Fish Farmer July 2022

Page 1

Fish Farmer JULY 2022

IRELAND Is aquaculture ready to grow?

Going native Restoring oyster beds on the British coast

WILD SALMON

Conservation projects win funding

INNOVATION

Get the tick

Report from the Blue Food Summit

ASC aims for growth in Scotland

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WELCOME Welcome

Editor’s Editor’s Welcome Welcome

TT

ierra del Fuego, the southernmost province of Argen�na, has a good claim to the �tle “The of theFish world.” hisend month’s Farmer focuses on Ireland, a country that could be described Earlier this monthgiant” the regional legislatureWhile of therevenue province to ban open net as a “sleeping of aquaculture. invoted the Irish seafood seafood sector grew last yearofto €1.26bn there’s a strong sense that salmon farming. Coming on top the Danish (£1.08bn), government’s decision last autumn to country so long for its do so much of more with its in curtail any afurther growth of fiknown sh farming atagriculture sea, and thecould ongoing struggle the industry coastal Canada to resist theresources. closure of farms in the Discovery Islands, it is clearer than ever that the In farming our feature article, we look at some of in theorder barriers to stay growth for this sector, both for fish industry needs to make its case just to in business. finfish and shellfish – and at the opportunities that could lie ahead. It’s not all gloom, however. At the North Atlan�c Seafood Forum – held online this year in this issue, we look at the Aquaculture Council’s campaign to sign – Also Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg reiteratedStewardship her belief that investment in the blue up salmon farmers in Scotland for its international environmental and social certification economy is a route to saving the environment, not harming it. Also at the NASF, chief programme. The “ASC tick” is already used by producers – and trusted by retailers and execu� ves and analysts alike were in agreement that the industry’s biggest challenge is customers – around the world, and now we’re seeing Scottish salmon farmers achieving finding ways to meet the world’s growing demand for their product – arguably, that’s a good certification. We explain why it’s taken so long for Scotland to take the ASC route, and problem to have. what it takes to get your farm certified. In this issue we report on the NASF and also present the first part of a preview of Aqua Nor Sandy Neil highlights the projects that are set to benefit from the latest round of grants 2021, oneWild of the industry’sSupport biggest Fund, trade shows. from the Salmonid and also catches up with some of last year’s What’s happening in aq The July issue also features a profi le of Norcod, currently front runner in the race to recipients to find out how they have put that support to the good use. in the UK and around th revive cod theme farmingofindustry. Find out whyHolmyard Norcod’s Chief Execu� Chris�that an Riber, What’s happening in aquacu Also the on the conservation, Nicki reports on ave, project aims to believes this �me they have a model works. w in the UK and around the wo map Britain’s historical native oysterthat populations, to help restore Ostrea edulis to its We alsoplace focusinon two aquaculture projects in Guatemala and The Bahamas that are being JENNY –– EDITOR JENNY HJUL HJUL EDITOR rightful the ecosystem. supported byon Norway’s Kvarøy c, and onSummit the “Øymerd” project which is se�ng out to We report the Blue FoodArc� Innovation in London, where international JENNY JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR create a fish farmtogether based onwith a floa� ng concrete investors came pioneers at theisland. cutting edge of aquaculture technology; Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions and from the commercial marine Seawork Nicki Holmyard looks at the shellfishow sh farmers’ ba�inleSouthampton. against tubeworm and this issue also Finally,special we have a newreports format on forBreeding our features Breeding and Genetics, Supply features industry and on Gene� cs, Transport and Logis� cs andChain Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions salmon farming sector in Scotland, when it was to he focus this month istopictures on Europe, the internati T HE is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal anding Lifting and Cranes, with news, appointments and technology updates from those Li� and Cranes. be thewere subject ofScotti alook! parliamentary inquiry, embraced the industry willsent soon be gathering the (European salmon to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti sh sectors. Please let us know what you HE think about the new 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 operated. Aquaculture and WAS Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at (World the start of month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by thethis Rural Economy Best wishes, be the subject of aSociety) parliamentary inquiry, embraced industry willsent soon be gathering the EASinto (European salmon were to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti shthe news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry salmon Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had nothing to hide and, if given fair hearing, Meet thehealth new chief exe Best wishes conference, to be staged over five days in theait southern images had this litt le to doprovide with theto current state of Scotland’s ficould sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five Robert Outram opportunity would explain how operated. Aquaculture Society) and WAS Aquaculture Society) parliament back to work at (World the start of month. These farming, went conducted earlier this year by thethis Rural Economy Robert Outram address much of the criti cism levelled against it. city of Montpellier. As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms where sea lice levels are in decline and, in fact, at a fi vemeeti ngs, in private, to consider their report and we must be Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had to hide and, if given fair hearing, Meet thehealth new chief executiv conference, to benothing staged over days in theaof southern images had litt le to do with thefive current state Scotland’s ficould sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five Fish Farmer supported this but at times salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsohas feature year low (htt p://scotti shsalmon.co.uk/monthly-sea-lice-reports). pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, their recommendati ons been address much of the criti cism levelled against it. city ofngs, 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 shsalmon.co.uk/monthly-sea-lice-reports). pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, theirbut recommendati ons been angling lobby, which had called foras the investi gatiRural on. But asngs the farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti anti -aquaculture suspects, came Holyrood’s Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4) farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions onpropaganda emerging markets and look atinvolves the role fishusual This campaign, allofthe madelatest harder by leaks from within the to anti -salmon sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat thethe social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the summer recess we to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom itgati suggests committ ee angling lobby, which had called for the investi on. But as farming inThe alleviati ngof poverty. Increasingly, industry ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy activists. latest these (see our news story onmeeti page 4) became more opti misti c.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, a45 move that is tobreaching welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens cahoots with anti -farming Those who want to shut down thein industry asbe expected, shut down this sector, rather than tohave, those who operate Meet the the team Fish Farmer: Volume Number 07 Meet team Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al inthe Fish Farmer: Volume 44 Number 07 light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental biosecure environments of farm sitesindustry to snatch photographs in Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, in any case, Also investi gati ng initi ati ves in the developing world, Dr Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, regard the in a favourable stepped acti vitiish es,and which nowculti involve breaching the within it.up their Editorial Advisory Advisory Board: Editorial Board: Nigeria, both in catf ti lapia vati on. Contact us 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 Steve Bracken, Bracken, Hervé Hervé Migaud, Migaud, Jim Jim Treasurer, Treasurer, biosecure environments of131 farm sites tosomething snatch ingame Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and,photographs inofany case,ngthe Steve In Scotland, the summer has been aofwaiti Tel: +44(0) 551 1000 What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 campaigner fi lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always been fortunate to have the support their minister, Nigeria, both catfish and tilapia culti vati on.against responsibiliti seriously and will only ever invest Chris Mitchell, Mitchell, Jason Jason Cleaversmith Cleaversmith the hope of fies nding incriminati ng businesses evidence farmers. Onein committ ee’s fiin ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fish farmers Fax:ee +44(0) 131 551 7901 Chris while the parliament is inthat recess and thethose members of Holyrood’s Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 If the committ members, especially who have yet to of Phil fi sh at a Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. In Scotland, the summer has been something of a waiti ng game What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Thomas growth that isfibeen sustainable. and Hamish Hamish Macdonell Macdonell Email: editor@fi campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, forto dead haveRural always fortunate toshfarmermagazine.com have the support of their minister, and Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue weigh up Email: shfarmermagazine.com visit aparliament farm, like tothe learn more about theagainst of infested salmon in awould pen, but we only have his word that But itsalmon should not go unchallenged that some MSPs onsubject the REC while the isroutram@fi in recess and members of Holyrood’s If the committ ee members, especially those who have yet to Editor: Robert Outram fi sh at a Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. the evidence in their inquiry into salmon farming. We don’t expect Editor: RobertRural Outram Head Offi ce: Special Publica� ons, Fe� esto Park, 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 agendas against the growth of a Economy farm, like to learn more about the ofthetime infested salmon in go awould but we only have his word against that Buttheir itsalmon should not unchallenged that some MSPs onsubject the REC report unti l pen, the autumn but hope the MSPs are using the Designer: Andrewvisit Balahura 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DL bett er,farms they could head to Highlands later this month, where 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DL We the evidence in their inquiry into salmon farming. don’t expect Designer: Andrew their 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 Commercial Manager: Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s theirthey report unti l the autumn but hope the MSPs areas using theittiis, meit Ifthey the is proud of its high standards, itsalmon says are inwill aindustry positi on to inflthe uence the future course of farming, Commercial Subscriptions bett er, could head to Highlands later this month, where This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest JaniceManager: Johnston these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Subscriptions to become fully acquainted with the facts about fi sh farming. biggest fi sh farming show. must mount aaquaculture much more robustWe defence oftrouble itself, through its and of businesses vital Scotland’s economy, we have a right Janice Johnston Subscrip� onsto Address: Fish Farmer Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod jjohnston@fishfarmermagazine.com they will meet the industry en masse Scotland’s serving employee, Steve Bracken. had no Subscrip� ons Address: Fish Farmer If the isto proud of its high standards, as itsalmon says itcollecti is, it ng are in aindustry positi on inflthe uence the future course ofat farming, This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inindustry, Aviemore and look jjohnston@fiCommercial shfarmermagazine.com representati ve body, the SSPO, than it has done to date. The to know who they are, and we hope the through its Magazine Subscrip� ons, Warners Group warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the biggest fi sh farming show. Assistant: Magazine Subscrip� ons,economy, Warners Group must a much more robustWe defence itself, through its and ofmount businesses vital toBracken. Scotland’s we have a right serving employee, Steve had noof trouble collecti ng forward toand, seeing many of you there too. campaigners, we now see, willrest stop at nothing, representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gate before Publica� ons plc, The Mal� ngs, Publisher: Alister Benne� milestone along with of the industry, thefarmers team Richard Ellio� We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore and look Publica� ons plc, The Mal� ngs, representati 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 toyou fiBourne ght back. the to REC report isStreet, published. West Street, Bourne Farmer wish him all the very best for the future. West Publisher: Alisterforward Benne� seeing many of there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gateatbefore Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet milestone and, along with the rest of thenothing, industry, thefarmers team Fish Lincolnshire PE10 9PH Lincolnshire PE10 9PH should prepared to fivery ght back. the RECbe report published. Farmer wish himisall the best for the future.

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

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

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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 SSPO 22-23 18-19 market 24-27 Salmon SSPO market

Robert Outram

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

Cover: Oyster farm, Woodstown Cover: FishBeach, farm Waterford, Ireland maintenance ship in Photo: Skanevik� Shu�orden, erstock Norway Photo: Shu�erstock

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Tel: +44 +44 (0)1778 (0)1778 392014 392014 Tel: UK Subscrip� Subscrip�ons: ons: £75 £75 aa year year UK www.fishfarmer-magazine.com now on @fishfarmermag Fish Farmer is ROW Subscrip�ons: ons: £95 £95 aa year year including including ROW Subscrip� www.fishupdate.com Facebook and Twitter Fish Farmer is now postage on postage All Air Air Mail Mailwww.fishfarmer-magazine.com www.fishfarmermagazine.com -- All

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26 22-23 30 BTA Shellfi sh Comment 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

13

Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit Advisory Board: Steve Contact Tel: +44(0) us 131 551 1000 MeetEditorial the team www.fishfarmermagazine.com Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 33 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 shupdate.com 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 shupdate.com 12/07/2022 09:51:03 Treasurer, Wiliam 12/07/2021 Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds Head Office: Special Publications, Dawn Marti nofJaff a15:32:14 Vaccines New player new era

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


CONTENTS

Fish F armer

In the July issue... News

What’s happening in the UK and around the world

Processing News

22-23

Update from the processing sector

Comment

24-25

Martin Jaffa

Salmon Scotland

26-27

Hamish Macdonell

Shellfish

28-29

Nicki Holmyard

Wild Salmon

30-33

Sandy Neil

Marketing

34-35

Vince McDonagh

Organic Aquaculture Vince McDonagh

Blue Food Innovation Summit The cutting edge in aquaculture

Aquaculture Stewardship Council Robert Outram

Breeding & Genetics Seawork Review

36-37 38-41 42-43 44-45 46-47 48-49

David Robinson

Supply Chain Lifting & Cranes Ireland Focus

50-51 52-61

Richard Elliott

What’s New

Monthly update on industry innovations and solutions

Industry Diary

All the latest aquaculture events, conferences and courses

Aqua Source Directory

62 63 64-65

Find all you need for the industry

Opinion

66

Nick Joy

30 4

6-20

38

52

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

ff07 Contents.indd 4

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11/07/2022 10:21:38


UNITED KINGDOM NEWS

United Kingdom News

Fish farmers unhappy after SEPA brings in higher charges

6

UK News.indd 6

SCOTLAND’S fish farmers are about to see a big increase in the charges levied by SEPA, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, on marine pens. SEPA sets a charge for each application for a finfish pen at sea and an annual “activity charge”, based on biomass in both cases.The new charging scheme will take effect as from September this year, and follows a consultation with the industry and other stakeholders. Peter Pollard, SEPA’s Head of Ecology, said: “Increased cost recovery will enable us to invest in staff resources, increasing the number of full-time equivalents working to ensure effective, risk-based regulation of marine finfish farms and a high standard of service for developers and the public.This will include enhancing our audit monitoring capabilities and our assessments of the environmental effects of fish farms, and further developing our early screening assessment service.” The application fee for pens holding a biomass of more than 1,500 tonnes is set to go up from £4,444 to £32,000, with a smaller increase for applications between 500 and 1,500 tonnes, to £26,617.The charge for applications of below 50 tonnes will be frozen at £3,472. Following the consultation an additional tier of >50 tonnes to <500 tonnes will be introduced. A tiered system will apply to charges for varying a permit, ranging from full (100% of application charges) through substantial (70%) and standard (30%) to admin (no charge). SEPA’s consultation set out the criteria to determine which category to apply. The activity charge, which is levied annually, will increase by £3,511 per site for all farms. Following the consultation, SEPA has said that there will be no charge for surrendering a licence, as farmers should be encouraged to give up unused licences. Also, in order to encourage innovation, changes in equipment, including increasing the size of cages, will be treated as “admin” – but this exemption will not apply to changes involving increased biomass, footprint or use of medicines. SEPA has also committed to reducing application charges

for innovative proposals that involve, for example, introducing full containment or wellboat-based treatments that reduce discharge loads by more than 80%. Farms that reduce waste by 80% or more through containment will benefit from reduced application charges and reduced annual charges. Responses to the consultation included a general complaint that the proposed increases were disproportionate, but SEPA argues strongly that they are needed if the agency is to address the increased demands placed on it in regulating the industry. Tavish Scott, chief executive of industry body Salmon Scotland said: “We’re seeing SEPA charges increase by as much as 600%, or a sevenfold increase. Salmon farmers don’t mind paying for these charges if it meant SEPA would be seven times faster or just made decisions within the statutory timelines. “But as MSPs heard last week regulators like SEPA are failing to meet their statutory targets ‘by miles’. Around three quarters of all salmon farm applications are currently over the statutory 350-day deadline and one salmon farm is still waiting after more than 627 days. “There’s nothing to indicate these increased payments will significantly speed up SEPA’s decision-making process.” Top: Moredun farm Above: Tavish Scott

Thresholds – tonnes of fish biomass

Application Charges (adjusted for inflationary increases since consultation) Current Charge

Charge proposed in Consultation

New Charges (1/9/22)

=< 50

£3,472

£3,472

£3,472

> 50 to < 500

£4,629

£26,617

£5,786

500 - 1,500

£4,629

£26,617

£26,617

> 1,500

£4,629

£32,000

£32,000

Source: SEPA

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

11/07/2022 16:31:50


New advisory body for Scottish aquaculture meets THE Scottish Government last month took another step towards reforming aquaculture regulation, with the inaugural meeting of a new strategic advisory group for the sector. The Scottish Aquaculture Council brings together senior representatives from key organisations with interests in the industry and its environmental and community impacts. The Scottish Government said the Council will offer views and advice to assist ministers in delivering commitments and to help ensure that the aquaculture industry is supported, innovative and achieves its full potential while operating within environmental limits. Members will also provide views to help inform the development of the government’s new vision for sustainable aquaculture, which will be published by the end of the year. Mairi Gougeon chairs the Council,

which includes representatives from the industry – the trade body Salmon Scotland plus two from fish farming businesses – as well as from the seaweed and shellfish sectors, government agencies and environmental organisations. Although the Council includes a representative from Scottish Environment LINK, the forum for Scotland’s voluntary environment community, and the Marine Conservation Society, which campaigns for sustainable use of the sea’s resources, some of the aquaculture industry’s fiercest critics are notable for their absence. Mairi Gougeon said: “Aquaculture is a significant employer in Scotland’s rural and coastal communities and its wider UK and global supply chain. It provides well paid jobs and produces healthy, quality food that is enjoyed worldwide. “The sector can only truly be a

Scottish Sea Farms takes delivery of semi-hybrid workboat SCOTTISH Sea Farms has taken delivery of a new semi-hybrid powered workboat specially designed to service larger pens and nets at its marine farms around Scotland’s west coast. The Geraldine Mary, on long-term contract from Mull-based Inverlussa Marine Services, was designed and built in Scotland by Macduff Shipyards and will have a full-time crew of two with accommodation for two more if needed. Equipped with a battery pack, the vessel will be able to use its harbour generators more efficiently, shutting them down overnight or between operations during the day to save on fuel and CO2 emissions, as well as reducing noise. At 21m long, the Geraldine Mary has capacity for a heavy duty 72-tonne metre crane to better handle the company’s new 120 and 160 metre marine pens. Scottish Sea Farms’ Regional Production Manager for Mainland, Innes Weir, said the company’s move to fewer but bigger nets and pens was part of an ongoing drive to further enhance fish health and welfare. He explained: “Increasing the size of pens allows for greater separation between fish stocks and predators, while reducing the number of pens enables even more focused husbandry and fish health monitoring. “However, the new infrastructure also demands more of our farm teams – requiring different ways of working – and of our service vessels.”

Above: The Geraldine Mary

Above: Mairi Gougeon

sustainable success story if we work together to address and mitigate any impacts on the natural environment, whilst providing positive outcomes for Scotland’s communities.”

Eating salmon ‘helps boost immune system’, study finds

VITAMIN D from fish and other animal sources is better at boosting the body’s immune system than its plantbased equivalent, according to a UK study. In a research article published in the academic journal Frontiers in Immunology, the scientists involved in the project say Vitamin D3 – found in oily fish and other animal sources – is better at maintaining Vitamin D levels in the blood and can also help to activate genes associated with “interferon” activity, an important element in the body’s defence against viruses and bacteria. Vitamin D2 – typically found in mushrooms, and added to some brands of bread, yogurt and cereals – was found to be less effective and actually

suppressed the interferon genes. The study involved more than 300 women, of white European and south Asian origin, over a 12 week period. Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton commented: “For years, we’ve believed that the two main types of vitamin D are equal, but this study throws that into doubt and suggests that vitamin D3 is more effective at preparing our immune system to tackle the threat of viruses and bacteria. “Many people in the UK don’t get enough vitamin D from their diets, or from regular, safe exposure to summer sunshine.That’s why around a quarter of Scots are deficient in vitamin D, according to government estimates. “A single portion of Scottish salmon provides more than 70% of our daily vitamin D recommendation, and is also high in protein and other important nutrients.”

www.fishfarmermagazine.com

UK News.indd 7

7

11/07/2022 16:32:31


UNITED KINGDOM NEWS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Mowi Scotland hires first female deckhand

SALMON farmer Mowi Scotland has appointed its first full-time female deckhand. Eleanor Lawrie joined as a farm technician but is now part of a workboat crew,

Above: Eleanor Lawrie, Mowi Scotland

operating along the west coast. Mowi’s stated ambition is to achieve a 50/50 employee gender ratio by 2025 Lawrie said: “It wasn’t easy breaking into the boating side of fish farming but from the first time I was sent to cover a shift I knew that it was what I wanted to do and I was determined to get there. Within aquaculture, workboat positions are very competitive so the challenges I’ve had to overcome have only made me work harder and want it more.”

O’Hara appointed to head Crown Estate Scotland CROWN Estate Scotland, the body that manages key coastal and rural assets, has appointed Ronan O’Hara as its Chief Executive. He will take over in September, following the retirement this August of the present incumbent, Simon Hodge. Ronan O’Hara is currently Head of Asset Management at the University of Cambridge and was previously Strategic Advisor and Above: Ronan O’Hara, Head of the Energy Management Crown Estate Scotland Unit at Northern Ireland’s Strategic Investment Board. He has extensive experience in property management and development, is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS) and holds an MBA. He has worked in central and local government, as well as in the private and third sectors.

Scotland’s farmed mussel sector set a new record in 2021 FARMED mussel production in Scotland reached a recordbreaking 8,590 tonnes in 2021, according to Marine Scotland Science, while production of Pacific oysters leaped by 70%. The figures come from the Scottish Shellfish Farm Production Survey 2021, an annual count based on information provided by producers in the mussel, Pacific oyster, native oyster, queen scallop and scallop species sectors. The tonnage for mussels in 2021 represented a 52% increase on 2020. Employment in the shellfish sector went up by 1% from 2020, with 303 full, part-time and casual staff employed in 2021. Overall estimated first sale values for the industry

were calculated to total approximately £9.8m in 2021, a 61% increase on the equivalent figure for 2020. Additionally, more than 3.5 million oyster shells were produced for on-growing in other waters. The Scottish Shellfish Farm Survey 2021 can be accessed at www.gov.scot/publications/ scottish-shellfish-farmproduction-survey-2021/

Scottish Sea Farms names new Orkney Regional Manager

Monica Galetti backs Scottish seafood ACCLAIMED chef and TV star Monica Galetti has been named as an ambassador for Scottish seafood, in the first appointment of its kind in the industry. She will be tasked with encouraging buyers, restaurant owners and chefs across the UK to purchase and serve more seafood from Scotland by promoting its quality, flavour and versatility. Seafood from Scotland has created a new information hub for the Sea the People campaign which includes professionally filmed video clips and seafood recipes for chefs to try out in their own premises. See more at monicagaletti.seafoodfromscotland.org/

Above: Monica Galetti (R) with Maria Lewis, owner of Seafood Bothy, Stonehaven

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Above: L-R Scottish Sea Farms Shetland Regional Manager Richard Darbyshire and new Orkney Regional Manager Duane Coetzer

SALMON producer Scottish Sea Farms has appointed Duane Coetzer as Regional Manager for Orkney, completing the restructure of its Northern Isles operations following the acquisition of Grieg Seafood Shetland in December of last year. Coetzer’s predecessor, Richard Darbyshire – formerly longserving Orkney Regional Manager, then, from 2020, Northern Isles Regional Manager with responsibility for both Shetland and Orkney – will now focus exclusively on the company’s expanded estate in the Shetland Islands. Coetzer, who is originally from South Africa, brings to the role 18 years’ experience of finfish farming in Scotland and, most recently, in Australia where he was General Manager of Marine Operations at Petuna Aquaculture in Tasmania. Scottish Sea Farms Managing Director Jim Gallagher said: “Finding someone to maintain and build on the region’s strong performance under Richard’s tenure was never going to be an easy task. However, in Duane, I believe we have found the right experience and skill set. “He understands first-hand the challenges that we face as farmers, along with the many different aspects of running a successful farm and region.”

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11/07/2022 16:34:23


Nine more suppliers join Salmon Scotland ANOTHER nine service companies and manufacturers have joined industry body Salmon Scotland. The new members include fish health experts, the world’s largest wellboat operator, a logistics company and a hybrid marine energy specialist.They bring the total number of members in the organisation to 33. In October last year, the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation rebranded as Salmon Scotland, and announced an important change to its remit, representing the many suppliers and service businesses supporting the industry as well as the producers themselves. While Scottish salmon is farm-raised in Shetland, Orkney, the north-west Highlands, the Western Isles and Argyll and Bute, the latest expansion includes Scottish, UK and international businesses. The new members are: • Elanco – fish health specialist; • Fjord Maritime – supplier of hybrid diesel-electric engines for marine vessels;

Above: Wellboat Ronja Ocean, Sølvtrans

• O’Toole Transport – haulage and logistics business; • PatoGen Ltd – fish health specialist; • Sølvtrans – the world’s largest wellboat company; • STIM – fish health and functional feed provider; • Sundolitt Ltd – manufacturer of expanded polystyrene which is used in fish boxes; • Vónin – supplier of nets, cages and equipment for fishing and aquaculture; and • World Feeds Ltd – supplier of cleaner fish feed and specialist aquarium feeds. Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon

Scotland, said:“The continuing expansion of our membership is a vote of confidence in the long-term future of Scotland’s farmraised salmon sector, which continues to grow responsibly.With the Scottish Aquaculture Council shaping the vision for sustainable growth for the next 50 years and beyond, it’s never been more important to have a strong voice speaking on behalf of the sector. “Salmon farmers who care for their fish daily and produce a healthy, nutritious product that is enjoyed around the world can only do this because of the dedication and hard work of thousands of people in the wider supply chain, right across Scotland.The fantastic response of supply chain companies is testament to Scottish salmon as an international success story.” Salmon Scotland also recently welcomed sector leaders Ben Wilson, managing director of Mull-based Inverlussa Marine Services, Jarl van den Berg, general manager of Hendrix Genetics, and director of Skye’s Organic Sea Harvest, Alex MacInnes, to its expanded board.

Seafood companies in the running for Excellence awards NATIVE Hebridean Smoked Salmon, from The Scottish Salmon Company/Bakkafrost Scotland has been shortlisted in the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2022. The star product, which has already won national and international awards, is a contender in the Artisan Product and the Fish & Seafood Product categories. Sutherlands of Portsoy has also been shortlisted in the Fish & Seafood category, for its Cold Smoked Steelhead Trout. Another marine contender, in the Snacks category, is SHORE, the Scottish seaweed company, for its SHORE Seaweed Chips. Meanwhile, Scottish Sea Farms and The Scottish Salmon Company/Bakkafrost Scotland have been shortlisted for the Employer of the Year award. Other contenders in that category include Aquascot, the employee-owned seafood processor based in the Highlands. Bakkafrost Scotland Brand Manager Megan Laughlin has been shortlisted in the Young Talent category. The 21st Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards will take place during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight and be held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 8 Above: The Scottish Salmon Company’s Su Cox at September supported by headline sponsor Asda. Seafood Expo North America

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12/07/2022 10:55:13


UNITED KINGDOM NEWS

Call to use farm rents to fix rural housing crisis

FUNDS raised by Crown Estate Scotland from fish farming licences should be used to help coastal areas tackle the housing crisis.That’s the message from industry body Salmon Scotland, which wants to see a system like that in Norway, where a ring fenced portion of farm rents is used to benefit local communities. Analysis by Salmon Scotland shows that average home prices in areas where salmon farms operate have risen more sharply than the national average,

while the average time it takes for local councils to provide housing assistance has soared. The lack of available, affordable housing is affecting the ability of people to live and work in Highland and Island communities. While the farm-raised salmon sector is already one of the largest private sector employers in many rural parts of north and west Scotland, the shortage of housing is preventing key vacancies from being filled and acting as a drag on

the local economies. Analysis carried out by Salmon Scotland shows that average house prices in the Highlands and Islands have grown faster than the average for Scotland. In Argyll and Bute, for example, the average price of a house has increased from £84,084 to £199,179 a rise of 137%. In Shetland, it has increased from £56,474 to £178,358, up 216%, and this is reflected in other island and coastal regions. The Griggs Report into the regulation of aquaculture, published earlier this year, recommended that the Scottish Government look into ensuring that a portion of the funds raised from the proposed single licensing payment is used to benefit coastal regions, either through disbursement by the Government or by a direct payment by the operator to the local community. A similar scheme is already in operation as part of Norway’s farm licensing system. At present, Salmon Scotland says, salmon farming contributes more than £5m directly to Crown Estate Scotland (CES), or more than a fifth of the quango’s revenues, with this fee set to nearly double. CES overall revenues are expected, however, to soar from £26m in 2021-22 to £102m in 2022-23 thanks to ScotWind offshore licensing fees. Salmon Scotland is calling for around £10m to be invested in rural communities from this pot.

Mowi workboat in sea rescue ONE of Mowi’s workboats came to the rescue of a German yacht which was drifting after its engine failed. The incident took place on Friday 18 June, when Lewis Gibson, skipper of the Beinn Mowi workboat, and his deckhand Lewis Sneddon, noticed the 36 foot Germanflagged sailing yacht Joenathe was drifting towards Kingairloch salmon farm in Loch Linnhe where the workboat was moored. The sailing yacht had no engine or power and was dragging both its anchors, including 200 metres of rope and 50 metres of chain, in high winds and swell. Gibson, who was only on his second shift as skipper, secured the drifting yacht and attempted to help restart its engine, but without success. The yacht moored alongside one of Kingairloch’s pens until, by Sunday, the weather had cleared enough to allow the Beinn Mowi to tow it the 12 nautical miles to Dunstaffnage marina for engine repairs. Jörg, the master of Joenathe, said: “We are extremely grateful to the crew of the Beinn Mowi. It’s very seldom you get to meet such good seamen, they really knew what needed to be done under strong wind conditions and we are so grateful that they supported us in this way. “It was an outstanding offer from the two Lewises to tow us to Dunstaffnage and it was another great piece of seamanship to

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get us alongside on the pontoon so smoothly. It was really fantastic.” Lewis Gibson commented: “It was a bit nervewracking. This was only my second shift as skipper, I’ve never done anything like this and the Beinn Mowi is twice the size of the sailing yacht, but we managed to come alongside in a safe and controlled manner and take control of the situation … he [Jörg] was such a lovely guy and a highly experienced sailor. “We’re just happy we were able to help.”

Top: Beinn Mowi skipper Lewis Gibson Above: The Joenathe alongside Beinn Mowi

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11/07/2022 16:36:41


Wester Ross Fisheries is sold to Mowi

Above: Gilpin Bradley

WESTER Ross Fisheries, one of the last independent salmon farmers in Scotland, appears to have been snapped up by the sector’s biggest fish – Mowi. A document posted on the Companies House website on 5 July, but dated 30 June, states that Mowi Scotland Ltd now exercises “significant control” with regard to Wester Ross. Technically this means that Mowi Scotland controls at least 75% of the Wester Ross equity, but it is likely to be 100%. A document posted on the website earlier, but also dated 30 June, confirms that Gilpin Bradley, founder and Managing

Director at Wester Ross, is no longer a person exercising “significant control”. Neither Mowi nor Wester Ross had come out with an official announcement at the time this issue went to press. Founded in 1977, Wester Ross is Scotland’s oldest independent, owner-operated salmon farm. It operates three seawater sites in the northwest Highlands of Scotland: Loch Kanaird, Loch Broom and Little Loch Broom. The company also operates its own processing facility in Dingwall, in the north of Scotland. Wester Ross continues to hand-rear and hand-feed its fish, and prides itself on low stocking densities and zero use of antibiotics. There had been considerable speculation that Gilpin Bradley was about to retire, but Mowi’s move has still come as something of a surprise for the industry.

SSC takes on new identity as Bakkafrost Scotland

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THE Scottish Salmon remain so, for the time Company (SSC) being at least. is rebranding as Bakkafrost has Bakkafrost Scotland, committed to three years after its an investment acquisition by the programme of £711m Faroese group. in Scotland, which it Bakkafrost said:“The said will increase the Above: Ian Laister corporate focus for group’s output by the past two years has been to more than 40%. A substantial align the businesses and develop proportion of this investment its core capabilities in Scotland. will be made in Scotland, The renaming of the Scottish Bakkafrost said. operations will ensure that Ian Laister, Managing Director, the Group operates as ‘One Bakkafrost Scotland said:“The Company’, with two regions renaming of our Scotland of production.The ambition is operations to Bakkafrost to become Scotland’s leading Scotland and finalising our most sustainable salmon larger smolt production producer and our sustainability strategy, represents our firm strategy will totally transform step into the future as part the business, its impact on the of the Bakkafrost family environment and deliver leading ... Bakkafrost Scotland cements standards of fish health and our position on the global welfare.” stage, while retaining our proud The new name will be applied Scottish provenance.This is to all of Bakkafrost’s Scottish fundamental to our people, operations, but a spokesperson and the communities in which confirmed that products they live and work, and to our currently branded “The customers, who receive only the Scottish Salmon Company” will finest salmon from Scotland.”

21.06.22 09:27

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11/07/2022 16:37:31


EUROPEAN NEWS

European News

Salmon farmers report reduced harvests in Q2

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A number of leading salmon producers are reporting lower second quarter harvests for this year. SalMar, Lerøy Seafood, Bakkafrost and Norway Royal Salmon have all warned that Q2 is falling short of the same period last year. Norway Royal Salmon gave no explanation in its pre-Q2 trading update, but the reduction is almost certainly due to biological issues in both Norway and in Iceland (where it trades under the name Arctic Fish). The NRS Norway harvest is expected to be 3,400 tonnes (gutted weight), less than half the Q2 2021 figure of 7,900 tonnes. The Arctic Fish total is 1,000 tonnes (gutted weight) against 1,800 tonnes 12 months earlier. SalMar registered a total output for the April to June period of 32,400 tonnes against 36,600 tonnes 12 months ago. Lerøy, meanwhile, announced a harvest of just over 33,000 tonnes of salmon and trout, around 3,600 tonnes lower than last year. However, the figure is 1,000 tonnes up on the first quarter of this year. SalMar said in May that the international data provider Kontali was predicting that the global volume of salmon harvested was likely to decrease by 7% in the second quarter of 2022 – a forecast which is now being borne out by the latest updates. It also said the UK (Scotland) would take the biggest hit with a 20% reduction. Northern Norway was the region which saw the largest fall in volume. Lerøy and SalMar share ownership

of Scottish Sea Farms, but their figures will not become known until the full Q2 reports in August. The SalMar regional breakdown (2021 figures in brackets) is: • Farming Central Norway 20,700 tonnes (21,000 tonnes); • Farming Northern Norway 8,700 tonnes (13,300 tonnes); and • Icelandic Salmon (Arnarlax) 3,000 tonnes (2,300 tonnes). Next year SalMar’s figures will be very much larger once the acquisition of the NTS group (which includes Norway Royal Salmon) goes through. Bakkafrost says that its second quarter harvests for both the Faroe Islands and Scotland will be down this year. Presenting its 2022 Q2 update, the company is forecasting a total harvest of 19,700 tonnes (heads on gutted) against 28,200 tonnes over the same April to June period last year. The figure for the Faroe Islands is 13,100 tonnes against 17,600 tonnes 12 months ago and for Scotland the expected harvest is 6,600 tonnes compared with 10,600 tonnes in Q2 2021. The Bakkafrost Scotland figure is broken down as 2,400 tonnes from Scotland North and 4,200 tonnes from Scotland South. Bakkafrost is currently engaged in a major overhaul to eliminate biological problems at its Scottish operation with an investment of at least £71m.

Norwegian seafood exports reach a record level NORWAY’S seafood exports passed the NOK 70bn mark (£5.9bn) during the first six months of this year – higher than for the whole of 2015. The half year figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council today show that the sector is heading for another record breaking year. Børge Grønbech, the Seafood Council’s acting CEO, said that January to June has been a “fantastic” period for salmon. Total seafood sales show a value growth of 31% or NOK 16.4bn (£1.36bn) against the first half of 2021. First half salmon exports totalled 534,500 tonnes worth NOK 48.4bn (£4bn). The volume was down by 5%, but the value shot up by 13.7% or NOK 13.2bn (£1.1bn) thanks to soaring prices. The average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 87.37 (£7.12) per kilo against NOK 58.29 (£4.78) over the same period last year. Poland, France and the United States were the largest markets for salmon. Salmon exports last month were the best ever for June totalling NOK 8.8bn (£733m), a value rise of 41%. The volume dropped by 11% to 87,800 tonnes. It was also a good six months for farmed trout with the value of exports up by 35% or NOK 562m (£47m) to NOK 2.1bn (£176m).

Above: Norwegian salmon fillets

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11/07/2022 16:25:34


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Gael Force Group Ltd.indd 13

11/07/2022 11:00:31


EUROPEAN NEWS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Former soldier to head Norwegian Seafood Council CHRISTIAN Chramer, a former soldier and communications expert, is to be the new Chief Executive of the Norwegian Seafood Council. He is returning to the organisation where he previously worked in communications and as its fisheries envoy in South East Asia. For the past seven years he was a Regional Director and Communications Director of the NHO, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise. Chramer takes over in October from Børge Grønbech,

Above: Christian Chramer

who was appointed interim CEO following the resignation of Renate Larsen in February.

€567m pledged for French aquaculture FRANCE is set to receive more than half a billion euros to help develop its aquaculture and seafood sector.The money is part of a five year €18.4bn (£15.8bn) investment strategy from the European Commission. Included in the package is around €567m (£487.3m) from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFAF) to help facilitate the ecological transition of the aquaculture and fisheries sector.The Commission said the funding will help bring aquaculture and general seafood related products in line with the expectations of consumers for sustainable food choices. France is a relatively modest player when it comes to aquaculture, but the industry is growing with new land based salmon and shrimp farm projects.

Trimmings are ‘safe’ as aquafeed, study finds SEA bass and sea bream raised on a diet with a high proportion of fish trimmings are safe for humans to consume, according to a study carried out for feed company Aquasoja. Fish trimmings are increasingly being used in aquafeed, as an alternative to fishmeal from wild catch sources, to reduce the pressure on wild stocks. There have been concerns, however, that this could lead to high levels of mercury, creating a health risk for consumers. In a study presented to the XXth International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding, researchers from Aquasoja’s technical team, assessed the levels of mercury in its organic form, methylmercury, in fish that had been fed on a diet with 20-25% fishmeal from trimmings, by-products from fish processing. Tiago Aires and Sara Magalhães of Aquasoja said: “The results of our study show a positive and significant correlation between the body weight of the fish and the mercury concentration in the

fillet, although at levels far below the legal maximum [of 0.5 milligrams per kilogram, as set by the European Food Safety Authority, EFSA].” The levels of methylmercury found were also lower than those commonly found in wild caught species such as hake and tuna. The researchers also pointed out that the manufacturing method for aquafeed makes it possible to measure and control the levels of mercury concentration. The EFSA regularly conducts consumer surveys to determine the likely exposure to mercury, and continues to recommend including fish and shellfish as a regular part of a healthy diet, especially for children.

Mowi fined NOK 16.3m for unlawful water abstraction

Above: French fish farm

OTAQ in distribution tie-up with Sensor Globe MARINE technology business OTAQ has signed an agreement to distribute Canadian company Sensor Globe’s water quality monitoring system. The multi-year deal means OTAQ will distribute Sensor Globe’s data collection solution, used to monitor water quality and fish welfare, primarily targeting both the Scottish and Chilean markets, two of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon. Sensor Globe was developed by Sedna Above: Sensor Globe Technologies. The globe allows users to monitor real time data remotely via an intuitive user interface. Data, such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, acceleration, conductivity and shock, can be seen in real time.Alternatively, the globe sensor can simply be left anywhere for months at a time, and its data can then be retrieved for analysis.

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MOWI has been fined NOK 16.3m (£1.3m) by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). The penalty relates to the unlawful abstraction of water at hatcheries in two regions – Trøndelag and Vestland County. One fine of NOK 11m (£900,000) – officially called a violation fee – has been imposed for abstraction from a watercourse in Kinn municipality in Vestland. The second fine is for NOK 5.3m (£400,000) and has been imposed for illegal abstraction in the Trøndelag region. Mari Hegg Gundersen, section manager for NVE’s environmental inspection for watercourse facilities, said: “It is serious and very unfortunate when a licensee does not comply with the requirements given in the licence ... Mowi has violated terms in two licences, and according to NVE’s calculations, the company has made good profits as a result of an increased amount of fish in the facilities.” The abstraction from the Trondelag region facility was used to keep juvenile fish alive. NVE estimates that the number kept alive by the illegal water abstraction was just under 800,000 individuals. This represents a profit of approximately NOK 5 million (around £416,000). Gundersen added: “We believe Mowi could have avoided this violation by taking greater account of drought situations by having a lower fish biomass in the plant.” Mowi has yet to comment on the two fines, but it could appeal the decisions. Right: Mari Hegg Gundersen

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XXX

11/07/2022 16:27:51


Iceland launches official probe into recent ISA outbreaks at farms

Above: Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, Reykjavik ICELAND has set up an investigation following two recent infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) outbreaks in the east of the country. Until recently, Iceland has been fairly free of this damaging and potentially costly virus and other aquaculture related diseases. In the last few weeks, however, Ice Fish Farm has been hit on at least two occasions, affecting up to two million fish.The company said the outbreaks will dent harvests over the next 12 months. Now Iceland’s Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir

has appointed a working group to look into infection controls on the island and recommend any changes, if necessary.The brief is also wider than ISA. She has instructed the group to review the current health related regulations around fish farming. The review will be led by a representative from Iceland’s Food Ministry and will include experts from various public bodies including the Marine Research Institute and the University of Iceland.The working group is expected to draw lessons from the Faroe Islands, which successfully overcame a potentially devastating ISA problem several years ago. Iceland will also consider the potential benefits of introducing a vaccine against the ISA virus, which is the cause of ischaemia.

BioFeyn wins Seafood Innovation Award for 2022

Grieg sets out its ambitious growth strategy to 2026 GRIEG Seafood has set out its future strategy, including plans to raise production and to process more of the salmon it harvests. The strategy was laid out at a Capital Markets Day event in Stavanger, last month, under the headline “Farming The Oceans For A Better Future” Grieg Seafood, which sold its Shetland and Scottish business to Scottish Sea Farms last year, confirmed its growth ambitions with a target of annual harvest volume of 90,000 tonnes this year and 120,000 to 135,000 tonnes by 2026 depending on the successful utilisation of current capacity, available expansion opportunities and new concepts. Newfoundland represents the company’s new growth area and Grieg said it will build a platform for further sustainable growth beyond 2026 on the east coast of Canada. Grieg Seafood’s operational and financial targets are, the company says: • Harvest volume of 90,000 tonnes in 2022, and increasing harvest volumes to 120,000-135,000 tonnes in 2025 • Maintain a clear ambition to be a cost leader in all the regions where Grieg Seafood operates • A long-term target of net interest-bearing debt to harvest volume ratio of NOK 30/kg • An equity ratio of above 31% • Requirement of a minimum of 12% return on capital employed (ROCE) for all investment decisions • Dividend policy to distribute 30%-40% of the Group’s net profit after tax adjusted for fair value appraisals The Group said its objective is to give shareholders a competitive return on invested capital through dividend payments and appreciation in the value of the share, at a level at least equivalent to other companies with comparable risk. “Any future dividend will depend on the Group’s future earnings, financial situation, and cash flow,” the statement continued. “The Board believes that the dividend paid should keep pace with the group’s profit growth, while at the same time ensuring that equity remains at a healthy and optimal level.” Andreas Kvame, CEO, said: “Grieg Seafood has succeeded in delivering on our ambitions communicated in our latest capital markets update despite the fact that the past couple of years have been rife with upheaval. Today, sustainability is a core tenet of Grieg Seafood’s strategy and the three pillars [of] global growth, cost improvement and value chain repositioning remain our focus areas.” He added: “Going forward, we are ready to use our existing business in Norway and British Columbia together with our new growth platform in Newfoundland to bring Grieg Seafood to the next level. Based on our long experience and strong expertise and highly skilled employees, I am convinced this will be a journey worth being a part of.” Grieg’s farms are in Finnmark and Rogaland Norway, and British Columbia as well as Newfoundland in Canada.

Innovation Award were: BIOFEYN, an aquafeed • Marea – which biotechnology business provides a packaging using nature-based solution based on algae; materials, has been • EasyX – which has named as the winner of designed a “vertical the Seafood Innovation cleaning robot” for fish Award at the North tanks and land-based Atlantic Seafood Above Timothy Bouley aquaculture; Forum. • Submerged AS – Founder and CEO which has developed a system Timothy Bouley, who is based for counting fish in pens and in the US, accepted the award calculating biomass; remotely. • Wellfish Diagnostics – a UK-based BioFeyn has applied business offering an alternative to biotechnology developed for lethal fish diagnosis, using blood human healthcare to create tests; a solution that encapsulates • Tekslo Seafood – which is aquafeed and feed additives in a developing farmed seaweed; biodegradable shell that is easily • SoftSeaweed – a software absorbed by the fish. developer which offers a It uses materials that are largely monitoring and management from the marine environment, solution for seaweed farmers; and including algae. By improving • Searas – which offers new bioavailability and the absorption technology for waste treatment of nutrients, the amount of feed and water quality monitoring for and medicines passing through closed fish farming. into the environment as pollution The awards were sponsored by is reduced. NCE Innovation Cluster, Pareto BioFeyn is headquartered in the and DNB as part of the North US, but works primarily with the Atlantic Seafood Forum, held last aquaculture sector in Norway. month in Bergen, Norway. Runners up in the Seafood Above: Andreas Kvame

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11/07/2022 16:28:32


EUROPEAN NEWS

Norway plans new rules for offshore farms

THE Norwegian government is preparing to set out its future regulatory proposals for offshore salmon farming. The rules proposed for farming further out to sea are set to be different from those imposed by the “traffic light” scheme which governs coastal aquaculture in Norway. Fisheries Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said in

a press release: “We will develop a separate licensing regime for aquaculture with strict requirements for sustainability and coexistence between different maritime industries. “We have accelerated this work, and now we are sending out for consultation a proposal for a separate permit regime.” The proposal is the first to be sent for consultation after an inter-ministerial working group submitted the report Aquaculture at sea new technology, new areas in December 2018. The consultation note builds on this report. The proposal document includes a plan for an overall regime for the identification and facilitation of suitable areas for offshore aquaculture, as well as the introduction of a separate licensing regime for

farms located further out at sea. The Minister added: “Experience shows that it is possible to establish farming further at sea, but then the authorities must facilitate this. “At the same time, it is important to find out how to effectively handle challenges that may accompany such an operation and set a clear framework for it.” He said the decision to place offshore aquaculture outside the traffic light scheme was taken on the recommendation of Norway’s Institute of Marine Research. A number of producers, such as SalMar, are already developing engineering solutions that are robust enough to allow farms to be placed in offshore locations.

Norcod granted permission for new site NORWEGIAN cod farmer Norcod has been granted permission to establish a new marine production location in Nesna municipality with a total maximum allowed biomass (MAB) of 3,600 tonnes. “We have been very well received by Nesna municipality, which we highly appreciate, and we look forward to continuing our excellent cooperation. We consider the site at Labukta to be perfectly suited for cod farming with good water depth, water temperature and current conditions. I am confident our fish will thrive here,” said Norcod CEO Christian Riber. Nesna is located in Nordland, Norway. The mayor of the municipality, Hanne Davidsen, said: “The arrival of Norcod is extremely important for Nesna and as mayor I am delighted it has been given the go-ahead to begin cod farming in our community. We wish them the best of luck and trust that we will continue to work together successfully in future.” The new site will be equipped with state of the art technology and is planned to go into production in the first half of 2023. Riber said: “Setting up a new location is always an exciting process

especially given our motivation to provide a healthy source of protein to an eager market. We have a highly skilled production team with many years of combined experience so I anticipate this will be a smooth and efficient process.” Including Labukta, Norcod now has a total of five cod farming sites along the Norwegian coast.

Above: Thxxxx”

Shellfish producers in new joint venture TWO Dutch seafood businesses have joined forces to create a new joint venture to market sustainably produced shellfish and other seafood products. The 50-50 joint venture has been set up by Cornelis Vrolijk and Krijn Verwijs Verseke, both family-owned companies based in the Netherlands. The aim is to take advantage of economies of scale and to ensure a quality product all the way through the supply chain. Krijn Verwijs was founded by an oyster farmer in 1880 and now produces a full range of seafood, shellfish and sea vegetables, under the brand Premier Seafarmers. As well as fresh seafood, the company

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produces a range of ready-to-eat shellfish. Cornelis Vrolijk, which can also trace its roots to 1880, is involved in fishing, growing and processing fish and prawns, including tropical shrimp as well as a full range of northern species. The 50-50 joint venture aims to strengthen the chain and establish a joint sales strategy in fish, seafood and shellfish. Both companies said they expect to achieve their growth targets for the coming years through this partnership. In doing so, they said, sustainable and intensive relationships with growers, continuance of the family business and ensuring food security are all key. Caroline Verwijs, director of Krijn Verwijs Yerseke, said: “With Cornelis Vrolijk as a complementary partner, we are joining forces and adding value to our business. This will improve our regional and international position, strengthen our product portfolio and intensify our innovation pathways as well our role within the protein transition. “We will remain Krijn Verwijs, a family firm dedicated to the shellfish sector and emphasising the importance of a healthy mussel and oyster sector in the Netherlands. We will also retain our Premier brand and slogan, ‘Seafarmers by Nature,’ under which we sell our products”. Annerieke Vrolijk, managing director of Cornelis Vrolijk, added: “In Krijn Verwijs, we have found a partner which, like us, places great store by family values such as artisan production, trust, loyalty and sustainable relationships.”

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11/07/2022 16:29:50


SalMar seals NRS acquisition

Above: Norway Royal Salmon workers

NORWAY Royal Salmon and SalMar finally sealed their merger, creating the world’s second largest Atlantic salmon farming business. The deal was agreed on 30 June following an extraordinary general meeting of NRS, but in effect it is SalMar which is the dominant partner. SalMar will also be acquiring the wider integrated aquaculture business NTS – previously the parent company of NRS – which is waiting to be finalised. A SalMar statement said: “Reference is made to the stock exchange announcement 30 May 2022 regarding SalMar ASA and Norway Royal Salmon ASA having entered into a merger plan for the merger between SalMar as acquiring entity and NRS as the transferring entity. “An extraordinary general meeting of SalMar was held today on 30 June 2022. The extraordinary general meeting approved all items on the agenda, including the merger plan for the merger and the share capital

increase in connection with the merger.” A number of key NRS investors are continuing to criticise the move, claiming the price SalMar is paying is too low, which they fear means minority shareholders will lose out. The move is also likely to have a significant impact on Iceland’s fish farming sector. SalMar owns Arnarlax while NRS is the owner of Arctic Fish. It is reasonable to expect some consolidation between the two following the merger. The current NRS salmon maximum allowable biomass is 36,085 tonnes in Norway and 21,800 tonnes (plus 5,300 tonnes in trout licences) in Iceland. The deal means that, at the stroke of a pen, SalMar has jumped from the fourth to the second largest salmon company (after Mowi), replacing Mitsubishiowned Cermaq in that slot. It will have a total harvest volume of almost 280,000 tonnes against Cermaq’s figure of 223,400 tonnes.

Andfjord celebrates its first smolt release ANDFJORD Salmon recently announced that it has successfully released smolt in the company’s first land-based pool at Kvalnes, on the island of Andøya in Norway. Company CEO Martin Rasmussen said: “Release of first smolt is obviously an important and enjoyable milestone for Andfjord Salmon. “The operation was well prepared and was executed in a safe and predictable manner.” The release involved approximately 200,000 smolt, supplied by Nordland Akva AS with an average weight of 120 grams, being released into the pool. Rasmussen added: “Our concept is centred around recreating the salmon’s natural habitat on land, as far as it is practically possible to do so. We are now entering a period with increasing amount of natural light and rising temperatures. This is good for fish health and development.” He concluded: “The smolt has quickly adapted to its new surroundings after being released into the pool earlier today. The biological conditions in the pool are exactly as planned. “This has been a great start, but the hard work starts now. We look forward to proving the many excellent benefits of our landbased fish farming facility in the coming months and years,” Andfjord Salmon, which is listed on the Euronext Growth stock market, says it has set an ambition to develop the world’s most fish-friendly and sustainable fish farming facility of its kind. The company has opted for a flow-through system - not a recirculating aquaculture system - which aims to recreate the salmon’s natural habitat on land, producing salmon with very low energy consumption and the smallest possible environmental footprint. Earlier this month, International food group Jerónimo Martins announced that is investing NOK 173.7m (£14.28m) in Andfjord. Other investors include feed group Nutreco and Norwegian seafood business Holmøy. Andfjord Salmon holds a licence to produce 10,000 tonnes salmon (MAB, or maximum allowed biomass) at Kvalnes, equivalent to a target production volume of 19,000 tonnes, heads on gutted weight.

Above: Roger Mosand (chairman) and Martin Rasmussen (CEO), Andfjord Salmon

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11/07/2022 16:30:22


WORLD NEWS

World News

Last-minute reprieve for BC salmon farms

THE Canadian federal government has given the go-ahead for open-net pen salmon aquaculture to continue for the next two years at 79 farms off the coast of British Columbia. The decision, which came just a few days before the existing licences expired on 30 June, only represents a stay of execution for the industry on Canada’s west coast.The federal government said it remains committed to its pledge “to transition from open-net pen salmon aquaculture in British Columbia’s coastal waters in a manner that protects wild salmon, the environment, and the economy.” A statement from Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it will share a draft framework for that transition in the coming weeks, and consultation will run until early 2023, with publication of the final plan expected next spring. The department also said a separate

consultation process is underway with First Nations and licence holders for 19 fish farms around the Discovery Islands, located along a key migration route for wild salmon between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland. Licences for the Discovery Islands farms are not being renewed. Former Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan had ordered their closure in December 2020, but in April the Canadian Federal Court ruled that the government should set aside that decision, after an appeal from three of Norway’s big salmon farming names, Mowi, Cermaq and Grieg. They had applied for a judicial review against a decision preventing them from restocking their farms, claiming it

lacked reason.The court ruled the order breached judicial fairness. The current Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray said: “Wild Pacific salmon are an iconic keystone species in British Columbia that are facing historic threats. “Our government is taking action to protect and return wild salmon to abundance and ensure Canada is a global leader in sustainable aquaculture.” She added: “Ottawa’s transition plan for the aquaculture industry will include new technology, while reducing or eliminating interactions with wild Pacific salmon.” Grieg CEO Andreas Kvame said: “We see the renewal of our licences and the commitment to work together with us to develop a transition plan as a sign that Canada wants a thriving, sustainable salmon farming industry in British Columbia. “Our industry is in continuous development with new technologies and innovations, and in Grieg Seafood we are committed to improvements that strengthen biological control and reduce interactions with wild salmon. “We welcome the transition and look forward to be working with all levels of Government, including our First Nations partners, to find a stable, secure and common path forward in BC.” Similar expressions of welcome have also been expressed by Mowi Canada West and by Cermaq who both described the decision as being very important. Top: Grieg’s Nootka Sound farm Above: Joyce Murray

US public backs aquaculture, poll finds THE US public would support moves to create “a clear, predictable pathway for offshore aquaculture”, according to a poll commissioned by lobby group Stronger America Through Seafood (SATS). The survey, which polled just over 1,000 people, found that two-thirds of voters would “feel more favourable towards” a member of Congress who voted to establish pathways for offshore aquaculture. When informed that doubling US aquaculture production could create 50,000 direct and indirect jobs, 87% agreed that it is important to expand American seafood production. SATS has been campaigning for a regulatory overhaul to allow proposals for offshore aquaculture in US waters to be considered. The Advancing The Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act (AQUAA) bill, which has bipartisan support, is currently being considered by Congress.

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11/07/2022 16:22:09


Kingfish Maine project gets the green light

THE Kingfish Company has finally received federal approval for its proposed new Dutch Yellowtail land-based facility in Jonesport, Maine. The permit was granted by the US Army Corps of Engineers and follows the approval of key permits from the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) and critical water-side permits last year. Kingfish Maine is in the final phases of design, and in an Oslo Stock Exchange announcement last night, the company said contractor bidding selection is underway. The facility in Jonesport will serve as Kingfish’s first production facility in the US as the company looks to replicate its successful operation in

Europe and establish significant local sustainable seafood production for US retailers and food service. Last month, 2,000 fingerlings were transported from the Netherlands to the company’s new hatchery facility site in Franklin, Maine. Kingfish Maine is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kingfish Company, which is the largest Yellowtail Kingfish producer in the European Union. Production is based on advanced recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Capacity in the Netherlands will reach 3,500 tonnes in the second half of this year while the Maine project is designed to produce at least 8,500 tonnes a year.

NZ seafood sector set to gain from EU deal Global farming welfare

Above: Multi-million pound deal for New Zealand

NEW Zealand’s aquaculture and fisheries sector looks set to receive a multi-million pound boost following the successful

conclusion of a trade deal with the European Union. The agreement ends years of negotiation and sweeps away current restrictions,

meaning almost all New Zealand seafood will be able to enter the EU tariff-free. It should be signed early next year. Preliminary estimates suggest the agreement will deliver an additional NZ $20m (£10m) to the sector in tariff reductions alone. Seafood New Zealand chief executive, Jeremy Helson, said this was welcome news, coming at a time when the industry was finding things tough. The terms mean that 99.5% of New Zealand’s current fish and seafood trade will enter the EU tariff-free from day one, increasing to 99.9% within five years, and 100% within seven years, with tariff savings of NZ $19.6m (£10.1m) per annum.

award for Mowi

Mowi has been recognised for its global commitment to fish welfare at the Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) awards, held in London on 15 June. Mowi received a Special Recognition award for its approach to improving the rearing and slaughter of Atlantic salmon. Mowi is the first worldwide producer to commit to CIWF’s recommended stocking density limit of 10kg/m³, and it has also introduced a humane percussive stun-kill for slaughter at all its operations.

Above: Ana Herrero, Mowi

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WORLD NEWS

Cooke raises the stakes in Tassal bid CANADA’S Cooke Aquaculture seems determined to continue its pursuit of the Australian salmon farmer Tassal. The Australian Securities Exchange has reported that Cooke has increased its interest in the Tasmaniabased business from 5.4% to 7.6%, the equivalent of share purchases totalling AU $21.7m (£12.35m). It is believed that Cooke is prepared to pay around AU $1bn (£567m) for Tassal, which is headquartered in the city of Hobart and operates a number of salmon farms around the Tasmanian coast. Cooke has already said it wants to undertake the transaction on a friendly basis with an endorsement from Tassal’s board of directors, and therefore had proposed that the transaction occur by way of a Tassal scheme of arrangement.

It added: “The proposal is subject to limited conditionality and, importantly, is not subject to Cooke being granted due diligence access.” Tassal maintains that the Cooke proposal does not reflect the fundamental value of the business, which is why it has so far decided not to engage with it. It also added: “The company’s board of directors believes Tassal has an attractive independent future and is wellpositioned to deliver growth in shareholder value.” Last year Cooke missed out on Huon, another large Tasmanian salmon farmer which was sold to the Brazilian meat giant JBS. Above: Tassal workers on pen

Mitsubishi to build salmon land farm in Japan JAPANESE industrial giant Mitsubishi is to go into the landbased salmon farming business in its home country. Mitsubishi, which employs 80,000 people worldwide, is already the owner of Cermaq, which is one of Norway’s largest salmon farming businesses and also operates in Chile and Canada. It is teaming up with Maruha Nichiro, Japan’s largest seafood company, to set up a new

20

aquaculture operation. To be named the ATLAND Corporation, it will launch in October. The facility is expected to be operational by 2025, with an initially modest production capacity of 2,500 tonnes. It will be built on Japan’s west coast near the city of Nagano. Mitsubish will own 51% of ATLAND while Maruha will own 49%. of the joint venture. A joint statement from the

two companies said: “Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and Maruha Nichiro have been discussing the joint promotion of this project since March 2021. “This project is expected to help develop a sustainable and stable land-based production system, efficient digital-tech-based operations, local production for local consumption, and progress in decarbonisation ... the aim of our joint project is to create

a ‘local-production-for-localconsumption’ business model in Japan’s salmon industry.” ATLAND will use ground water originating from the Kurobe River and deep seawater from the Toyama Bay, which is characterised by its high water quality and low, stable temperature, which, the companies said, means the facility will require a lower amount of energy to run.

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11/07/2022 16:23:48


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11/07/2022 11:02:14


Processing News

PROCESSING NEWS

Thistle Seafoods buys Dawnfresh’s Uddingston plant Thistle Seafoods has agreed a deal to acquire the Dawnfresh fish processing facility at Uddingston, near Glasgow, as a going concern.

Above: Richard Stephen (R), Engineering Manager at Thistle Seafoods

IN September 2021, Dawnfresh announced plans to close the Uddingston plant and consolidate processing in its Arbroath site on the east coast of Scotland, but in February this year the company was placed into administration. The sale, by administrators FRP Advisory, is expected to save 40 jobs in Lanarkshire. Meanwhile, the administrators are looking for a buyer for Dawnfresh’s fish farming business, which operates seven fish farms in Northern Ireland and Scotland and continues to trade solvently. Thistle Seafoods is based in Peterhead. The company said it aims to develop the Uddingston site into an advanced added value seafood processing and distribution centre with ready access to retail and wholesale customers and markets. The new Uddingston facility will complement Thistle’s processing facilities in Peterhead.

The Uddingston site extends to over 100,000 sq ft and includes a large industrial unit with processing, warehousing, administration and cold store facilities together with an extensive range of plant and equipment. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, sees the immediate transfer of 40 employees to Thistle Seafoods Limited. Thistle Seafoods said the acquisition is part of a strategy to develop a leading “sea-to-plate” seafood processing business, based in Scotland but with a customer base expanding across the UK and all major international markets. Callum Carmichael, partner with FRP Advisory and joint administrator, said that the deal was an excellent outcome for all parties: “We are delighted to have agreed a sale to Thistle Seafoods, which is very well placed to integrate the site and facilities into their own fast-growing business. It is

also particularly rewarding that the deal also includes the transfer of 40 employees. We wish Thistle Seafoods every success with their acquisition and with their plans to develop and grow the business.” Ryan Scatterty, Thistle Seafoods Managing Director added: “The acquisition of the Uddingston facility is an ideal fit for our business as it will provide us with a strategic processing, storage and distribution hub with ready access to the key transport networks to better serve our domestic customers. It will also allow us to further expand our product offering and capitalise on our fast-growing export markets. We are delighted to welcome an extra 40 staff to our business and plan to recruit further this year as we build our business.” Dawnfresh Seafoods Limited was one of the UK’s largest producers and processors of fish and seafood when it went into administration on 28 February, along with Dawnfresh Holdings Limited and RR Spink & Sons (Arbroath) Limited. At the outset of the administration, FRP Advisory sold the Dawnfresh Arbroath facility to Lossie Seafoods Limited, part of the Associated Seafoods Limited (ASL) group, with all 249 staff transferring to the new owner.

We are delighted to “ welcome an extra 40 staff to our business ”

Måsøval company picks up cod processing contract NORWEGIAN cod farmer Statt Torsk ASA has entered into a long-term agreement for the harvesting and processing of up to 3,500 tonnes of cod per year, with the seafood processor Western Seaproducts AS, a company owned by Måsøval AS. Statt Torsk’s cod will be processed in Vartdal, western Norway, where Western Seaproducts is based. The operation is expected to reach maximum production by the end of 2024. Statt Torsk ASA CEO Gustave Brun-Lie said in an Oslo Stock Exchange announcement: “We are extremely pleased to enter into this agreement. This is a cornerstone in our aim to control all parts of the value chain of our production. “The long-term experience for quality harvesting, which exists at the plant and with its owners, enables us to offer the predictability of quality and on-time deliveries required by our customers.” Statt Torsk previously had a contract for processing its cod with family-owned company Per Stave AS.

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Above: Statt Torsk pens

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11/07/2022 16:18:23


St James Smokehouse profits increased in 2020

THANKS to some impressive cost savings, St James Smokehouse was able to increase its profits during 2020. The Annan-based company has just published its accounts for the full year 2020, the most recent period for which detailed figures are available. They show pre-tax profits of £1.581m against £1.405m in 2019. Profit after tax was £1.29m

compared to £1.14m a year earlier. This was achieved despite a drop in income during 2020, falling from £14.28m in 2019 to £13.44m. But during this difficult period, St James managed to reduce its sales costs from £11.86m in 2019 to £10.92m in 2020 and its administrative expenses from £1.2m to £1.12m over the same period.

Seafish pledges to help industry face new challenges INTERNATIONAL trade challenges and labour and skills issues could hamper the UK seafood industry’s ability to thrive if not tackled correctly. That’s the warning from Seafish, the public body set up to promote the UK’s seafood industry, which has set out the five main challenges facing the sector in its 2022-23 annual plan: • helping the industry navigate the changing political, economic and regulatory landscape; • increasing consumer demand for seafood in the wake of competition from other protein and non-protein foods; • creating a safe and skilled workforce; • ensuring a sustainable supply in an increasingly competitive global market; and • helping the industry access the correct data, innovation and insights so it can respond to challenges and opportunities. Among the main priorities will be support on issues such as marine

pollution, micro-plastics, human rights, animal welfare and the impact of fishing on the marine environment. Seafish scrapped its “Love Fish” campaign earlier this year. In its annual plan, it says: “Consumer marketing is best delivered by private business. “In the absence of sufficient funding, we have been challenged to step away from trying to drive increased consumption through traditional consumer marketing and promotional campaigns. “Instead, our stakeholders told us there should be a stronger focus on managing industry reputation and ensuring there is a clear narrative to help overcome the barriers that are preventing consumers from eating seafood.”

In fact 2020 had been going well during the first quarter with sales increasing – but then coronavirus spread across the world, leading to widespread shutdowns. The company said that the first quarter of 2021 had seen increased revenues for the business and this had continued throughout the year, especially for UK sales and filleting income. Launched in 2003, St James

Smokehouse (Scotland) Ltd is based in Annan. The business produces high quality premium grade trout and salmon, both cold and hot smoked, from RSPCAapproved Scottish providers.

Above: St James Scotch Reserve

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11/07/2022 16:19:08


COMMENT

Stemming the tide Consumers might be keener on seafood if producers and retailers could only promote it with the right messages. By Dr Martin Jaffa

I

recently participated in the Seafood Matters meeting held at Stirling University and co-hosted by Lancaster University and the University of Aberdeen. I was specifically asked to answer the following question - recognising salmon’s successes at reaching more consumers, why is seafood consumption still declining? What are we doing wrong? And have we broadly failed to get consumers to eat the diversity of seafood available? The answer is simple. Consumers now recognise salmon as a separate protein category in line with beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. The rest of fish and seafood, however, are considered separately. The reality is that if it wasn’t for salmon, fish offerings would have largely disappeared from our stores long ago. Covid changed the picture slightly but now Covid is not the issue it was. Consumption is returning to its former patterns. People who might have eaten fish out, but not at home, started to do so once their movements were restricted. But now that restaurants are again fully open, home consumption of fish and seafood is back in decline. The BBC recently asked why the British public are obsessed with just five types of fish – salmon, cod, haddock, tuna, and prawns. They say we are stuck in a seafood rut. However, this is not a rut, it is the failure of the fish and seafood industry in general to take the right fish message to the consumer. The BBC spoke to a fisheries expert, Terri Portmann, who suggested that the preference for the Big Five species is simply down to convenience as these are the species that the supermarkets tend to stock. She claimed that, during lockdown, supermarkets expanded their range to support the fishing industry, including species such as Dover sole, lemon sole, hake, turbot, and sardines. She also said that lesser-known species such as gurnard, megrim and spider crab were snapped up. I continued to monitor the retail sector right through lock-down

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and I can’t say that I saw much evidence of anyone “snapping up” anything other than salmon. Seafish produce a monthly list of fish sales and most of the species mentioned above don’t even figure on the chart of chilled/fresh fish because the number of fish sold is so low. Even the list of the top 50 species sold in any format doesn’t include most of these species and those that do appear, such as hake, have suffered sharp declines. The BBC refer to the benefits of eating fish and seafood, highlighting the NHS advice to eat at least two portions of fish each week. They also mention the Marine Conservation Society and their lists of ecofriendly fish and which fish to avoid. Interestingly, two presentations at the Seafood Matters meeting, one from the University of Aberdeen and the other from Food Standards Agency Scotland highlighted that the primary reason why many people chose to eat salmon was because it tasted good. Sadly, we, as the fish and seafood sector, appear to prefer to promote the nutritional benefits and the sustainability of fish, whilst ignoring the fact that fish is good to eat. This has simply turned many consumers away from buying fish and seafood. People who eat fish and seafood out in restaurants make their choice based on the eating experience, not whether the fish is nutritionally beneficial or because it is judged to be sustainable, and this should be reflected in the message sent out to consumers. However, the sector has consistently failed to take account of this. As a result, the effectiveness of any marketing campaigns has been undermined,

Above: Fishmonger with a selection of fresh fish Left: Can consumers be persuaded to come back to megrim?

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leading Seafish to pull the plug on all promotional activity. If consumption wasn’t judged to be in decline before now, it certainly will be going forward. As I see it, it is not consumers that are stuck in a rut but rather those in the wider seafood sector (excluding salmon) who lack any real foresight to develop any market opportunities for their produce. In fact, it is the wild catch sector that is falling by

It is not consumers that are stuck in a rut but rather those in the wider seafood sector

the wayside, with aquaculture products starting to dominate the market. In addition to salmon, sea bass and sea bream are increasingly being offered in added value options instead of just plain fillets. These still seem to be attracting consumer interest as they help to make a meal choice. Basa (Pangasius) is also widely available in UK stores, but in most cases it is in formats where the species of fish is not so apparent nor important. The other major farmed species are warmwater prawns, which are mostly sold as cooked and ready to eat. They are easy to add to a range of “simple to cook” dishes such as pasta and curry. Unlike most seafood, they are a no-fuss offering. The beauty of all these aquaculture species is that supply, price, and quality are largely predictable. This makes for an ideal offering and explains why salmon has come to dominate the UK retail sector. I will end with a little marketing slogan I came up with for salmon some years ago: Salmon – Good for the heart, good for the wallet, and great to eat!

E M P O W E R I N G

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11/07/2022 16:16:49


SALMON SCOTLAND

Message in a box A new, immersive experience is showing the public what goes on in salmon farming. By Hamish Macdonell

T

ucked away in the corner of one of the bigger barns at Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Show was a three-metre cube with three simple words on it: “Scottish Salmon Experience.” It could have been described as a small cinema but, really, it was much, much more than that. Inside, visitors were transported to a salmon farm with a three-minute film show that

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surrounded them, on all sides. They could turn and watch the pictures behind them, on the sides or in front thanks to an innovative 360-degree camera process that has revolutionised the way we experience film. First, the cinema goers flew over Scottish mountains and glens, listening to a voiceover explain what salmon farming was all about before the film deposited them on a boat which motored out to a farm. They could look ahead, off to the side or turn around and gaze at the boat’s wake, receding into the distance. Listening outside the cube, I found it difficult to suppress a smile every time there were children in it because, at exactly two minutes, there was a discernible “whump” from the soundtrack. And, almost every time that moment came, there were squeals of joy and wonder from inside. This was the moment the camera sank below the waves, transporting the children right into a marine pen stocked with salmon, which they could see all around them. While the whole film is great, it was the underwater part – or rather the moment that the camera dipped underwater for the first time – that the children remembered. It is not easy to say how many people went through the Scottish Salmon Experience at the Royal Highland Show but it was at least 1,000, and probably more than 2,000. The installation was hosted by the Royal Highland Educational Trust and that is exactly where we wanted to be. The Scottish Salmon Experience is about education; that is to say, it is about informing and lightly educating people (mostly children) about fish farming. Really,

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Opposite - From left: Hamish Macdonell, Director of Strategic Engagement, Salmon Scotland; George Eus�ce, UK Sec of State for Rural Affairs; Lindsay Pollock, Head of Sustainability, Salmon Scotland. Above and top right: Hamish Macdonell (le�) and George Eus�ce. Right: Atholl Duncan, Chairman, Salmon Scotland.

it is about telling people that we exist, what we do and what fish farming looks like. And if we can do so with a bit of a “wow” factor, then so much the better. We trialled the cinema cube at Lochgilphead High School earlier in the month as part of a careers day and it was the combination of the Salmon Scotland cube and the stands put on by our producing companies that made it work so fantastically well. The high school children went from stand to stand, learning about everything from fish vaccinations to career prospects. They were able to pick up and hold a salmon (to guess the weight), they could see live par in a tank and watch a smolt being dissected. One of our companies also brought a high-powered workboat for the children to clamber around on, which was also really popular. Then they got to go into the cube and see the film, so they had a fully rounded sense of what our farmers do – and what they could do too, when they leave school. It was a similar story at the Royal Highland Show, where the cube was part of a joint exhibit, the other half being a talk and tasting session. Partly this is about us being as open and transparent as possible. In its most basic sense, the cube represents a clear attempt to say: “If you can’t come to the farm, we will bring the farm to you.” But it is also part of a more important outreach programme to try to stop the rural Highlands and Islands losing their young people to the cities and central belt. Depopulation in the region is an increasing problem – and one exacerbated by the dearth of affordable local housing – so anything we can do to reverse that trend is surely a good thing. We want to keep youngsters in their communities, giving them good, wellpaid jobs and helping to keep those communities thriving. And yes, partly it is about countering the depressing negativity which is fostered by some in those same coastal communities who rail against salmon farming. We need to address that balance and, if the cube and the associated educational initiatives that we are running alongside it help to do that, then so much the better. Professor Russel Griggs, who conducted

Partly this is about us being as open and transparent as possible

this year’s review into salmon farming regulation, appeared before the Scottish Parliament’s rural affairs committee recently. He was questioned by a Green MSP who claimed that local communities were opposed to salmon farming. While we know from our local polling results that this is nonsense, Prof Griggs took a slightly more measured approach. In what was a polite but nevertheless forceful put-down of the Green MSP, Prof Griggs said it was very difficult to define exactly what a community wanted and it wasn’t always advisable to take the views of those who shouted the loudest. He told MSPs: “In the future, there will be a lot of community engagement and consultation at the outset to find out what the correct voice is …. I do not think that it will be about whoever turns up and makes the loudest noise, it will be about the benefits for and the impact on the community.” The cube and the careers days are informative and educational but, quietly, they are also about countering the effects of the small band of critics who shout the loudest and think they represent their communities, when they don’t. It is a small step but an important one, one that might, in the future, lead to the creation of a permanent Scottish salmon visitor centre with a 360-degree film show right at its heart. And, given the time and effort it takes to build and dismantle our cube every time we want to use it, that would certainly win approval from our team! For too many years, the Scottish salmon sector didn’t do enough to inform, to educate and to entertain. The Scottish Salmon Experience shows that those days are over. We may not quite be in a position to say that our Scottish Salmon Experience will be “coming to a cinema near you” just yet, but we have a made a start; and a very positive one at that. Hamish Macdonell is Director, Strategic Engagement with Salmon Scotland.

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SHELLFISH

History lessons

Photo: Oyster Restora�on Company

A map of native oyster populations in the past is helping to safeguard the species’ future. By Nicki Holmyard

Above: Na�ve oysters Top: Hatchery, Oyster Restora�on Company Opposite: How oysters benefit the ecosystem

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T

he decline of European native oyster (Ostrea edulis) populations in England by 95% since the mid 19th Century, due to overfishing, disease, pollution, predators and loss of habitat, is well documented, as are the various attempts to reintroduce this species throughout the UK. The benefits of growing oyster reefs are numerous, including their ability to sequester carbon, filter and clean seawater,

increase local biodiversity and provide habitat and food for other marine species. Oyster reefs also act as a barrier to storms and prevent erosion. The UK and Ireland Native Oyster Network, set up in 2017 by a community of academics, conservationists, oystermen and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) working to restore selfsustaining populations of native oysters, lists seven restoration projects on its website, along with 13 fisheries and production companies actively involved in growing native oysters around our coasts. Projects, including the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP) sponsored by Glenmorangie Distillery and the Solent Oyster Restoration Project are reporting initial success, but much work remains to be done to restore UK stocks to former levels. New developments in genetic selection, hatchery techniques, and a better understanding of the dynamics of oyster reefs do, however, offer hope for the future. In England, the Environment Agency recently launched a new data layer tool, to help increase the native oyster population. The tool has been developed by academics from the University of Exeter, University of Edinburgh, and the Europe-wide Native Oyster Restoration Alliance (NORA). It comprises mapped datasets of primary and secondary written sources extracted from government, scientific, maritime and popular media accounts, which mention the use and presence of historic native oyster habitats and fisheries in England, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The locations of exploitation are identified, together with descriptions of the extent of the habitat and timings of any decline. The information is based on the website of ArcGIS, a geographical information service, and it will also be available through the Coastal Data Explorer, a public

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Source: na�veoysternetwork.org

We hope this new information will lead to new opportunities for restoring what has been lost

web mapping portal managed by the Catchment Based Approach initiative. The data layer tool works alongside the Environment Agency’s Native Oyster Restoration Potential maps, which highlight areas where oyster restoration could be successful, and the UK & Ireland Native Oyster Network and Environment Agency’s European Native Oyster Habitat Restoration Handbook, which offers guidelines on restoring habitats. Used together, the handbooks and data layer maps should prove to be invaluable in countering the huge loss in native oyster reefs seen over the last two centuries, by encouraging and supporting new restoration projects. In particular, the tool will be beneficial for local authorities, community partnerships and environmental organisations, in helping them to make the case for native oyster restoration initiatives. Such projects are one of three focus areas of the Restoring Meadows, Marsh and Reef (ReMeMaRe) habitat restoration partnership project. Environment Agency Estuary and Coast Planning Manager Roger Proudfoot says: “The release of the information on where native oyster reefs were once present represents another milestone in our drive for more estuary and coast habitat restoration. We hope this new information will lead to new opportunities for restoring what has been lost. We know that oyster restoration is possible, we just need more capacity to upscale the current efforts and we look forward to this new information inspiring more projects to restore this magnificent mollusc.” Dr Ruth Thurstan, Project Lead and Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter agrees that whereas oysters once formed an understated but important part of British marine ecosystems and their complex reef habitats were key to supporting other marine life, much of this was lost as oyster habitats declined.

“Our marine ecosystems today are fundamentally different, and this map of historical oyster fisheries is a step towards building the knowledge base required for successfully restoring this important species in our coastal waters,” Thurstan says.

Hatchery playing a key role

The Oyster Restoration Company aims to be a major player in oyster seed production and is on a mission to supply up to 150 million native oysters per year. “We are committed to supporting regional communities, increasing biodiversity and ensuring cleaner and better oceans for future generations,” Chief Commercial Officer Owain Wynn Jones told Fish Farmer at the recent Blue Food Innovation Summit in London. As well as providing high quality seed for restoration projects and the table market, the Oyster Restoration Company also supplies seed to major offshore infrastructure projects such as windfarms, which operate with net zero or net positive biodiversity impact targets. “These businesses need enterprises that can help them achieve their targets, and we are well positioned to reliably supply disease-free, resilient oysters to support their goals. We also help large corporates to develop large-scale oyster reefs, as this is an excellent way to meet CSR/ESG strategies,” Wynn Jones said. A major biosecurity advantage for the hatchery is being situated in a designated Bonamia-free area and in 2021, CEO Dr Nik Sachlikidis, announced a substantial breakthrough with a new screening process for the parasitic Bonamia pathogen in native oysters. The company worked with aquaculture genetics specialist Xelect on the project, which uses a highly sensitive DNA test to sample water from an oyster tank. The test identifies the presence or absence of Bonamia and does not require any oysters to leave the hatchery, nor to be destroyed post-testing. “This innovation takes some amazing academic work and applies it to the commercial hatchery setting. Ultimately, this process allows us as a hatchery to manage our broodstock more effectively to control for Bonamia in seed production, and it is an enormous step forward in the production of disease-free native oyster seed,” Sachlikidis said. The Oyster Restoration Company is also selectively breeding native oysters for accelerated growth, disease resistance and improved yields, to help farmers reduce their dependency on the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, now renamed Magallana gigas. This work is contributing to the development of an Oyster Arc of different geographical strains, in conjunction with Heriot-Watt University.

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WILD SALMON

River revival Fish Farmer looks in depth at the projects awarded the Wild Salmonid Support Fund this summer, and checks in on the progress of a winner last year. By Sandy Neil

A

historic Victorian dam on the Western Isles is among five major habitat restoration projects being funded by Scotland’s salmon farmers, with the aim of tackling what many fear is a catastrophic decline in wild Scottish salmon numbers. A total of £120,000 has been granted to organisations this year as part of a partnership between Salmon Scotland and Fisheries Management Scotland. Now in its second year, the £1.5m “Wild Salmonid Fund” is financed directly by Salmon Scotland, and managed by independent charity Foundation Scotland. “Salmon farmers have a shared desire to address the decadeslong decline in wild salmon populations – one of Scotland’s most iconic species,” explained Tavish Scott, Chief Executive of Salmon Scotland. He went on: “Wild salmon populations across the world have decreased over the past century, and it is vital that we rely on good science to help focus our attention on the real issues that are affecting wild salmon and trout populations. “Habitat loss and rising river temperatures have been identified as major pressures on wild salmon and trout, which return to freshwater rivers to breed. “By supporting community-led projects to restore our rivers we are playing our part in reversing the decline in wild salmon

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numbers and identifying solutions that not only work here in Scotland, but globally. “Salmon farmers are delighted to share their expertise in maximising salmon survival and make a financial contribution to protect wild Scottish salmon.” Among this year’s five winners is the West Harris Trust, which has been awarded £35,000 to save the Fincastle Dam, which supports the western bank of Loch Fincastle, and connects the Luskentyre Estuary with the freshwater of the loch, and with the Laxdale river where wild salmon progress to their spawning grounds. Built in the 1890s on West Harris, the

Salmon farmers have a shared desire to address the decades-long decline in wild salmon populations

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Fincastle dam is leaking badly with age, resulting in a loss of water to the small waterfall up which salmon must pass into Loch Fincastle and on up the river, threatening the entire wild salmon run. Cathra Kelliher, who is overseeing the project on the Fincastle Dam, explained: “The dam was originally built to encourage the wild salmon fishery. It consists of a clay, silt and gravel core, flanked by an outer layer of peat and finally supported with heavy stones which are visible as the outer walls. It is a simple structure that has lasted well and needed very little maintenance until now. “The dam has been leaking as the fine particles of the core have been eroded away, leaving only the large outer stones of the wall, which remains solid in structure

and intact. Recently, the danger to the wild salmon has increased considerably due to the dry weather and low rainfall that is now a feature of climate change in the Hebridean summer.” She explains; “The salmon collect in the sea pool because the water that should be concentrated in the small waterfall at the northern end of the dam, instead runs through the centre of the dam as a leak. The fish are extremely vulnerable to predation as well as from poaching, rising temperature, disease and sea lice. The leak is steadily getting worse and the entire wild salmon ecosystem is at risk. “The only viable option to preserve the dam, and so the fishery, is to drive interlocking steel sheets through the soft centre of the dam, using a 22-ton pile driver that will progress onto the sand of the estuary on bog mats at low tides, and then retreat at higher tides. The vehicle is too heavy to rest on the top of the dam but has an arm long enough to reach up over it to drive in the sheet piles. The work, which will repair the leak and secure the dam for decades to come, is scheduled to take place this summer.@ The project is a collaboration between the West Harris Trust, the community representative body, and Borve Lodge Estate which owns the dam and is a member of Fisheries Management Scotland and the Western Isles District Salmon Fisheries Board. Borve Lodge is providing half the cost of the project, with the grant award covering the remainder. Kelliher says: “Fincastle Dam has far-reaching value for the West Harris community including ecologically, scenically, as a matter of local heritage and in terms of free access for local residents to the only wild salmon fishery on West Harris. “Without Foundation Scotland’s thorough and generous consideration and the awarding of this grant, we would not have been able to carry out this important work.” Further south, the Skye and Lochalsh Rivers Trust received a grant of £25,720 to undertake an acoustic telemetry tracking study of adult sea trout. This project will better understand the key drivers for different patterns of sea trout behaviour, movement, and survival in waters around the Isle of Skye. Isabel Moore, senior biologist at the Skye and Lochalsh Rivers Trust says: “The Skye and Lochalsh Rivers Trust and their project partner, the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London), are thrilled to receive this funding, enabling them to investigate further the marine migration of sea trout in our area. This project

Opposite: Skye and

Lochalsh Rivers Trust

This page from top:

West Harris Trust – Fincastle Dam; Fincastle Dam water level, measured in June 2021

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WILD SALMON

will provide further information about threats faced by sea trout in the marine environment and help guide the conservation management of wild salmonids in Scotland.” In East Dunbartonshire, The Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust was awarded a grant of £22,190 for a habitat restoration project. Activities will address tree canopy, in-stream cover, and bank erosion issues at 15 sites over five identified burns across the Lomond catchment. It is hoped that this initiative will help to protect wild salmonid populations in the region. Malcolm MacCormick, operations manager for the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust, says the Trust is “absolutely delighted” to receive funding from this round of the Wild Salmonid Fund. He adds: “From previous work we have undertaken, we are confident that this funding will help restore and enhance a number of degraded habitats, leading to increased juvenile salmon numbers. “We are aware of the importance of in-stream cover to maintain healthy juvenile salmonid numbers. In a number of catchments, large mechanical construction vehicles have been used to position trees into rivers and streams to provide such cover. However, due to access issues this is not always feasible, and alternative ways of providing cover in difficult to reach areas have to be found. “To that end, the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust has undertaken a number of small-scale restoration projects in sites where vehicles cannot access. Using locally sourced brash [fallen branches] and willow cuttings, we have secured unstable water course banks at

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We are confident that this funding will help restore and enhance a number of degraded habitats

Top: Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust Above: Ayrshire Rivers Trust Opposite: Cowal Peninsula Argyll Fisheries Trust

the same time as providing much needed cover for juvenile salmonids. Not only do these structures minimise erosion, electrofishing surveys have shown that they also provide refuge for juvenile fish. Moreover, in a very short time we have observed good willow growth, which is already beginning to provide shade and additional protection for local fish populations. “This funding will help us increase the number of pilot sites within the catchment. We have identified 15 sites in five water courses where we would like to expand this project. We know from previous electrofishing surveys that juvenile salmonid numbers are low in these areas and cover is minimal. This funding will help reset the balance, and it is expected that it will lead to an increased number of juvenile salmonids within the project areas, ultimately increasing adult numbers. The Trust is grateful to the Foundation Scotland and the Wild Salmonid Fund for this opportunity to enhance and improve the Loch Lomond catchment.” The Ayrshire Rivers Trust has been given £16,775 to undertake a restoration project that will aim to address excessive amounts of silt in the Brockloch Burn. Stuart Brabbs, trust manager and senior scientific officer with the Ayrshire Rivers Trust, says: “With wild salmon numbers declining across Scotland, it is essential that river managers improve freshwater habitats wherever possible to ensure that adults returning from the sea to spawn have the best chance of success. “The funding will be used to clean and restore severely impacted habitat on the Brockloch Burn, a tributary of the River Doon, in order to allow both salmon and trout to spawn and their egg survival to improve. The main actions will include erecting livestock fencing to improve riparian buffers and allow better water margin management, manually cleaning fine sediments from impacted substrates, and custom building and installing a course trash screen to help maintain free passage through a problem road culvert. “These combined actions and others taken elsewhere nearby should significantly reduce diffuse pollution inputs and fine sediment that reduce spawning success on this burn. This restorative approach should not only increase salmon productivity within this burn, but also benefit other freshwater species too.” Argyll Fisheries Trust has been granted £20,342 to fund improvement works at River Ruel and River Eachaig in the Cowal Peninsula, located in Argyll, to reduce rates of riverbank erosion and fine sediment

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entering the rivers. Alan Kettle-White, director of operations with Argyll Fisheries Trust, says: “Argyll Fisheries Trust are delighted to have received funding from Foundation Scotland which will enable us to double the amount of fish habitat we can improve this year.” The Cowal Rivers Habitat Improvement Project focuses on the Cowal Peninsula in south Argyll, which has several rivers flowing into Loch Long and Kyles of Bute. Argyll Fisheries Trust (AFT) has collected habitat and population data on Atlantic salmon and sea trout in three of the major rivers in the region: River Ruel, River Eachaig and the River Goil over a period of 20 years. AFT has concluded that that the habitat for fish in these rivers is affected by high rates of bank erosion and collapse. The deposition of large volumes of fine sediment into the river has caused the coarse substrates in the riverbed to become clogged with silt and sand, much reducing the cover for young fish needed to shelter them from floods and predators. The Trust says: “The fine sediment also adversely affects the invertebrates which are an important source of food for fish. The severe bank erosion has also reduced the number of mature trees on riverbanks and shading of the river channel, which are needed to manage water temperature in our warming climate. “To improve the carrying capacity and productivity of the habitat for young salmon and trout, AFT has been working with local community groups, landowners and angling interests to develop effective habitat improvement measures since 2015. The main technique used has been ‘green revetment’, that slow the rate of erosion and allow bankside vegetation to re-stabilise and the riverbed habitat to recover. “Longer-term stability of riverbanks also requires management of existing trees (pollarding), planting of new trees with the help of fencing to keep livestock from grazing the new vegetation. In addition, where present, fallen trees are retained in the river to provide additional cover fish.

To date, these techniques have shown good results.” The Cowal Rivers Habitat Project seeks to transfer green bank revetment and woody debris installation techniques, used successfully on the River Goil, onto the River Ruel and the River Eachaig which have similar issues. The work on the riverbanks is planned to be undertaken in August and September 2022, the AFT says. This is the second year in a row that Argyll Fisheries Trust has successfully applied to the Wild Salmonid Support Fund. Last year it received £18,600 to invest in habitat restoration in the Dalvuie Burn near Oban. The Trust’s Dalvuie Burn Habitat Improvement aims to improve the recruitment of sea trout in local waters. The burn is a typical coastal stream flowing into the north shore of Loch Etive at the Falls of Lora, in Lorn, and an important habitat for spawning and juvenile nurseries, vital to the recruitment of sea trout in the area. “In 2021, the newly launched Wild Salmonid Support Fund provided an opportunity to kick-start our ambition to restore the sea trout spawning Burn at Dalvuie,” the Trust says. “Our project sought to balance the need for productive habitat for trout and retain the productivity of the farming activities. The initial phase of the project has focused on the fish habitat in a 700 m long section of the burn. Later phases of the project seek to reduce the impact of livestock access to the stream through tree planting and similar in-channel restoration. “The Dalvuie Burn is typical of many small stream habitats draining agricultural land in the region, being straightened and dredged to aid drainage of farmland and minimise flooding of improved grazing fields. Our aim was to return the ‘ditch’ back into a functioning stream by

introducing bends, changes in depth to form pools and riffles [shallow places where water flows quickly over rocks] and increase the complexity of the habitat with boulder and woody debris placement. Once this work is completed in September 2022, tree planting and stock fencing will ensure that the banks are able to provide shade, cover from predators and food to maximise the chances of young fish becoming smolts. “As well as improving the quality of the habitat, the reintroduction of bends into the stream will also increase the length of stream habitat and the creation of deeper pools will help young fish survive during periods of drought. The funds secured from the Wild Salmonid Support Fund has paid for the stock fencing on both banks of the stream (1.4 km) and contributed to the machine work needed to reform the straightened channel back into a meandering stream. The machine work was carried out in May and June 2022. The next phase of the work will see the new fencing completed on both sides of the burn and some trees and other native plants introduced to diversify the bankside vegetation. We will also be monitoring the recovery of the fish population.” Launched in April 2021, the Wild Salmonid Support Fund attracted applications from charitable organisations all over Scotland. That first year, five projects received funding, including the Flow Country River Trust, Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh (Carloway Estate Trust), Wester Ross Fisheries Trust and Lochaber Fisheries Trust, with awards ranging from £9,025 to £19,600. The Wild Salmonid Support Fund is scheduled to reopen to new applications in spring 2023. For further details on the fund, visit www.foundationscotland.org.uk/ WSSF

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MARKETING

Go west

Booming demand in the USA and a Covid-related slowdown in Asia mean Norway’s seafood marketing effort has refocused. By Vince McDonagh

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ew people were surprised when land-based fish farming new boy Salmon Evolution announced last month that it was looking to North America for long term growth prospects. The company, due to start production at its first Norwegian facility later this year, clearly sees it as the region with the most promising potential. The Norwegian Seafood Council also has its eye on the other side of the Atlantic which is why the US will receive a significant increase in the organisation’s marketing budget this year. France, another key market is also attracting special attention from the Seafood Council. Americans, it seems, cannot get enough salmon, but in France seafood consumption has fallen back since the end of lockdown and the Council want to reverse that trend. Three or four years ago China and Japan topped the “hit list” for northern hemisphere salmon exporters. The Far East remains important with the Seafood Council holding a webinar on China last month which showed that fish continues to be a favourite among the Chinese who view it as their most important food import.

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Continuing problems with Covid and higher air transport costs following the war in Ukraine have taken off some of the shine, however. Viewers to the webinar were told that while China has stabilised the coronavirus situation, the country’s “zero case” policy is having a negative impact on the population’s willingness to spend. This has led to a 10% reduction in all-type grocery sales, although online shopping is picking up. Europe and the US are easier and cheaper to access and they have more affluent consumers. The Seafood Council says the US was the largest growth market for Norwegian seafood in the first quarter of this year, with salmon leading the pack. Up to May this year, seafood exports to the USA have increased by NOK 1bn (£83m) compared with the same period last year, to a total of NOK 4.2bn (£348m). Measured in volume, exports of seafood increased during the period by 1% to 46,000 tonnes. Salmon, cod and haddock prices are currently at a historic high, while trout and king crab are also performing particularly well. Anne-Kristine Øen, the Council’s US envoy, said in April that the US economy is strong, despite supply chain challenges and inflation which is now at its highest level for 40 years. More than 90% of the jobs lost at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic are back, and the unemployment rate is down to 3.6%. Delivering an update for June, she said that the chief concerns now are high food and energy prices, but so far they have not dented the broader economy. Despite inflationary and other economic challenges, the Seafood Council wants to maintain the momentum that began earlier this year, which is why it is prepared to spend more. Øen says: “The budget for salmon has doubled from NOK 10m to

The United States is a market in strong growth

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life, while shopping habits underwent radical change. People were forced to eat at home so fish, and salmon in particular became a popular household choice. In France old habits die hard. While salmon remains highly popular, the figures suggest French consumers, after being almost locked up for two years, are returning big time to traditional menu favourites now restaurants have fully re-opened. Provided there is not another pandemic lurking somewhere, it may take a couple of years before the industry can get a true picture of the way things are going. Meanwhile, Trine Horne, the Seafood Council’s Paris based envoy is in no doubt about her mission. She says: “This year’s campaign aims to get French people to continue consuming Above: Trine Horne salmon and at the same time increase their FRANCE envoy preference for Norwegian origin. Trine Horne said “The campaign is divided into two parts. The second will be run at the end of the year the planning of this autumn’s salmon to take advantage of salmon’s popularity campaign is well around Christmas and New Year.” underway and she The recently completed spring campaign looked forward consisted of a TV sponsorship before and to seeing it shine after various food programs on the TV through on TV. 20m (£833,000 to £1.66m) while the budget for whitefish has been channel France 3, a video campaign online Based on a successful increased from NOK 4m to 7m (£330,000 to £580,000). and a campaign on social media. results from last In addition, the Seafood Council is investing 1 million kroner “Print ads have also been used in some year’s campaign, the (£83,000) in shellfish promotion this year. of France’s largest trade magazines: LSA, plan is to use TV She adds: “The United States is a market in strong growth. In 2021, Linéraires, Points de Vente and Rungis commercials and Norway exported 55,000 tonnes (+ 19%) of salmon to the United TV sponsorships Actualité.” States worth NOK 5.7 bn (+ 12%). in French homes. She adds: “In parallel with the media “There was also good growth in the export of cod and haddock, as campaign, various PR activities have also Norwegian salmon well as trout, king crab and snow crab. will also be present been carried out to promote Norwegian “In total, we exported 100,000 tonnes of seafood to the country (up salmon in France.” on social media, digital screens in 18%) worth NOK 8bn, or £664,000, (up 17%). Around Easter, the Seafood Council stores and online “Based on this development, the Norwegian Seafood Council’s participated in one of the large French Street videos online. market groups have been clear that the USA is one of the markets food markets in Paris “le Food Market” that should be prioritised with strengthened budgets. where “salmon rolls” were served to food“This is of course very gratifying and welcome. The strengthening loving Parisians. of the budget means that we in the US can now work more directly The Seafood Council has also collaborated towards consumers. with the Demotivateur Group, one of the “In recent years, the strategy has been to work towards the value leading French digital entertainment media chain. We are now well under way with the work of changing strategy, for millennials. tactics and marketing plans, and will return with more information “Together with them, we have made a ‘tips about this after the summer holidays. and tricks’ video to show the French different “Through the shellfish investment, we will give the king crab and ways to cook salmon,” she adds. the snow crab a real boost. This will be a pure ‘business to business’ “And last but not least, we have worked investment.” Above: Statue of Liberty with French influencers who have cooked Opposite from top: Annesalmon at home and shared photos and Kris�ne Øen; French French fancies videos on social media, as well as publishing restaurant So what of France, the land with the most Michelin three-star rated an article in collaboration with the French restaurants? It is a mixed picture when it comes to fish. industry magazine LSA to reach out to Overall salmon consumption in May this year dropped by 29% to professionals.” 1,999 tonnes, compared with May 2021, although smoked salmon sales appear to be holding up. French salmon consumption On the plus side, salmon consumption is 2% higher on the preMay 2019 - 2022 pandemic month of May 2019, which suggests that during the (TOTAL) toughest lockdown periods people were buying salmon in large MAY 2019______ 3,896 TONNES quantities and taking it home to cook. Cod consumption has followed a broadly similar trend. MAY 2020______ 4,644 TONNES Given the many complexities and distortions following Covid, it MAY 2021______ 5,581 TONNES might be premature to read too much into current figures. MAY 2022______ 3,982 TONNES Dining out stopped completely for a time before stuttering back to

TV focus for autumn campaign

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ORGANIC AQUACULTURE

Slow progress Organic aquaculture has not made great strides in the EU, and the finfish sector has proved especially disappointing. By Vince McDonagh

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revealing new report suggests that organic aquaculture production across Europe has flatlined – with the exception of mussels. Production is up 60% in five years, which might appear impressive. However, the increase is far from uniform, being heavily weighted in favour of mussel production, and with salmon and most other finfish playing only a minor – and largely decreasing – role. The report, from EUMOFA, the European Marketing Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture, is based on data from national sources, including the UK until the time it left the European Union. On a broader front, consumption of organic food generally (including seafood) is on the increase across Europe and was

Above: Gilthead sea bream saw a modest increase in organic produc�on Right: Glenarm organic salmon farm Northern Ireland

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worth €44.8bn (£38.4bn) in 2020, rising by 15% the previous year. Because organic food is generally more expensive, some analysts think rising inflation could slow future growth, although EUMOFA believes the EU’s Farm To Fork strategy should lead to significant increases over the next decade or so. Currently, the main EU organic aquaculture producing countries are Ireland (salmon and mussels), Italy (mussels and finfish), France (oysters, mussels, and trout), the Netherlands (mussels), Spain (mussels and sturgeon), Germany, Denmark and Bulgaria (mussels). The total organic aquaculture production at EU-27 level was estimated at 74,032 tonnes in 2020, accounting for 6.4% of the bloc’s overall aquaculture output. Based on data collected for this study the main species produced are mussels (41,936 tonnes), accounting for more than half of the total organic aquaculture production, followed by salmon (12,870 tonnes), trout (4,590 tonnes), carp (3,562 tonnes), oysters (3,228 tonnes) and European sea bass and gilthead sea bream (2,750 tonnes). The report says the main developments over the five year period between 2015 and 2020 are a significant increase in organic mussel production, mainly from the

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Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, France, Spain and Bulgaria. This output accounted for 41,936 tonnes in 2020 (10% of total EU mussel production), more than double the 2015 total of 18,379 tonnes. There was also a sharp increase in organic oyster production at EU level, mainly based in France, rising from 900 tonnes in 2018 to 3,220 tonnes in 2020. But organic salmon seems to be in short supply throughout the EU which, says EUMOFA, is due to a 3,600 tonne reduction from Irish farms down to 12,780 tonnes and, of course, to Brexit. Scotland was producing a modest 2,400 tonnes a year prior to the Brexit vote in July 2016. This has since risen to more than 13,000 tonnes. Scottish farms continue to supply organic salmon to Europe, but Brexit means producers are facing ever-increasing export hurdles. The main beneficiary would appear to be Norway, which although not in the EU, is a member of the EU Single Market, giving it almost unhindered access to 27 salmon-hungry countries. Norwegian organic salmon output stood at 25,546 tonnes in 2020 compared to just 10,000 tonnes five years earlier. EUMOFA says these trends can be explained by differences in production methods for shellfish and finfish, with more technical and regulatory constraints for the latter as well as a limited demand for organic finfish. Stakeholder feedback suggests that operators also face difficulties when establishing a clear communication strategy toward their clients to deal with the competition between organic and other certification schemes. These are included in a separate report outlining prospects for growth in organic aquaculture in the EU. Looking at other organic finfish products, the report says trout has remained more or less stable at around 4,600 tonnes over the five year period under review. But organic carp farming, mainly carried out in Hungary,

COOKE TO BUILD NEW ORKNEY ORGANIC FARM

Cooke Aquaculture applied for planning permission earlier this year to build its second fully offshore salmon farm following the success of constructing and managing Scotland’s first “high energy” offshore site at East Skelwick. The new organic farm, would be located on Orkney approximately 3km east of the southern tip of Papa Westray, and more than 4km from the closest landfall on Westray. Known as East Moclett, the farm would comprise six 160-metre pens and be stocked with Soil Association-certified organic smolts. Cooke is Scotland’s largest producer of organic salmon.

WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT ORGANIC SALMON? FOR salmon to be labelled organic, a farm must operate in strict adherence with standards set out by any of several recognised organic certifying agencies, such as the UK’s Soil Association or Germany’s Naturland. The fish must have been reared free of antibiotics and most other forms of medication. Another main difference is that “organic” salmon is stocked in open net cages at a lower density. There is no extra separation required between the farmed fish and the wider environment, and

no requirement to prevent fish faeces polluting the seabed. Wild caught salmon is not recognised as organic.

Romania and Lithuania, is down by nearly half to 3,560 tonnes. The one bright spot for organic finfish is sea bass and gilthead sea bream, mostly from Greece, which is up from 2,000 tonnes in 2015 to 2,750 tonnes in 2020. For shellfish, in most cases there are limited differences between conventional and organic in terms of production methods, says the report: “Thus, shifting to organic is not complex for producers but it increases the administrative burden. “The main barrier to market growth for the organic shellfish segment is to be found in the somewhat limited market incentives for producers in terms of price premium or demand from customers. “As for finfish, organic production has not increased because of the limited demand from the market and the technical difficulties in producing under the organic scheme including the availability of organic feed and juveniles. “In addition, the organic scheme may not be in line with the production methods developed by producers (for instance extensive pond polyculture in some Eastern MS [Member States] or closed recirculating aquaculture systems) or national requirements (for instance, requirements for the largest aquaculture sites in Denmark). “ EUMOFA adds: “Another difficulty stakeholders face when establishing a clear communication strategy toward their clients is the competition with other certification schemes (for instance, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council [ASC] or Marine Stewardship Council [MSC], the latter may also apply to shellfish production in the Netherlands).” They also note that organic schemes “only cover aquaculture products and not wild caught products (farmed products account for about a quarter of EU seafood production and consumption).“

Organic production has not increased because of the limited demand from the market

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BLUE FOOD INNOVATION SUMMIT

Funding the future Last month’s Summit event brought together investors and companies at the cutting edge of aquaculture

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he world is getting hungrier. After decades in which the proportion of undernourished people in the world had been falling, the twin threats of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine have meant that hunger now affects more than 750 million people. Aquaculture, which now accounts for at least half of all the aquatic food produced in the world, has to be part of the answer to that. But with equally serious threats in the form of shrinking biodiversity and increasing global warming, more aquaculture cannot simply be the solution in itself. The industry needs innovation if growth is to be sustainable, and this was the theme of the Blue Food Innovation Summit, held in London on 14-15 June. Bringing together aquaculture producers and suppliers with the fast-growing start-up and investment community, the twoday summit focused on the transformative potential of new technologies and encouraged collaboration and partnership between stakeholders across the value chain. The Summit featured more than 300 delegates and 85 speakers, with more than 40 countries represented. Importantly, it was a forum for businesses with viable ideas to meet the funders looking to invest in this exciting sector. The first keynote speaker was Dr Manuel Barange, Director of the Fisheries and Agriculture Division at the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). He said that aquaculture – both marine and freshwater – will be crucial in feeding what may

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well be nine billion people on the planet, by 2050. He pointed out that seafood has a higher food conversion efficiency rate compared with landbased livestock like cows and pigs. It also has a smaller carbon footprint, with an estimated 24 grams of CO2 equivalent per gram of protein, compared with 43g for poultry, 84g for cheese and 238g for beef. Despite this, he added: “Only half of

Above: The auditorium Left: Manuel Barange Opposite from top:

Melanie Siggs; Maggie Fried; Thomas Farrell (L) and Robert Outram; Dr Shakuntala Thilsted

QUOTED COMPANY “Aquatic foods are superfoods!”- Dr Shakuntala Thilsted, WorldFish “Even if growth slows, people need to eat” - Ohad Maiman, The Kingfish Company “We need to use the lowest trophic level in the ocean, not use up the highest” - Vincent Doumeizel, Lloyd’s Register Foundation & Safe Seaweed Coalition “We need to push through this moment, to take aquaculture to a different level” - Amy Novogratz, Aqua-Spark

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said: “We must acknowledge the role of seafood in improving nutrition.” WorldFish has been finding ways to diversify consumption using aquatic foods – such as “fish chutney” in Asia, or fish wafers in Cambodia. countries with a nutrition strategy have included fisheries and aquaculture in that strategy.” “Blue transformation” is a strategic priority for the FAO, with three key objectives: • Sustainable aquaculture intensification and expansion; • Effective management of all fisheries; and • Upgraded value chains to ensure the social, economic and environmental viability of aquatic food systems. A similar theme was taken up by Dr Shakuntala Thilsted, keynote speaker for the second day of the Summit. Dr Thilsted is Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health with not-for-profit organisation WorldFish, which aims to promote sustainable aquaculture and fisheries for the global south. She told attendees that she wants to change the narrative from “feeding the world” to “nourishing”, recognising that aquatic foods contain micronutrients and essential fatty acids as well as protein. She

We also need to improve diversity in production and supply chains, Dr Thilsted argued, giving examples such as supporting women’s self-help groups in India, or introducing solar-powered refrigeration in Africa. She concluded: • we must recognise the crucial role of aquatic foods in food, land and water systems transformation for sustainable, nutritious and equitable food systems; • we must amplify investments in research, innovation and scaling of aquatic food solutions at household, national, regional and global levels; and • we must value aquatic foods for nourishing nations beyond monetary units. The Summit provided plenty of examples of innovation in practice. In a panel discussion on sustainability and “blue food”, chaired by Melanie Siggs of the Global Seafood Alliance, Dr Essam Yassin Mohammed, Director General of WorldFish and senior representatives from the fish farming and feed sectors, considered how the sector could be genuinely sustainable. Erland Reiten, Chief Transformation Officer with Cermaq, stressed that the farmers need to work with other elements of the industry: “Our own GHG emissions account for only 10% of the

BRIGHT IDEAS The Summit also provided an opportunity for start-ups to set out their stall. Six innovators took part in a pitch session:

BIOFEYN – this company has developed a biodegradable shell around feed pellets to help deliver functional feed. It has taken existing nutrient systems developed for human consumption, and applied them to aquaculture. LUMINIS WATER TECHNOLOGIES – has developed a microbiome-based analysis of water quality. The company’s “AquaGENius” testing kit provides a microbiome profile in any kind of water, fresh or seawater. It also has specialist kits for biofilms and swabs for guts, gills and lesions. RESHORE – uses natural infrastructure to protect the shoreline

against erosion – a “living breakwater”. Its innovation is a floating breakwater combined with a regenerative aquaculture solution, growing shellfish and seaweed, and currently being trialled at Scheveningen in the Netherlands.

SEA GREEN – applying research, data and traceability to the Asian

seaweed market in the form of the Sea Green app. Free for farmers to download, it takes a small percentage of each sale of the farmer’s seaweed. The company aims to reach 20,000 farms in the next five years; there are about 200,000 families involved in farming seaweed in Indonesia alone. Sea Green is already working with around 1,000 farms in that country.

TEORA – this technology platform can rapidly design low-cost growth

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We must acknowledge the role of seafood in improving nutrition

enhancement and oral disease prevention solutions for aquaculture, by producing specific, proprietary small proteins using precision fermentation of yeast. The estimated cost per kilo of shrimp is just 20c.

UNDERSEE – a system that brings predictability to forecasting, for example sea temperature forecasts or likely algal blooms, using sensors fitted on ships working at sea. The company is based in Coimbra, Portugal.

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BLUE FOOD INNOVATION SUMMIT

This page from Top: Yoav Dagan;

Rodrigo Sanchez; Amy Novogratz; Tor Magne Madsen

Opposite from top:

Tilapia; Timothy Bouley

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GHG in our value chain, so collaboration is key.” Cermaq has already electrified 50% of its sites in Norway and, by the end of 2022, 80% of its production in Norway will be from sites connected to the power grid, but half of the emissions in Cermaq’s value chain relate to feed. Kaylene Little, Head of People and Community with Australian salmon producers Tassal, agreed: “It’s a complex issue; you can’t look at sustainability without considering interconnectedness. It’s important that we connect, up and downstream, with our suppliers. “You also need communication, because customers and consumers need to be brought along on this journey.” Tim Noonan, Managing Director, Seafood with Cargill, said: “There is an idea that there is a dichotomy between sustainability and growth, or between sustainability and jobs. This is a false dichotomy: technology is the key to progress.” The Summit also heard from pioneers using RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) technology to raise a variety of species. Erik Tveteraas, Investment Director with Nutreco Nufrontiers, said he was confident about RAS given the current imbalance between supply of, and demand for, seafood. He added though that strong price support will be necessary to attract investors. Nutreco, an international feed group, is so far restricting its RAS investment to salmon and shrimp – and has not actually made any shrimp investments to date. Yoram Layani is a partner with equity fund 8F which is the lead investor in land-based farmer Pure Salmon. He stressed: “Finding an optimal RAS solution is not just about the technology.” He explained that “local production for local consumption” and the use of integrated multi-trophic systems (eg wasteto-hydroponics) are also important. Pure Salmon believes it can reduce the supply chain

We’ve seen investors coming in, not understanding the market by six to eight days. Will RAS produced fish warrant a premium price to make up for its capital costs? Ohad Maiman, founder of The Kingfish Company, said “it deserves to” but added that it would be a mistake to count on that. In a separate session Yoav Dagan, VP Business Development with RAS technology group AquaMaof, gave an introduction to his company’s “modular, scalable and flexible” system, which can be used to farm a range of finfish species. Placing the supply of fish near to where the demand is, he said, shortens the supply chain and reduces the carbon footprint. The Summit also heard from innovators at the cutting edge of new production techniques. Rodrigo Sanchez, Co-founder and Director of Ocean Arks Tech in Chile, explained the concept of the Ocean Ark: a floating aquaculture vessel with the capacity to produce 4,000 tonnes per cycle and the mobility to avoid ocean hazards like harmful algal blooms. Tor Magne Madsen gave an update on the FishGlobe, which he described as “the most advanced floating fish farm”.

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The prototype of this closed salmon farming system has already produced more than two million post-smolts, and a new model, 10 times larger, is being designed for full grow-out. And should see the first fish introduced in 2024. James Berger, a co-founder of World Heritage Salmon and processing business Hofseth, explained how locating the company’s land-based, flow-through plant in a disused quarry alongside a Norwegian fjord will help to make it the most sustainable system of its kind in the world. John Diener, CEO of RAS shrimp farming company Vertical Oceans, said his company’s modular system, which can operate in urban locations, provided an “intelligent habitat” which could be based in warm and cold climates. He said: “It can produce double the rate of growth compared to ponds, and great tasting shrimp.” There’s plenty of innovation going on, but are there enough funders out there to make it happen? There are certainly more players in the Blue Food space than there were, according to Amy Novogratz, Managing Director of Aqua-Spark, one of the first investors to focus on sustainable aquaculture. She said: “Ten years ago there were no rooms like this! It was hard to get any interest in this space. It’s a different space now – but we still need more investors.” Investment business S2G launched a fund focused on this sector in 2020. Larsen Mettler, Managing Director with S2G Ventures, said that although there are opportunities, those coming into this field should understand the downside: “We’ve seen investors coming in, not understanding the market or the inherent risks. When we de-risk – for example, tackling disease or sea lice – we’ll see more investors.” One of the issues debated was whether funds focused on ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues should have access to a common set of standards for reporting a company’s impact. Karsten Saethre, Senior Vice President, Seafood with bank group DNB, said: “I don’t think there should be a common format. It’s better to have something that’s tailored to the company.” Carsten Krome, Managing Partner with Hatch Blue, which runs its own accelerator programme for blue economy start-ups, disagreed, arguing that you can you can apply a KPI (key performance indicator) such as “amount of nitrogen removal achieved” to a wide variety of businesses. He added that if the industry could produce a “unicorn” business – a very high value business backed by venture capital – then “investors will rush in”. A breakout session, co-hosted by Guus Hovius of Rabobank and Arturo Ania of microalgae business Mara Renewables, also addressed the issue of finance. Ania’s advice was to show potential investors as much data as you can to back your case “… and be very honest when you do not have data!” Aquaculture is a specialist area, so it helps to have an expert lead investor that others trust and will follow.

Guus Hovius said that economic instability and higher interest rates are affecting the market: “The size of venture capital funds is decreasing now and valuations are going down. But the funds still have a lot of money to allocate.” It’s a time of uncertainty, and there is a lot of “wait and see”, he concluded. The challenges are significant, but so is the enthusiasm on the part of those who are setting out to overcome them. The Blue Food Innovation Summit was part of the Rethink global portfolio of events. The Summit returns to London on 19 & 20 April 2023. For more information or to book, go online to www.bluefoodinnovation.com/

A GIFT FOR THE WORLD

Innovation in aquaculture is not just about serving wealthy, developed nations. An initiative from not-for profit organisation WorldFish aims to help tilapia farmers in Africa, by supplying a strain of fish that is more resilient and faster growing. The Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) project is currently being rolled out to farmers in Nigeria. As Dr Essam Mohammed, Director General of WorldFish, explains, “genetically improved” does not mean genetically modified (GM). The GIFT fish are the result of a selective breeding programme, based on research by CGIAR, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Dr Mohammed says: “This tilapia has an enhanced growth rate, and it’s resilient to climate change and disease. It can also make use of agricultural waste products.” GIFT has been selectively bred to grow up to 85 per cent faster and without the need for commercial feed, improving livelihoods and nutrition for small-scale producers around the world. Having already benefited Asian aquaculture, GIFT is now being introduced to African countries, with the most recent import of GIFT to Nigeria having taken place in May. At present, around 47% of Nigeria’s protein intake comes from fish but the country is currently importing about 45% of its net domestic fish supply, costing the government more than US $1bn a year in foreign exchange. The GIFT strain’s omnivorous diet and high growth rate make it a fit for low-cost aquaculture, with a break-even price of up to 36% lower than other farmed tilapia. The Nigerian programme is being facilitated through a partnership with a local market leader, Premium Aquaculture Ltd (PAL), which will breed and rear GIFT fingerlings prior to supplying them to local farmers. The aim is for the first GIFT fish to be on sale in Nigerian markets during 2023. Mohammed adds: “It’s also about best management practice. It’s important to prevent the spread of disease and also not allow the growth of microbial resistance.” WorldFish is an international, non-profit research and innovation organization reducing hunger, malnutrition and poverty across Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The organisation is also working on a project to improve the stock of farmed carp in Bangladesh, with the fish now in their third generation. Fish farming at village level is well established in countries like Bangladesh, but still has a way to go in Africa, Dr Mohammed says, adding: “We are looking at how to transfer the knowledge gained from Asia to Africa. Africa as a region has a young population and it needs jobs and food.”

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CERTIFICATION

Mark of quality

Scottish fish farms may have been slow to take up the ASC mark, but that is changing. By Robert Outram

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he certification scheme operated by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is one of the most widely used and recognised in the seafood sector. So far in Scotland, 22 salmon farms are ASC-certified, representing 10% of the industry. Mowi was the first to be ASC-certified, in 2015, and Scottish Sea Farms announced its first ASC-certified farms in May 2022. Given that the ASC scheme has been around for quite a few years now, why has it taken so long to be taken up in Scotland? As Michiel Fransen, Head of Standards and Science with the ASC explains, there are two factors. The first is a technical one: concerns over the impacts of cage-culture smolt production in freshwater lochs have now been addressed by setting strict requirements that these producers need to meet for the smolts to become ASC-eligible. As trout cage-culture in freshwater lochs was already permitted by the ASC Standards, this had presented an unbalanced approach to addressing the overarching environmental concerns. The salmon standard was changed in 2019 to bring it into line with the standard for trout, and this has opened the way for salmon farmers. The other factor is market focus – the ASC is now proactively marketing its certification scheme to producers and retailers in the. The ASC label appears on food from farms that have been independently assessed to meet the highest environmental and socially responsible standards in the industry, from water quality to community interaction.

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Although Mowi’s Loch Leven seawater farm was certified in 2015, the freshwater smolt issue held back further progress until the standard was revised. Loch Lochy and Glenfinnan, smolt farms in freshwater lochs, were certified in 2020, followed by the seawater farms at Loch Linnhe, Gorsten, Marulaig Bay and Stulaigh in January 2021. At the time of writing there are 23 ASCcertified Mowi Scotland sites, including Loch Leven which is currently being recertified; 18 of these are seawater sites. Kate Stronach, Sustainability and Compliance Manager, Mowi Scotland, talked to Fish Farmer about the process, which starts with a “gap analysis” comparing the ASC requirements with where the site is, and identifying whether there is anything which needs to change or improve. Stronach says: “The compliance team talks to the site managers. We carry out an internal audit ahead of the external audit. There is already a lot of certification that our sites are compliant with [including RSPCA Assured, and Global GAP, another

Top: Salmon health check, Summer Isles (Sco�sh Sea Farms) Above: Sco�sh Sea Farms’ Summer Isles team Oposite: Ben Moffit at Mowi’s Loch Linnhe site

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We can show we are part of that elite group of certified farms

international scheme] so we know that there will be areas in which we already meet the standards.” The external audit is then carried out by a “CAB” (Certification Accredited Body), not by the ASC itself. Mowi uses LRQA, a spinoff from Lloyd’s Register. The process typically takes two days of intensive interviews and verification by the auditors. Ahead of the audit there is a six week announcement window, to ensure that relevant stakeholders are aware of the audit. The operator being audited is obliged to put together a list of relevant local stakeholders – ranging from local businesses and marine sports clubs to local authorities and environmental groups. When the audit report comes out, there is a three week consultation with the stakeholders. Stronach says: ”It is a very open and transparent process, which is an important component of this certification.” She adds: “ASC is a robust standard for producers and for their customers. There are more than 100 indicators. The ASC standard also requires continuous improvement, once you have set a baseline. For example, you need to show that you are continuing to reduce the use of antibiotics. “We have always had a good record keeping culture, but the standard can require different ways of recording and reporting. For example, for the ‘social responsibility’ actions, we have always been strong on engagement with the community, but now we have to document what we do, which is good because it means our farm sites can be recognised for what they are doing.” For Scottish Sea Farms (SSF), its three Summer Isles sites were the first to achieve ASC certification. Anna Price, Aquaculture Technical Lead with SSF, says: “I was first asked to look at this in September 2019, so I examined the ASC criteria to see what farms might be most suitable. “Then I worked through the seven principles of the ASC’s standards. The majority of the time, we were already doing everything that was required. Scottish Sea Farms is already farming to a very high standard, so it’s been about adding the processes and procedures that certification requires.” Price and her team carried out an internal audit and then consulted the external auditors on what further might need to be done. The audit itself involved two auditors over two days, one covering technical issues and the other looking at social, health and safety and human resources factors. Price says: “They carried out interviews with staff behind closed doors, and observed every part of the farm: for example, how we perform health checks on the fish.” Not only did the Summer Isles farms pass with flying colours, but the company’s processing and packing facilities at South Shian and Scalloway also achieved “chain of custody” certification, confirming that the necessary procedures are in place to ensure that fish carrying the ASC logo are indeed ASC-certified. Scottish Sea Farms now aims to have a further four sites certified this year, with the audit for one of these, Lober Rock in Orkney, having recently taken place. Price says: “Achieving ASC certification can only be a good thing for all concerned. We can show we are part of that elite group of certified farms.” Price says that benefits can come when a change to meet the standards also improves performance: “I don’t like boxticking. I always want to ask how we can make a procedure more meaningful. So, where we identify room for further improvement, we’ll act on it, not just at the individual farm but across our estate.” So what advice do the pioneers have for farmers looking to achieve certification? Kate Stronach says: “Familiarise yourself with the standard, assess your sites and the standards you are already working to. Where there are gaps, you will have to put the effort into bridging those gaps.” Price says: “I won’t lie, it’s all pretty tough! But you need to surround yourself with a good, knowledgeable team who

understand what you are doing and why. And you need to take your time.” The ASC scheme is certainly not the only certification programme available to the industry. The major producers in Scotland are, for example, also audited to Global GAP and the welfare standards set by RSPCA Assured, as well as statutory inspections. Michiel Fransen says one of the factors that marks out the ASC is its transparency. The ASC is itself independently audited and assessed to ensure that its standards are robust, and the certification process is open to scrutiny. He adds: “Continuous improvement is also a key point. We see the biggest changes when companies initially achieve certification, but we see a continuing impact on improvements in, for example, sea lice controls or social engagement.” The ASC is also trialling an additional traceability system for certified produce. Fransen says that the ASC mark is well recognised by retailers now, and the organisation has helped to inform the public debate over seafood production and its impact. He stresses, however, that the ASC is not looking for growth at all costs: “We do not believe or expect that every farm can meet the standard. Our programme is based on impacts through setting robust standards, underpinned by credible assurance.”

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BREEDING & GENETICS

Breeding & All the latest Breeding & Genetics news and updates from around the world

CAT hires more scientists for Breeding team

The best of both worlds

Rainbow trout has been part of the Norwegian based AquaGen AS’s breeding program since the early 1970s. Through more than 17 generations of intensive family breeding, direct selection for performance in seawater has been achieved. This strategy has created a truly anadromous trout strain with unmatched potentials in seawater and freshwater alike. The only drawback was that these genetics could not readily be supplied outside Norway. However, some years ago AquaSearch was allowed to import frozen semen from AquaGen broodstock and establish an entirely new rainbow trout crossbred strain. As a result, genetics of unprecedented performance and the highest biosecurity standards will soon become available to rainbow trout producers worldwide. www.aquasearch.dk

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT), experts in aquatic animal genetics, is responding to increasing demand by adding leading scientists to its Breeding team. Dr Peter Kube, Carlos Pulgarin, and Jeffrey Prochaska will contribute to the expansion of innovative commercial genetic improvement programs for worldwide clients, the company said. Dr Kube (pictured below, left), who has been appointed as Senior Quantitative Geneticist, joins from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), while Jeffrey Prochaska (centre) and Carlos Pulgarin (right) have been appointed as Breeding Scientists. www.aquatechcenter.com

Martin joins north west Pacific regional industry board

The Northwest Aquaculture Alliance (NWAA) has appointed Kyle Martin to its Board of Directors. Martin is Senior Geneticist at Hendrix Genetics (HG). HG is the parent company of Washington State-based Troutlodge and Hawaii-based Kona Bay Shrimp, where Martin focuses his expertise. The NWAA represents the leading aquaculture producers and support-related businesses in the Pacific region of the US and Canada. Martin said: “The NWAA is instrumental in promoting the truth about aquaculture and the crucial role it plays in providing a healthy protein source to our region and the world. I look forward to serving on the board of directors and am grateful for the opportunity.” www.hendrix-genetics.com/en/

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& Genetics Ocean 14 Capital takes control of shrimp specialist SyAqua

Private equity impact investment fund Ocean 14 Capital Fund has taken a controlling stake in SyAqua from Golden Springs Group (GSG). SyAqua provides solutions for shrimp hatcheries and farmers, combining genetics and early-stage nutrition. The company uses cutting-edge technologies in its breeding program and hatchery feeds manufacturing process to ensure its customers excel in technical and economic performance. SyAqua has operations in USA, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia with relevant commercial presence in several shrimp producing countries worldwide. “SyAqua‘s technologies in genetics and nutrition have a powerful impact on sustainable intensification of the shrimp industry by reducing waste per unit of production and the ensuing externalities,” says George Duffield, founding partner and chair of impact, for Ocean 14 Capital. www.syaqua.com

Benchmark reorganises team around salmon industry

Aquaculture biotechnology company Benchmark Holdings is reorganising its marketing and commercial structure to create a combined Atlantic salmon portfolio. Sales and marketing, and commercial functions for clients in the salmon sector, for the group’s Genetics and Animal Health arms, will now be brought together. Since the beginning of the year, the marketing function for Atlantic salmon has been operating as a cross-business area hub led by Birgitte Sørheim, appointed as Marketing Director, Salmon. The commercial functions within Health and Genetics will similarly be merged into one team led by Geir Olav Melingen, who will be appointed as Commercial Director, Salmon. Above: Birgitte Sørheim and Geir Olav Melingen www.benchmarkplc.com

Shrimp breeding experts come together as Blue Genetics Global

Two businesses in the field of shrimp genetics have joined forces to create a new company, Blue Genetics Global. The merger brings together Blue Genetics Mexico, a subsidiary of the French Groupe Grimaud, and US company Sea Product Development. Groupe Grimaud will be a majority shareholder in the combined business. Texas-based Sea Products Development is a provider of selectively bred shrimp genetics to the global aquaculture industry in the form of broodstock and post larvae. Blue Genetics Mexico specializes in genetic selection for white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), providing Specific Pathogen Free broodstock to international markets. www.blue-genetics.com

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SEAWORK 2022

Fuelling change

IN PERSON ONLINE

Seawork 2022 saw plenty of examples of an industry adapting to become greener and more efficient. By David Robinson

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eawork, the trade show dedicated to the commercial marine and workboat market, was back in Southampton for its 23rd edition. Despite a rail strike, it attracted a footfall of nearly 6,500 industry professionals – and it also provided a showcase for the latest green initiatives in the

sector. Aquaculture is one of the key industries this sector serves, and one company which is actively building a presence in that market is the Berthon Boat Company headquartered in Lymington, Hampshire. Director Dominic May explained to Fish Farmer that Berthon had also attended the Aquaculture UK exhibition, held in Aviemore in May, to promote two diesel engine brands – Cox and Neander. Each of these offers lighter and more fuel-efficient power options for ribs and smaller craft used in aquaculture operations.The Cox is a 300hp engine and the Neander a 50hp so between them and using one or more engines they can offer different power outputs to meet the operating needs of any particular craft around a fish farm. May commented: “These two engine brands each offer lighter engines, providing better fuel efficiency than petrol, with 20-30%

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savings or more. Both manufacturers are looking to develop other engine sizes. We had a very good experience at the Aquaculture UK show and we see this market as one that we can build a presence in.” Also looking at entering the aquaculture market is Harland & Wolff which operates four shipyards, with two in Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and one in Devon. The

We see this market as one that we can build a presence in

11/07/2022 16:46:39


Opposite: The Kallista Helen

This page from top:

Seawork 2022; Damen boats at Seawork; A view from the quayside at this years show

company says it can provide wide-ranging support for vessels or new vessel projects, ranging from initial consultancy to detailed engineering and fabrications, whether new builds or refits and repairs for vessels between 10 and 150 metres. Damen used Seawork to promote its expanding association with the aquaculture industry through the development of a class of LUV (Landing Utility Vessel) – the LUV 2208. This class of vessel is being built in the UK, to a Damen design, through a partnership between Damen and Coastal Workboats based at Exeter. Coastal Workboats has plans to open a shipyard in Scotland and has already set up a subsidiary, Coastal Workboats Scotland, to oversee this development. The company is understood to have a site for a new shipyard on the Clyde but at this stage it is not known when this new yard will be built. A third company in the Coastal Workboats group is Coastal Workboats Support Services Ltd and this trio of businesses is evolving into a diverse group to specifically serve the Aquaculture sector. A first series of LUV 2208 workboats between 16 and 19 metres have been built so far and a further batch of four is planned to be built through 2022-23. As to the LUV 2208 class, Mike Besjin, Damen’s Sales Manager for North, West and South Europe – and responsible for the Aquaculture vessels – told Fish Farmer: “We are building seven of these LUV craft with a 19m vessel sold to Organic Sea Harvest and another to Kames Sea Farms. Some of the seven units will be of 22 metres in length.” As a designer and builder of aquaculture vessels, MacDuff Ship Design Ltd is a key UK player. Among its recent builds were the Helen Rice and Kallista Helen plus the Geraldine Mary which was delivered in June 2022. Ian Ellis, Managing Director of MacDuff Ship Design Ltd told Fish Farmer: “We have two vessels in build for Shetland

Mussels with a 19-metre due for delivery later this year and we are hopeful of a new contract for an 18.5 metre workboat.” He also spoke of a 12-metre craft which will be hybrid-diesel powered and indicated that there was a lot of change under way in the market, with more and more vessels with hybrid power systems being considered. Also exhibiting at Seawork 2022 were two Italian suppliers of cranes to the aquaculture sector. HS.Marine was promoting its range including a standard range of foldable knuckle telescopic cranes and combined knuckle telescopic cranes, as well as an extensive range of traditional cylinder operated box boom cranes. Amco Veba Marine is also Italy-based. Massimo Magli, the company’s Business Development & Sales Director, explained: “Our cranes reflect the technical expertise and extensive experience of a company that has recently enhanced its offering to meet the individual needs of its customers even better than ever before.” Located in Italy, Amco Veba Marine is the dedicated marine crane brand of Hyva Group, one of the global leaders in its sector. Amco Veba Marine has been part of the Hyva Group since 2007 drawing on the synergies of a strong, multi-national corporation. Magli added: “Hyva is headquartered in the Netherlands, with more than 3,500 employees, operating across a variety of sectors with 12 plants and over 30 fully-owned subsidiaries around the world. Under the Hyva Group, Amco Veba Marine has reinforced its position as a well-known and respected brand around the world.” He revealed that the company has recently defined a strategic plan backed up by considerable investment to further develop the marine business by enhancing the product range and adding new, larger crane versions as well as developing a fully dedicated sales and service network worldwide. A new logo has also been created to improve brand awareness. “There is now a much stronger focus and commitment on promoting Amco Veba Marine as a brand specifically dedicated to cranes designed and developed for marine applications,” said Magli. “The idea of the five year investment programme is to offer a complete range of marine cranes including the bigger version within a few years. To this end we have made some internal changes to further improve our engineering capability,” he stated. “In regards to the product range, the company now has five new crane models available: the VR24, VR34, VR40, VR60 and VR62 fully foldable and with endless rotation,” he pointed out. “The models are equipped with a radio remote control system, and specific fibreglass plastic protection covers to grant a perfect resistance to the environment, protect the important main crane components and give the crane aesthetic appeal.” Under its new strategy, both products and services have been enhanced. The company has recently introduced a Multi-Level Protection (MLP) programme, to allow customers to choose different crane protection levels for the environment in which a crane is expected to operate, from softer ambient conditions to the most severe and harsh humid salt environments.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Supply C

Fish Farmer brings you all the latest seafood industry supply chain news and updates

Stranda Prolog

Stranda Prolog is a specialist in bulk handling, from when the fish arrive at the harvest plant in various formats until finished chilled and ready for gutting. In addition, the company has good solutions for manual gutting plus buffer and post chilling. Stranda Prolog also supports marine and land-based fish farming with a variety of services. Earlier this year Marel, the Iceland based fish and food processing supplier, acquired a 40% stake in Stranda Prolog. The two companies already had long-standing relationships with many of the world’s largest salmon processors and have successfully collaborated over the years to deliver full-line projects. www.stranda.net/en

Delivering the goods in every direction

With depots in Shetland, Orkney, Aberdeen, Inverness, Scrabster and Central Scotland – and access to the vessels and European terminals of parent company, SeaCargo AS Northwards is proud to play an important role in the Scottish salmon farming industry’s supply chain. The company brings fish feed and essential equipment into the islands and carries processed salmon out again. When it comes to delivering salmon to market, speed is of the essence. The fish are collected and shipped swiftly, remaining in the same high-tech trailer throughout their journey. Distribution to Europe, and other WORLDparts of the world, is via the company’s CLASS central Scotland depot. LOGISTICS www.northwardsltd.com

DELIVERED LOCALLY

Bid to improve road access to Kishorn Port

Highland Council has agreed to progress the submission of a bid for funding for a road upgrade which would improve access to Kishorn Port, in the north of Scotland. The bid, for a grant from the Levelling Up Fund, is for £44m in total, of which part would be used for the Achnasheen to Kishorn route. Kishorn is jointly owned by Ferguson Transport & Shipping Group and Leith’s. The port and drydock, which saw a major upgrade in 2020, plays a key part in Ferguson’s services for the aquaculture sector, including the ability to handle very large nets and pens brought in for cleaning. www.fergusontransport.co.uk

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y Chain O’Toole finds route through Brexit hurdles

Irish-based haulage firm O’Toole Transport has been helping customers negotiate a way through the Brexit maze since before the end of the transition period. The company has worked closely with Food Standards Scotland to ensure that seafood consignments have all the paperwork and sign-off required by the European Union authorities. From its site in Bellshill, near Glasgow, O’Toole can support customers in Scotland with temperature-controlled warehousing, cross dock and transport services, and its onsite export health certificate and customs service continues. www.otooletransport.com

PTG set to open up shop in Scotland

Norway-based refrigeration specialist PTG is setting up a UK arm to serve the seafood industry. The company has appointed Julian Ramsey (pictured) as General Manager for the new company, PTG UK with effect from 1 August. He was formerly head of MacGregor’s fishery division in Peterhead. PTG’s main markets in Scotland will be in the marine and industrial sectors, with solutions including RSW (refrigerated sea water) systems for ships, heat pumps, and freezing and ice production systems. PTG UK will provide sales and service for customers in catch fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing, including for facilities on land as well as fishing fleets and vessels for the aquaculture sector. www.ptg.no/en

DFDS is chilling in Liverpool

The UK cold chain business unit of DFDS acquired a 21,000-pallet cold store in Liverpool earlier this year, two years on from taking over the lease of the facility. Matt O’Dell, UK cold chain managing director said: “Ownership of this store is a major move for our UK cold chain operation and supports our long-term growth strategy. Not only will it allow us to expand our domestic offering, but also help strengthen our overall ability to continue to offer premium cold chain solutions in the UK and beyond.” The Liverpool cold store has capacity for approximately 21,000 pallets, including a fully automated chamber holding over 12,400 pallets. www.dfds.com

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LIFTING & CRANES

Lifting & All the latest news and updates on marine lifting and cranes from around the world Brimming with quality

Brimmond have a strong track record of successfully supplying and servicing marine cranes to suit client requests. They sell, stock, rent, refurbish, repair and upgrade a diverse and ever-increasing range of new and second-hand cranes for the aquaculture sector. The company is proud to be the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for Heila Marine Cranes, the global leader in the manufacture of specialist heavy-duty cranes. This official partnership allows them to offer an exceptional level of service and range of products to clients. Brimmond has increased its range of Heila stock with many now available for immediate delivery. www.brimmond-group.com/brimmond

MORE THAN 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Marine crane sector set for growth

The global market for marine cranes will be worth US $7.83bn by 2027, according to a report from analysts Market Research Future (MRFR). The report estimates that the market will grow at an annual rate of 15.59%. MRFR said that factors enhancing the expansion rate of the marine crane market include the rise in subsea construction as well as oil exploration operations. The heightened demand and use of renewable energy are also adding to market demand. Rapid innovations in offshore exploration activities, along with the surge in high wind activities, can further boost the marine crane market growth, MRFR estimates.

Specialist cranes for fish farmers

The marine fish farming environment demands equipment of the highest level of quality to ensure continuous and safe operations. HS.MARINE cranes are able to satisfy these requirements. Moreover, HS.MARINE specially design cranes for fish farming application. One example is the crane fitted on the Landing Utility Vessel (LUV) 1908 from Damen Shipyards, designed specifically for aquaculture, which was delivered last year to Organic Sea Harvest on Skye. All structures have been designed to take up heavy lateral forces and have a low value of deflexion. For service vessels, HS.MARINE has designed long boom knuckle telescopic cranes: the company has supplied cranes up to 34 meters outreach, for hoisting bird nets on larger farms. www.hsmarine.net

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g & Cranes Winning hand for pontoon

Neptune Marine has successfully completed the construction of the NP 571, a EuroPontoon 5019, for its fleet of charter equipment. The pontoon is currently on its first assignment in the Baltic region. The EuroPontoon series features a portfolio of robust pontoons, ranging from 30m up to 100m in length. Neptune has also developed a Euro Special Purpose Pontoon, which is a 31-metre, non-propelled platform designed especially for the mounting and efficient operation of fish delousing equipment. It has a minimal environmental footprint and is laid out so that the fish handling operations and the control of a ship’s systems can be performed by a single operator. www.neptunemarine.com

Techano shows its ocean expertise

Techano has received a strategic order for lifting equipment for SalMar Aker Ocean’s offshore fish farm, Ocean Farm 1. The contract underlines Techano’s position as a leader for equipment onboard fish farms operating in the most exposed, offshore conditions. The Offshore Farm 1 is scheduled for a major upgrade, to be carried out by contractor Aker Verdal during this year. The recent order includes two sets of Fish Transfer Systems (FTS500). The FTS500 is designed to ensure safe and efficient transfer of live fish between aquaculture installations and live fish carrier (LFC), operating in a harsh ocean environment. www.techano.no

Damen confident of aquaculture demand

Damen Shipyards Group is building four new Landing Utility Vessels of 22 meter length and 8 meter beam on stock. Damen is convinced this class of vessel, known as the LUV 2208 offers ideal capacities for sea-based food production and that buyers will be best served with vessels that can be delivered quickly. The LUV 2208 offers enough stability for a crane that will lift 2,500 kilograms at a range of 15.5 meters from its base. At the shorter range of 3.5 metres, a crane lifting 15 tonnes can be safely operated aboard. These versatile vessels are being built by Coastal Workboats in England. See also Seawork, page 46. www.damen.com

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IRELAND

Green is

for growth Irish aquaculture has a global reputation for quality produce, but is the sector being held back from fulfilling its potential? By Richard Elliott interesting story to tell. But first it is important to examine the economic picture emerging from the latest reports on Irish aquaculture. One such report was issued earlier this year by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the state agency responsible for developing the Irish seafood industry. The report presented an encouraging snapshot of Ireland’s seafood economy. During 2021, the sector had made an impressive recovery from the twin troubles of Covid-19 and Brexit, increasing in value from €1.09bn (£934m) in 2020 to an all-time high of €1.26bn (£1.08bn). Despite the overall growth in value of the sector, the value of the aquaculture component of the seafood economy fell by 2% to €175m (£150m). However, as BIM’s

Figure 1

T

he story of aquaculture in Ireland is one that varies widely depending on who you speak to. One narrative is that Ireland has certain unalterable limitations to production growth and so must focus on a high quality product – its farmed salmon is all organic – along with sustainability. Another narrative, however, is that aquaculture in Ireland has fallen behind other countries because of what Stephen Collins, writing in the Irish Times in 2019, has called “a staggering level of official incompetence and scaremongering by small groups of activists who have managed to tarnish the industry’s image with wildly exaggerated claims”. As Collins goes on to note, “… while global aquaculture production has grown by 164% since 2000, output [in Ireland] has fallen by 24% in the same period”. In order to determine which of these accounts is closer to the truth, Fish Farmer spoke to some of the key figures involved in Irish aquaculture, each of whom, as we shall see later, had an

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Figure 2

Figure 3

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Figure -1: Snapshot of Irish Aquaculture in 2021 (Source: BIM’s

The Business of Seafood Report 2021)

Figure -2: Trend in Irish Aquaculture Output Figure -3: Trend in Irish Aquaculture Value

(Source: BIM’s Na�onal Seafood Survey Aquaculture Report 2020) Above: Millbay Oysters, Carlingford Lough

report points out, this decrease could be accounted for by a fall in the price of farmed salmon – the oysters and mussels sectors performed strongly with healthy increases in both value and volumes (see Figure 1). Yet, as anyone familiar with the economics of aquaculture in other regions will recognise, €175m is a relatively modest figure. According to Marine Scotland’s statistics, Scottish aquaculture generated £560m Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2019, while figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council show the value of Norway’s aquaculture exports during the same year was NOK 76.5bn (£6.26bn). Arguably a more informative picture of aquaculture in Ireland is provided by a 2020 BIM report, which charts the 10 year trend in aquaculture output from 2010 to 2019 (see Figure 2). In a period during which aquaculture production in other countries (such as Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands) has increased significantly, volumes in Ireland have fallen. However, the value of the sector has risen over the period (see Figure 3), made possible, according to BIM, “by steady increases in unit value in conjunction with a growing recognition of product quality”. In their 2019 report, BIM catalogue the limitations to aquaculture production

During 2021, the sector had made an impressive recovery from the twin troubles of Covid-19 and Brexit

growth as follows: “… a lack of licensed capacity, distance to market, market home competitors, incidence and effects of pathogens or parasites and their importation via seed and the constraints and stresses upon stock grown in the highly dynamic, exposed and unpredictable environment, and climate of Irish sites”.

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IRELAND For Catherine McManus, Technical Manager of Mowi Ireland, the first of these factors is the most significant: “The main challenge is to do with licences. While the industry has grown over the years and had terrific ambition – and still does have great ambition – it’s being held back by a very poor regulatory framework that’s not really fit for purpose. Our feeling in this sector is that Ireland, as a nation, is very much inward looking towards land and not towards the sea, unlike our neighbours up in Norway, which is very much a maritime nation. “Ireland seems to be the exception when it comes to making the most of the maritime resource. And that has been reflected in policies and legislation – [aquaculture] hasn’t really been given the attention it deserves over the years. We’ve arrived at a point where consistent neglect has meant the industry hasn’t been able to reach its full potential here in Ireland”. McManus explains that: “It’s not [Ireland’s] ambition to be as large as our neighbours, mostly because the industry some time ago took the decision of going down the differentiation route of organic production. It was the only way the industry really could survive because we couldn’t compete with production costs in Norway or in the UK because they have economies of scale and also deeper waters. We have a relatively shallow coastline here and it’s very exposed to the elements making it difficult to farm in, so there are natural restrictions here upon what the industry could expand to.” Nonetheless, McManus believes that there is scope for expansion: “In terms of growth, Ireland’s growth ambitions are relatively modest compared to other countries. But for us it would

be significant relative to what we produce at the moment. “In 2020, Ireland produced around 13,000 tonnes of salmon. That’s remained fairly static over the years because the sites we operate in are limited either by licensed area or licensed production in terms of either numbers of fish or harvest tonnes. “For many years we’ve been asking the government to redesign the regulatory framework to allow for maximum allowable biomass licences (MABs) on all the farms, which you have in other countries and would make absolute environmental sense. To enable that, we’ve applied to the state agency with responsibility for licensing which is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. We’ve applied for our old existing licences to be converted to MAB licences. “Another thing that has impacted on the licensing regime being reformed is how Ireland has implemented European directives such as the Habitats Directive, which has actually held up designation

Left: Catherine McManus Opposite: Farm in County Galway, the West Coast of Ireland

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We’re a lot more optimistic that things have started to move now

of bays and water bodies to enable licensing to proceed. That for the most part has been resolved. And also there’s a new working group within the department dealing with the licensing at the moment so we do see some movement. We’re a lot more optimistic that things have started to move now.” In 2017, an independent group was tasked by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to carry out an independent review of the aquaculture licence process and associated legal framework. The group’s report was published in May 2017, with the conclusion that “a root-and-branch reform of the aquaculture licence application processes is necessary”. The report’s 30 recommendations were summarised in its Executive Summary as follows: • a formalised pre-application process, • extensive use of information technology and web-based systems, • additional technical expertise, • making processes more timely and effective through streamlining, • issuing procedural guidelines for applicants, the public and staff, • better public notification procedures and • use of Ministerial Regulations where necessary. McManus – along with many others involved in Irish aquaculture – hopes that these 30 recommendations, now over five years old, will finally be implemented: “We feel that if the recommendations in that report, which are quite extensive, are implemented then we’ll have a healthy and robust licensing system.” A reform of the licensing system, McManus hopes, could lead to Mowi Ireland being able to better meet demand for their product throughout the year. McManus notes that currently “there are some months, particularly at the beginning of the year, maybe January or February, we have no stock to sell”. When Fish Farmer asked McManus about the scope for expansion in the annual production of Irish organic salmon – currently around the 13,000 tonne mark – she remarked that “twice that [amount] wouldn’t be overly ambitious.” McManus’s aspirations are in keeping with previously stated government targets to almost double production; as noted in

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IRELAND

there is scope to sustainably increase production based on the current level of licenced capacity

Above: Teresa Morrissey

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phase. The HydroFish project, led by NUI Galway and funded through the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund by Enterprise Ireland, is investigating the production of high-quality bioactive fish protein hydrolysates from fish by-products as an additive for aquafeeds. Another important body is the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), whose aquaculture arm is comprised of representatives from all sectors of the Irish aquaculture industry. According to its Aquaculture Executive, Teresa Morrissey: “IFA Aquaculture focuses on providing strong industry representation nationally and internationally, supporting the improvement and development of the Irish aquaculture industry and promoting positive aspects of Irish aquaculture.” the 2017 review of the licensing process: “Government policy Morrissey views sustainable aquaculture proposes that the volume of aquaculture production be increased as increasingly relevant: “Food production from 45,000 tonnes to 81,700 tonnes per annum by the year 2023”. has never been more important, and Fish Farmer asked BIM a similar question about the possibility Covid-19 and the recent Ukraine crisis of expansion over the coming years. Rory Campbell, Seafood have shown the value of sustainable Technical Services Director, stated: “Salmon production has been food production systems. There is now a static for a number of years due to no new licences for farms being significant opportunity for aquaculture in issued. However, there is scope to sustainably increase production light of the increasing global demand for based on the current level of licenced capacity through, for seafood, more sustainable food sources, example, better survival and an increase in harvest weights and and carbon efficient food production”. there are now a number of new licence applications for sites in Although Morrissey acknowledges some progress. It is not really possible to put a quantifiable timescale on recent positive developments around the increasing production as there are so many factors in play”. vexed issue of licensing, she says: “We The Marine Institute (MI) – which provides a range of monitoring, are lacking a coherent, realistic, ambitious research and advisory services to Irish aquaculture – also views policy for Irish aquaculture. The policies licensing reform as a key issue: “The biggest challenge for and objectives that we do have in relation Ireland will be to ensure that we have a robust and fit-for-purpose to aquaculture are non-binding and nonlicensing regime, which will allow for the sustainable development specific in terms of targets and are coupled of the industry in compliance with all relevant EU and national with numerous policies and regulations that environmental regulations”. are not streamlined. The Irish government could support the aquaculture industry in The MI also cite the following as challenges for the industry: Ireland by developing coherent, realistic, • Water quality – human wastewater discharges, including ambitious objectives for the development primary discharges and storm water overflows are a source of sustainable Irish aquaculture.” of norovirus contamination in oyster production areas. For Clíona Mhic Giolla Chuda, Sales, Furthermore, run off from agricultural and other land based Marketing and General Manager at activities can lead to increasing risk of E. coli contamination in Meitheal Trá na Rinne Teo (also known classified production areas. as Waterford Oysters), an extension of • Changes in marine ecosystems due to climate change, shellfish licences would be a particularly primarily changes in abundance and diversity of primary welcome measure. producers (i.e. phytoplankton) which are key to shellfish As Mhic Giolla Chuda explains: “The growth, through changes in temperature, salinity, stratification licences are for 10 years, which is a and ocean acidification which could result in increases in relatively short period. When you consider harmful algal bloom occurrence. the life cycle of an oyster is about three • Mitigation, control and management of food safety issues in years, a 10-year licence suddenly becomes shellfish aquaculture production. very short. We would like to see that extended to 15 or, ideally, 20 years. On a national level, the MI is collaborating with BIM on the “When you’re speaking to banks, it can SALMSON Smolt project, funded under the EMFF Knowledge take a couple of years for the licence to Gateway Programme, investigating the potential of freshwater come through so you don’t have it for very recirculation technology to produce large salmon smolts, thus many years before you’re thinking about reducing the length of time required for the marine grow-out renewal again. It’s also a business where

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12/07/2022 10:36:16


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IRELAND

The biggest opportunity that we have here is the pristine waters that surround the whole island

mostly to Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Malaysia. So there has been quite an evolution in the business in many ways”. While Waterford Oysters are now are packing their own oysters to send to Hong Kong, they still sell around 75% of their produce to France. Indeed, more generally, the French connection remains strong with most Irish oyster farmers buying their seed from French hatcheries such as Grainocean International, France Naissain, and Marinove. For Andrew Rooney, Director of Rooney Fish, it was his friendship with a French couple who invited him to visit their oyster hatchery and farm in France that led to him creating the award-winning Millbay Oysters in Carlingford Lough. As Rooney explains, “They were in the process of developing a new bag for oysters rather than the conventional flat bag and whenever I saw their oysters that’s what made me want to use their bag, which gave a far better oyster with a lot less labour”. Rooney is passionate about the potential growth of aquaculture in Northern Ireland and is hoping to gain a licence to expand his oyster business: “The biggest opportunity that we have here is the pristine waters that surround the whole island. Aquaculture is the way forward in the fish business.” Innovation is also occurring on Irish shores. Sheehan’s Fishing Company is Ireland’s leading supplier of rope to the fishing and aquaculture industry. As Jason Sheehan explains: “We supply Itsaskorda combination, steel wire and mussel ropes.

you want to be able to try out different technologies, for example, if someone comes up with a different design of trestle or a new way of growing oysters and so on.” Given that the Scottish Rural Affairs Minister, Mairi Gougeon, has recently instructed her officials to extend the marine licence renewal period for finfish and shellfish farms from six to 25 years, in line with recommendations in the Griggs Report, many Irish shellfish farmers will be hoping that Ireland follows suit. Licensing issues aside, Mhic Giolla Chuda is positive about the opportunities for Irish oyster farmers. “When the business started first we were just supplying bulk produce into the French market which had a lot of ups and downs. We were learning our craft and skills at that stage as well. Initially there was a fair bit of reluctance in France to buying oysters outside of the country but that has changed. “A lot of French growers actually have licensed sites now in Ireland and our product would be at the top of the French market. As well as the French market we have also, over the years, exported to various other European countries. For the last five or six years, we have been exporting our product to Asia,

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Our products are continually developed in conjunction with our clients to provide new and innovative products that fit with specific requirements to improve handling, price and durability”. In 2010, Blackshell Farm, a certified organic mussel farm based in Westport, County Mayo, began producing cotton mussel mesh, a biodegradable material that helps mussel growth. Michael Mulloy, Director of Blackshell, says: “Protecting the marine environment is very important to us. We constantly innovate to improve our operations and products in order to minimise our impact on Clew Bay and the areas in which we work”. Also working towards a sustainable future for aquaculture in Ireland is Dr Alex Wan, based at National University of Ireland Galway. Dr Wan’s investigations into the effects of seaweed in aquafeeds have indicated that a 15% inclusion of P. palmata in Atlantic salmon can enhance liver function, while, as Dr Wan noted, a 2021 review paper written by researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, concludes that “feeding any form of seaweed to farmed finfish improved their immune status and their resistance to pathogens, potentially countering the immunosuppressive effects of stress due to intensive farming or changing environmental conditions”.

Ireland has one of the most established seaweed industries in Europe. According to BIM, in 2018, 77,000 tonnes of seaweed worth €37m were exported and 58,000 tonnes (worth €9m) were imported for reprocessing and export markets. Farmed seaweed production in Ireland from licensed aquaculture sites was recorded at 40 tonnes in 2018 worth €40,000 at farm gate. BIM has led a seaweed development programme in Ireland since 2004. The programme of work has concentrated on developing and perfecting cultivation methods for the brown seaweeds (Laminaria digitata, Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima) and more recently the highly sought after red weeds (Palmaria palmata and Porphyra umbilicalis). A large number of new licences for seaweed cultivation were granted in 2018 and 2019, and BIM estimates the licensed seaweed hectarage in Ireland to be 150 hectares. According to BIM: “The yield of brown weeds is 6 tonnes fresh product/ha (based on best known performance and varies with water depth and long line density). This equates to 900 tonnes fresh harvest if all the sites are fully operational”. The importance of seaweed to aquaculture is indicated by Dr Wan’s own review paper: “With increasing pressures on global wild fish stocks and arable land, seaweeds could offer a viable alternative and relief to the demands of other ingredients used in aquafeeds”. The work of scientists like Dr Wan may help move Ireland further along the path of sustainable growth. Although there remains frustration in many quarters that Irish aquaculture is not already further down that path, there is no shortage of determination for the industry to fulfil its potential.

Opposite (top): The

management team at Waterford Oysters. From the Le�: Michael Burke Snr, Clíona Mhic Giolla Chuda, and Michael Burke Jnr (Photo courtesy of Cultures Marines) Opposite (below): Dr Alex Wan Above: Atlan�c Oarweed seaweed (Laminaria digitata)

BLACKSHELL FARM Blackshell Farm began knitting biodegradable cotton mesh for rope mussel farming in 2010. They have always used innovation to produce the best products. Their product offering now includes a new, customisable mesh for mussel farming, using a stable stitch to prevent laddering, this new product is available in a number of different mesh weights and widths. Uniquely positioned to trial all products on their own mussel farm, Blackshell Farm provides an experienced and friendly service. All Blackshell Farm mesh products are completely plastic free and biodegradable. UK shipping available.

info@blackshell.ie 00353 87 674 0656 www.blackshell.ie

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GRAINOCEAN - CLIENT CONTENT

The ROLL’BAG revolution is here ®

GRAINOCEAN’s selected oyster seeds and ROLL’BAG® equipment: a comprehensive method of high-end production for oyster farmers tide, the float rises and the ROLL’BAG® is vertical, which allows the seawater to go through the entire batch of oysters, thus ensuring a uniform feeding pattern. It is designed for and has proved to withstand the worst climatic conditions, thus perfectly adapted to the Irish winter climate and waves.

How does the ROLL’BAG® meet ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) expectations? Environmental gains of the ROLL’BAG®: • The Robustness of the ROLL’BAG® in extreme conditions, the absence of fragile or consumable elements (plastic mesh, elastics, hooks, collars, etc), the internal float and the locking pins eliminate the risk of plastic waste entering the marine environment. • The circular movement of the ROLL’BAG® around its holding bar generates a very efficient washing of the ground under the trestle, thus avoiding any accumulation of sediment related to the filtration of oysters. • The choice of quality over quantity, as well as the spatial occupation related

I

n recent years, the oyster economy has clearly moved towards a rationalised production of high-end oysters. Thanks to the 100% triploid seeds, launched in 1999 by the French family hatchery GRAINOCEAN, which has recently been adding new swing bags equipment, oyster farmers are aiming for a highend quality product. GRAINOCEAN, world-renowned for being at the leading edge of technology, and whose core business has always been focused on high-end oysters, bases its genetic selection on shape, growth and fattening capacity, and has devoted three years of research and development to designing its potentially revolutionary autonomous tidal ROLL’BAG® (three patents). The ROLL’BAG® is designed for allowing selected oyster seeds to develop and optimize their full potential across the breeding term, while offering ecological and socioeconomic essential benefits. After two years of trials on its own oyster beds, and more than 80 growers using the ROLL’BAG® from the Netherlands to Portugal, GRAINOCEAN is finally able to offer oyster farmers a groundbreaking method of high-end production.

How does the ROLL’BAG® work? The ROLL’BAG® is a flat basket whose dimensions are the same as classic bags, with a 3-inch thickness. It is sideways hanging to a trestle via rigid and articulated elements, and naturally set in motion by tides thanks to a lateral inside float – no need for waves or current. Four times per day oysters will roll down the surface of the ROLL’BAG®, thus ensuring a limitation of the shell growth. This occurs throughout the oyster bed. When it is immersed at high

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Above: An example of ROLL’BAG® oyster beds on the Atlan�c coast near La Rochelle in France Right: Super Spéciales oyster from Grainocean triploid seeds finished over 6 months in ROLL’BAG® on Arcachon coast in France Opposite (top): Half-grown oysters reared in ROLL’BAG® a�er a “free movement” step Opposite (below): Homogeneous start of growth on matured Grainocean seeds a�er 3 months of rearing in classic bags in Co Donegal, Ireland

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It is designed for and has proved to withstand the worst climatic conditions

to design, reduces the biomass on the oyster beds and thus allows a better management of the local trophic resource, while improving the profitability per hectare, given the high value of the finished oyster. • Since the tides are doing all the work, the need for manual intervention on the oyster beds is very restricted, which strongly reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with vehicles. Socio Economic gains of the ROLL’BAG®: • The elimination of the intense labour involved in working the oyster beds increases the attractiveness of the profession, and makes it possible to move towards an alleviation of current recruitment difficulties. • Oyster workers, as well as family workers, pay a heavy price in working the oyster beds in terms of MSDs (Musculoskeletal Disorders), especially in the shoulders, the back and knees. Since the tides are operating the ROLL’BAG®, this element of the labour disappears, reducing activity to that carried out at the shed (except for hanging and harvesting the ROLL’BAG®) which also limits the duration of the labour outdoors under tough weather conditions. • With the ROLL’BAG®, the aim of producing excellent quality oysters and the fulfilment of ESG commitments are in perfect harmony, meeting the expectations of growers and consumers, and promoting the image of the oyster farming profession and its produce.

All of this contributes to restoring the attractiveness and image of the oyster farming profession, making it a more appealing proposition to young businessmen and businesswomen.

How does the ROLL’BAG® highlight the quality of the oysters, from seeds to finished oysters?

the tides while being stopped in their growth, thus passing through pathogens episodes with reduced mortalities. This step takes place right before shipping to oyster farmers in order to make seeds fully adapted to transport and manipulations. This dynamic storage can also be carried on by oyster farmers to perfectly acclimate the seeds to their own bay. To follow Grainocean’s innovations, to benefit from technical or zootechnical advice, or to have a look at what oysters farmers using ROLL’BAG® have already shared on social networks, check out Grainocean’s YouTube channel and Instagram.

The benefits of the ROLL’BAG® in terms of high fattening of commercial size oysters while saving labour have been confirmed by all growers who have tried it, especially in bays where it was very difficult to reach such quality in classic bags. Using the ROLL’BAG® to produce halfgrown oysters is a guarantee of quality of shape throughout the breeding term. The ROLL’BAG® has been designed to allow a “free movement” around the trestle’s bar, or a “limited movement” thanks to a restrictor link. Depending on their rearing cycle and rearing area, farmers use the equipment by switching between the “free movement” to slow the growth of the oysters, to harden the shell and to improve the shape, and “limited movement” to trigger shell growth and gain in size. What’s more, the “free” step makes the oysters able to gather feeding energy without spending it as they are limited in their growth, which generates reserve energy essential for restart and very good growth during the “limited” step. In 2022, thanks to the ROLL’BAG®, GRAINOCEAN adds a relevant step of “maturation” to its seeds production. By being stored at high density in ROLL’BAG® for several weeks, seeds get used to

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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

What’s NEW Monthly update on industry innovations and solutions from around the world

Aker BioMarine secures FDA approval for QRILL Aqua in US AKER BioMarine has received approval from the FDA for the use of its QRILL Aqua and QRILL High Protein (QHP) products in freshwater and marine salmonids Since Aker BioMarine’s krill products contain astaxanthin, a natural source of red colour that may enhance the colour of salmon flesh, the FDA classified it as a colour additive. “We have been waiting for this approval for a long time” said Sigve Nordrum, EVP Animal Health and Nutrition, Aker BioMarine. Made from Antarctic krill, Aker BioMarine’s QRILL Aqua functions as a feeding stimulant designed to increase feed uptake and enhance growth. www.akerbiomarine.com

Blackshell Farm developing new bio-polymer yarn for mussel farming

BLACKSHELL Farm, who have been producing cotton mesh for rope mussel farming since 2010, have recently embarked on an exciting new project. Along with Dutch partners they are working to develop a biopolymer yarn product that can be used to replace cotton in their meshes. The yarn may have other uses in mussel farming also, to further improve the sustainability of the processes used. The bio-polymer yarn will be produced in Europe and will have a shorter supply chain and less intensive farming methods than cotton. The mesh produced from this yarn is very strong, but is still able to biodegrade completely. www.blackshell.ie

Sustainable Netting Solutions for the Aquaculture Industry

GARWARE Technical Fibres, India, have collaborated with Scottish company W&J Knox to pioneer the development of HDPE solutions for the aquaculture industry. Virgin HDPE nets have 3.5 times lower carbon footprint as compared to Virgin Nylon. HDPE nets are easier to recycle and produce a lower carbon footprint as compared to Nylon recycling. More recently, Garware launched V2 nets, a sustainable solution to control biofouling with a negligible copper footprint in sediments thus reducing operational costs. Recycling of V2 netting was recently demonstrated in Norway, showing the sustainability of the netting innovation. www.garwarefibres.com

Falcon best for Japan’s renewables says Shibuya

FOR Japan’s growing offshore renewable sector, Shibuya Diving Industry Ltd (SDI) chose another Saab Seaeye Falcon for their Falcon fleet. “As a diving company, an underwater robotic vehicle is a vital resource for extending our operational capability,” says Shibuya. “To find the best vehicle, we assessed the range on the market and found that the Seaeye Falcon is the most widely used robot in the offshore power generation business with the longest proven reliability record.” Shibuya mainly deploy the Falcon for floating turbine work as the search for sites in Japan is going offshore with floating turbines the favoured option in the deep waters off the rugged coast. www.saabseaeye.com

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INDUSTRY DIARY

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

AUGUST 22

WAS NORTH AMERICA & WORLD AQUACULTURE AQUACULTURE CANADA 2022 www.was.org

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

www.was.org

Singapore November 29-December 2, 2022

www.livestockinnovationsummit.com The Livestock Innovation Summit has been extended to include two days (6 & 7 September) devoted to innovation in aquaculture and the common issues this sector faces along with landbased farming.

AQUA NOR 2023

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Trondheim, Norway August 22-25, 2023

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AQUACULTURE AMERICA 2023 www.was.org

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA February 23-26, 2023

SEPTEMBER 23 AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2023

www.aquaeas.org

Vienna, Austria September 18-21, 2023

MAY 24

London, United Kingdom September 6-8, 2022

AQUACULTURE UK 2024

SEAGRICULTURE CONFERENCE https://seagriculture-usa.com/

Portland ME, USA September 7-8, 2022

APRIL 23 LACQUA23 www.was.org

Panama City, Panama April 18-21, 2023 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 2024 it promises to reach even further across the broader aquaculture markets in both the UK and Europe.

AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2022

www.aquaeas.org The European Aquaculture Society’s annual conference focuses on “Innovative Solutions in a Changing World”.

Rimini, Italy September 27-30, 2022

Aviemore, United Kingdom May 14-15, 2024

MAY 23

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WORLD AQUACULTURE 2023

AQUA 2024

Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia May 29-June 1, 2023

Stavanger, Norway June 24-28, 2024

www.was.org

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www.fishfarmermagazine.com

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OPINION – INSIDE TRACK

The price of everything... By Nick Joy

T

he saying goes that there are many people who know the price of everything but the value of nothing. At a time when prices are rising and everyone foresees trouble ahead, this seems true of so many of us. Salmon prices are at an all-time high, along with so many other costs rising. I will not venture to estimate whether we are facing a bout of true inflation or whether we are undergoing a price shock linked to fuel cost. Whichever the case for the short term, prices are going to rise and if people don’t start to understand the value of what we have, the situation will only get worse. In truth we are a very well supplied society in almost every way. We have too much of everything and because of this we have become complacent. In my youth almost everyone could cook, not because they wanted to or because it was the thing to do, but because it was the cheapest way to feed ourselves. I spent a good part of today with someone who I have known for a very long time, who is a much better man than me. On top of all of the other roles he does, he also worked in a food bank. He was talking about the desperate times some people are having. Stretched to pay the rent, they don’t know how to cook and thus are forced into buying more expensive meal options. It is not that these people are complacent; our society has forgotten that we need to teach children life skills before we teach them anything else. Another value that we have lost sight of. The hard part for the food producer is that we have been forgotten. We joke about people not knowing where milk comes from but actually the public don’t know where any of their food comes from. Seasonality is little understood, let alone the complexities of delivering food to ensure a constantly well fed population. Government is mostly out of touch with food production. They don’t understand how delicate the balance is and believe that the global market will cover any inadequacies in our own production if they make a mess of regulating it. The Ukraine war has exposed how fragile the world’s supply of food is. Add to it the addict-like dependency that food production has on fuel and the situation begins to look a bit scary. So how is this going to play out? The question of government stepping in to try to alleviate the cost of living rises is on everyone’s lips but is there really anything significant government can do? Apparently we are all going to get a gift from government, which means that the taxes we pay will be given back to us. I suppose it will help somewhat but it does nothing to deal with the underlying problem. Having just driven the length of the country, I have been utterly amazed at the volume of traffic. It has been the some of the worst I have ever seen. How can this be when fuel prices are astronomically high? I had assumed naively that car sharing and all

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Government is mostly out of touch with food production

sorts of money-saving schemes would be coming to fruition to help people reduce their fuel use. I realise that train strikes have meant that people distrust public transport but surely these prices are too high to be sustained. Evidence suggests, however, that it takes an enormous shock to get us to change our habits. Apparently the fuel price shock isn’t big enough. I had hoped that these prices would drive significant change, but I was wrong. So I suppose that the high price of food will not lessen the appalling wastage of food that has become a permanent fixture of our country’s economy. In the end, I guess that if you don’t value what you have, then throwing it away does not seem to be important. Our comfort and ease of life is dependent on the hard work of those who supply all of our needs. Whilst government preoccupies itself with the price of everything, it might do better to concentrate on ensuring that the people who deliver the goods are still in a position to do so. If they don’t, I fear that high prices will be the least of the issues we face.

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upside down Clynav brings fresh hope in the fight against pancreatic disease Clynav™ will turn the way you see PD control upside down. Clynav is like no other PD vaccine - it uses Elanco’s unique DNA plasmid technology and has become the leading choice for PD protection in Norway. Clynav is delivered intra-muscularly without the need for an adjuvant.

www.elanco.co.uk

So, with Clynav, you can rest assured of excellent PD protection without the risks associated with conventional vaccines. Take back control of PD with Clynav. It will change your point of view, for good.

Take control

Clynav contains pUK-SPDV-poly2#1 DNA plasmid coding for salmon pancreas disease virus proteins: 5.1 – 9.4 µg. Legal category POM-V in UK. For further information call Elanco Animal Health on +44(0)1256 353131 or write to: Elanco UK AH Limited, First Floor, Form 2, Bartley Way, Bartley Wood Business Park, Hook RG27 9XA, United Kingdom. For further information consult the product SPC. Clynav, Elanco and the diagonal bar logo are trademarks of Elanco or its affiliates. © 2021 Elanco or its affiliates. Use medicines responsibly www.noah.co.uk/responsible. Advice should be sought from the Medicine Prescriber. PM-UK-21-0435 – 04.2021 - RLH

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