capabili�es of ar�ficial intelligence in fish farming. Its product, AnFish, is an innova�ve fish farm management technology created to reduce the opera�onal risks in aquaculture. It is a “plug-and-play”, cloud-based, intelligent fish welfare monitoring system. AnFish offers real-�me analysis of cri�cal fish growth parameters in rela�on to water parameters to detect any abnormal development among the fish. SubC3D is experienced in subsea photogrammetry aimed at the metrology market, and developed a single camera system that was used successfully in the oil and gas market. This camera system has been one of the most widely used underwater metrology systems since its introduc�on in 2000. The company’s aquaculture monitoring system consists of a biomass camera module and drone In addi�on, the system can be expanded with sensors to register environmental parameters such as temperature, salt content, current and so on. A�er comple�ng its mission, the system will return to the garage for charging and transferring data. FF


11/01/2022 15:07:32

360 degree free-flying, ROV based net cleaner The StealthCleaner is built on ROV technology and makes use of a control system that allows the Stealth to freely rotate in any direction around its own axis. When rotating, the StealthCleaner can easily be rotated up/ down, laterally and in all axes. The StealthCleaner is a multitool which can be supplied with various accessories and tailored for each individual customer.

L C 2

DIMENSIONS Height: 530 mm Length: 1840 mm Width: 2390 mm Cleaning width: 2330 mm Weight: 350 kg

DISK DETAILS Number of cleaning discs : 8 Nozzle cleaner: rotating Number of nozzles: 3 pr. disc

CLEANING DETAILS Cleaning pressure: 50-250 bar Water flow: 400-600 Litres Water hose dim. : 1” - 1 1/4” Water hose length: 80-120 m

Optional: • Sparepart box • Umbilical and hose reel • Maintenance table • Hamsterwheel cleaner • Mooring cleaner • Electric grabber and rope cutter

POWER DETAILS Power supply: 25 kVA Supply: 230 V 3~, or 400 V 3~ Tether diameter: 27 mm Tether length: 125 m

PDU Height: 1200 mm Length: 820 mm Width: 460 mm Weight: 200 kg Topside unit: 19” rack

Learn more, request an offer, and see the StealthCleaner in action: Tlf: +47 412 96 500

Ocein - DPS.indd 58

10/01/2022 15:34:30

U Th pa un de to in th th fe co pr cl ef in it so si si

PROPERTIES UNIQUE DESIGN The Stealth Cleaner is patented, and its very unique triangular design makes it possible to clean even the most inaccessible parts of the nets. Furthermore the StealthCleaner features a revolutionary combination between pressure and flow that cleans exceptionally efficiently without wearing the net. In addition, it is a modular unit, something that emphasises our values: safe, simple and sustainable.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY Electrically powered, the StealthCleaner is environmental friendly with no risk of emissions of oil to the water and swimming silently without any high frequency noise. Module-based design ensures easy change of parts with minimum down-time. 360 degree manoeuvrability provides effective and easy operation of the system. The StealthCleaner “swims” quietly in the cages together with the fish, without high frequency noise and without any vibrations which is very important for fish welfare.

EFFECTIVE Cleaning at a speed of 4 knots and combines high flow with low pressure. It is easy to control and can operate in difficult areas of the net. Launch and recovery is made easy for the cleaning operation to smoothly transfer to the next cage or site. With the 4 cameras, the cleaning operation is fully monitored and ensures efficient removal of the fouling. It also facilitates and provides excellent documentation of cleaned areas and work successfully performed.

MULTITOOL StealthCleaner can be used for multiple purposes both as a net cleaner and inspection robot. The concept is that the StealthCleaner should be able to be used to clean all areas of the net with different tools. It has 4 cameras that facilitates documentation and reporting. We believe StealthCleaner is the only multitool in the industry. A wide range of specially developed tooling enables StealthCleaner to cover a variety of purposes. We aim to develop efficient tooling to clean every part of the fish farm and the moorings. This underlines our philosophy on sustainability, and that it should be effective and easy to work with product from Ocein.


m m

Ocein - DPS.indd 59







10/01/2022 15:35:51


Products and services

What’s NEW

Monthly update on industry innovations and solutions from around the world New 50 Tonne Feed Barge for Small Offshore Fish Farms

FISHFARMFEEDER (FFF) is building a second 50 tonne feed barge, this time for a salmon farm in Scotland. FFF aims to broaden its portfolio for this kind of species as the company has already installed feeding systems for salmon in hatcheries and pre-growing fish farms. Also, new individual feeders for cages, for pellets up to 3mm, will soon be offered to the market. This product combines with the barge-based feeding systems. FishFarmFeeder, which has clients in more than 25 countries, is the only manufacturer specialized in centralised feeding systems for aquaculture, covering all feeding stages in the fish and shrimp life cycle. For more information see, contact FFF at or call: +34 886 317 600

Keeping downtime low for feed conveyors

IT is not only high capacity in the conveyors that matters in feed handling. It is also important that the machines are, as far as possible, self-cleaning. This is to avoid contamination of different products, but also, with fish feed pellets, to avoid mixing of pellet sizes. FM BULK HANDLING designs its machines for slow speeds to avoid maintenance issues and extra cost in daily operation. It is important to avoid unnecessary downtime, which is expensive. FM BULK HANDLING always designs its machines for running 24/7, 365 days a year to keep maintenance cost at a minimum.

PATHFINDER SCOTLAND’S FIRST AQUACULTURE AND ANIMAL HEALTH BUSINESS ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME March 2022 Fully-funded places available to businesses in the Highlands and Islands


New Programme of Support for Highland Aquaculture Business Ventures

AQUACULTURE businesses based in the Highlands & Islands of Scotland will benefit from a new fully funded accelerator programme that helps them turn their innovative new ideas into reality. The focus of the programme is to deliver rapid, practical results for ambitious businesses with new ideas. Participants are taught and coached by a team of leading experts from the worlds of innovation, product Specialising and development, finance, and business strategy. solving problems Businesses are invited to apply by 18 February to secure their place. for over six decades Please contact

Effective ship loaders and ship unloaders – low impact on feed and environment. Ship loader solutions from FM Bulk Handling – Fjordvejs are built to last and tailor-made for each ship or land-based installation. When fitted to a ship, our ship unloader provides equally effective and low-impact distribution of feed into silos on the water at the individual farms.

Fabriksvej 14, V. Lyby DK-7800 Skive +45 97 58 42 00

Trout farmer uses Arvo-Tec’s feeding control technology

ARVO-TEC is providing essential tools for rainbow trout producer FinnForel, a large, data-driven business. In the FinnForel model, Arvo-Tec control systems’ extensive data collection is used to plan ahead and manage complete year-round production in all the farmer’s RAS facilities, from egg to plate. Each Arvo-Tec feeding control unit sends data to a remote server, where it is collected and stored by ArvoPRO feeding management software. This data is used to model and manage year-round production of FinnForel portion-size fillets that are shipped out daily. All Arvo-Tec feeding systems have this capacity for generating a myriad of data to be utilised in research and production alike.


What's New - Jan 22.indd 60

11/01/2022 11:29:42

Looking to


Post your vacancy on for only £199 (+vat) per job posting. Contact Janice Johnston 0044 (0) 131 551 7925

Coming in the next issue... FEBRUARY ISSUE

• Sea Lice • Landbased Farming/Hatcheries • Anti-fouling and Net Cleaning • Management, Monitoring and Analysis For more information on opportunities for advertising with editorial content around these subjects please contact: Janice Johnston 0044 (0) 131 551 7925

Fish Farmer

Copy deadline - Friday 28 January

Fish Farmer

Fish FarmerMagazine FISH FARMER





Fish F armer AQUA NOR SEPTEMBER 2021

The trade show returns in style

GREEN-ISH? The new deal at Holyrood


Sector review

NET BENEFITS Containment solutions

Bright futures Great careers in aquaculture

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new generation, award-winning acoustic deterrents Your firstfor choice forwelfare. Your animal firstfor welfare. choice animal welfare. Your firstOur choice Your animal first choice animal welfare. Your Your firstfor first choice choice forwelfare. for animal anima w Your firstfor choice animal • Comply with both Marine Scotland EPS and U.S. MMPA

requirements Get in set touch set Get up ato intrial: touch to setGet up a set trial: acedeterrents@ac Get in touch to Get up to aintrial: touch set upin a touch trial: acedeterrents@aceaquate Get in touch in touch to set to set up a uptrial: a tria Get to up a trial: acedeterr • Create conditioned avoidance so we can put far less acoustic output into the water than older barrier systems

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Industry Diary

Industry DIARY The latest aquaculture events, conferences and courses MAY 22





San Diego, California, USA February 28-March 4, 2022

St John’s Newfoundland, Canada. August 15-18, 2022


Boston, Massachusetts, USA March 13-15, 2022

Aviemore will once again be the venue for this biennial trade fair and conference. It is undoubtedly the most important aquaculture exhibition held in the British Isles. The show has a tremendous following and with increased investment for 2022 it promises to reach even further across the broader aquaculture markets in both the UK and Europe.


SEPTEMBER 22 AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2022 Rimini, Italy September 27-30, 2022

Aviemore, United Kingdom May 3-5, 2022

Recinto FIG-Silleda, Spain March 23-25, 2022

AQUACULTURE AFRICA 2021 Alexandria, Egypt March 25-28, 2022



RAStech 2022 is the venue for learning, networking and knowledge sharing on RAS technologies, design and implementation across the world.

Hilton Head Island, SC, USA March 30-31, 2022


Panama City, Panama November 14-17, 2022

Merida, Mexico May 24-27, 2022



Fira, Barcelona, Spain April 26-28, 2022


Industry Diary.indd 64

Singapore November 29-December 2, 2022 Seawork is a “one stop shop” for buyers, providing access to the commercial marine and workboat markets. It is the largest European commercial marine exhibition held at the prestigious Mayflower Park venue in Southampton, SO14 2AN, United Kingdom.

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Opinion – Inside track

Stability is what we need now BY NICK JOY


S I was sitting down to write this, it occurred to me just how nice it would be to go back five years; only five years! Why this popped into my mind was not just Omicron and all its concomitant Valkyries. So much is up in the air at the moment. We could talk about how Brexit is still shaking up the export and import markets, or how Mrs Merkel is an ex premier or how Monsieur Macron is looking decidedly wobbly. We could add that Ms Sturgeon has promised us the thrill of a referendum when Covid is passed, which may only occur when I am even older and much greyer. If this were not enough, the prospect of Russia invading Ukraine appears to be on the horizon, which makes the prospects of World War Three even more plausible. How can so much go wrong,so fast? I bet that’s what Boris Johnson is saying just now too! I haven’t even tried to cover all of the issues facing us all, but it seems so hard for a primary production industry to cope with so much so fast. If it wasn’t for one or two mitigating circumstances, 2022 would be looking like an awful year. For the poor, beleaguered food producer, 2021 was hard enough. For those of you who fought their way through the immediate effects of Brexit, while dealing with restaurant closures and an immensely variable market, my heart goes out to you all. And it would seem that 2022 is going to be as challenging. While there will undoubtedly be a majority of people who will be enjoying the discomfiture of Johnson, one more destabilising event will only make things worse. Like Storm Arwen, these events out of our control will have a greater effect on our profitability than a lot of other things. A badly run, unstable government dealing with a Covid outbreak and needing the opposition to support its control measures means that the ability of the Government to concentrate on the economy is all too limited. The UK economy has been severely damaged not only by the Covid measures, but also by a government focused on almost anything but creating a dynamic business environment and a smooth-running export market. How can there possibly be any hope when faced with that? Yet I believe there are reasons for hope! The first is that Omicron is spreading through the population extremely fast – or so we are told. Whether the boosters have a positive effect remains to be seen, but any statistician will tell you that exponential growth can’t last long. So Omicron will be a relatively short event however dramatic it is. Of course, there will be other variants but there is limited tolerance for further control and if a 100-strong rebellion in the back benches doesn’t make the Government think, then nothing will. The question is: will the hospitality industry be able to recover quickly after being the butt of every regulation during the last 18 months? I am very hopeful that they will, but it will be a wobbly time for the next year And Wholesalers who sell to them will have to watch carefully, The second is that I do not think that the portents for a second independence referendum for Scotland look that good. That gives me comfort, not because of any political conviction, but because it would be another destabilising force. If we can have a few years without some major economic change being forecast, then recovery is much more likely. Scotland now needs some undisrupted time to give its food industry a chance to


Nick Joy OPINION v2.indd 66

I still have “enormous

faith in Scotland’s produce, not least of which is salmon

re-evaluate its markets and for its traditional markets to recover. Lastly, I still have enormous faith in Scotland’s produce, not least of which is salmon. It remains a hero product in most markets in the world and so re-establishing our position is so much easier than for many other industries around the world. We are immensely good at what we do and our product deserves the reputation it has. So I hope you had a good new Year with a suitable number of glasses of a good Scottish product. I had my Christmas with my very young grandchildren, being constantly reminded by their cheering presence that we have a job to do for their sakes. Covid has to be a passing phase and one that teaches us how to behave when faced with such viruses. We have to realise that we hold the assets that are our children’s bread and butter. If we squander them pandering to our own immediate needs, then what will we leave for them? Let 2022 be the year that we and our governments start to focus on how to hand a better economy and a better environment on to future generations. FF

11/01/2022 15:09:59

Driving innovation

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