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Fish Farmer VOLUME 41



Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977





Scottish salmon farming cleared of crimes against nature

Producers, suppliers and anglers look for the positives

Columnist Nick Joy on the precautionary principle

The SSPO’s Anne Anderson on life after SEPA

December Cover.indd 1

10/12/2018 16:38:48


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Contents 4-16 4-15 4-14 News

What’s What’s happening happening in in aquaculture aquaculture in the the UK UK and and around around the the world world in

18-23 16-21 16-17 16-22 Holyrood reportinquiry Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary


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


Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham Industry reactions The final sessions

salmon farming sector in Scotland, when itand was to he focus this month isto on Europe, where the internati T HE is no coincidence that and videos of unhealthy SOU Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal wait all year for apictures report on salmon farming then be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, embraced the industry willsent soon be gathering the joint EAS (European salmon were toat news outlets just as the Scotti sh salmon news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry two come along once. Whilefor the industry ininto Scotland was opportunity this would provide explain how it month. operated. Aquaculture and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work atto the start of this These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy wondering ifSociety) Holyrood’s Rural Economy and Connectivity The industry had to hide and, if given fair hearing, conference, to benothing staged over five days in theaof southern French images had litt le to do with the current state Scotland’s ficould sh and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldits five (REC) committee would ever publish the findings from 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 fivemeeti ngs, in private, to consider theirScottish report Environment and we must be inquiry, launched in 2017, SEPA (the Fish Farmer supported this at times that salmon advances inAgency) our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, their recommendati ons has been Protection came out withbut its review offelt the sector. farmers were being drowned out by the noisier elements of the sessions on emerging markets and look at the role of fi sh This latest propaganda campaign, which involves all the usual made harder by leaks from within the REC to anti -salmon farming Now that the dust is settling on both, all involved in salmon angling lobby, which had called for the investi gati on. But as the farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4) farming, including those in the rural communities where it takes sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, subjects such asthat the committ social and Connecti vity committ eetackling returned the recess to makes grim for the industry asfrom it suggests ee place, will bereading looking forward to scrutinising thesummer proposals and we became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on it makes to global consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to ensuring they encourage much needed growth. SEPA has been food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that is toanti welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens in cahoots with -farming Those who toconsultation shut down the have, asbe expected, shut down this sector, rather than tocountry, those who operate conducting awant public around the and the REC Also investi gati ng initi ati ves in the developing world, Dr campaigners, will, on balance, regard the industry in a favourable stepped vitibe es,the which nowofinvolve breachingHarrison the within it.up their acti recommendations will subject a parliamentary debate, light. They will see that farmers take their environmental Charo Karisa ofhopefully WorldFish writes thesnatch farming al inthe biosecure environments of farm sites to photographs in Of course, such may beabout inaccurate and, inpotenti any case, expected early in stories the New Year. Nigeria, both in catf ish and ti lapia culti vati on. responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest are wide the hopeee’s ofreactions fifinding ng evidence farmers. Onein committ ndingsincriminati not binding. Scotland’s fish farmers Although are ranging, evenagainst within the industry In Scotland, the summer has been something of a waiti ngdead game growth that see isfibeen sustainable. campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for have always tothere haveseems the support their minister, (as you in fortunate this to be aofof willingness while thewill parliament is issue), in recess and the members Holyrood’s If ee members, those who yetwill to of fi shthe at acommitt Marine Harvest site.especially Another said hechanges sawhave ‘hundreds’ Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. among producers and suppliers to embrace that Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up visit a salmon farm, would like to learn more about the subject ofnot infested salmon in a pen, but we only have his word against that But it should not go unchallenged that some MSPs on the REC enable expansion - sustainably, of coursefarming. - so long asdon’t theseexpect do the evidence in their inquiry into salmon We their inquiry, we have plenty of good stories in our May issue. Even of the professional vets and biologists who manage the welfare of committ ee, with their own agendas against the growth of the curtail existing business operations. their report untisuccessful l the autumn but hope the MSPs are using the time the bett er, they could head to Highlands later this month, where these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they now, though, it’s timewith for athe well earned rest. toFor become fully acquainted facts about fishEveryone farming. at they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse Scotland’s If the isto proud itsthe high standards, as itsalmon says itand is, it are inFarmer aindustry positi on inflthe uence future course ofat farming, Fish would like toofthank our readers, advertisers This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest biggest fish farming show. must mount a much more robust defence of itself, through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we have a right contributors for continuing to support the magazine, and we serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had no trouble collecting wish We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inindustry, Aviemore and representati vethey body, the SSPO, than itthe has done tothrough date. The to know are, and weand hope its you all a who very happy Christmas. warm tributes from his friends colleagues to mark thelook forward to seeing many of you there too. campaigners, we nowpressure see,the willrest stop at representati ves, will the parliament toand investi gateatbefore milestone and, along with of thenothing, industry, thefarmers team Fish should prepared to fivery ght back. the RECbe report published. Farmer wish himisall the best for the future.

Fish Farmer Farmer isis now now on on Fish Facebook and and Twitter Twitter Facebook

Meet the team

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Editorial Advisory Advisory Board: Board: Steve Editorial Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, Migaud, PatrickJim Smith and Jim Hervé Patrick Smith, PatrickMigaud, Smith, Treasurer and Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds Editor: Jenny Jenny Hjul Hjul Editor: Designer: Designer: Andrew Andrew Balahura Balahura Advertising Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: Dave Edler Edler Dave dedler@fi Adverti sing ve: Advertising Executive: Adverti sing Executi Executi ve: Scott Binnie Binnie Scott sbinnie@fi Publisher: Alister Alister Bennett Bennett Publisher:

Tel: +44(0) +44(0) 131 131 551 551 1000 1000 Tel: Fax: +44(0) +44(0) 131 131 551 551 7901 7901 Fax: email: email: jhjul@fi

Anne Anderson, the SSPO’s Cover:Steve Alisonsh Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti Sea Farms regional new director of sustainability, out farming director, Loch Etive. salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for Orkney, wrasse fishing with Wester Ross Picture: Scott during his visit Binnie to Marine Richard Darbyshire (left ), Harvest and the Salmon November in 2016. in Photo: Iainat Ferguson Westerbister team Scapa Pier

Tel: Tel: +44 +44 (0) (0) 1371 1371 851868 851868 UK Subscripti ons: Subscriptions: UK Subscripti ons: £75 £75 aa year year ROW Subscripti Subscriptions: £95 aa year year ROW ons: £95 including postage postage-- All All Air Air Mail Mail including

Head Offi Office: Special Publicati Publications, Head ce: Special ons, Fettes Park, 496 496 Ferry Ferry Road, Road, Fett es Park, Edinburgh, EH5 EH5 2DL 2DL Edinburgh,


Contents – Editor’s Welcome

48-49 48-51 41-43 42-44 38-39 Brussels Health2018 Innovation Aqua Aquaculture Salmon market Montpellier preview From shrimp torobust salmon Investor advice AGD research

44-46 46-49 40-41 50-55 52 Brussels Health2018 Innovation Aqua Aquaculture New processors’ groupon Gillrling disease therapies Sti course Pictures atmarket the exhibiti Insurance

24-25 22-23 18-19 24-27 Salmon SSPO SEPA market

Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird Meet thehealth new chief executive Environmental review

26-27 Industry Platform Alban Denton

56 54-55 48-49 50-58 42-45 Book Training Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture Healthreview Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best ofonthe start-ups Focus cleaner fish Nutrition solution

57 56-57 53-55 60-63 48-49 Aquaculture UK Salmon report Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 Net cleaning

24 20 20-21 28-29 Comment BTA Shellfish

Introducti onons Shareson leap Farming angle Focus Africa Robot soluti

Phil Thomas What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas

58-59 60-63 68-69 51 Aquaculture IFFObass UK Australia Training Sea

28-31 26 22-23 30 SSPO sh Shellfi Comment BTA

Barramundi boom Martyn Haines European leaders Chris Mitchell Precious resources

Anne Anderson Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod

28-31 24-25 32-33 SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms Phil Thomas Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet

32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Shellfi shfiSea Cleaner sh Farms Scottish Comment Martin Jaffa Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit

13 13

69 60-63 64-67 70-73 52-54 Aquaculture Transport UK Nigeria Networking Research Meet the team on FocusConley on producti Ferguson Boosti ng Dave Chris Mitchell

36-37 34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Shellfish Comment Cleaner Orkney Farm visitfish Janet H Brown Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New player Dawn new

81-82 76-77 56-59 66-69 From Archive Value chains Aquaculture UK MASTSthe

39-43 36-39 32-35 34-35 43-45 Farm Visit IoA careers Wild salmon Cleaner fish decline Orkney Inside Barcaldine

91 71 78-79 63 Retail & Marketing Processing & Retail News

Awards LatestLitt innovation David reports Growth inleChina Developing trends

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

The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine Sti rling students

Subscripti ons Subscriptions Subscripti ons Address: Address: Wyvex Wyvex

Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment Eat more fishchallenges Rosyth champions

92-93 72-73 80-81 64-65 Aqua Source Directory

Media, Media, FREEPOST FREEPOST RTEY RTEY YUBG YUBG TYUB, TYUB, Trinity Trinity House, House, Sculpins Sculpins Lane, Lane, WethersWethersfififield, eld, eld, Braintree, Braintree, Essex Essex CM7 CM7 4AY 4AY

Find Find all all you you need need for for the the industry industry

46-47 40 37 36-37 44-47 Brussels Health fishconference Innovation Cleaner Aquaculture Innovation

94 74 82 66 Opinion

Figure 10. 10. Examples Examples of of the the young young mackerel mackerel currently currently growing growing up up ‘all ‘all over’ over’ the the North North Sea, Sea, Figure Norwegian Sea Sea and and along along the the Norwegian Norwegian coast coast at at the the moment. moment. These These were were caught caught in in aa ‘washing ‘washing Norwegian set’ by by the the purse purse seiner seiner ‘Brennholm’ ‘Brennholm’ at at an an arbitrary arbitrary position position 100 100 nm nm west west of of the the Lofoten Lofoten Isles Isles in in set’ January 2018. At this stage these small mackerels are competitors to the postsmolt salmon, January 2018. At this stage these small mackerels are competitors to the postsmolt salmon, later they they will will be be both both competitors competitors and and potential potential predators. predators. The The new new and and abundant abundant availability availability later Printed in Great Britain for the proprietors Wyvex Media Ltd by J Thomson Colour Printers Ltd, Printed in Great Britain for the proprietors Wyvex Media Ltd by J Thomson Colour Printers Ltd, Printed Printed in in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Media Ltd Ltd by by JJ Thomson Thomson Colour Colour Printers Printers Ltd, Ltd,of juvenile mackerel in the multi sea winter salmon feeding areas may be a good explanation to of juvenile mackerel in the multi sea winter salmon feeding areas may be a good explanation to Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 Glasgow ISSN ISSN 0262-9615 0262-9615 why the the MSW MSW fishes fishes have have such such aa good good condition condition at at present present despite despite their their poor poor early early sea sea growth. growth. Glasgow Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 why Photo JC JC Holst. Holst. Photo

Introducti on Jim Treasurer Novel technology Temperature Introducti on

Welcome May.indd Aug.indd Welcome ---- May.indd Sept.indd Oct.indd Dec.indd 3333 Welcome Aug.indd Welcome Sept.indd Oct.indd

By By Nick Nick Joy Joy


09/05/2018 18:05:09 08/08/2018 15:36:28 06/09/2018 16:32:15 04/10/2018 09:15:28 10/12/2018 18:05:09 16:37:27 09/05/2018 08/08/2018 15:36:28 06/09/2018 16:32:15 04/10/2018 09:15:28

United Kingdom News


Marine Harvest pledges bright future for Scotland MARINE Harvest’s CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog said that Scotland had a bright future as he announced a massive rebranding exercise and name change for the company last month. The world’s biggest salmon famer took the industry by surprise when it revealed it would be called Mowi from the New Year, subject to shareholder approval, which was granted on December 4. Aarskog made the announcement at a meeting in Edinburgh on November 13, and said the company was investing £35 million in the transformation. In an interview with BBC Radio Scotland, he said the company in Scotland had a ‘really bright’ future and would ‘absolutely not’ be moving any of its operations – production or administration – to Ireland because of Brexit. And he added that the Scottish arm of the business, which employs more than 1,200 people, was growing. ‘We are just now building Kyleakin on the west coast of Scotland, a huge feed operation, and we have built a processing plant in Rosyth, just out of Edinburgh, so we’re actually growing in Scotland,’ Aarskog said.


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consisting of added value and food-to-go products; and Mowi Supreme, a selection of high-end salmon products. The name is taking Marine Harvest back to its Norwegian roots. The company was founded by the Mowinckel family in 1964 and traded as Mowi before being bought Above: Marine Harvest CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog in Edinburgh

The Scottish base at Rosyth supplies three large UK retailers, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Lidl. He also dismissed fears of trading problems post-Brexit, saying: ‘I believe there will be good trade relations within the UK and big possibilities, and I also think that trade conflicts will be solved. ‘We operate in 24 different countries. We are within the EU and produce finished products in a lot of EU countries.’ And, addressing possible changes to the regulatory regime in Scotland, he told the Good Morning Scotland programme that salmon farm regulations should be science based. ‘I think the important thing in regards to regulation is that they’re built on science and sustainability. We are in this for the long run

so it has to be smart, good regulations built on science and that’s the key point.’ Earlier, in Norway, Aarskog revealed that the first Mowi premium brand salmon should be on the market early in the New Year, and would be the first global salmon brand. ‘The new name is building on our history. ‘It is a short and catchy name which we believe will work all over the world.’ However, he did concede that it might be difficult to pronounce Mowi, which sounds a bit like ‘movie’. Marine Harvest plans to launch the brand in Europe in 2019, and then North America and Asia in 2020. Mowi products will be available as Mowi Pure, a collection of smoked salmon cuts; Mowi Signature,

by Norsk Hydro. It became Marine Harvest in 1999 and is now the world’s largest salmon farming business, employing more than 13,000 people worldwide, with production facilities in Norway, Chile, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and Iceland. The company, which said it had been working on a new

name for the past two years, revealed that the goal is to have a €1 billion turnover by 2025. The man who will lead the brand change is German born Andreas Johler, who has worked as a brand specialist for both Unilever (the original owner of Marine Harvest) and Coca Cola.

Skretting to close down UK feed plants ‘This is driving down FEED company Skretprices, leading to an ting is to close down unsustainable commerits UK operations due cial environment. to market overca‘We have therefore pacity, the company made the decision to announced last month. start consulting with The Stavanger, our employees on a Norway, headquarproposal to cease feed tered firm has started production in the UK.’ a process of consultAbove: Skretting CEO Skretting, which has ing with employees Therese Log Bergjord UK facilities in Invergorwith the view to cease don in Scotland and Longridge near production in the UK at the end Preston, will continue to supply to of April 2019. The move is aimed at reducing the the UK market where economically viable. overcapacity in the highly com‘This is a tough decision for petitive salmon feed market, and Skretting’s management team and better utilise the company’s existing our owner, Nutreco, considering the production facilities in Europe. implications for our local employees The company has no plans to stop and partners,’ said Log Bergjord. production in other markets. ‘In the proposed plan, all locations, The decision comes just months including two production sites, will before Marine Harvest Scotland’s close down, and around 100 emnew feed plant on Skye is due to ployees may become redundant. open. ‘First and foremost, we now conTherese Log Bergjord, CEO of centrate on finding good solutions Skretting, said:‘Unfortunately, we are with our employees, customers, experiencing unsustainable market suppliers and partners in the UK.’ conditions in the UK. While Skretting experiences ‘With a new large feed plant regional market challenges in the becoming operational in Scotland UK, the group will pursue further early 2019, the total feed capacity expansion of the global aquaculture in the region is expected to exceed industry from its operations in 19 the total market by more than 50 countries across all continents. per cent.

10/12/2018 16:16:46

All the latest industry news from the UK

Scottish salmon exports down 20 per cent SCOTTISH salmon exports were down by 20.1 per cent in the first nine months of 2018, according to figures released by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) in December. While food and drink exports increased by 1.8 per cent to £16.4 billion from January to September 2018, when compared to the same period in 2017, salmon saw a drop of 16,600 tonnes, equivalent to £94.3 million. All of the top 10 export products reported growth in January to September, apart from beer and salmon. The decline was primarily a result of a fall in sales to France (-19 per cent) and the US (-36.2 per cent). Although Scotland recorded record production figures in 2017 of 189,707 tonnes, there has been a decrease in harvest volumes this year, and the total production for 2018 is expected to total 151,000 tonnes. Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, said: ‘Despite the tumultuous times, UK food and drink exports continue to grow. ‘These results record a very creditable performance across many product categories and destination markets. ‘However, it is clear that businesses must work ever harder to deliver. Access to high quality market insight, advice and practical

support is increasingly vital for success.’ He added that the FDF is collaborating with government departments to ‘take on our rivals in the highly competitive global food marketplace’.

Minister hears of £17m IoA plans A UK cabinet minister visited the University of Stirling, where he endorsed ambitious plans to create two multi-million-pound international research centres on campus. David Lidington, minister for the Cabinet Office, was the third cabinet member to tour the Institute of Aquaculture this year. He heard about plans to develop a new aquaculture innovation hub and an International Environment Centre, as part of the UK City Region Deal for Stirling and Clackmannanshire. The minister met students and staff to discuss how the EU withdrawal agreement could affect

Above: David Lidington

higher education. His visit comes six months after it was announced that the University of Stirling would receive £17 million for the new aquaculture facility. The new aquaculture innovation hub will operate four aquatic research facilities (see page 7). Environment Secretary Michael Gove toured the Institute in February, while Scottish Secretary David Mundell visited in May.

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UK news.indd 5


10/12/2018 16:17:05

United Kingdom News

Aquaculture wins £5.1m research funding FISH vaccines made from algae are one of 12 projects receiving a total of £5.1 million to fund aquaculture research. Other projects, announced in November, include studying genetics and breeding patterns, looking at how shellfish can be more sustainable, immunising trout against kidney disease, and examining how robust salmon are and how susceptible to disease they are at sea. The UK Aquaculture Initiative is a joint Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and NERC project to support high quality, innovative research and address strategic challenges facing UK aquaculture. The investment comes with contributions from co-funders the

Sainsbury’s honours Bracken with award

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and the Centre for Environments, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), and a range of industry partners who will collaborate with academic researchers. Karen Lewis, BBSRC executive director of Capability and Innovation, said: ‘Aquaculture is a key food production sector for the UK. These projects will improve our understanding of the challenges facing aquaculture production. ‘Working together with industry partners, UK researchers will help to address these challenges and contribute to developing a healthy, safe and sustainable aquaculture system which will deliver societal and economic benefit for the UK.’ Above: Steve Bracken receives his award from Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe

EU grants boost for Scotland THE latest round of grants from the European Maritime Fisheries Funding (EMFF) scheme will provide £4.8 million for aquaculture and fisheries, to be shared across 29 projects in the country. Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said the money will provide a ‘vital financial leg-up’ and help to ‘support the whole fisheries supply chain’. ‘This seventh round of EMFF grants will provide a vital financial leg-up to projects from the Shetland Islands to Dumfries and Gallo-


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way – with the nearly £5 million invested helping to support the whole fisheries supply chain to reach new markets, and improving the overall quality of Scottish produce,’ said Ewing. ‘The new funding will also help to support the growth potential of Scotland’s shellfish sector, reinforce the importance of training, health and welfare within salmon aquaculture, and a ground-breaking initiative to assess the health of our iconic wild salmon stocks. ‘We are now in a

period of great uncertainty for our coastal communities, so I’m sure they will welcome this real and practical support from the Scottish government and European Union. ‘At the moment we still don’t know what, if anything, will replace the EMFF after Brexit. The UK government must provide clarity on that for our fishermen as soon as possible.’ The projects include Shetland Mussels, which will receive almost £960,000 for its ‘Seed Feed’ initiative, aimed at producing an additional 1,000 tonnes of seed by 2021. Trout farmer Dawnfresh Seafood was given £91,351 towards the purchase and installation of fish treatment, pumping, grading and stunning systems.

STEVE Bracken, Marine Harvest’s former business support manager, was given a lifetime achievement award at Sainsbury’s Farming Conference last month. Bracken, who worked in the industry for 41 years until his retirement in August, said he was both surprised and delighted by the honour from the supermarket chain. He had been invited to the

event, held at the QE11 centre in London, by Sainsbury’s aquaculture and fisheries manager Ally Dingwall, but had no idea he was up for the award. He said it was in recognition of his role in setting up Marine Harvest’s contract with Sainsbury’s, and for the two companies’ close working relationship which, he said, had been ’team work, as always’.

Scotland to host 2020 sea lice conference THE biennial international sea lice conference is to be held in Scotland in 2020 following a vote by delegates at this year’s gathering in Punta Arenas, Chile. Scotland won 37 per cent of the votes, narrowly beating Cairns, Australia, which polled 36 per cent. The Faroe Islands’ bid came in third, with 27 per cent of votes. This year’s meeting was the 12th in the series, the first having been held in Paris. The aim of the conference is to bring together the world’s most prominent sea lice researchers,to share their experiences in mitigating and controlling infestations. This year’s conference was organised by the Technological Salmon Institute (INTESAL), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Aquaculture Research (INCAR) and the Aquaculture Institute from the Austral University of

Chile. As well as promoting collaboration and communication between leading international scientists, the conference develops and discusses new lines of research and presents the most up to date findings on sea lice. Different areas of research are highlighted, including biology of sea lice, epidemiology, chemical controls, sea lice and wild fish, interactions with the environment, integrated handling of the pests, mathematical models, molecular genetics, and regulatory policies.

10/12/2018 16:19:07

All the latest industry news from the UK

Stirling hatchery to rear research fish

A 240,000-fish RAS hatchery is nearing completion at the University of Stirling, with the promise of producing robust stock for use in future research projects across the UK. The new unit, at Buckieburn in Stirling, was due to be fully operational this month, following a year-long planning and building process to provide researchers with Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout, free from any kind of disease or treatment history. ‘Building our own hatchery means we will be able to produce a totally clean, reliable source of research-robust fish,’ said Alastair McPhee, aquaculture facility manager at the University of Stirling. ‘By ensuring that the fish used in trials are not challenged by external parasites, or suffering from low level disease problems, validates the accuracy and reliability of our research. ‘It also improves the longer term value of our research results and potentially prevents trials having to be repeated to test key conclusions.’ The new hatchery – developed in conjunction with AquaBioTech – will feature a 24-tray egg incubation area with carrying capacity for 240,000 eggs, and an on-growing RAS unit containing 24 tanks of 1,000-litre capacity. The on-growing facility will be equipped with full temperature controls and photoperiod manipulation, carried out using variable intensity LED lighting. Each tank will also have waste feed and faeces separation and will be supplied with fully computer controlled feeding systems and an environmental monitoring system, all linked back to an office based PC. ‘While our top level design numbers will allow us to stock up to 240,000 fish every six

UK news.indd 7

months, we don’t expect to operate anywhere near that total,’ said McPhee. ‘Because of our research focus, the unit is likely to carry around 80,000 fish every six months. This will be mainly Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout, although we will be able to work with other temperate species if required.’ In addition to producing research-robust fish for use in research within the Stirling site, which includes the globally renowned Institute of Aquaculture, the hatchery will also provide stock for researchers working at the university’s marine field station at Machrihanish in Argyll. ‘Being able to supply the research team at Machrihanish with suitable fish for the saltwater phase of their work on sea lice and other projects will be a major boost,’ McPhee said. ‘We are also receiving potential supply requests from other UK universities and commercial researchers, all of which will be considered once we’re up and running.’ Current project priorities in Stirling for the new unit, meanwhile, include research on fish oil replacement options and the possible testing of the comparative merits of RAS and flowthrough hatcheries. ‘Our design is commercially relevant, with the inclusion of special features being driven entirely by our research requirements,’ said McPhee. ‘Our system, for example, will allow us to recover any feed which isn’t consumed and collect any waste that’s created, which are both essential factors when carrying out dietary trials. ‘In this context, we’re already at an advanced stage in talks with major feed manufacturers about potential research projects.’

Marine Harvest man marks 30 years MARINE Harvest Scotland’s pens and moorings manager, Arthur Campbell, received his 30-year long service award at the company’s Fort William office last month. He was presented with the award by seawater manager David MacGillivray, who gave a presentation detailing his colleague’s many roles in the group. Campbell started as a temporary engineering assistant at Lochailort on October 12, 1988, and was made a permanent construction assistant on January 1, 1989. A restructuring of the engineering Above: Arthur Campbell (right) and David MacGillivray department saw him move to the position of farms assistant in 1992, before being appointed senior farm assistant in September 1995. He took on extra responsibilities as cages and moorings supervisor on a temporary basis and was appointed to his current role at the beginning of 1999. One of Campbell’s most recent achievements was overseeing, along with MacGillivray, the introduction and rolling out of ‘environets’ at several of Marine Harvest’s farms. With all his many positions in the company, one thing has been consistent: his camera. Before finding a career in salmon farming, Campbell worked as a photographer in Glasgow and has been taking photographs for the company for the past three decades.

Norwegian de-licer on west coast GREEN Sealice Solutions, a Norwegian company based in Kristiansand, is bringing its sea lice treatment service to Scotland from early next year. Operation manager Frode Ramvik set up the company and from April 2019 will be introducing its system of sea lice control, which has already proved successful in Norway. Working with the Skamik 1.5 system, it will offer an environmentally friendly mechanical de-licing service, using more water, but at much lower pressure, resulting in less damage to fish and fewer mortalities. The system involves siting the treatment boat between two cages and de-licing the fish as they are pumped from the first to the second cage.The company said that moving 80-120 tonnes of fish per hour can be maintained for 20 hours a day. Ramvik embarked on a trip to the west coast of Scotland and Shetland in November and had potential Scottish customers visiting Norway in December to see the system in situ. Green Sealice Solutions has around 15 Skamik 1.5 systems working successfully. The management and crews all have great experience within the industry, including Ramvik, whose history includes three years with Norsk Fish Transport and four years with Fosnavaag Shipping, as skipper of the Viktoria Lady. He now sees great potential within the Scottish market. ‘Initial meetings have gone really well and we are generating a lot of interest.We can’t wait to bring to Scotland what has been so successful in Norway.’


10/12/2018 16:19:26


United Kingdom News

World News

Benchmark reports earnings rise

it entered into a breeding and BENCHMARK, the aquaculture genetics joint venture with health business, has reported a AquaChile. 65 per cent growth in its annual Benchmark also said its new earnings before tax (EBITDA), to sea lice treatment, Ectosan Clean £16.5 million. Treat, showed 100 per cent In a trading update for the year efficacy, with no environmental ended September 30, 2018, the impact, after 14 trials with major company recorded revenues salmon producers. above £150 million (2017: £140.2 The company strengthened its million), a growth of seven per board and management team and cent. implemented a new operational Underlying earnings were ause they will have to get licence from the government before structure during the year. ahead of amarket expectations anything’. The outlook is positive, said and delivery of strategic projects that the cost of enforcing bill was not justified size with favourable will drivethe future growth and by the Benchmark, r and had everything to do with control and nothing with in core salmon and profitability, said Benchmark in a to doconditions t. The result is that instead of creating new jobs and new shrimp develop-markets, and ‘an increasing press release. ADB will stifle it. It saw progress in all the key trend towards professionalisanment is going to spend to patrol anddecontrol a very tionsmall and consolidation amongst areas of millions its business, with customers’. mand for sea lice he example of a R5 million aquaculture farm that was recently ‘This, combined resistant salmon r Livingstone in eggs Zambia. with an increasing outstripping of investment will never happen here, because the regulatory recognition of the supply. t is so bureaucratic.’ role that our inThe company’s quatic Association South Africa, Aquaculture SA and the SA novative products newoffacility in dustry Association (SACIA) have made numerous appeals to the play in in boostSalten in NorAbove:can Trout farm of Agriculture, Forestry Fisheries (DAFF) not to go ahead with Southing Africa. yield, quality way hasand boosted without capacity and sustainability, s, the law requires levels of licensing for any activity where provides us with forvarious egg producman interventiontion in raising confidence in the by 75aquatic per organisms, even if it is only hem from predators. ornamental is also Pye included. Above:fish Malcolm future outlook.’ cent,Breeding and in June

EU ‘step forward’ for animal health

say South African farmers

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airs. injunction dured sive proe Harvest ts at ganisers, e said. e to work ree of ation,’

Above: Dawn Howard

THE future relationship between the UK and Europe over animal health has moved ‘a step forward’ with the government’s ‘political declaration’. NOAH (National Office for Animal Health) said it recognises the importance of the political declaration in paving the way to a successful future for the animal health sector. NOAH chief executive Dawn Howard said in a press release: ‘NOAH’s priority is for the sector to continue to thrive in the post-Brexit landscape through a collaborative and cooperative regulatory system and relationship with the EU and international partners.

‘A successful animal health sector is essential for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals.’ NOAH is pleased that the declaration promotes an ‘ambitious, broad, deep and flexible partnership’ with ‘provisions to promote regulatory approaches that are transparent, efficient, promote avoidance of unnecessary barriers to trade’. And the organisation particularly welcomes the commitment to explore the possibility of cooperation between UK authorities and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and notes that the UK parliament had voted in July that the UK should negotiate to remain in the EMA.

Leading vet heads SAIC skills drive THE Scottish Aquaculand Master’s initiatives, ture Innovation Centre while building its PhD (SAIC) has appointed programme. veterinary expert Dr The innovation centre Mary Fraser as its new has already sponsored head of skills and talent. MSc students on 13 of Fraser, who has more Scotland’s 16 aquaculthan two decades’ ture specific degrees experience in course and five PhD places, development and teach- since its inception. ing, has lectured and A Fellow of the Royal published widely across College of Veterinary veterinary disciplines. Surgeons, Royal Society In her new position, of Public Health, Royal she will play a key role in aligning the skills taught to aquaculture and life sciences professionals with the industry’s evolving requirements. She will also be responsible for the management and continued development of SAIC’s internship, graduate, Above: Mary Fraser

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Society of Biology, and Higher Education Academy, Fraser has developed vocational qualifications for City & Guilds, an institution which delivers training schemes to two million people. She said:‘Aquaculture is an area of serious growth in Scotland’s economy and with that comes demand for new skills and talent. ‘We need to develop a greater awareness of its career prospects for younger people through engagement with schools, colleges, and social media – they need to see clear examples of successful careers in aquaculture.’

10/12/2018 16:19:45


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10/12/2018 12:37:47

European News


Norwegian fish exports hit November high

NORWAY exported 276,000 tonnes of seafood worth 9.9 billion kroners (£914 million) during November, figures released this month show. While the volume fell by eight per cent, revenues from the sales rose by 11 per cent or NOK 990 million, reflecting the rising price of fish, particularly cod and salmon. The country is now on course to hit the NOK 100 billion tar-


European News.indd 10

get, or a figure close to it, by the end of this year. Salmon exports last month totalled 102,000 tonnes and were worth NOK 6.2 billion (£572 million). Volumes are at the same level as November last year, but the value rose by 10 per cent or NOK 541 million. So far this year, Norway has sold 962,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 62 billion. This represents a volume increase of

six per cent, while the value was up by five per cent or three billion kroners compared to last year. The average price for whole fresh salmon in November was NOK 56.24 per kilo against NOK 50.49 in November 2017. The EU is still Norway’s main customer for salmon, buying at least 78,000 tonnes last month, with Poland and France the largest markets. The Norwegian

Bakkafrost barge built for exposed sites

FAROESE salmon farmer Bakkafrost took delivery last month of an 800-tonne capacity feed barge designed for exposed farm sites. Converted from a 75m bulk carrier, the barge is fitted with a remotely operated eightline feeding system. Faroes company JT electric supplied the barge and created the feeding system in consultation with farmers. This is the second such barge delivered by JT electric to Bakkafrost, and it is destined for the southern island of Suðuroy. ‘Many of the sites in the Faroe Islands are exposed to high waves and bad weather and this, coupled with the demand for dependable yet innovative feeding, is the reason why the fish farmers choose the ship-design barges,’ said JT electric. ‘The advantages with this concept are that they are more rigid than standard barges, have large storage capacity, good stability and have over the years proven to be a good working environment for the fish farmers.’ The company has eight large ship-design barges since 2013, according to JT electric chief executive Suni Justinussen. Bakkafrost reported mixed results in its third quarter, with EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) of 434.2 million Danish kroners (almost £51 million), a rise of 182 million kroners (£21 million) on the same period last Seafood Council said year. But costs were up and volumes down, demand from the EU from 11,600 tonnes gutted weight 12 months ago to 7,200 tonnes this year. was continuing to CEO Regin Jacobsen said: ‘The quarter has rise, with the Nethalso been affected by the elevated mortality erlands emerging level at farming site A-81 Kolbanagjógv in as another strong September (when 750,000 fish died), which destination. Exports of farmed resulted in higher costs and a negative effect on next year’s harvest volumes.’ trout showed little Bakkafrost is constructing a new hatchery movement last for larger smolt production in Suðuroy and month. Sales tohas new sites in the region. talled 5,300 tonnes and were worth NOK 322 million, with the value broadly the same as a year ago. The volume fell by two per cent. Volumes are up by 18 per cent, however.

10/12/2018 16:11:55

All the latest industry news from Europe

Danes invest in insect meal sector DANISH feed company Aller Aqua has partnered with an insect factory to produce Denmark’s first industrial scale insect meal. The goal of the project, funded to the tune of DKK 15.9 million by the Danish government, is to produce 30 tonnes of insects per day four years from now. One of the outputs from the project, with insect company Enorm Biofactory, will be insect meal, and Aller Aqua’s role will be to help develop and test products suitable for trout farming. Should this succeed, insect meal could also be tested as an ingredient for feed for salmon and tilapia. ‘Insect meal has the potential to be a valuable raw material in fish feed, not only due to its high protein content,’ said Hanno Slawski, group research and development director for Aller Aqua. ‘Several trials have been carried out with the inclusion of insect meal to replace or partially replace fishmeal in fish feed with promising results, but further research is needed before commercial application.’ Research and trials will be carried out at Aller Aqua Research in Büsum, Germany. Besides producing insect meal for incluhuman consumption. sion in fish feed, Enorm Biofactory will also In addition, the project, which also involves produce both insect meal and oil for use in the Danish Technological Tnstitute, Hannepork and poultry production, and eventually

man Engineering and Champost, focuses on achieving a no-waste-production with optimal usage of all nutrients and resources.


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European News.indd 11 6/11/13 14:15:00


10/12/2018 16:12:13

European News

Backlash over Tromsø farm ban

No salmon yet, but shares rise

LOCAL councillors in the about how the aquaculture Norwegian city of Tromsø are industry operated, and he acfacing a mounting backlash cused the city council of trying over their decision to ban any to impose new technology that further open salmon farming had not been fully developed. inside municipal boundaries. Meanwhile, Norway’s They have also ordered a fisheries minister, Harald halt to the expansion of existTom Nesvik, accused the city ing fish farms unless they are council of sending the wrong enclosed or land based. signals to the industry and An alliance of left and green potential investors, giving the parties on the city council impression it was not interestimposed the ban last month Above: Charles Høstlund ed in the aquaculture sector or as part of its new coastal in further growth. climate and environmental plan. He said that while he respected local democracy But now the company Norway Royal Salmon, and the decision was essentially a matter between which had been planning extra investment with a the council and local voters, he was nevertheless new salmon waste facility in the area, has warned surprised, especially as the municipality had it may be forced to look elsewhere. recently received millions of kroners from the CEO Charles Høstlund told the city newspaper Aquaculture Fund. iTromsø that he was both surprised and disapWith a population of 75,000, Tromsø is Norway’s pointed by the decision. ninth largest city, covers an area of almost 1,000 He said: ‘As a company, we depend on predictsquare miles and lies above the Arctic Circle. ability and it is clear that the decision may affect It is a popular tourist destination for viewing our location planning, if we decide to move ahead the northern lights. The city council has recently with our plan to build a separate salmon waste adopted a new coastal climate and environmental plant.’ plan, which is behind the ban on further traditional He added that there was still a lot of ignorance net pen farming.

THE land based salmon farming company Atlantic Sapphire has seen its shares rise more than 150 per cent since January, more than any other listed salmon farmer. The company’s share price on the Oslo Exchange was listed at NOK 72.40 (Đ7.46/$8.42) per share in late November. Although Atlantic Sapphire is building a land based farm in Miami, which it claims will be the biggest in the world, with plans for 90,000 tonnes of salmon, it has so far harvested very little fish from its existing plant in Denmark. The company has been backed by Norway’s DNB bank, as well as Denmark’s export credit agency EFK, and has said it is on track to harvest 9,500 tonnes of annual output from the plant by mid-2020. In November, it stocked its first 800,000 eggs in its Florida site.

Iceland fish farms get temporary licences TWO Icelandic fish farming companies which were stopped from expanding operations in the Westfjords region have now been granted temporary licences by Iceland’s Department of Fisheries. The companies, Fjarðarlax (owned by Arnarlax) and the Arctic Sea Farm, had planned to produce up to 17,500 tonnes of salmon in Patreksfjordur and Tálknafjörður, both located in the Westfjords region. But in a controversial move, the country’s Environmental and Natural Resources Complaints Committee revoked the licences at the end of September, claiming the environmental process was flawed. The decision brought strong protests from coastal communities in the region, which had hoped the expansion of salmon farming would bring jobs and economic prosperity. However, following amendments to the Aquaculture Act last month, the Ministry of Fisheries has issued a temporary operating licence for up to 10 months after receiving a report from the Icelandic Food Administration. The interim licences are subject to a number of conditions. These include allowing the Icelandic Food Administration to monitor the number of exposed salmonids and making the licensees responsible for monitoring and research to assess the ecological effects of their plans. The two companies will also have to remedy defects recently pinpointed by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Meanwhile, a senior government minister has sprung to the defence of the country’s aquaculture industry, describing it as playing an important role in reviving the fortunes of many isolated coastal communities. A report on Facebook by Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Minister for Local Government and Transport, said that about 300 jobs directly related to aquaculture were being created in the west region alone, adding that the industry was having a positive impact on rural development at both ends of the country.


European News.indd 12

Above: The Westfjords region

10/12/2018 16:14:11

All the latest industry news from Europe

Grieg chief entrepreneur of the year

Left: Per Grieg

PER Grieg Jr, chairman of Grieg Seafood, won the finals of the EY Norway Entrepreneur of the Year Awards at a ceremony in Oslo. An independent jury praised him for developing the company ‘through good strategic decisions, risk willingness and endurance’. The jury also said he had managed to create a significant player in what was now a truly international market. The business had demonstrated an ability for innovation, and had become a driving force within the industry. Furthermore, Grieg Seafood was a significant contributor to a number of charitable causes. Based in Bergen, Grieg, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, has grown to become the world’s eighth largest aquaculture business. It has farmed salmon production operations in the Rogaland region of Norway as well as in Shetland and Canada. Per Grieg jr has taken a leading role with the company since it was founded in 1992, helping to build it into a major force in fish farming. Among his many qualifications, he holds an MSc degree from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). During this time he has helped to establish a number of other seafood related operations within the Grieg group, and he also sits on the board of a number of firms, including Fjord Seafood and Marine Farms. The global audit firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young) organises Entrepreneur of the Year awards in more than 50 countries.

Salmon waste to power cruise liners A NORWEGIAN cruise line operator is planning to use salmon waste and dead fish to power its ship in what is being hailed as a ground-breaking green initiative. The Hurtigruten line, which offers cruises to some of the world’s remoter regions, is investing more than £600 million in new sustainable technology. It said that up to six of its cruise ships, including three new hybrid powered vessels, will be fuelled by liquified biogas made from fish and other organic waste by 2021. Next year will see the launch of MS Roald Amundsen, the world’s first battery hybrid powered cruise ship, which will have almost silent engines, thus helping to avoid disturbing marine life.


The shipping line will be the first company in the world to use this type of fuel on such a large scale and should help to counter the claim by many environmentalists that shipping companies are a major contributor to global pollution. The ships will sail on a combination of natural gas and liquid biogas - a fossil-free, climate neutral fuel produced by waste and by-products from fish farming, conventional fisheries, forestry and agriculture. And as Norway is the world’s largest salmon farming country and is also heavily forested, the shipping company

is not expecting to encounter any fuel shortage problems in future. Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said: ‘Biogas is the most environmentally friendly fuel available today. While most of our competitors are still sailing on cheap, polluting heavy oil, our ships will literally be driven by nature. ‘And what we are doing is just the beginning. We are pushing for more investment into further green technology.” Frederic Hauge from the environmental organisation Bellona, which for years has been a driving force for the development of biogas, said Hurtigruten had taken a seriously important step towards improving the environment.

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10/12/2018 16:14:30

World News


Extra feed line to handle Ecuador shrimp growth

Above: Henrik Aarestrup, BioMar’s vice-president Emerging Markets

BIOMAR Group is to build a new line for extruded shrimp feed in Ecuador to keep up with the growth in volumes being sold. The expansion will accommodate the development of new product ranges and is expected to be ready in early 2020. The new line will add approximately 40,000 tonnes capacity and is expected to become operational in Q1 2020, a year after the latest capacity expansion, which is due in Q1 2019. ‘We have experienced a strong growth in Ecuador since the acquisition of Alimentsa in 2017 and we currently operate

at our capacity limit,’ said Henrik Aarestrup, vice-president Emerging Markets in the BioMar Group. ‘For our customers, the new line will mean increased flexibility and increased choice, as it will significantly expand our capacity for extruded and value added feed solutions.’ Shrimp production in Ecuador has been growing by double digits in 2018, making the country the third largest shrimp producing nation in the world. ‘The Ecuadorian shrimp sector will continue to grow in the coming years, however at a somewhat slower pace than in 2018,

where we have seen an exceptionally high growth,’ Aarestrup added. ‘Ecuador has a competitive edge when it comes to producing shrimp in a responsible manner, with high focus on both sustainability and product quality. ‘Recent initiatives, such as the launch of the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership, will further enhance this position.’ The investment is part of BioMar’s strategic plan for the shrimp business, which also includes a recently inaugurated research and trial unit in connection with the plant in Ecuador.







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aquaculture in CANADIAN fish Canada,’ said farmers have Timothy Kennedy, welcomed the executive director decision by the of the Canadian federal government Aquaculture Industo move ahead with try Alliance. ‘There an Aquaculture Act. is such incredible The Canadian opportunity for Council of Fisheries this young and and Aquaculture Above: Tim Kennedy innovative sector. Ministers agreed Canada remains the world’s only on December 5 to advance the major farmed seafood producing process that will lead to federal country without modern national legislation.The sector’s potential legislation specifically designed to was identified in the Agri-food govern a responsible and sustainReport, published in September, able aquaculture industry. which said it could nearly double ‘With a supportive policy and production, from 200,565 tonnes in 2016 to 381,900 tonnes in 2028. regulatory environment focused on innovation, economic growth and ‘The timely development and sustainability for our sector, our inpassage of a federal Aquaculture dustry is ready to seize this opporAct is the most important and tunity, creating new middle-class overriding need for the sustainjobs and growing our economy.’ able and competitive growth of

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World news.indd 14

18/02/2015 11:57

18/02/2015 11:57

10/12/2018 16:07:52

World News

Harnessing youth in Canada…

Above: R.J. Taylor

THE Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) has launched its own National Youth Council, partly to encourage more young people into the industry and partly to showcase the growing presence of the younger generation in the fish farming sector. CAIA executive director Timothy Kennedy said: ‘Seafood farming is a young and growing sector for Canada. We are delighted to be attracting top calibre young people to create a strong and sustainable future. ‘The diversity and strength of these young people is a testament to a bright future for our sector.’ The alliance said it had established a National Youth Council to connect young professionals in

Canada’s aquaculture sector, to propose and develop ideas for the flourishing of the sector, and to be ambassadors for the sector. Kennedy added: ‘We have brought together a group of 14 young people from across the country – seven women and seven men – to represent the growing presence of youth in this science, sustainability and future oriented sector. ‘Representing six provinces, they are excited and eager to share their knowledge and passion for seafood farming. We look forward to their ideas and energy.’ R.J. Taylor, the inaugural Youth Council chair, said: ‘We hail from across Canada’s thriving seafood farming sector: finfish to shellfish, land based to net pens, freshwater to marine, industry to research. ‘And we all share the same passion for advancing this incredibly dynamic and sustainable sector.’ The National Youth Council members convened their first face-to-face meeting at the 2018 Canadian Farmed Seafood Policy Conference in the federal capital Ottawa in December.

…and in Chile FEED group Skretting Chile is to launch an initiative aimed at summoning the young talents in the industry. It is hoped that the Young Industry Professionals programme will enable the next generation to deliver their vision of aquaculture, looking ahead to 2030. Skretting Chile decided there was a need to take an innovative look at the challenges of the industry. Specialised talents, a more sustainable industry, positioning aquaculture careers as a professional choice, and strengthening the sector’s activities as an agent for regional and national development, are key features of the programme, which is sponsored by Hendrix Genetics and Lucta. The initiative was set up in late November with a full-day workshop in Puerto Varas. Each company was invited to select two representatives between the ages of 25 and 35, with a total of 40 young leaders participating. ‘The initiative stemmed from the call made at AquaVision 2018, when we were invited to re-start the ‘blue revolution’, to face the current challenges of the industry,’ said Ronald Barlow, general manager of Skretting Chile. ‘From the concrete ideas of that meeting, we wanted to take up the challenge of bringing together young talents, so that they - with a fresh view - can give us their vision of this industry. ‘We believe that this activity will allow us to put the different needs of the aquaculture industry in the country on the table, in an environment of collaboration and innovation, and from the perspective of the new generations.’

Offshore kampachi set for harvest PIONEERING offshore farming venture the Kampachi Company has secured equity investment that will help scale up the production of its ocean reared fish in Mexico. The company announced last month that it had received funding from the Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund (SOF), a new fund managed by Mirova Natural Capital and dedicated to aligning ocean development and conservation goals. Hawaii based Kampachi Company, co-founded by Neil Anthony Sims, farms king kampachi (Almaco jack) miles from land, in net pens anchored deep in Mexico’s Gulf of California. The investment from SOF will help fund sustainable offshore production of king kampachi, a sashimi quality marine fish that will be marketed to restaurants and retailers in Mexico, the United States, Japan, and Europe. The company now has around 200,000 fish in grow-out pens and its first harvest, of 4-6lb king kampachi, is expected in late March 2019. Sims said: ‘This investment by Althelia validates the scalable, environmentally sound attributes of offshore kampachi production.’

World news.indd 15

Above: Neil Anthony Sims


10/12/2018 16:08:07

World News

Chinese buy Chilean salmon farm

A CHINESE food service company is poised to pay more than $830 million for a majority stake in one of Chile’s main salmon farming businesses. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval and fulfilling certain conditions, but Joyvio, a subsidiary of the Chinese investment company Legend Holdings, is expected to take a 94.47 per cent share in Australis Seafoods. Joyvio is Legend Holdings’ vehicle for investment in the food industry, in which it has already invested millions of dollars in everything from seafood and farming all the way to retailing. It is also strategically significant because it marks another step in China’s move beyond its own borders into the international seafood and fish farming market.

Australis Seafoods is a Chilean listed company and a highly regarded player, specialising in the salmon industry. It produced about 64,000 tonnes of salmon in 2017, representing nine per cent of total production in Chile. In 2017, it recorded revenue of US $399 million and a net profit of $73.40 million. Australis went into the fish farming business in 2003 when it acquired a freshwater smolt producer that already had 10 years’ experience, moving into on-growing salmon in seawater four years later. It was listed on the Chilean Stock Exchange in 2011. It has since grown to occupy a leading position in the Chilean salmon industry. The company produces a wide range of Atlantic and Pacific salmon and trout products.

US Foods executive to head AquaBounty AQUABOUNTY Technologies, the American company noted for its research and development of genetically modified fish, has appointed US Foods senior vice president Sylvia Wulf as its new chief executive and executive director. She is highly experienced in the food industry and previously held senior positions with Tyson Foods Inc, Sara Lee Corporation, and the Bunge Corporation. She is currently on the board of directors and the executive committee of the National Fisheries Institute. Her appointment is thought to have been planned to coincide with the company’s developing emphasis on the commercialisation of AquAdvantage Salmon, now that the majority of the required regulatory hurdles have been passed. She replaces Ronald Stotish, who is moving into a new role with the company.


World news.indd 16

Investors see potential in Africa A RECENT survey of professional investors revealed that a majority saw Africa as an attractive investment opportunity. The research, from Unleashing the Wealth in Nations, found that 64 per cent of professional investors expect foreign direct investment into Africa to increase over the next five years. And 46 per cent f professional investors believe Africa will enjoy some of the strongest economic growth of anywhere in the world. But the biggest obstacles to Africa reaching its potential are a lack of infrastructure, corruption and poor regulation. Aquaculture development on the continent has attracted recent investment, from companies such as Africa Century and Oakfield Holdings, principally in tilapia farming, in countires including Zimbabwe and Zambia. The survey found that 45 per cent of professional investors viewed Africa as an attractive investment opportunity, and just 27 per cent saw it as ‘unattractive’. The main reason why investors believe Africa will attract more foreign direct investment is because technological advances will help transform economies there – the view of 70 per cent of those interviewed. This was followed by 54 per cent who said the continent will become more appealing to investors because there will be greater stability in the region, followed by 44 per cent who said its young and fast-growing workforce gave it an advantage over many developed countries that have the opposite.

African aquaculture opens new Chapter THE formation of the African Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) was officially completed in November. Its remit is to operate throughout the continent and promote the growth of the industry. The Danish owned feed company Aller Aqua, which has a significant presence in Africa, announced it would sponsor the new African Chapter for its first three years. Niels Lundgaard, Aller Aqua’s commercial director for Africa, said: ‘It is important for us to continue to have a positive impact on aquaculture globally. Aquaculture is experiencing signifi-

cant growth, particularly in Africa, and it is vital to support initiatives which help ensure that growth of aquaculture is facilitated all over Africa. ‘This is done through research, as well as sharing knowledge. Besides our own activities, we can help achieve this through our support of the

Above: Niels Lundgaard

WAS African Chapter.‘ Aller Aqua has built feed mills in Egypt and Zambia. The CEO of Aller Aqua Egypt, Hussien Mansour, was positive about the new cooperation. ‘It is good to see the focus African aquaculture is experiencing. We see the growth first hand when talking to customers and we experience a great interest in our feeds.’ The president of the interim board of the African Chapter is Dr Sherif Sadek from Egypt. Dr John Walakira from Uganda is the interim president elect; Dr Flower Msuya from Tanzania is the interim treasurer; Zukiswa Nkhereanye is the interim secretary; and Blessing Mapfumo is the AC secretariat.

10/12/2018 16:08:31

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10/12/2018 12:20:38

Holyrood inquiry – Committee recommendations

Charter for growth? Salmon farms can’t be blamed for wild fish decline, MSPs find after year-long probe


Right: Fergus Ewing Opposite: Salmon farm


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RGENT action is needed to improve the regulation of the Scottish salmon farming industry and to address fish health and environmental challenges, the long awaited Scottish parliamentary report into the sector found. But the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee, which launched its inquiry into salmon farming in 2017, stepped back from demanding a moratorium on new salmon farm development and expansion of existing sites. The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) welcomed the findings, noting that the committee recognised the opportunities for sustainable growth. However, Rural Economy minister Fergus Ewing, an outspoken champion of the industry, said many of the REC recommendations were already being tackled by farmers in collaboration with the government. In its 148-page report, published on November 27, the committee said if the industry is to expand, there is a need to introduce ‘enhanced and more effective regulatory standards’ to ensure that fish health issues are properly managed and the impact on the environment is kept to a minimum. If these challenges are effectively addressed, then the industry, with its many economic and social benefits, and the communities it works with can continue to develop, said the report. The inquiry was sparked by a petition from the angling lobby group Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland, which called for a halt to expansion in the industry. But during lengthy evidence sessions, which lasted for two months and heard from salmon farmers, regulators, academics, anglers, environmental groups and government officials, the economic advantages of the sector were highlighted. Ewing told the committee in May that aquaculture contributed enormously to the rural economy and supported more than 12,000 jobs. As to the angling lobby’s claim that sea lice from salmon farms negatively impacted on wild salmon, the committee admitted there was ‘a lack of definitive scientific evidence on this issue’, and said there were ‘likely to be a range of factors that have contributed to the decline in wild salmon stocks over recent decades’. REC committee convenor Edward Mountain (Con, Highlands and Islands), whose ownership of valuable river fisheries led to accusations of a conflict of interest, said: ‘The salmon farming industry offers sig-

nificant economic and social value to Scotland, providing jobs and investment in rural areas. There is a desire within the industry to grow. ‘However, if this is to happen, it is essential that the serious challenges it faces, such as the control of sea lice, lowering fish mortality rates and reducing the sector’s impact on the environment, are addressed as a priority. Our report contains 65 recommendations on how this should be taken forward. ‘Importantly, the committee is strongly of the view that the status quo in terms of regulation and enforcement is not acceptable, and that we need to raise the bar in Scotland by setting enhanced and more effective standards.’ The committee noted that the current consenting and regulatory framework is confusing and poorly coordinated, and recommended that Marine Scotland should be tasked with delivering the necessary improvements and in taking on an overarching coordinating role. On sea lice, the committee recommended that there should be a mandatory approach to the reporting of infestations, enforced with penalties, and that reporting of lice data to regulators should be produced weekly in arrears, as happens in Norway. And no expansion should be permitted at sites which report high or significantly increased levels of mortalities, until these are addressed to the satisfaction of regulators. Yet, despite calls from anti-farming campaigners for a moratorium on new salmon farm development and expansion of existing

10/12/2018 16:00:52

Charter for growth?

sites, the committee decided there was ‘insufficient evidence to support this’. Disappointing Fergus Ewing said: ‘While we will carefully consider the committee’s recommendations, a number of sustainability issues identified in its report are already being addressed through the Fish Health Framework working groups and the new wild and farmed salmon interactions working group. ‘Aquaculture must be delivered and developed sustainably, with appropriate regulatory frameworks that minimise and address environmental impacts. ‘But we are also clear that the sector is hugely important to Scotland’s economy, particularly in remote and rural communities, and it is disappointing that the committee has not fully explored nor analysed that economic and social contribution and benefit more fully.’ The SSPO said it welcomed any changes in farming regulations that were ‘robust, inspire confidence in all stakeholders and are practical and workable’. ‘We agree with the committee that there is no evidence that salmon farming should not continue to grow sustainably,’ said SSPO chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird. ‘The Scottish salmon farming sector is at a critical phase of its development and the committee’s recommendation that regulation be improved to keep pace with potential growth is encouraging. ‘The sector is keen to work with Scottish

REC - This Rec.indd 19

There is no evidence that the industry should not continue to grow sustainably

parliamentary committees, the Scottish government, the regulators and other organisations who have interests, or indeed concerns, about salmon farming. ‘The health of our fish and the environment we depend on are vital for salmon farming and all SSPO members invest significantly in these areas. ‘Our members produce the world’s most sought after farmed salmon and are fully aware that, with that, comes the responsibility to ensure world class fish welfare and environmental standards. ‘To that end, the industry is already voluntarily reporting lice levels and is world leading in publishing survival data on a farm-by-farm basis.’ On the siting of salmon farms, the REC committee recommended that a precautionary approach be taken to address any potential impact of sea lice infestation from salmon farms on wild salmon. ‘There should be an immediate and proactive shift towards locating new farms in more suitable areas away from wild salmon migratory routes,’ the report stated. ‘Until such time as an enhanced regulation and enforcement is in place, the precautionary approach to applications for new sites and expansion of existing sites should be firmly and effectively applied. The Scottish government should provide strong and clear leadership to ensure this occurs.’ However, during his evidence session to the committee on May 9, Ewing said: ‘I contend that we already apply the precautionary principle.’ Hesketh-Laird said the SSPO welcomed the committee’s recommen-


10/12/2018 16:01:10

Holyrood inquiry – Committee recommendations

dation on the siting of farms and the recent move by SEPA (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) to support the development of larger farms. ‘The sector has long called for the flexibility to allow farming in more appropriate locations, while existing farms performing well should be supported to continue in doing so,’ she said. ‘The Scottish salmon farming industry employs over two thousand people on farms and supports thousands more in its supply chain, often in the most rural and economically vulnerable communities in Scotland. ‘The industry is committed to ensuring that any changes to its operations and regulations will protect the many livelihoods in rural Scotland.’ The REC committee made 11 recommendations addressing sea lice control and it welcomed the ongoing work of the government’s Fish Health Framework, which includes a review of voluntary sea lice compliance policy; the development of sea lice modelling; and an exploration of the potential benefits of site consolidation. The committee also backed the findings in March of the ECCLR (Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform) committee, calling for more research into the interactions between farmed and wild salmon. Other recommendations by the REC committee include: • On mortalities there should be a process in place which allows robust intervention by regulators when serious fish mortality events occur. It considers that this should include appropriate mechanisms to allow for the limiting or closing down of production until causes are addressed. • On the transportation of dead fish, the committee said it had not received any substantive evidence that points to any particular weakness or failing in the specific regulatory regime which covers such matters, but recommended that a review should be conducted

by the Animal and Plant Health Agency. • On predators, the committee believes physical barriers should be used ahead of deterrents such as Acoustic Deterrent Devices, which potentially have a harmful impact on cetacean species such as whales and dolphins. • On closed containment, the committee recognises that the technology has challenges, including its physical footprint whether on land or at sea; energy costs; carbon output; stock welfare issues; and the potentially negative impact on perceptions of provenance and quality. • On escapes, the committee notes that strict penalties are in place in Norway to deal with escapes and recommends that appropriate sanctions should be developed and introduced in Scotland. • On medicines, the committee recommends that information and data on medicine use by the industry should be made publicly available, on the same platform as that relating to sea lice and mortality rates. The REC report will be debated in Holyrood early in the New Year, with any legislative impact to follow. Read the full report at More reactions: Next page. FF


REC - This Rec.indd 20

Left and above: The report made recommendations on everything from the siting of farms, to seal deterrents, to medicine use.

10/12/2018 16:01:35

Holyrood inquiry – Reactions to the REC report

Platform to move forward Marine Harvest: we expect the regulatory system to advance along with us

Voice of communities missing

FORMER Marine Harvest executive Steve Bracken said he agreed with many of the recommendations, including the reporting of sea lice data SCOTLAND’S biggest salmon in real time, and improving the farmer said the REC recdisposal of mortalities, and said ommendations would the report provided a ‘platform help guide responsible growth to satisfy grow- to move forward’. And he said it was good that ing demand for its housing, infrastructure and digiproducts. tal connectivity were mentioned Marine Harvest in the report as these are all managing director fundamental to the future of Ben Hadfield said: the industry. ‘While acknowledgBut he warned that the biging the economic and gest threat, and one the wild food contribution the lobby would round on, was the salmon farming sector recommendation about moving provides, the commitsmaller farms offshore. tee recommends several ‘That’s the biggest issue we’ll important regulatory improvements that will help guide responsible have,’ he said. ‘The big farms will be fine but what will it growth of our business. ‘We are pleased to see the committee’s appreciation for salmon farm- mean for smaller operators, and for bigger producers with some ing’s contribution to our domestic and export foods, and the sustainasmaller farms? bility of rural communities. ‘It all needs to be scrutinised ‘We also acknowledge, and agree with, the committee’s statement to see how it will work in practhat the future of the sector’s regulatory regime will not be the status tice. Also, if farms are doing the quo. ‘We would expect our regulatory system to advance along with and, in right thing and investing in sea lice controls and demonstrating fact, lead sector development.’ Hadfield added that, like all farming, ‘we have our challenges that need to be addressed, and focus on reducing negative impacts should remain top priority for the business and its regulators’. Marine Harvest said, in a statement on its website, that it is pleased to see recommendations for continued improvement to: consumer education, data reporting, organic waste management, fish health, monitoring and regulatory enforcement, workforce development and housing, strategic siting guidance, science funding, and collaboration between farmed and wild fish sectors. ‘While some committee recommendations are already being led by Marine Harvest (wrasse culture, sea lice reporting, wild fish sector collaboration), there are new initiatives the company will look forward to collaborating on with key stakeholders.’

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that they’re doing their best, then something comes along and takes a swipe – like an algal bloom – and creates high mortality, you can’t say that’s bad husbandry or the farm is being badly managed. ‘Farms can be affected by one thing and then another, that’s nature not bad management. It’s not in farmers’ interests to run their farms badly. Are you going to say they have to be relocated?’ Bracken also pointed out what he believes is a major omission by the REC committee. ‘What’s really missing from the report is the voice of the communities around the salmon farms. What would they say, the ones who’ve got the jobs, the petrol station, the schools?’ ‘It’s a fundamental flaw in all this that they’re not mentioned and I hope it’s addressed in the forthcoming debate.’ Bracken said the word ‘community’ was mentioned just eight times in the lengthy report.


10/12/2018 16:05:04

Holyrood inquiry – Reactions to REC report

Whole exercise completely unjustified

Little recognition of huge economic benefits

MARTIN Jaffa, the aquaculture consultant who has written extensively on wild and farmed salmonid interactions, said: ‘The REC committee should never have agreed to an inquiry based on the evidence presented in the petition.’ This stated that ‘fisheries scientists are increasingly clear that sea lice produced on fish farms harm wild salmonids’, but did not offer any definitive proof that salmon farms are responsible for declines in wild fish numbers, said Jaffa.‘Submissions countering the claims in the petition were seemingly ignored. At most, the committee should have requested more information on the interactions between salmon farms, sea lice and wild fish. ‘However, at the suggestion of the convenor, a full inquiry into the aquaculture industry was launched even though it was completely unjustified.’

STEWART Graham, managing director of Gael Force Group and co-chair of the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group (AILG), said: ‘My personal view of this report is that there is much in it THE Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) welcomed the to welcome and worthy of further incentive the report gives to growth in the industry. consideration, and indeed much Heather Jones, chief executive of SAIC, said: ‘The Rural Economy and Connectivity committee report means, as a collective, the aqua- that is already being done by the industry. culture sector can now focus its attention on delivering sustainable ‘The reporting process itself, growth in an increasingly important area of Scotland’s economy. however, could be significantly ‘The industry provides thousands of highly skilled jobs to rural comimproved, and lessons should munities and produces a premium global export product to very high be learned from allowing such standards of environmental protection and fish husbandry. a committee to be chaired by ‘Further innovation will be a critical part of how we take salmon someone who has a self-declared farming forward, with SAIC playing a critical role in bringing uniconflict of interest. This will alversities and industry together to maintain Scotland’s position as a ways have a risk of devaluing such pioneer in global aquaculture. ‘Working with the Scottish government and other stakeholders, we a piece of work, whether through perceived or real shortcomings will also continue our work with the delivery of the 10-year Farmed due to bias. Fish Health Framework which, along with the many research and ‘I do welcome, though, the fact development projects that are already underway across the country, that it is at last published, as it will support many of the report’s recommendations.’ has caused unnecessary uncertainty and no doubt slowed down industry progress and investment plans. Certainly, we have had to defer AILG meetings twice until the report was published. ‘The report itself, however, does not fully recognise the huge economic benefits brought to Scotland through our industry, and it does not recognise that as a form of major protein production we are hugely efficient in comparison to most other forms of protein production. ‘Neither does the report recognise that, for all human and economic activity, there is some environmental impact. In the case

Now sector can focus on further innovation


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of aquaculture we get a fantastic output, in terms of super healthy protein and unmatched sustainable rural economic growth, for very small environmental impact. ‘Also, much of the report does not recognise that looking at last year almost in isolation, which had exceptional biological challenges, rather skews the performance of the industry which, for example, this year has thus far had a dramatically better fish health performance. ‘Disappointingly, we have seen little focus in the report’s findings that there is likely to be a range of factors contributing to the decline of wild salmon stocks (not least, the catching and killing of them), while there is no scientific evidence of salmon farming’s impact on wild fish populations. ‘That said, I - and I guess many in the industry - would agree with much of what the report recommends. The ability to continue to grow sustainably on sites that are deemed capable of accommodating growth and with access to additional sites, perhaps in higher energy locations, will, I believe, find broad agreement in the industry. ‘In general, I fully support openness and transparency; however, disruptive action by radicals targeting a farm or operation that is fighting to manage a biological challenge will need to be policed and taken cognisance of in policy around this.’

10/12/2018 16:05:23

Platform to move forward

Anglers welcome relocation threat Guy Linley-Adams of Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS) welcomed the report. Although it didn’t go as far as recommending a moratorium on expansion, the angling group said it was pleased it recommended that poorly sited existing farms should be relocated away from the mouths of rivers. ‘This report is a strong vindication of the campaign S&TCS has spearheaded for some years now, and the arguments we have been putting forward, often in the face of sharp criticism from both the industry and Scottish

government alike,’ said Linley-Adams. ‘We are pleased to see that the REC committee has recognised that the law is currently insufficient to protect wild salmon and sea trout from the damaging impacts of salmon farming. ‘We now look to Scottish government to grasp the nettle and move quickly to legislate to improve markedly the protection of wild salmon and sea trout from the negative impacts of salmon farming.’ See Nick Joy’s column page 74.

Left: The launch in Holyrood last year of Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS)’s film about what it claimed were salmon farming’s effects on wild stocks: front (l to r) Emma Harper MSP (SNP), Mairi Evans MSP (event sponsor) (SNP), Hughie Campbell Adamson (S&TCS chairman), Finlay Carson MSP (Con); rear – Liam Kerr MSP (Con), Alexander Burnett MSP (Con), Edward Mountain MSP (Con), Peter Chapman MSP (Con), Gordon Lindhurst MSP (Con), Andrew GrahamStewart (S&TCS director). Both Mountain and Chapman sit on th REC committee.




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+44 (0) 1371 851868 23

10/12/2018 16:41:59

Industry review – SEPA

New model for modern industry

Environment agency favours larger farms in ‘sustainable locations’


COTTISH fish farms will be able to expand, with larger farms in ‘sustainable locations’, but will be subject to tighter environmental controls, under proposals for a revised regulatory regime published on November 7 by SEPA. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s 16-month investigation into salmon farms concludes that medicines, particularly emamectin benzoate used in the control of sea lice, significantly impacts local marine environments. The agency, which said it was looking to improve the environmental performance of fish farming, calls for a new approach to such drugs, subject to a further review by the UK Technical Advisory Group. It also proposes tighter standards for the organic waste deposited by fish farms, and the introduction of more accurate modelling, which operators will be required to invest in. The creation of a new enforcement unit will strengthen the checking and verifying of monitoring that fish farm operators must undertake. SEPA’s Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan and revised regulatory regime also recommends stronger monitoring of the impact of fish farms in surrounding areas. SEPA said the combination of the new standard, new modelling and enhanced monitoring – with a system called EXPAND - will allow the siting of farms in ‘the most appropriate areas where the environment can assimilate wastes’, and allow a better match between biomass and the capacity available in the environment. Scotland’s salmon farmers have ambitions to double growth in the sector and the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) welcomed SEPA’s move away from current farm limitations. ‘This is a rigorous report setting out modern regulation and enabling the industry to grow sustainably over the long term,’ said SSPO chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird. ‘It is the culmination of years of collaborative work between the Scottish salmon farmers and SEPA to develop a new framework for the gradual and careful expansion of the Scottish salmon sector. We share SEPA’s vision of an innovative, sustainable salmon industry underpinned by clear and accurate regulation. ‘This report will remove many of the barriers


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preventing the development of more modern facilities further from the shore and we look forward to SEPA’s support as the industry makes this change.’ The SSPO also welcomed the move to refer SEPA’s findings on emamectin benzoate to the UK Technical Advisory Group before making recommendations on new environmental standards. ‘The discovery of residues is important information but it should be remembered that salmon farmers were operating to SEPA guidelines throughout the past five years,’ said Hesketh-Laird. ‘The management of sea lice on farms has moved on considerably from reliance on veterinary medicines. ‘However, salmon farmers need the reassurance that veterinary medicines are available should the need arise and we will be keen to study the recommendations from the UK Technical Advisory Group.’ The SSPO said the new model will be used to understand the potential environmental footprint of farms. ‘The model will move away from current limitations and help regulate farm activity in a more modern and accurate way. ‘The new regulatory framework supports the development of larger farms and may mean that some farms are best moved to more appropriate locations.’ SEPA said that, overall, the proposals will ‘encourage operators to site and operate their fish farms in environmentally less sensitive waters and use improved practices and technologies to reduce environmental impact’. ‘In practice, we anticipate this will lead to fewer fish farms in shallower, slow-flowing waters and more fish farms in deeper and faster-flowing waters. ‘We also anticipate it will encourage the adoption of new technologies, such as partial and full containment to capture organic waste and any remaining medical residues. ‘SEPA has seen some industry operators successfully developing new approaches such as non-chemical ways of managing fish health. Our new regime will support these encouraging developments. ‘As one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture, SEPA believes its proposals have the potential to significantly improve the environmental performance of the industry.’ Terry A’Hearn, chief executive of SEPA, said that over the last 16 months the agency had done ‘more science, more analysis and more listening than ever before’. ‘Whilst a high quality environment and abundant freshwater resources are vital to Scotland’s aquaculture sector, it’s an industry that attracts polarised positions, from those who cite its economic contribution, to those who stridently oppose its existence.’ He said SEPA agreed with the findings in March of the Holyrood ECCLR (Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform) committee that ‘the status quo is not an option’. A seven-week public consultation followed publication of the proposals, with SEPA hosting a series of nine events across Scotland during November and December. People can still have their say until December 24 via

This will remove many of the barriers preventing the development of facilities further from the shore

10/12/2018 15:58:46

New model for modern industry


* NEW TIGHTER STANDARDS FOR ORGANIC WASTE DEPOSITED BY FISH FARMS Heavier, organic particles (fish faeces and uneaten food), together with any medicines sticking to them, are deposited on the sea floor. Natural biological processes then break down and assimilate the material over time. The tighter standard limits the spatial extent of the mixing zone around farms. The controls we will apply to these mixing zones will bring them into equivalence with modern practice on mixing zones for other waste effluent discharges into the sea, including those from urban waste water. * MORE POWERFUL MODELLING USING THE BEST AVAILABLE SCIENCE The new regulatory framework will use new, more accurate computer modelling approaches that will improve our understanding of the risk to the local environment and allow assessment of the larger scale impacts including interactions with other farms. * ENHANCED ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND NEW ENFORCEMENT UNIT Operators will be required to invest in more accurate monitoring, including of waste coming from fish farms. The creation of a new enforcement unit will strengthen the checking and verifying of monitoring that fish farm operators are required to undertake. SEPA will also increase and strengthen monitoring of the impact of fish farms in surrounding areas.

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* NEW INTERIM APPROACH FOR CONTROLLING THE USE OF EMAMECTIN BENZOATE SEPA has asked the UK Technical Advisory Group (UK TAG), a partnership of the UK environment and conservation agencies, to make recommendations on new environmental standards for emamectin benzoate to the Scottish government. While this work continues, SEPA will adopt a precautionary principle position which imposes a much tighter interim standard for the use of emamectin benzoate at any new site. * NEW APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE SITING OF FARMS The combination of the new standard, the more accurate model and enhanced monitoring will allow the siting of farms in the most appropriate areas where the environment can assimilate wastes. It will also allow SEPA to better match biomass to the capacity available in the environment and continue to assess that through the operation of the site. This may allow for the approval of larger farms than would have been traditionally approved previously, provided they are appropriately sited in sustainable locations. Overall, the proposals will combine to encourage operators to site and operate their fish farms in environmentally less sensitive waters and use improved practices and technologies to reduce environmental impact. Above: Terry A’Hearn


10/12/2018 15:59:05

Industry platform – Loch Duart

SEPA plans ‘will hurt smaller farms’ Sustainable producers should have freedom to farm inshore or offshore


EW plans to tighten regulations for Scottish salmon farms will negatively impact smaller operators, a leading producer warns. The recently published proposals by SEPA (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) aim to strengthen environmental controls over the sector, and usher in a new approach, with larger farms sited in ‘sustainable locations’. Announcing its recommendations in November, SEPA said: ‘In practice, we anticipate this will lead to fewer fish farms in shallower, slow-flowing waters and more fish farms in deeper and faster-flowing waters.’ But Alban Denton, managing director of Loch Duart, said any move to larger, high energy, offshore operations would negatively impact the company more severely than larger operators in Scotland. ‘Our successful business model is around smaller, gentler, less impactful operations,’ he said. ‘Loch Duart’s approach involves establishing well sited farms, stocked at low density and fallowed for longer than regulation periods. ‘We can currently, and historically, demonstrate its effectiveness. Some of our sites have been farmed effectively since 1975. ‘Loch Duart has been virtually lice free for the past two seasons and is one of the best and most consistent performers, from an environmental perspective. ‘The techniques Loch Duart use to achieve this success are much less effective further out to sea. The very mechanisms we use to deliver our exceptional environmental and welfare performance are low energy systems and small pens; this works close to shore.’ These methods include the use of wrasse and freshwater to control sea lice and gill infections/ issues. Loch Duart deploys floating desalination plants, operated from a barge, which would not work on sites further offshore. ‘We have some unique ways that are entirely aligned to our relatively modest scale in size and our low impact way of working, but segues beautifully into the non-medicinal contribution that our approch with wrasse and freshwater make to the


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operation,’ said Denton. ‘You can’t do it offshore.’ The company has been using cleaner fish for four years – specifically wrasse which, said Denton, are much more effective – and the strategy has become increasingly successful, with ‘rapidly developing’ skill sets, knowledge and technology. ‘Our cleaner fish team are as effective as anyone’s out there. Some of that is due to our small scale and intense focus on wrasse husbandry and is rooted in gleaning and sharing knowledge from their peers across the salmon farming industry.’ The Loch Duart approach has resulted not just in excellent sea lice control, but also in lower stocking ratios of cleaner fish. ‘Our density of wrasse to salmon has decreased enormously in the last four years,’ said Denton. ‘The amount we get every year is declining against the growing volume of salmon that we’re producing. ‘So our percentage of stocking wrasse to salmon is diluting every year, so our pressure on the wild stocks is reducing year on year. ‘Loch Duart have a close and successful relationship with the inshore fishery regulators in both England and Scotland – where we seek to lead the best

Above: Alban Denton Opposite: Loch Duart farmer Alick MacCorquodale

10/12/2018 15:57:58

SEPA plans ‘will hurt smaller farms’

We have been virtually lice free for the past two seasons

practices in wrasse sustainability.’ This achievement, in the sustainable and effective use of wrasse, depends on the way Loch Duart farms. ‘The reality of wrasse is that they’re really effective when you’ve got them in relatively small, relatively low energy pens, where a single wrasse is never more than 10m from its reef or its imitation kelp, and when it comes out into the pen it finds 10,000 fish in low density numbers. ‘When you place a wrasse in a 180m circle and it’s got 90m to swim before it finds a reef, and when it swims it finds 140,000 fish, that’s asking a lot more from the wrasse.’ Denton said while high energy sites may be using wrasse, he believes they will be much less effective than when in an attempted re-creation of their natural environment. ‘A wrasse is an inshore coastal fish, it thrives in low energy and gentler waters- and that’s where it sits most of its day. ‘The trained wrasse operates broadly as a car wash system – the salmon comes along, it parks itself near the reef. The symbiotic relationship between the two animals means the wrasse nips out, takes away the irritation and gets fed, and the salmon moves on. Bob’s your uncle, everybody’s happy! ‘They have found a cooperative way of living and working together…the net result of which is we have a virtually lice free track record for the last two years.’ Denton said his company was just about the last independent Scottish salmon farming business, producing up to 5,150 tonnes at its peak, and maintaining high levels of employment in the most fragile of rural communities. The SEPA plans would benefit the much larger international businesses at the expense of the smaller, local businesses like Loch Duart, which farms in Sutherland and the Outer Hebrides. ‘What they are doing is creating barriers to entry. And the biggest barrier to entry they’re putting there is capital. ‘The enormous amount of cash that you need to build a high energy, large offshore site and the working capital to fund it through to harvest weight is eye watering. ‘And everything clearly has to be done offshore so your well vessels, your harvesting, your feeding systems, it all multiplies and it’s big because it’s offshore. ‘Whereas we can run people out in wee boats backwards and forwards, and we can rapidly restock out at sea because we’re a 20-minute boat ride

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away and the landing craft does it from a shore base. That’s not possible when you’re several miles offshore.’ Denton said the company had made a submission to SEPA, which has put its proposals out for public consultation. ‘We are confident that our outstanding record in strong fish welfare and in environmental performance will withstand whatever criteria SEPA are setting to promote offshore sites. ‘I suspect that they are not going to come after us and try to close us down. But, nonetheless, there is just the gentle realignment and resettlement in people’s minds about what is the correct and valid way to farm fish. ‘The ‘on land in tank’ option currently does not add up and doesn’t match consumer preferences for more natural salmon grown in free flowing seawater.’ On a more positive note, he welcomed the more sophisticated modelling tool developed by SEPA, which means farmers will no longer have to use the old tool ‘we all know is flawed’. ‘I’m not saying the next one is not flawed but at least there is an admission that the first one is. Version two is going to be a refinement and an improvement on that, which is good news. ‘The big message is that we’ve got to work on science and not on politics, that’s what it comes down to. ‘You should be allowed to farm, if you’ve got exceptional welfare and exceptional environmental standards- it shouldn’t really matter whether it’s a low energy and inland, big or small site. ‘If you’re demonstrating scientifically that your impact on the environment meets the standards set, then there should be a freedom to farm inshore or offshore – on a larger or on a smaller scale.’ FF


10/12/2018 15:55:53

Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation

What a catch! Regulator turned industry insider explains her career change


HE aquaculture industry might have been surprised when Anne Anderson left her senior role at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to represent salmon farmers, but her colleagues at the regulator had seen it coming. ‘They understood completely why I was going,’ she said. ‘Many had seen me working on aquaculture days and seen me working on the other four and a half days of the week and they could tell the difference!’ Anderson, a regulator for 30 years but new to fish farming, began visiting farms in early 2017 as part of SEPA’s review of the sector, working on the agency’s recently published report. ‘I hadn’t had any real experience of the industry so made a lot of effort,’ she said, talking to Fish Farmer just four weeks into her job as sustainability director of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO). In SEPA, she’d had experience of every other industry, but aquaculture was the last one she was tasked with, and it proved to be a major turning point in her career. ‘As a regulator, you get to explore any avenue and really question purposes, behaviours and intents,’ she said. ‘I was inspired by the people who made up the sector and felt I wanted to be part of it. ‘Without a shadow of a doubt, there are lots of significant challenges


Wester Ross.indd 28

that they’re facing, addressing and continue to address. But there’s a kind of collective positivity, sheer determination and capability, regardless of the scale of the challenges. ‘What I found when I started was that exponential scale of forward looking, in terms of investment and ideas, but no matter who you spoke to – and I always make a point when I’m out and about of speaking to as many people as possible – I was getting a real common sense of love of the environment, the places where they farm, the products that they’re producing, and almost like a real fierce protection of it, the industry and the environment. ‘You can’t have good fish health without a good environment, and that was coming across in every conversation I was having, the link between the two. ‘There was a determination to address and overcome the environmental, the biological, the viral, whatever the challenge was, essential-

10/12/2018 15:52:16

What a catch!

ly recognising that they’re farming in a changing climate and adapting to continue producing that quality product. For me, that’s a highly positive environment, and I was hooked!’ In fact, Anderson said she could not have moved into the sector if she believed there was a deliberate intent to harm, in any aspect of its operations. ‘It would be contrary to 30 years of everything I’ve been leading to before.’ After being a professional regulator, ‘largely doing the same type of roles and just moving up the rankings, with responsibilities getting larger’, she found the world of salmon farming fascinating. ‘It tapped back into brain cells I hadn’t used for some time….I think because of the scale and pace of change.’ Anderson spent 18 months working with aquaculture, preparing the ground for SEPA’s reClockwise from top left: Anne port, and although she had left for the SSPO by Anderson on a wrasse fishing trip with Wester the time the findings were eventually published Ross Salmon, with Mark in November, she said most of the content was as she expected. ‘Bobo’ MacLeod (right) One proposal is to replace the 15-year old and Gilpin Bradley, method of modelling with a more accurate sysMacLeod and Mike Peterson (left) tem of monitoring the potential environmental footprint of farms. She agrees that the industry has moved forward

Wester Ross.indd 29

and now the regulator has to keep up, and not the other way around. ‘As a regulator working in the public sector, that’s quite typically what you find…that the regulator is the last to the party in terms of innovation and keeping up to date.’ While she doesn’t underestimate the work ahead, she acknowledges what is already being done by the industry to improve its environmental credentials. She said when she first started to ask questions at farms, she found operations that were ‘beyond compliance’, ‘world leading, multi-benefit and ultimately driving a greater, more sustainable business in whichever avenue I was looking at’. ‘A very strong point the sector was demonstrating for me as a regulator wasn’t just one aspect of its business that it was paying heed to, it was a common approach that was being taken regardless of what part of that team you were in.’ This applied to suppliers as well as producers, something Anderson believes is unique to the industry and perhaps a result of it being relatively young. ‘What I’ve seen is an industry that recognises the range of challenges but is prepared to face them and tackle them, and the people with the will and the determination and the passion and talent to do so.’ There have been some concerns over SEPA’s proposals for ‘optimum sites’ further offshore, making it harder for smaller, inshore farms to survive. But Anderson said that if new regulatory conditions are met, no sites should be threatened. ‘Regardless of where you are sited...if you’re in compliance, I’ve not read anything that intends a closure of sites in that way.’ Anderson’s remit at the SSPO is to help farmers comply with environmental criteria, as she champions best practice in farming and fish health.

I was inspired by the people who “ made up the sector and felt I wanted to be part of it ”


10/12/2018 15:52:37

Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation

She will be helping the industry implement the Farmed Fish Health Framework, which includes building relations with the wild salmonid sector, and the SPPO is represented on the new farmed and wild interactions group. A large part of the job will be building trust and dispelling the ‘myths’ about salmon farming in Scotland, as she had to do, coming in as an outsider. ‘You hear the stories but you’ve got to park them and form your own opinion and ask the questions of anybody and everybody involved in the sector,’ she said. From her experience of agriculture and the farming community over the years, she had seen a recognition that you can’t have live species without a balanced environment, whatever environment that is. ‘Fundamentally, it’s quite basic, the healthier the environment, the healthier the fish.’ But even if Scotland’s salmon farmers do everything that’s required of them, which would make them possibly the best performing industry in the world, will they ever achieve a change in perceptions? ‘It’s about being able to demonstrate the reality,’ Anderson said, ‘and that comes with the confidence of having robust regulation and scientific evidence that’s recognised and accepted.’ She believes it is up to everyone who is involved with aquaculture in


Wester Ross.indd 30

Scotland to play their part in addressing all these questions. Her primary target in the months ahead is developing and coordinating a strategy for sustainable business to support growth, and to

10/12/2018 15:53:05

What a catch! Everyone who has an interest in salmon farming will have ‘an important part to play in assisting and identifying the solutions for a lot of the recommendations’ of the committee reports. It will fall to Anderson to ensure that the industry’s desire to meet its 2030 ambition fits in with the regulators’ desire to improve its sustainability. ‘There’s a multitude of already committed work and I think the key thing is making sure it all fits and is complementary and not contradictory or duplicating,’ she said. ‘Certainly, my experience has been in getting on top of the issues and being comfortable in doing that before you start investing to go further. That seems a highly logical thing for any business to consider doing. ‘A very common expression I’ve heard around the industry is that we have this long term goal but, in the meantime, we have some significant issues to address – that we’re already working to address -and we wish to get them on to the next stage so we can grow.’ Her new job has been ‘full on’ so far, said Anderson, and even this early on, she knows she has her work cut out for her. ‘But I’m at my most dangerous when I’m bored - I don’t think I’ll have a chance for that for quite some time!’ FF

Late season luck

‘make the industry resilient for what’s coming round the corner’. And since starting with the SSPO, she has wasted no time observing salmon farming from her new perspective. Apart from an enlightening day out wrasse fishing with Wester Ross (see box), she has witnessed the entire Marine Harvest processing operation, from aboard the wellboat Ronja Challenger, to the harvesting station at Mallaig, to the factory in Fort William. She now plans to get to know and understand each of the businesses within the SSPO, ‘looking to see their differences’. With two committee inquiries completed but the process of parliamentary scrutiny still ongoing, Anderson thinks she has arrived in the sector at the right time. ‘I think with that level of interest it does mean you’ve got a momentum there that’s supported by a range of people with a range of different reasons, but nonetheless they’re wanting to come in and discuss and to work forward.’

Wester Ross.indd 31

Left: Anderson and MacLeod inspect the rest of the ‘catch’ Below: Anderson, getting to know the industry

WESTER Ross Salmon deploys locally caught wild ballan wrasse on its farm sites to control sea lice. The cleaner fish have now become an integral part of the company’s husbandry, keeping the salmon happy and helping them to thrive. The wrasse fishermen, Mark ‘Bobo’ MacLeod, Mike Peterson and Tessa Dorian, tend to fish during the warmer and calmer months, along the coast of Loch Broom, Little Loch Broom and Loch Kannaird in Wester Ross. The fishing season starts in late April and usually lasts until late September but, due to the favourable weather conditions, this year’s season lasted until the end of November. On the day the team took Anne Anderson fishing, late in November, it was exceptionally sunny and the fishermen had an especially successful catch. Only carefully selected fish traps are used, to minimise any bycatch of other local species. The experienced team selects acceptable sizes, returning the smallest and the largest to the sea to maintain a sustainable wild supply for the next generation of salmon farmers. ‘We need to preserve the breeding stock and help to protect local stocks for future generations,’ said Wester Ross boss Gilpin Bradley. All of the selected catch goes straight into salmon pens as an all-natural treatment solution to the challenge of wild sea lice. During the winter months, the wrasse are kept in pens with salmon and are fed a naturally sourced local diet. They are also kept in holding pens, where they receive supplementary food. Wester Ross farmers have designed and built wrasse shelters which mimic the species’ natural habitat and include a variety of hides and seaweed lines. ‘Our wrasse programme has been and continues to be a great success,’ said Bradley.


10/12/2018 15:53:26

Trade Associations – SSPO Comment Comment


Underpinning Out with the old No alternative provenance

Even mainstream sourcessystem have embraced the fake news phenomenon Deal will allow the media UK an orderly for exit from the EU


OGMANAY is traditionally marked by journalistic reviews of the Do we think enough about predictions what gives the passing year and tongue-in-cheek 12nowamonths AVID Attenborough said recently that he criesabout more the easily to come. However, as the bells tolled out, it was clear that an days. If that can be generalised to reflect an association with ageindustry its edge in key markets? extended period of reflection will be needed to understand the

to the formal launch of the UK Brexit process in March, the your populist election of French presber of atoclub, ultimate political leverage ident Emannuel Macron in May, to the wholly is always the threat to leave. A member who of the snap UK general cannot leaveoutcome is permanently weakened and will ing, there must be lots of old codgers all over the country crying in unexpected election in in June, to the (still unresolved) political, social economic consequences of the European and global always be a disadvantaged position. impact their beerand on the present state of Brexit. the provenance of their products she quickly sensed an aut may be politi correct tomonths say sotears at ofdepend thetoGerman election in September, to the events ofnot 2017. And itcally will be several before its As theonactuality of the deal, the Withdrawal Significantly, for many, the cause of their will 2018 not bereveals the terms dienceindependence response and referendum moved toall safer comedic present but farmed c salmon Catalan inofOctober, direction ofthat travel. Agreement has achieved almost what it material: there are some of the deal TheresaAtlanti May has placedwould on the UK table, or the myriad things you just jokefor not have become Scotland’s leading to the settlement of terms theallow Brexitthe divorce What is not in dispute is that wasbyfood a day. year of surging upheaval and was seeking and,don’t crucially, itabout! will UK perceived alternatives that pop2017 up day However, her left me asking exportFrom thewholesale Crown Estate’s positive in lastremark year’s news was characterchange. ofbreakdown US president in January, anDecember, orderly system for exit from the EU. myself whether we think enough Rather, itwithout willthe be inauguration the of Donald the UK’sTrump political sysabout underpinning ofpolitical, the provenance of Scottish farmed fish – and engagement aquaculture development ised by athe constant stream of Likewise, the Political Declaration onsocial the and tems and the with humbling and shaming performance of the collection of for merelationship that’s farmed salmon. back in the 1980s. uncertainties. future between the EU and the self-obsessed grandstanders who characterise, and seemingly shape, our economic There no doubtframework that Scottimight provenance Those optimistic nature be (the hope- is important to our indusNow, aquaculture a significant part of the UK offersofisaan positive inshwhich various parliamentaryis establishments. trythat – itchallenging) gives will us the edge in all key markets. ful things settle down in our the coming agency’s marine portfto olio andforis less regualways negotiations on trade can As a country, weleasing have come look and less from our political months. However, trade negotiations Provenance canthe be Brexit defined in various ways but most people will agree larly celebrated by the Crown Scotti take place. leaders. Well, if less is what we Estate’s are looking forshit seems at present that between the and EU not start earnest that beyond thewill appearance Marine Aquaculture Awards event. This year’s Thus,it ifgoes youUK accept the premise thatinitand wassensory qualities of the final we will not be disappointed. until March, and current evidence suggests product: avour, texture, visual on and product consistency event in Edinburgh the shows 11 June was the system at its worst, and the will of flUK voters to exit the EUpresentati but maintain The ongoing Brexiton circus the political will be key continued unrest in the always factorspolitical in consumer appeal but provenance is about usualthe highly successful forofScotti sh and declining Britain that there aare close trading arrangement with Europe, there runs risk of providingshowcase a narrative a failing UK, within and between member states,to much more. aquaculture andfuture a rareofopportunity indusseems no logical reason the not EU to move forward could blight the our childrenfor and children’s children. and the unpredictable political quality assurance, including: Itarising reflectsfrom a wider concept of consumer try toall join together mark its success. acceptance. Like good stories,tothe Brexit tale will eventually have a recognised in where the US. the thethe fishoutcome is grownwill and the professional The Crown Estate is presently the centre Theplace argument that beprocessed; less beginning, middle and end but, atatpresent, the endpoint is still anyone’s situation Challenges in long-term planning integrity of the producti on and processing of further devolution discussions between the financially beneficial thanbusiness staying within the methods; and the quality, guess. decisions are setpeople toknown continue. commitment and care the involved UK government shdecision government. TheCameron to cast a binary and EU isinvestment not in question butof has been right – the professional skills, The start will beand theScotti foolish of David However, thepassion business mood in the remains experti dedicati onUK ofinvolved the producers themselves. long-term future key Scottishon functi ons re- sea of a clearly divided from these, outset, andand the differences referendum on EUof membership the stormy generally upbeat despite reduction In Scotland ourand, ‘place of producti on’ gives could be substantially offset bysome expanded UK us a huge natural advannation, in the apparent hope thatexperti the ‘right result’ would emerge. mains unclear and professional se could economic growth rate,fithe performance international trade. tage because we grow sh in the pristine coastal waters of some of The tangled, messy story will reflectonal the failure of politicians to in be squandered in themiddle process of organisati ofthe industry sectors, food andareas drink,ofthe There arebeauti understandable concerns about agree and understand what Brexit really implied, and to proceed on a most fulincluding and wild scenic the world, and our brand is change. remains strong. backstop arrangements that relate to Northwell defined set of strategic objectives. protected by its PGI status. Both the Crown Estate’s core expertise and AtLikewise, this stage, it looks ifthe UKScotti businesses are ern Ireland (which are amplified bysh the UK’s TheMarine denouement will beAwards whatever adopti on as of Finfi sh Code of Good Practice the Aquaculture areemerges impor- from the present parlialive with the high levelsneither of to a range of independent traditional of France). However, mentary chaos. And the disti epilogue? the foolishness of the nation simply allied learning withdistrust thetoindustry’s deep commitment tant in maintaining nctive Possibly coherence and they likely to continue to Ireland nor the UK willare actprogrammes, to restore a hard to to its historic view that UK still farm quality assurance including the RSPCA fish welfare of cling Scotland’s aquaculture and the it would behas a a strong and stable politi- uncertainty, do so throughout 2018. In these circumstances, border, and both will work to ensure that the cal system, in which statesmanship is still a hallmark. scheme, builds on the underlying strength of our statutory regulatory tragedy if they became casualties of political there is much merit our in the British adage: backstop arrangements areold never Along the way, the public will have learned that our politicians, as a systems to assure producti ontriggered. systems. change. Keep calm the and carry Moreover, once theon. UK is ase, free-standing class, often no better informed in thebypractical everyday process of Finally, skills, experti passion and dedication of our farmers Thisare year’s Awards event was hosted Below the big headlines, my choice for most nation, position in resisting any unwanted making and comedian decisions than mosteld, voters. Above: Lumpsucker can beits demonstrated in abundance day in and day out – and they were actress,choices writer and Jo Caulfi an significant feature of 2017 was the growth introduction of the backstop will be strengthMost people know from their own life experiences the issues of making showcased by the recent awards event. of inspired choice by whoever made the booking. fake news. There always been a human ened, because ofhas our ability to threaten decisions and negotiating the best options from what’s available – it’s However, being wholly objecti ve andpenalforward looking, it is this third She was very funny and entertaining and kept tendency to construct convincing narratives what they do, day after day. area of provenance where the Scotti sh industry has greatest scope for the proceedings going with a swing. Only once whatever scientific, social This should rulewondered out somewhat of the‘provecurrent alternatives to May’s from systemati c development. Thatoriseconomic not to say that our industry’s skills did she stray,logically when she facts can be drawn from the evidence; deal. In particular, the notion that a second referendum will lead to and professional expertise available are not of the highest calibre, but it is to nance actually meant’. and often such narratives support the interests a better decision that most of the UK population will accept is simply recognise that our vocational educati onal and training structures, and In a room full of folk whose livelihoods or beliefs of the narrator. fanciful. But 2017 witnessed the emergence of a quite 12And the idea that having gone through Brexit we can re-enter the EU different phenomenon: a narrative process in on the same terms as before is little short of bizarre. If you are a memwhich well researched facts, passing opinion,

should “beWeorganising our training and education provisions much better

32 20

SSPO.indd 12

Phil Thomas.indd 32

We are a major importer of EU “ foodstuffs so should be in a relatively strong negotiating position ” 03/07/2015


10/12/2018 15:48:47

When politicsNo gets personal alternative

ties on our side too. So, what are the threats and challenges to the salmon industry or UK aquaculture more generally? Undoubtedly, the greatest threat would be to crash out of the EU without any agreement. The market disruption caused by that would be a problem for almost all UK industry sectors exporting to the EU. For the Scottish salmon industry, where EU exports account for about 48 per cent of production by value, a breakdown in trade would present obvious problems. That aside, the most significant challenges will come in the negotiation of the terms of the ‘future relationship’ for trading. The starting point to this might be regarded as a no deal situation, where WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms would apply: this seems to raise the prospect of a potential import tariff of two per cent on chilled fish and 13 per cent on smoked fish – but all that will be up for negotiation. In this, it should be remembered that the UK is a major importer of EU foodstuffs, both ingredients and finished products, so we should be in a relatively strong negotiating position. Scottish farmed salmon is a distinctive EU brand with a high consumer demand, and the Geographic Indicator designation which under- Above: Theresa May - on a knife edge pins its market position is safeguarded in the Withdrawal Agreement. Also, because food safety and quality regulations start from a harmonised position, non-tariff barriers should not be a major concern, although the future desirable position for the UK will be one of mutual recognition. There are, of course, some important objectives that the UK should have high on its list of priorities, but in these it could find common ground with the EU. The most significant relates to the position

Phil Thomas.indd 33

and status of aquaculture, which the EU has been steadily separating from fishing for some time. This separation is in the interests of fish farmers, both in the EU and the UK, so establishing specific agreed protocols which relate to aquaculture and aquaculture products should be a common shared objective – and one of considerable importance. FF

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10/12/2018 15:49:06



Where’s the harm? Detection of residues is largely irrelevant if they are below the established safe level


HE Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has finally launched its consultation on the future of salmon farming in Scotland. Whether this proves to be a consultation or a fait-accompli remains to be seen. SEPA’s media release, published on November 7, runs to four pages and it is not until the last page that it says it is embarking on its most significant public engagement programme, with a seven-week public consultation. Yet, the consultation is not the headline of SEPA’s media release. Instead, this states: ‘Scottish salmon farm medicine significantly impacting local marine environments as SEPA unveils firm, evidence based proposals for a revised regulatory regime.’ SEPA’s view that farm medicines are impacting on the marine environment comes from its ‘Fish Farm Survey Report’. The main conclusion was that residues of the sea lice treatment, emamectin, were detected in 98 per cent of the samples measured. It says that the residues were more widely spread in the environment around fish farms than had previously been found. This was the message that was taken up by the wider media. For example, the Daily Mail reported that ‘medicine used at Scottish salmon farms is having a significant impact on the marine environment’. SEPA, it seems, has made sure that its message has been heard across Scotland, which somewhat negates the need for a consultation. Against such reports, who is going to even question SEPA’s plans for more stringent regulation of the salmon industry? The problem is that SEPA’s media release is not all it seems. What it fails to mention is that the 98 per cent detection rate for residues used a new, ultra-sensitive analytical method that is about 25 times more sensitive than the methods that are currently in use. The increased sensitivity enabled SEPA to detect levels of emamectin at concentrations that have so far not even been reported in the scientific literature. More importantly, SEPA says that the presence of a chemical in the environment does not necessarily mean it is causing harm. It’s just a pity the agency didn’t mention this in its press release. Equally, it failed to mention how many of the 98 per cent of samples in which they detected emamectin residues were at levels that do not cause harm. It is worth remembering that its headline clearly stated that medicine


Martin Jaffa.indd 34

is significantly impacting local marine environments. Unfortunately, SEPA did not clarify what percentage of samples detected impact on the environment and how many don’t cause any harm. There is a difference but anyone reading the media release wouldn’t know that. The Fish Farm Survey Report includes a table showing the number and percentage of sites at which the emamectin residues were detected. At the cage edge it was 17 sites (100 per cent). In the area from the cage edge to 100m from the cage, two readings were taken, one nearer the cage and one further away. The detection rate was eight (72 per cent) and nine (82 per cent) respectively. For sites sampled beyond 100m, the number of samples in which emamectin was detected was 49 (75 per cent). The significance of the figures only becomes apparent when it is known that this data relates to samples in which emamectin was detected at levels above a new proposed standard. By comparison, the number of samples in which emamectin was detected above the current standard was three (17 per cent) by the cage edge, 0 (0 per cent) near the cage edge and two (18 per cent) towards 100m from the cage. Just four samples (seven per cent) were detected beyond 100m. What this says is that, using the current methodology, most of the samples met the current standards. It is only when the new, ultra-sensitive testing is used that almost all the sampling resulted in the detection of emamectin. This should not be unexpected. Salmon farms are working to existing regulations. How can they be expected to meet residue level requirements that they don’t even know? However, most importantly, detection of res-

This “ consultation is all about SEPA trying to flex its muscles to impress its critics

10/12/2018 15:47:42

Where’s the harm?

Above: Salmon farm

idues is largely irrelevant if they are below the established safe level. It is not about how many residues can be detected, it is whether they are harmful or not that matters. Because SEPA does not explain this aspect of residue testing, it could be argued that it is now planning to take a sledgehammer to crack a nut. It is not just the issue of medicines that SEPA plans to address. It has expressed concern about the amount of organic waste, primarily fish faeces, that it says is mixing into the environment around salmon farms. It plans to bring control of this waste into line with the mixing zones for other waste effluent discharges into the sea, including those from urban waste water. This is a bit of a puzzle because salmon waste is not the same as urban waste. Salmon farm critics do try to equate salmon faeces with the waste from people, but they are very different. What SEPA seems to have failed to appreciate

Martin Jaffa.indd 35

is that, unlike human waste, fish faeces are a natural part of the marine environment. There are approximately 3.5 trillion fish living in the world’s oceans and seas, including in the areas around salmon farms. These fish all defecate into the water and their waste is assimilated into the marine ecosystem. SEPA even agrees, but then seems to want to consider the waste as if it comes from the land and not the sea. SEPA says, using the wording from the flawed ECCLR (Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform) committee report, that the status quo is not an option. However, salmon farming is evolving, and the testing undertaken by SEPA took place 18 months ago. Sea lice management has already changed since then. There is a greater use of a variety of non-medicinal treatment. This has kept sea lice under control to the point that sea lice levels are now some of the lowest recorded. Emamectin is not as important as it used to be. SEPA has come under much criticism from the anti-salmon farming lobby for working with the industry rather than appearing to keep it in check. It seems that this consultation is all about SEPA trying to flex its muscles to impress these critics rather than use common sense. FF


10/12/2018 15:47:59

est aquaculture Looking further afield there are also interesting insights – ASSG SG and SSPOTrade – to Associations into oyster growing around the globe and also an t topics of the day overview of the Hungarian aquaculture industry, which is ors respectively. beginning to evolve from production of carps to higher Shellfish value predatory fish.We hope you enjoy all the changes. FF d we hope you’ll

Rob Fletcher News Editor

Shellfish - Oysters Shellfish - International focus

has 0 years of the stry. Now ournalist, er food magazine.


ry Board

Paul Wheelhouse is Figure 1; The view from the shore at equinoct Scotland’s Minister for the Environment tide comes and in

Janet Brown works to support and promote all aspects of sustainable shellfish culture and restoration via The Shellfish Team and edits The Grower.

Climate Change and is an MSP for the South of Scotland.

Buoyant The some otherbusiness side of thein pond Put mussels Going native

What do Chinese and Scottish shellfish aquaculture have in common? Reducing salmon liceofinfection it starts – canlearn bivalves help?from the Can the Association Scottishbefore Shellfish Growers anything 8 visiting the is Instiorganised? tute of Oceanology, at the Chinese Academy of Science (IOCAS) ELL, the quick answer that questi on is that it is not volume ofAssociation way America’s East toCoast Shellfish Growers productirow on. China outstrips notviability only Scotland just about company every- in Qingdao, plus several conversations, what follows is an insight into a very Whitstable threatens ofbutfamous own or in associatiin on with Figure Oysters brought forphytoplankton. grading. These small part of2 Chinese shellfitheir sh aquaculture. where in terms of production of all types of mollusc.



ons culture

No, what they have in common is that the greater part of the culture is suspended culture. I had not fully appreciated, until I gave a talk in r Robert Rheault – more commonly EW placesBare so irrevocably linked with one product as Whitstable Chinaand on oyster in the(Rheault UK (Fish Farmer, Mayan2018), thatin theoysters, Scotknown asaquaculture ‘Skid’ oysters. And Rheault for someone whobeing professes interest tish emphasis on suspended a lot thethere quirk of sh lawof that ‘row’) orculture Bob –owed setbefore. up thetoBut itpronounced is strange I have never visited is aScotti glimmer had the Crown owning all the rights to the oysters and mussels on the seabed. East Coast Shellfish Growers Association an excuse in that the farming part of the association is a relatively ols Whyone. didin the Chinese suspended aquaculture? I assume it relates to (ECSGA) 2004 andtake has up been its executive new maximising the producti on by using three dimensions in their veryinintensive director for six years. Whitstable Oyster Company only set up its oyster trestles 2008 – d culture. Since now bettinerrelaying understand the ecological benefi ts of undisbecame involved the ideaspat of an asSkid far as I am we concerned, onasthe seabed is ranching not turbed habitat on the and the complex sociation because heseabed hadmethod been working as ecosystem an farming and this was the they first trialled. that can be built, this isoyster a goodfarmer thing have in of common. a state without an aquaculHowever, thetoinhistory oyster farming would be very different in the The speciesthe are also same in Seasalter oneIsland. respect, the Japanese oyster Crassosture industry atinput the the time – the Rhode UK without from company (which supplies seed) gigas. everything else very diff erent. Onspeaking, the basis of one day rectory trea ‘I had to But be very active on appears the state level and its hatchery and farming efforts; that is,to strictly outside spent visiting hatcheries in Laizhou (north west ofthe Qingdao) morning get things going,’ hequite said. ‘I established a of state Whitstable, but still recent in terms historyand of one Whitstable growers’ association with a few allies, started and oysters. surer, Steve Bracken, Herve Miguad, Sunil Kadri and Ken Hughes writing an industry newsletter andhosted sent it atopress all morning in September The Whitstable Oyster Company n: Andrew Balahura themark statethe legislators, brought in guest speakers to opening of the native oyster season. wds Publisher: Alister Bennett from states where were going The other company been things in the news: having first fought off threats Fax: +44 (0)well 131 551 7901has e-mail: editor@fi nary a negative word was from and the where MMO (Marine Management Organisation) about access to .com www.fithe heard. we gotand some traction seaEventually for wind surfers sailing boatsand (now happily resolved), it fixed the regulations that were holding back ettes Park, 496finds Ferry Road, Edinburgh 2DL itself in dispute withEH5 the Canterbury City Council over planning NTEGRATED multi-trophic the industry.’ er’, P.O. Box 1,permission. Crannog Lane, Lochavullin Industrial Estate, Oban, Argyll, PA34 4HB aquaculture (IMTA) aims This on to larger withata least conceded that oyster theled time of amy visit,consortium, the council had 0) 1631 568001At to reduce the environfrom top right: number did of growers getting together at various Clockwise farming not come under agriculture, f world £95 including postage. All Air Mail.the category of intensive mental impacts of monECSGA meeting; meetings andrequire the idea of establishing an East which would a full environmental impact assessment, butoyster; there oculture of fish byRobert farming them in ietors Wyvex Coast MediaShellfish Ltd by Headley Brothers Ltd., Ashford, Kent ISSN 0262-9615 Dr B Rheault. Growers was banremains a question markAssociation over the farm’s viability. association with filter feeding molluscs, died about. hadsince seenthe how well organised It may wellThey be that company owns the foreshore as far as and so remove particulate waste the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers the historic high tide mark, there is Association no actual case to answer. m material and algae to utilise dissolved (PCSGA) had become, how effective they could James Green, who runs the farm, seems very philosophical about it. nutrients. A further possibility has been considered in meetings with regulators, howa they Itbedoes, however, seem strange for council to threaten the long term - that of pest control. It sounds ideal: why not use the siphoning focused government research dollars toward power of mussels or other bivalves to take out the infectious key problems – they wanted that. stage of the sea louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis? While setting up the ECSGA, Skid continued This is a free swimming planktonic stage, the copepodid. Since the size to run his own company, farming and marof this infective stage is around 500μm, it is within the range of particle keting oysters trading as Moonstone Oysters size that can be taken up by mussels, although their normal diet of phytoworking out of Narragansett, Rhode Island, plankton is much smaller. and he is still an adjunct faculty member in Initial trials carried out in the University of Maine demonstrated that the University of Rhode Island’s Department mussels in experimental situations did indeed take up the copepodids. of Fisheries and Aquaculture. He established They were found in the stomachs of mussels but also in other parts of the East Coast Shellfish Research Institute the mussel, but the main point was that they were clearly being removed and has been successful in attracting several from the water column. Researchers further north, in New Brunswick, Canada, looked at a wider 12 range of filter feeding bivalves and also looked at the effects of temperature, shellfish individual size and whether the sea lice were presented on

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Picture story


The species of bivalves used were basket

The hatcheries I visited were all reminiscent of basic shrimp hatcheries, yrs cockles, nutt Pacific oysters which they may wellresearch have been once(Clinocardium since this area hadallii), previously substantial federal grants to address critical industryconcentratresearch

(Crassostrea ed on shrimp aquaculture before diseasegigas), wiped mussels it out. (Mytilus edulis and priorities. M galloprovincialis and their hybrids) and Pacific They were all laid out on the same basic lines, with square concrete tanks How has the ECSGA grown and is it still growing? scallops (unconfi rmed hybrids ofhatcheries Mizuhopectfor larval rearing, but the scale of them was impressive. The now We grow in membership by about 10 to 20 per cent a year and we ensuccession yessoensis x Pati nopecten caurinus), which produce different species using same then had a sharp increase thisinpast year, but wethe still onlysystems, have a scallops, small fracwere obtained from commercial growers in oysters, thenindustry in someas cases abalone Of andthe other gastropods, of which tion of the members. estimated 1,300 farmsmore on the Island, British Columbia. later.Coast, we only have Vancouver East about 15 per cent. The nature of the industry For theways trials, were provide placed individually The system is integrated in other too.bivalves Scallop shells thewho settleis such that many farmers are very small, part-time operations in two litre containers with 450 copepodids in ment material forThere the oysters andlarge the oyster spat areseveral sold attof ached to these won’t pay dues. are few farms, and these believe 750ml of water. scallop shells. they don’t need to join an association. They can hire their own lobbyist. Allleast four species were to ingest Theyare settthe le atmain a density of at per shell, butfound often far higher.the They are What issues facing20 ECSGA? larvae, and temperature wasareas not aassignifi cant then grown on in the same tanks as there are no nursery such. The We spend a lot of time and energy dealing with shellfish sanitation factor. Large shellfi sh individuals ingested far shells can thenparahaemolyticus be broken to allow the oysters moreto room to grow.much Theyof aremy issues. Vibrio control seems dominate more than small. eventually grown in lantern nets. the trade war with the EU so we can time. We are alsoontrying to rectify Of the species investigated, scallops were Of thesome very many hatcheries ng in Laizhou (of aintotal of 3,000 in north restore of the lucrativeoperati connections we had EU markets five found to take in comm. greaterXiming numbers of2018) larvae, but China and 5,000 in China as a whole – pers. Guo only years ago. We are trying to get acknowledgement for the ecosystem five size for size the cockles consumed the most. are producing triploid through C. gigas. Only one iscredit producing the tetraploid oysters services we provide nutrient trading, and we are con-and In separate experiments, thethough shellfiitshis were this oneworking hatchery really so controlling the technology even out of stantly tois improve water quality and expand harvest areas. existence of something positive, both to the livelihood of the town found to consume between 18 to 38 per cent of patent Are there different chapters in the ECSGA or are members mainly and thenow. environment. the copepodids to them. While sell sperm to farm the other or presented the actual triploid larvae. C. the oyster folk? ItThey is only half the thathatcheries is under threat. The council has jurisdicbivalves took in the larvae regardless of whethhongkongensis the only oyster species in oyster China which Weonly represent about 60commercial perlow cent clam farms, 40cultured per farmsis tion as farisas the mean water mark. This linecent goes diagonally er phytoplankton was present or not, they took not hatchery collected after sett and has and therethe is farm areared nascent mussel industry. through as– itit is is laid out now, butlement since itinisestuarine the nearareas shore in a far higher proportion of phytoplankton proved diffi cult to raise in hatcheries so far. I have heard you talk at conferences about theaimportance of lobbyarea that is mostly threatened, this would have serious impact on the when both present. species scallop grown is the baywere scallop (Argopecten irradians), introingThe – what doofyou advise? farm. This could be related to findings from much duced in the early 1980s, producing more than 800,000 tonnes. It is really important to ensure that the regulators don’t you outatof The young spat are placed out in the deepest water onlyput accessible olderofwork onproblems the behaviour of Chinese sea lice scallop, larvae, This was introduced because disease with the business. If you areThey not involved the process writing to theharden regula-off good spring tides. are 3 thenin moved to the of intertidal wheresince it was shown that the copepodids can and is now the preferred species it can be grown to market size within tions, then the law of unintended consequences dictates that they will before marketing. take evasive action when they detect the one year. probably hurt you youplans don’ttoprotect to participate James Green alsoifhas expandyourself. the farmYou to need the west of the feeding flowatti field bivalve. This evasive beheard fromsovarious sources that the tudeof toathe environmental issues in Ithe scientific research, public outreach and the education ofhad your current site, this case isthe very important for future of the busihaviour can actually be before viewedthis in this YouTube changed radically in the past fi ve to 10 years, in that farmers could legislators. By demonstrating the growth in green jobs, the sustainable ness. 08/02/2013 11:24:01 clip, do more or farm less anything, but much more controlled now. seafood production thewere ecosystem benefits, weoyster can enlist help After the visit,and I talked to famous Whitstable lady,the Delia How can thisrelated be applied in thepracti commercial I was curious to know how this atti tude to hatchery ce.aI of was of politicians when the regulators get crazy,that or ifthere we have need reFitt of Wheeler’s Oyster Bar. She explained had abeen situati on?inThis is more complicated. The first shown what wasEducating addedoftothe the water the hatcheries. There were two search dollars. theimportance legislators is constant task. There is huge change in perception ofaoysters, which came with issue Iiscouldn’t the larvae of L salmonis are Ipositi vely different products and although understand the labels, was told turnover and know nothing about yourtown industry. If you don’t have the loss of thethey historic connection between and sea. phototacti cseveral and will be found at greater concenthey were diff erent brands of mixes of species of bacteria species time dome it then need to payfunded someone to do it government for you. This in isused why Sheto told that you flood defences by central trations in the surface metres of the sea. Above: Mussels as probioti cs. made are busy professionals members of trade between associations. recent years a physical delineation the town and shore Thisof behaviour wouldinhave to be accommoOpposite page: Scallops; was strikinginterest was the lack people working the hatcheries; water Is What export a major for your growers? dated for by the12 placement of theseemed shellfishtobut Pacifi c oysters exchange was manual and took place every hours but there We are experiencing an explosion in the market for oysters right be this is easily possible with suspended culture. almost young around. now, sono there is people not a lot of surplus production to send overseas, but And how effecti veno is longer it likelyviable to be? I was told that many of the hatcheries were as they were Much of the work on IMTA and this being left behind by technology, but there clearly is demand foralso spaton and I saw potentialascontrol little evidence of much technology such. of sea lice has been carried out in the north eastern states of the US.may be A visit to IOCAS in Qingdao provided insights into where aquaculture



Figure 3 Growth from 2kgs of spat since March


Figure 1; The view from the shore at equinoctial spring tide. The trestles are invisible tide comes in

22 36

012-013_ff03.indd 12

Figure 4 Young assistant hauls native oysters fr The council needs to catch up “ with the idea that farming oysters is the way forward ”

going. I was particularly interested to see that they were researching the vation of Rapana venosa (Asian rapa whelk), which I had seen being reared in 10:29:56 06/03/2015

Figure 2 Oysters brought in for grading. These are oysters stocked at 160-180 per bag 32 yrs

ASSG.indd 22 Shellfish.indd 36

05/02/2018 15:55:48 10/12/2018 15:46:18

Going native

which had not been there before, and then the loss of the boat building activity on the foreshore aided this blurring. Is there also perhaps something of the ‘tall poppy’ syndrome in all this, with the Whitstable Oyster Company a victim of its own success? I found Whitstable sparkling, with a lovely hotel, good restaurants, dress shops, art shops, and quaint fishermen’s houses done up and available to rent - clearly a place that is thriving. And everywhere there are oysters: the Oyster Indoor Bowling Centre, signposts to the Oyster Coast, and also, of course, oysters to enjoy eating. With the visitors come the windsurfers, the sailors and the increasing house values for shoreside properties, whose owners in Whitstable (and the world over) want their expensive views unsullied, albeit that the ‘eyesore’ is visible for a very few hours at a time and not even every day. There seems to be an irony that the better facilities and restaurants attracting tourists back to Whitstable have put pressure on the resource that made it famous. The council needs to catch up with the idea that farming oysters is the way forward, the sustainable environmentally advantageous way to go. They seem still a long way from welcom- Clockwise from above: ing the farm with its filter feeding, environmen- The lot of the oyster farmer - always tally enhancing stock. FF shucking the oysters for others to enjoy! Here, James’s brother Richard Green steps up to the plate; the view from the shore at equinoctial spring tide. The trestles are invisible once the tide comes in; James Green stands in front of the trestles of the oyster farm - as seen at spring tides only; Oysters brought in for grading. These are oysters stocked at 160-180 per bag after 1.5 years; Growth from 2kg of spat since March 2018; Some enjoy oysters as nature intended, but cooked they can also be delicious and chef Graham Garrett from the West House restaurant in Biddenden demonstrates two novel ways to prepare oysters, one being in a delicious chorizobased sauce

yster farm e oclimate thcoast t onofeast The lo Figure 5 Triploids take s James’s brother Richard Green step

Shellfish.indd 37

THE first attempts at farming were to place spat on the seabed but this was not that successful. They started using trestles from 2008. However, the advent of the oyster herpes virus (OsHv-1) in 2010, while devastating at the time in loss of oysters, has in the long term proved an advantage. It turned out that growing triploid stock sourced from French hatcheries meant that the oysters coped better with the extreme temperature variations found on the east coast and provided a product that was available all year round. James Green is keen to trial new methods and is currently investigating the Australian suspended systems on part of the site. He plans to be producing 350 tonnes by 2020 and with a further increase up to 500 tonnes in the next three to five years. The French market is an important one, and they get all the oysters that fit the French’s exacting criteria. So he will export all the oysters that can supply the French 2 and 3 categories. The British are maybe not yet as sophisticated in their appreciation of oysters so the small and large and the less perfectly shaped ones can be sold locally. And this is where the Whitstable Oyster Company is so fortunate. As a vertically integrated business, it can use its own oysters in its restaurants and hotel.

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. Figure 6; Some enjoy oysters as na H t es W e th Figure 1; The view from the shore a m o fr tt re ar G am h ra G tide comes in prepare oysters, one being in a deli 37

10/12/2018 15:46:37

Arvotech.indd 38

10/12/2018 12:18:40

Farm visit – Scottish Sea Farms

Future of smolt farming

Barcaldine hatchery set to transform freshwater production Photos: Stephen Lawson, Ewen Leslie, Alan Harpin


HE first eggs went into Scottish Sea Farms’ new Barcaldine hatchery last month, although the recirculation facility is not due to open officially until June. It is the first stage in a redevelopment that represents a ‘transformational change’ for the company, in the words of its managing director, Jim Gallagher. Barcaldine, a £48 million, 17,500sqm construction set in an ideal location on the banks of Loch Creran, will give Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) the capacity to double its smolt production, and also exert greater control over fish health and performance. It signifies the scale of the company’s ambition to ensure a more reliable supply of salmon and increase production to meet growing worldwide demand. Although the RAS hatchery will initially be utilising only part of the total capacity, to ensure a smooth and controlled smolt production in the first few years, it has scope to produce 10 million smolts a year, up from the

Barcaldine.indd 39

five million currently reared in freshwater lochs, before transfer to the producer’s 45 marine sites around Scotland’s west coast, Orkney and Shetland for on-growing. And it will employ 25 full-time staff (with further jobs in research), many of them in highly skilled roles, which has involved a big recruitment drive for new types of competence. ‘This site is as much about water chemistry and engineering as it is about husbandry and fish,’ said Gallagher. ‘So we’re recruiting different skills to what we’ve had traditionally; and those are graduate style, high value jobs, paid well above the Scottish average salary.’ The site was chosen over 41 other options, said Gallagher, and its merits include access to

Above: The Scottish Sea Farms team at Barcaldine, with Jim Gallagher and Scottish government minister Kate Forbes, who visited the hatchery in November (front row, centre), and project manager Greg Riddle (back row, second left).


10/12/2018 15:43:29

Farm visit –Scottish Sea Farms

the seawater loch, which will allow smolts to be transferred via a pipeline directly on to wellboats and then out to the sea pens. There is also the advantage of an existing pier, a freshwater reservoir and a hydro scheme, which will enable the plant to generate much of its own energy. There are 1.1 million cubic metres of water in the reservoir, with around 12,000 cubic metres in the RAS hatchery, about 99 per cent of which is recirculated, making the facility significantly more environmentally friendly than a traditional hatchery. The first batch of eggs - some two million – have now been laid down,


Barcaldine.indd 40

and there will be further batches during the year. The fish will be around 150g when they leave the hatchery, with the first batch due for transfer to sea pens by September 2019. Producing bigger smolts will shorten the amount of time the salmon spend at sea, thereby reducing their exposure to health challenges and increasing survival rates. Gallagher said: ‘There has been a lot of negative coverage about the number of mortalities and we, like other farmers, have experienced some isolated challenges over the years. However, in normal conditions we are now achieving survival rates of 80 per cent and over, which is a fantastic achievement compared with wild salmon, which have a survival rate of just five per cent or less.’ On the day Fish Farmer visited in early November, Greg Riddle, Barcaldine project manager and director of Northern Light Consulting, took what turned out to be a big party, including Scotland’s Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Kate Forbes, on a tour of the hatchery. Riddle, formerly of Balfour Beatty, has worked in waste water management but said ‘it’s much easier to take water that is very dirty and clean it than to take water that’s already very clean and make it cleaner’. ‘Here, we recycle the water and we treat it. Up to 99 per cent of the water that goes around the tanks is treated and kept on site and there’s only one per cent addition of new water. Obviously, that’s a huge environmental benefit, but it’s also important for security of supply. ‘Other benefits are that you keep the temperature – you spend a lot of money heating water or cooling it to the temperature you want, but we’re keeping that water so we’re using a lot less energy. ‘And, also, you control the quality, you control the oxygen, and all the various environmental factors that the fish depend on for health.’ The water treatment systems are located on one side of the building, and fish on the other.

We can “track fish

from the egg all the way to the marine farm

10/12/2018 15:43:52

Future of smolt farming

Above: Jim Gallagher with Scottish government minister Kate Forbes. Opposite (top): The hatchery pictured at sunrise in December. (Below): Consultant Sarah Riddle.

The hatchery, which will run 24 hours a day, is organised into four individual hatcheries, then four departments, each sub-divided – start-feeding, on-growing, pre-smolt, and smolt. The water treatment for one section is unique to that section, creating a completely biosecure zone, said Riddle. ‘We set the project up in different departments so the fish start off very small in the hatchery with their eggs and move through, once they hatch, into different sizes of tanks once they get bigger.’ After about eight to 10 weeks, the young fry are transferred to the first feed tanks, where they will remain for another eight to 10 weeks. For each stage of development, there are two departments with eight tanks in each, and drum filters (made by Hydrotech). Billund Aquaculture is the main provider of the recirculation water treatment system, which includes moving and fixed bed biofilters, vacuum degassers, ultra-violet light treatment and oxygenation. Sarah Riddle, also of Northern Light Consulting (and wife of Greg), points out the huge water treatment plant just for the eight tanks in one department. The first feeding tanks have a stocking capacity of 20kg per cubic metre, increasing to 50kg per cubic metre at the pre-smolt stage, when the fish are about 50-60g. The fish spend about eight to 10 weeks again in these tanks before smoltification, when they are moved to the on-growing department. Here, stocking density is 30kg per

Barcaldine.indd 41

Hydrotech filters 30 years in Aquaculture Phone: +46 (0)40 42 95 30


10/12/2018 15:44:09

Farm visit –Scottish Sea Farms

cubic metre, about 150,000 fish in each tank. The Barcaldine plant has the potential to replace the freshwater lochs, where fry are typically transferred at 25-30g. ‘You could still take eggs through and release from here [to the lochs]. The industry has always had two inputs a year, now we could technically take eggs five times a year,’ said Sarah. ‘It completely changes the input strategy and market – before you may have not had enough fish because you were dictated by the freshwater supply. Now you can, in time, fine tune to your market, providing much more flexibility.’ Barcaldine lead engineer Ewen Leslie explained how the incoming raw water is filtered, first in the sand filter, which takes out any solids, then in a UV filter, after which it can be distributed to anywhere in the hatchery via the 33km of underground piping. There are four 600 kW heat pumps that can either cool or heat the water to maintain it between 12-14 degrees in all departments in the hatchery. And there are heat exchangers throughout the system to either heat or cool, and heat can be recovered from any waste water before it goes out to sea. Building work on the hatchery, which contains an impressive 1,500 tonnes of steel, has been going on for two and a half years and employs around 120 people, including many from the Oban and Fort William areas.


Barcaldine.indd 42

10/12/2018 15:44:41

Future of smolt farming

Research investment ‘builds success’

Above: The first batch of eggs arrived in November. Opposite (top): Kate Forbes tours the hatchery. (Below): Barcaldine lead engineer Ewen Leslie .

Once completed, there will be a team of four engineers, with two living on site, said Leslie. ‘Housing is a challenge across our farm estate,’ said Gallagher, ‘so we’re looking to work with local authorities and planners to see how we can deliver increased availability, which may include direct investment from the company.’ Barcaldine, which also has 11 feed silos, is set to become the new farming headquarters for SSF, and already the expansive upper levels of the hatchery show the scope for R&D, IT and quality departments against the spectacular backdrop of the loch. But the facility’s true significance is as a centre of excellence, improving how fish are farmed in Scotland. Smolts currently raised in freshwater lochs are subject to seasonal changes in water temperature and quality, changes which can impact on the growth of the young salmon. In contrast, the new RAS facility will provide complete control over light, temperature, water quality and speed flow – all with the highest level of biosecurity. ‘We can track fish from the egg all the way to the marine farm so we’ll have more information,’ said Jim Gallagher. ‘We can see what the best performing ones are and start to have criteria for what selection we should make, and what we should develop. The genetics and the performance is all measured.’ Barcaldine, he said, represented the ‘future of salmon smolt in freshwater’. FF

you can fine tune to your market, “Now providing much more flexibility ”

Barcaldine.indd 43

A SCOTTISH government minister said Scottish Sea Farms’ new Barcaldine hatchery, which will also operate as a research and development hub, would help deflect criticism of the industry. Kate Forbes, minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, toured the hatchery on November 13, as new research funding was announced. ‘I think what’s exciting about this particular project is that it meets some of those criticisms head on because it shows the aquaculture industry investing in sustainability, investing in innovation, and looking at new ways to control the local environment, and also to create high paid jobs,’ the minister said. ‘If aquaculture is going to continue to build on its success to date, it needs to be seen to be as sustainable as possible and that will inevitably require investment in innovation and research and development, which is what’s happening here.’ The hatchery’s R&D programme, representing an investment of £10.3 million, including £1.28 million from Scottish Enterprise, will cover five specific areas: • Helping establish the optimum health, welfare and process parameters at all stages of the freshwater lifecycle at the new facility; • Developing a more humane form of slaughter process and enhancing employee safety as a result; • Minimising waste by exploring opportunities for bioprospecting by-products from the harvesting process, such as blood and viscera, or by converting phosphate and nitrate-rich farm waste into valuable fertiliser; • Harnessing greener energy with wave and wind and reducing reliance on fuel; • Developing new technology for capturing and analysing data to drive further improvements. SSF managing director Jim Gallagher said the new investment would advance its work raising the ‘healthiest fish in the most responsible but also the most environmentally sustainable way’. ‘The £1.28 million grant from Scottish Enterprise means we will be able to do more of this planned research and development work even sooner, accelerating both the innovation and the anticipated benefits for fish health and welfare and for the environment.’ Forbes said Barcaldine was ‘a hugely impressive construction’ that would bring jobs to the area that can ‘only be good for the community’. She said the Scottish government recognised the huge global demand for salmon and the strong Scottish brand, but there needed to be more investment in research and development and innovation to ensure that the industry can continue to grow in a sustainable way. ‘I think the way government has approached aquaculture has been one of ‘let’s work together, let’s solve the problems together, and let’s support one another’.’


10/12/2018 15:45:03

Research – Amoebic Gill Disease

Number one threat Scientists explore solutions to persistent problem for salmon farmers


MOEBIC Gill Disease (AGD), described as the most important disease in farmed salmon, came back with a vengeance on Scottish salmon farms this autumn, writes top fish vet Ronnie Soutar in In Fish Farmer’s Year Book. The disease, first detected in Tasmania in the late 1980s, now affects every salmon producing country. It favours warmer conditions and is present naturally in the water, but the amoebae spread quickly on a farm. AGD, caused by the amoeba Paramoeba perurans, causes a proliferative response in the gill epithelium. ‘Normally, oxygen would diffuse through the thin epithelium, which it can’t do when the epithelium is thickened,’ wrote the Fish Vet Group’s Chris Mathews. ‘In the parts of the gill affected, the fish effectively can’t breathe.’

AGD is not only a direct cause of mortality, but it also weakens fish, making it harder for them to cope with bath treatments. AGD has also been detected in cleaner fish, since 2013 in Norway, and fish health specialists must focus on treating both wrasse and lumpfish, as well as salmon, for the disease. Over the next few pages, we bring you reports from recent research on treating AGD in salmonids and cleaner fish, looking at the best remedies for the disease in lumpfish, whether cleaner fish can be agents of the amoeba, investigating feed solutions, and exploring existing drugs as possible AGD therapies.


Suitable case for treatment Testing the effectiveness of freshwater baths on lumpfish


HE parasitic amoeba Neoparamoeba perurans, the causative agent of amoebic gill disease (AGD), has commonly been regarded as a disease of salmonids. However, it has been detected in many marine finfish, including turbot, sea bass, and various wrasse species. In fact, AGD has been reported in both types of commonly used cleaner fish, lumpfish (Fig. 1) and various wrasse species. Reports have indicated that lumpfish are more susceptible to amoe-


AGD - Jim.indd 44

bae than wrasse. Gyri Haugland and colleagues (see page 48) found that lumpfish are more tolerant of infection than salmon. A wide range of medicines have been assessed to treat fish with AGD (Oldham et al., 2016), but the only treatments that were recommended as suitable and effective in reducing amoebae numbers were hydrogen

10/12/2018 15:36:29

Suitable case for treatment

Above: (Fig.1) Gill arch of an untreated lumpfish with amoebic gill disease. Focal epithelial proliferation and fusion of lamellae due to AGD (arrows). Individual amoeba on the lesion margins (circled). Scale bar= 200 microns. (Thanks to the Fish Vet Group for support and input.)

peroxide and freshwater. Salmon are bathed in water of 3 ppt or less for periods of two to four hours and this reduced amoebae numbers on the gills. Soft freshwater (19-37 mg l-1 CaCO3) was more effective in reducing amoebae numbers than hard water of 173-236 mg l-1 and reduced any adverse effects (Roberts and Powell, 2003). However, the effectiveness of treatment with freshwater is variable. Low alkalinity and buffering capacity can have an effect on the pH and metal toxicity of the water used. Dissolved organic carbon as humic and tanic acid can be beneficial in treatment. Stocking densities can also be an influence and high densities can lead to a decline in pH and accumulation of carbon dioxide which can lead to sequestration of metal ions. Freshwater has also been used for the treatment of AGD in cleaner fish, both lumpfish (Oldham et al., 2016; Haugland et al., 2017) and also wrasse species. Wrasse are sensitive to freshwater and immersion in brackish water of around 15 ppt for seven to 10 days has been used as an alternative. This has given a good reduction in amoebae numbers, and wrasse have tolerated these conditions. Of course, the use of brackish water is easier to manage in the hatchery compared to sea pens. Hydrogen peroxide has also been used to treat AGD in wrasse and lumpfish. An issue

AGD - Jim.indd 45

the regime is critical “Optimising as re-infection can occur �

with the use of hydrogen peroxide treatment in the hatchery compared with in sea cages is that it frequently takes some time to flush the hydrogen peroxide from the tanks and this may cause toxicity. Any extension of treatment duration beyond 20 minutes at 10oC is unsafe, and treatment duration has to be shorter with increasing temperature, and treatment at temperatures above 14oC is not recommended (Oldham et al., 2016). Optimising the treatment regime is critical as re-infection of lumpfish following treatment can occur, as shown in salmonids. Improving the treatment regime and practice for AGD is therefore a priority for hatcheries. Recent freshwater trials with lumpfish Recent work (Treasurer and Turnbull, 2018) has assessed the effectiveness of different freshwater bath


10/12/2018 15:40:24

Research – Amoebic Gill Disease

REFERENCES Adams, M.B., Ellard, K. and Nowak, B.F. (2004). Gross pathology and its relationship with histopathology of amoebic gill disease (AGD) in farmed Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. Journal of Fish Diseases 27, 151-161.

treatment strategies on lumpfish. Safety screening by checking the gills, gut, skin, kidney and other organs revealed that the lumpfish is resilient to bathing in freshwater. There were no cellular changes, little apparent stress, no mortality or morbidity, and no effects on gill ventilation frequency. Lumpfish of seven months old and 12g mean weight were treated in triplicate tanks in water of 0 ppt and 15 ppt salinity for three and five hours at a water temperature of 14.5-15.5oC. Amoebae numbers declined from 21.5 to 0.3 on each gill arch after a three-hour bath in freshwater (0 ppt) (Fig. 2), while amoebae numbers in the 15 ppt bath dropped to 10.7 per gill arch, and then to three amoebae per gill arch 24 hours after a five-hour treatment. A subsequent trial refined the use of low level salinity with further treatments with water of 5 ppt and 3 ppt and these were compared with 0 ppt. The water temperature was in the range 7.58.3oC, oxygen

Fig. 2.

from 9.3-11 mg l-1, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite <0.01 mg ml-1. Gills were examined from histology two days after treatment and no amoebae were seen on the gills of lumpfish that had been treated with 5 ppt and 0 ppt water for three hours. This was checked in fresh gill samples and amoebae were only identified in the 32 and 5 ppt treatments, and none at 3 and 0 ppt treatment. The buffering effect of low level salinity on pH can be seen in the water after three-hour static treatment. The initial pH in all tanks was 7.9 but, after three hours in a static bath, the pH was 7.4, 7.4, 7.6 and 7.9 in the 0, 3, 5 and 32 ppt treatments respectively. It appears that some seawater in the freshwater bath does moderate pH. A separate group of lumpfish was then treated in a different regime of 15 ppt salinity for 10 days. Amoebae numbers per gill arch in histology declined from 231 to four in three days (Fig. 3). Practical treatment issues There was initial reluctance to use domestic freshwater supply for the treatment of lumpfish in marine hatcheries because the water had been chlorinated. So, some hatcheries first sourced freshwater from local streams. However, this may contain suspended solids, have a high humic content and the pH may be low. There may also be biosecurity risks in using untreated water. Latterly, some hatcheries have used the domestic freshwater supply. The water is left to stand overnight and is aerated vigorously to remove chlorine. The value of a fully effective treatment


AGD - Jim.indd 46

Haugland, G., Olsen, A-B., Rønneseth, A. and Andersen, L. (2017). Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) develop amoebic gill disease (AGD) after experimental challenge with Paramoeba perurans and can transfer amoebae to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Aquaculture 478, 48-55. Oldham, T., Rodger, H. and Nowak, B.F. (2016). Incidence and distribution of amoebic gill disease (AGD) – an epidemiological review. Aquaculture 457, 35-42. Roberts, S. and Powell, M. (2003). Reduced total hardness of fresh water enhances the efficacy of bathing as a treatment for amoebic gill disease in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. Journal of Fish Diseases 26, 591-599. Treasurer, J. and Turnbull, T. (2018). Tolerance of lumpfish, Cyclopterus lumpus, to freshwater bath treatment for amoebic gill disease, Neoparamoeba perurans infection, and efficacy of different treatment regimens. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. https:// jwas.12579

10/12/2018 15:40:42

Suitable case for treatment

Opposite - (top) Fig.2: Treatment of lumpfish with AGD with freshwater bath for periods of one, three and five hours. Blue arrow indicates end of the freshwater treatment. Numbers of amoebae were also assessed 24 and 28 hours after treatment. Gills of three fish were checked for each treatment at each time sampling point. Error bars=SD. (below): Salmon gills. Right (Fig.3): Numbers of amoebae per gill arch in fish treated for up to 10 days in brackish water of 15 ppt salinity.

against AGD in salmon is high as re-infection by that treatment of lumpfish can be successful by freshwater bath. Neoparamoeba species in salmon can be rapid This can be either short or long-term treatments, provided oxygen after freshwater bath. Freshwater treatment levels are maintained, and pH and ammonia levels are within acceptof salmon at 3 ppt was recommended for AGD able limits. FF and is also recommended in lumpfish (Oldham et al., 2106, Haugland et al., 2017). In conclusion, examination of gills and other organs by histology and microscopy examination, together with the visibly good tolerance of lumpfish to freshwater, and the lack of morbidity during exposure to freshwater, indicates

Fig. 3.

AquaGen wishes their customers and partners a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year

AGD - Jim.indd 47


10/12/2018 15:41:00

Research – Amoebic Gil Disease

Cleaner fish:

agents of AGD? Lumpfish and wrasse can be non-symptomatic carriers of P. Perurans BY GYRI T. HAUGLAND1 AND LINDA ANDERSEN2

Department for Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, Norway The Aquatic and Industrial Laboratory, Bergen, Norway

1 1


LEANER fish can be non-symptomatic carriers of the parasitic amoeba Paramoeba perurans (syn. Neoparamoeba perurans) that cause amoebic gill disease (AGD) and they may transfer amoeba to salmon. It is thus of major importance that the cleaner fish that cohabit with salmon are treated, as well as the salmon, if the salmon develop AGD. Cleaner fish, both lumpfish and different species of wrasse, are increasingly being used as a biological alternative to chemical treatments and mechanical methods to delouse farmed Atlantic salmon. Wrasses belong to the family Labridae which contain species that natu-

rally have cleaning behavior and, in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, there are ‘cleaning stations’ where wrasse remove parasites from other fish. Wrasse species have been used as cleaner fish in net pens for removal of sea lice of farmed Atlantic salmon since the 80s (reviewed in Treasurer, 2018). The most commonly used species are goldsin-

Above: Infected lumpfish


AGD - Gyri.indd 48

10/12/2018 15:33:33

Cleaner fish: agents of AGD?

ny, rock cook, corkwing and ballan wrasse. Most of the species are wild caught, but a small number are farmed in Norway and the UK. In contrast, all lumpfish used as cleaner fish are farmed. Several species of cleaner fish often cohabit in the same net pens with salmon and an important question is the risk of transferring disease agents between the different species. In a study which was a collaboration between the Aquatic and Industrial Laboratory (ILAB), University of Bergen (UiB), Norway, and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI), lumpfish’s susceptibility to P. perurans and disease development was investigated (Haugland et al. 2017). It was found that lumpfish developed AGD, but the development of pathology was slower and less severe than for salmon. An important finding from the study was that gill scoring, a common method for evaluation of AGD severity and development in salmon, was less suitable for lumpfish. In some of the lumpfish in the experiment, the amoeba was detected with real-time PCR using Paramoeba-specific primers, although lesions were not observed in gills. Real-time PCR is a sensitive method allowing detection of even minute levels of amoebae, and the amount of amoebae can be quantified by normalising against a reference gene from lumpfish. Importantly, since the operculum opening on lumpfish is small, it is not possible to investigate the gills properly without euthanising the fish. PCR screening from gill tissue and mucus using gill swabs for detection of amoeba in sub-clinical or early stage of the infection is therefore an alternative (Scholz et al., 2018).


is not possible to investigate “Itthe gills properly without euthanising the fish ”

AGD - Gyri.indd 49


10/12/2018 15:34:01

possibility or that wild caught fish are carriers of the amoeba.

Table 1. Prevalence /number of farms with cleaner fish diagnosed with AGD in Norway (Gulla and Bornø, 2018, the Norwegian Veterinary Institute).

Research – Amoebic Gill Disease 2012 0 0

Lumpfish Wrasse

2013 0 5

2014 2 2

2015 2 2

2016 8 1

2017 2 1

Further, the study by Haugland et al. (2017) also showed that lumpfish can vector the spread strategies often used of Treatment amoeba to Atlantic salmon. P.perurans has for P.perurans infected salmon are baths with either freshwater (usually for threehours) hydrogen peroxide (~1200 ppm for 15-20 minutes). also been isolated fromor lumpfish in net pens with infected salmon in Scotland (Karlsbakk et al. 2014) andtreatments from lumpfish have and wrasse Norway for lumpfish and wrasse (Scholz et al., 2018). Lumpfish can be treated Both beenin tested associated with AGD outbreaks (Hellebø et al. with freshwater or brackish water. 2017) and from wild caught wrasse (Steigen et al. 2018). Wrasse do not tolerate freshwater, but treatment with brackish water or hydrogen peroxide can be used. Other studies have also shown that wrasse BothAGD wrasse and can was tolerate brackish water (<15 ppt) bath for seven days (Powell et al. 2018). develop and that thelumpfish causative agent P. perurans. Patchy lesions were observed on theRegular gills of both moribund and healthy fish for the presence of amoeba is important, as this will both reduce the monitoring ofclinically the cleaner ballan wrasse broodstock and amoebae were risk of disease development in the cleaner fish and limit the spread of amoeba to healthy salmon. present in wet preparations from gills. Histological examination revealed hyperplasia, Prevalencenumber In addition, as cleaner fish can act as aAbove: vector for the spread/reinfection of salmon, they should also be bridging of lamellae and forming of interlamellar of farms with cleaner treated if P. peruans is detected fish diagnosed with spaces that are all typical pathology for AGD. in salmon. AGD in Norway (Gulla A complete AGD diagnosis includes gross oband Bornø, 2018, thefish into net pens with Atlantic salmon, prophylactic servation, histopathology, fresh smears from gill To avoid placing infected, non-symptomatic cleaner Norwegian Veterinary lesions/patches or gill surface and identification brackish water baths (<15 ppt for seven days) prior to transfer can be a solution. Institute). of amoeba using PCR. Left and Opposite: Infected AGD in cleaner fish in Norway has been relumpfish with different ported since 2013 (Table 1). The source of AGD levels of gill lesions. in the broodstock fish is not obvious, but the 1Department for Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, Norway introduction of amoeba through the inlet water at the hatchery might be a possibility or that wild 1The and Industrial caught fishAquatic are carriers of the amoeba. FFLaboratory, Bergen, Norway

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Haugland GT, Olsen AB, Rønneseth A, Andersen L (2017). Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) develop amoebic gill disease (AGD) after experimental challenge with Paramoeba perurans and can transfer amoebae to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Aquaculture 478, 48-55.

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AGD - Gyri.indd 50

10/12/2018 15:34:22

Cleaner fish: agents of AGD? REFERENCES Haugland GT, Olsen AB, Rønneseth A, Andersen L (2017). Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) develop amoebic gill disease (AGD) after experimental challenge with Paramoeba perurans and can transfer amoebae to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Aquaculture 478, 48-55. Hellebø A, Stene A, Aspehaug V (2017). PCR survey for Paramoeba perurans in fauna, environmental samples and fish associated with marine farming sites for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) Journal of Fish Diseases 40: 661-670 Karlsbakk E, Alarcon M, Hansen H, Nylund A (2014). Sykdom og parasitter i vill og oppdrettet rognkjeks. Diseases and parasites in wild and framed lumpfish. Havforskningsrapporten. p. 37-39. Powell A., Treasurer JW, Pooley CL, Keay AJ, Llioyd R, Imsland AK, Garcia de Leaniz C (2018). Use of lumpfish for sea-lice control in salmon farming: challenges and opportunities. Reviews in Aquaculture. 10, 683-702. Scholz F, Glosvik, H, Marcos-López M (2018). Cleaner fish health. In: Treasurer, J. (Ed), Cleaner Fish Biology and Aquaculture Applications. 5M publishing, Sheffield, UK, pp. 221-257. Treasurer J (2018). An introduction to sea lice and the rise of cleaner fish. In: Treasurer, J. (Ed), Cleaner Fish Biology and Aquaculture Applications. 5M publishing, Sheffield, UK, pp. 3-25.

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10/12/2018 15:34:42

Research – Amoebic Gill Disease

Seeking ‘new’ drugs Existing medicines investigated as candidates for aquaculture use BY CYRIL P. HENARD1, MATT LONGSHAW2, JAMES BRON1 & ANDREW P. DESBOIS1

Institute for Aquaculture, University of Stirling Benchmark Animal Health

1 2


F the pathogens implicated in causing gill disease, it is amoebic gill disease (AGD) that presents the greatest problems. The aetiological agent of AGD, Neoparamoeba perurans, contains a symbiotic partner, Perkinsela sp., which lives inside the amoeba and belongs to a group of organisms called kinetoplastids. AGD was first detected in Tasmania and California in the late 1980s, but now this disease affects every major salmon producing country. The disease exerts a heavy economic burden through direct mortalities, a reduction in growth performance and the need for expensive treatments, which presently are based mainly on hydrogen peroxide and freshwater bathing. Drug based therapies in aquaculture are convenient, particularly when administered in feed, but few, if any, effective drugs are available to treat AGD. Indeed, the total number of drugs available in aquaculture is relatively limited, especially when compared to terrestrial farming. Moreover, the drug approval process is time consuming and expensive, meaning any approaches that minimise these issues are attractive. One possible approach is to repurpose existing drugs that are already approved for use in aquaculture or have been used to treat similar diseases in non-fish species. This is the focus of student Cyril Henard’s studies at the Institute of Aquaculture. ‘First, we aimed to identify all diseases caused by amoeba and kinetoplastids in humans and animals,’ said Henard. ‘In total, 183 studies were collected and contained information relating to diseases similar to AGD, notably 107 studies relating to disease caused by amoebae and 76 studies of kinetoplastids. ‘Then, we identified drugs that have been or are used as treatments for these related diseases because they may prove to be effective against Neoparamoeba perurans and/or Perkinsela sp. ‘Importantly, we identified nine drugs used to


AGD - Cyril.indd 52

treat infections caused by both amoeba and kinetoplastid pathogens. ‘Next, we searched compound databases to identify known drugs with similar characteristics, and designed a scoring system to rank all the candidates according to the availability of information important to gaining approval for a new drug for use in aquaculture.’ The MPhil candidate, who joined the IoA in March 2018, continued: ‘Finally, we looked at Neoparamoeba and Perkinsela genomes and metabolic pathways to confirm that the reported targets of each of the highest ranked candidate drugs are present in one or both of these organisms. ‘The next step of the project will be to evaluate these candidate drugs for activity against the AGD-causing pathogens in vitro, before ultimately completing efficacy trials in vivo. ‘We hope that this project will lead to the introduction of a new therapy to counteract this persistent problem.’ Other approaches being pursued in Stirling to prevent AGD include the development of a protective vaccine; however, until key gaps in the knowledge of the biology and ecology of Neoparamoeba perurans are addressed, this solution remains a longer term goal. In the meantime, efforts continue to repurpose existing drugs as more effective and practical alternatives for treating AGD than hydrogen peroxide and freshwater bathing. For updates and more information on this project, contact: and FF Above: Cyril P. Henard

hope “theWeproject will lead to a new therapy to counteract this persistent problem

10/12/2018 15:30:36

Research – Amoebic Gill Disease

Adios to AGD

Galway project seeks to identify host parasite interactions BY EUGENE MCCARTHY1, KERRIE NIDHUFAIGH1, VICTOR BIRLANGA1, ORLA SLATTERY1

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology



HE Amoebic Gill Disease of Salmon (ADIOS) project is primarily focusing on Neoparamaeba perurans, the causative agent of amoebic gill disease (AGD), and its interaction with the host species Atlantic salmon. Currently, there is little or no knowledge on the host response to the initial attachment by the pathogen on gill tissue of salmon. Using state of the art seawater recirculation systems at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), researchers have conducted a challenge trial by inoculating naïve salmon to N. perurans. They are now investigating the samples collected from this study, using next generation sequencing and proteomics tools. In addition to parasite host interactions, ADIOS researchers are investigating other key aspects of the disease, including virulence factors, adaptive immune responses, microbial biomarkers and the use of dietary supplements to mitigate AGD. The virulence research, carried out by GMIT PhD student Kerrie Ní Dhufaigh, is focused on identifying molecules responsible for the initiation and establishment of AGD infection on the gills. To date, Ní Dhufaigh has identified a number of potential molecules requiring further characterisation to establish their role in AGD infection. She has cultured several isolates of N. perurans collected from Irish commercial farms and uses these isolates in her studies. It is believed that the longer the parasite is grown in petri dishes, in the lab, away from the host, the more it loses its virulence because it stops producing the proteins it uses to interact with the host cells. To verify if this is true, Ní Dhufaigh is comparing the type and quantity of proteins produced by a strain of N. perurans that has been in culture for a substantial amount of time (three years) to those produced by a strain that has been isolated recently from a fish infected with AGD. In this way, she hopes to identify the proteins responsible for AGD infection - that is, the virulence factors. Ní Dhufaigh is using techniques such as Two Dimensional Gel Electrophoresis in conjunction with Liquid Chromatography- Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to identify the proteins. If she is successful in her search and identification of the virulence factors associated with AGD infection, it would then be possible to use these protein targets in the design and development of therapeutic agents, such as vaccines and drugs, to prevent or treat the disease- a much anticipated

AGD - Galway.indd 53

outcome for the aquaculture industry. Another key component of the ADIOS project is the evolution of the microbial community on gill tissue of farmed Atlantic salmon in Ireland in the context of the development of AGD. It is expected that AGD more than likely has a correlation with the bacterial community present on the gill. Working with Marine Harvest, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) PhD candidate Victor Birlanga’s research has demonstrated a clear evolution of the microbial community from pre-smolt stage right through to first initial AGD infection and re-infection. It is anticipated that the knowledge generated from these studies will help the team to develop more targeted therapies for AGD. However, the research team recognises that the time frame required to translate the research findings into industry solutions can be lengthy. In recognition of this, GMIT is working with its partners, BioMar and the Fish Vet Group, to identify potential off-the-shelf feed solutions, and the first round of trials are expected to commence in early 2019. The multidisciplinary ADIOS project brings together various strengths from each of the partners, including fish health, next generation sequencing, proteomics, pathology, breeding and dietary formulation. The project, funded through the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine FIRM programme, represents an investment of €602,000 over three years. Led by GMIT, the consortium includes academic partners NUIG, UCD and Glasgow University, state agencies Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the Marine Institute, and industry partners Marine Harvest, the Fish Vet Group and BioMar. FF

Above: Neoparamoeba perurans in culture. Middle images are of 2DE gels of N. perurans soluble proteins. The virulent gel refers to a culture maintained for 200 days and the avirulent gel refers to a long term culture maintained for 1095 days. The 2DE gel technique separates out the proteins by charge (pI 4-7) and by the proteins weight (SDS PAGE). Far right are proteins discovered by the LC MS/MS analysis that may have a role in AGD pathogenesis


10/12/2018 15:29:31

Research – Amoebic Gill Disease Figure 1. Paramoeba perurans in culture


University of Aberdeen 2Cargill


Diet’s role in disease control The development of functional feeds as sustainable for AGD Figure 2. Photographtreatment courtesy of Rachel Chance


N the marine environment, pathogens are everywhere. Numerous species of parasites, bacteria and viruses constantly bombard the external surfaces of marine fauna, and in the case of fish, this includes the gills. In the wild, a few individuals may become infected, but in farmed fish the risk is greater; static pens and high population densities mean infections can spread rapidly and lead to entire systems becoming affected. A relatively new example of a highly infectious disease present in Scottish waters is amoebic gill disease (AGD). AGD is caused by the marine amoeba species Paramoeba perurans (Fig. 1) and is characterised by white, patchy lesions on the gill (Fig. 2). If left untreated this disease can be deadly, and result in a significant loss for farmers. There are treatments, including chemical and freshwater baths. However, while effective, these treatments are expensive, and very stressful for the fish. An

Figure 1. Paramoeba perurans in culture


alternative solution is needed, and functional feeds, defined as the addition

Figure 3. Samplingcompounds regime for 1st trial of immunomodulatory to feed, are showing great potential as a sustainable form of infectious disease control. The development of a functional feed follows a standard process; novel compounds are tested in their raw forms against amoeba cultures, and those shown to be effective at killing or reducing the growth of amoeba are then added to fish feed and fed to salmon infected with AGD. Gill scores, used to grade the severity of AGD infection, are then recorded as a measure of how effective the compound is at reducing gill pathology. The expression of relevant immune genes are also determined, as this can tell us how the host is responding to both the parasite, and the additional compound. Functional feeds that show a reduction in AGD gill scores are taken forward for full scale trials in both laboratory and field settings, and then manufactured for marketing and distribution. My PhD project focuses primarily on the gill score and gene expression analysis; I work with the feed industry specialists Cargill Aqua Nutrition, performing gene expression analysis on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) samples from laboratory trials. My main focus in terms of gene expression is to examine markers of T-helper cell subsets, which are a group of cells that can ‘push’ the immune system towards a particular direction, such as pro-inflammatory versus anti-inflammatory. There are four types of T-helper cells: Th1, which elicit cell-mediated responses and are generally pro-inflammatory; Th2, which help production of specific antibodies and antagonise Th1 cells; Th17, which are similar to Th1 but drive response to external pathogens; and Treg, which regulate the other subsets to reduce potential host damage. These genes were tested in two trials; the first, which focused solely on the effect of AGD infection, and the second, which looked at the effect of a plant based additive, ‘compound I’, on fish infected with AGD. Figure 3 shows the experimental design of the first trial, where fish were

We still “ have a lot to

learn about the biological basis for infection

Left (top) Fig 1: Paramoeba perurans in culture. (below) Fig 2: Photograph courtesy of Rachel Chance. Above: Fig 3 Sampling regime for first trial. Opposite Fig 4: Gill score analysis of fish infected with AGD and fed two diets, either the control, or with added ‘compound I’

Chance Figure 2. Photograph courtesy of Rachel Chance AGD - Anna.indd 54

10/12/2018 15:28:00

Diet’s role in disease control infected with AGD and then sampled over a period of six weeks. After 16 days all fish were treated with hydrogen peroxide, as this is representative of industry practices, and allowed the fish to become re-infected with AGD, providing useful information on immune responses to secondary infection. The results of the first trial demonstrated that the transcription factor or ‘master switch’ for the Th1 pathway was upregulated across all time points in response to AGD infection, indicating that AGD induces a pro-inflammatory response in the host. This theory is further supported by the data, which showed no significant upregulation of the transcription factor for the Th2 pathway, and no specific antibody response after reinfection. Using this information, the same genes were then tested in the second trial, where ‘compound I’ was added to the feed and fish were infected with AGD. In this trial, there were three sampling points; pre-infection, post-infection and post H202 treatment. Figure 4 shows the gill score results from the trial, indicating a clear reduction in pathology in fish fed the compound I diet in comparison to those fed the control diet. When looking at the gene expression data from this trial, there is a significant down regulation of the previously mentioned Th1 transcription factor, while the Th2 transcription factor was the only transcription factor studied that showed a trend to a positive increase. In addition, CD4, a marker of Th-cells more generally, was significantly upregulated in fish fed compound I diets, suggesting it can modulate T cell involvement during AGD infection. While this data shows a good response to the diet, we still have a lot to learn about the biological basis for AGD infection. For example, why does this species of amoeba in particular infect fish and elicit an immune response? There are numerous species of marine amoeba, yet only P. perurans causes AGD. One possible theory is that the amoeba does not actually come into direct contact with the gills, but instead releases a compound that causes the reaction seen in the gills. If this is the case, it may be possible to induce tolerance by adding this compound to the feed prior to marine transfer, to ‘trick’ young

salmon into associating it with food, and therefore something that should be tolerated. Such Figure studies would manyanalysis years of work, as infected with AGD and fed two 4. Gilltake score of fish genomic analysis of P. perurans is yet to be completdiets, either the control, or with added “compound I” ed. Nevertheless, it is important that we improve our understanding of the parasite, as this will lead to a greater chance of finding an effective, and sustainable, solution. FF


AGD - Anna.indd 55


10/12/2018 15:28:17

News extra – Salmon results


Outlook healthy Confidence in the sector has never been higher


WO recent studies by highly respected medical groups in the United States found that salmon and other types of oily fish DO benefit heart health. The other piece of good news is that salmon can also do wonders for your bank balance. The Oslo Stock Exchange, or Børs, has risen by a modest nine per cent over the past year. But those clever punters who had concentrated on the separate seafood index, and on the main salmon breeders in particular, would have more than doubled their money in some cases. Shares in the Scottish Salmon Company have shot up by around 130 per cent since January (from NOK 7.9 to NOK 19 by mid-November), those in SalMar have risen by 114 per cent (from 246 to 498 kroners), while Austovell is up by 109 per cent. The other main players have not done badly either – Marine Harvest shares have risen by 56 per cent, Lerøy has increased by 89 per cent and Bakkafrost by 38 per cent. Based on prediction of firms’ prices and higher volumes in 2019, this upward trend is likely to continue. The Seafood Index has slipped back slightly in the last couple of weeks, but the fact remains that since 2013 it has risen by a staggering 480 per cent, eight times the rate of the main Stock Exchange. While the flurry of third quarter results last month contained a few disappointments, the overall picture was positive. SalMar broke all expectations, although harvest volumes from Scottish Sea Farms, in which it has a half share fell by 1,300 tonnes to 8,100 tonnes. Nevertheless, the overall group outlook is more than encouraging. The Q3 EBIT (the amount of profit a business earns before interest and tax) rose by 138 million kroners to NOK 939.1 million and its shares leapt by 8.5 per cent on the day the results were published. SalMar is expecting a harvest volume of 143,000 tonnes, with Scottish Sea Farms contributing 26,000 tonnes, and a volume figure of 145,000 tonnes for next year. Contract sales accounts for just under 40 per cent of output.


News Extra.indd 56

CEO Olav-Andreas Ervik put the success down to ‘efficient operations and a strong biological performance’. However, while SalMar is seen as the star performer in Norway these days, all eyes are currently on Marine Harvest, following its name change to Mowi, and intention to get its new brand out into the wider world, with the first MOWI products expected in early 2019. The announcement followed an excellent back-end performance, with the company recording its ‘best ever’ Q3 results and an EBIT of 207 million euros, up from 194 million euros on 2017, backed up by a strong market outlook and a solid financial position. Marine Harvest plans to open 1,000 salmon restaurants throughout China over the next few years except that the name over the door Top: Henning Beltestad will be Mowi. The company hopes that the title Above: Kolbjørn will become as familiar as Coca Cola to millions Giskeødegård of Chinese consumers. Nevertheless, one or two seafood analysts in Norway have been a little more cautious on whether it will catch on worldwide. But another positive note is that Marine Harvest has signed a memorandum of understanding with Win-Chain, the fresh food supply chain owned by the giant Alibaba Group, which should lead to a huge increase in its retail sales; they too will almost certainly carry the MOWI brand. Another company under the watchful eye of

10/12/2018 15:25:48

Outlook healthy

financial analysts is Lerøy Seafood, whose stock has risen by almost 80 per cent this year. Lerøy is unusual in aquaculture in that its business includes both salmon farming and a substantial conventional fishing operation. While its Q3 operating EBIT of NOK 660 million was well down, due to lower salmon and trout volumes, the company remains confident and says it is experiencing strong demand for its marine products. It is expecting to increase its salmon and trout harvest from 179,000 tonnes this year to 190,000 tonnes in 2019. Lerøy chief executive Henning Beltestad said: ‘We have had good organic production in the third quarter, we have not harvested as much, but we have converted the good production into a substantial increase in biomass for later harvesting and the low volume, as communicated earlier, results in a lower profit in this quarter. ‘However, we have ensured good income and continued positive development of absorption of costs over time.’ Lerøy’s results have also been strengthened by its 10-strong trawler fleet and high prices for cod and haddock, up by 20 per cent and 38 percent respectively. A significant programme of investment, including the construction of new RAS facilities for larger high quality smolt at two centres, is well underway and the analysts are quite upbeat about Lerøy’s future prospects. Meanwhile, Grieg Seafood reported a relatively satisfactory third quarter with a NOK 35 million increase in pre-tax profits to NOK225 million. While its Norwegian operations are performing better than expected, it is still battling with biological problems in Shetland and British Columbia. The company is hoping to increase its harvest volumes by 25,000 tonnes over the next two years to a total of 100,000 tonnes. Probably the one disappointment among the clutch of Q3 results was Norway Royal Salmon, which saw its EBIT fall by 82 per cent on lower harvests, partly the result of building biomass.

News Extra.indd 57

in the Scottish Salmon “Shares Company have shot up by around 130 per cent ”

Again, observers are expecting high production next year and into 2020, and say that the fall in the share price after the results came out should soon be reversed. Each company will have its own challenges, but underpinning the performance of the salmon farming sector is the prediction that cash flow will be strong and prices will remain solid over the next 12 to 18 months. Kolbjørn Giskeødegård, seafood analyst at Nordea Markets, said recently that the industry could expect prices of around NOK 62-64 per kilo between 2019 and 2021. Others are a little more cautious, suggesting an average of around NOK 61 per kg. At the time of going to press they are still below that figure. For most salmon companies one of the priorities next year will be on reducing costs. In the past 10 years, these have been rising from around NOK 20 per kg to NOK 34 per kg. But overall, whether you are buying salmon for the sake of your health or for financial security, confidence in the sector has never been higher. FF


10/12/2018 15:26:08

IFFO annual conference


Diet database Focus on value of fishmeal from a nutritional perspective


HE global fishmeal industry used the occasion of this year’s IFFO conference to look at what needs to be done in the sector to maintain sustainable development and growth. With 440 registered delegates from 45 countries gathering in Rome over three days in October, it was an excellent opportunity for a stock-take, following the appointment of IFFO’s new director general, Petter Johannessen. The technical session included an update on the IFFO technical work, including regulation, current and proposed project work. A major part of this update was devoted to antioxidants, including the regulatory status of ethoxyquin in the EU, a subject that had been afforded some attention on day one of the conference, clearly attracting interest as a result of the complexity of the European regulations, the science, and the aquaculture end-product market views. Two IFFO funded projects, one on the sourcing of raw material in south-east Asia, and the other on fishmeal quality, were presented by the respective project leads, Duncan Leadbitter (FishMatter Pty) and Brett Glencross (University of Stirling). Both were very well received, indicating broad acceptance of the IFFO board’s strategic investment in the science and technical projects that will provide the future evidence base for the organisation’s operations for some time to come. The south-east Asian project was also sponsored by the GAA (Global Aquaculture Alliance), and the two organisations’ interests complement each other nicely in the region. This project work focuses specifically on the responsible sourcing of ingredients for aquafeed, in turn supporting sustainable aquaculture growth. The project analysis has covered Thailand and Vietnam in detail, and Leadbitter talked about the challenges in improving management of multi-species fisheries and Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs) as a mechanism to achieve positive change. His key recommendations, aside from increasing the number of FIPs, include improvements in data and information gathering and reporting in the region; increased understanding of the mixed stock nature of the fisheries and how they are used; and continued improvements in fisheries management, which ranges greatly in quality across the region. Glencross’s presentation focused on the true value of fishmeal from a nutritional perspective. Starting with a great overview of available ingredients and a description of how aquafeed composition


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The industry can ensure it uses these precious resources in the most effective way

has changed over time, he then provided a detailed nutritional description of the factors in fishmeal that are so important for fish nutrition. Moving from protein content through to amino acid balance, then fatty acids and minerals, this was Fish Nutrition 101 in 20 minutes. Of high interest was a slide referring to several novel compounds found in fishmeal which are implicated in the superior performance of the material in fish growth. He showed the clear abundance of beneficial and complementary nutritional factors in fishmeal, highlighting the high protein content and digestibility as key, as well as it being a rich source of the essential amino acids and fatty acids. Further links with growth, FCR (feed conversion rate) and SGR (standard growth rate), and especially immune system function and health, were referred to, and Glencross rounded it all off with mention of one of the key deliverables in the project – the development of a fishmeal quality database. The database will map out the range of composition of fishmeal from around the world into an accessible library to support the industry. By capitalising on the point-of-difference factors of fishmeal and other feed ingredients, the industry can ensure it uses these precious resources in the most effective way. This database drew a lot of attention, and I know that Glencross has had many follow-up queries on this in particular, both during the conference and since. It is set to become an important resource for IFFO for many years to come.

10/12/2018 15:20:40

Diet database

Opposite: New IFFO director general Petter Johannessen. Clockwise from top: The panel included Pal Korneliussen of Intrafish, Jim Cannon (CEO of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership), and George Chamberlain of the GAA; Neil Auchterlonie; Eduardo Goycoolea (IFFO president); Brett Glencross.

Changing tack a little, Kristine Hartmann of Aker Biomarine provided an overview of Aker’s activities in response to criticism from some eNGOs on the harvesting of krill in Antarctica. This was a very photogenic presentation, with some excellent images of the region, and Hartmann told a great story about how Aker managed to turn around a very public criticism of its operations into a success through work with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. She noted that the krill fishery has been closely managed by a multi-national body for many years, with current levels of catch being less than one per cent of the total biomass, well within the limits advised by science and expert opinion. Success was not achieved overnight, and there was a lot of hard work to bring about the commercial advantage of the current position. That movement from a situation that had seemed somewhat bleak as a result of some (unfounded) criticism to one of benefit is a credit to the company’s staff and their abilities. The session rounded off with a panel discussion on the importance of FIPs in providing more fishmeal and fish oil for certification

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programmes, as well as helping support improvements in fisheries management in some of the regions around the world where this may be needed. FIPs occupy an important role for many of those fisheries, and the IFFO Responsible Supply scheme, IFFO RS, has its own Improvers Programme. FIPs in general represent a practically achievable method for making change, perhaps in contrast to the more stringent fisheries certification schemes that may be so strict as to be unrealistic in their application in some regions and fisheries. In this way, FIPs are a stepping stone, improving management in fisheries that may be on their way to full certification, or at least improved management structures. The discussion panel included the GAA’s own Dan Lee, as well as Dave Robb from Cargill, Duncan Leadbitter of FishMatter Pty, Francisco Aldon of IFFO RS, and Michiel Fransen of the ASC, and thus provided a good overview of the supply chain and certification schemes. The discussion was ably chaired by the new chair of IFFO RS, Libby Woodhatch, who was at her first IFFO annual conference. In summary, the technical session followed the three themes of the main event: responsible production and sourcing; the true value of marine ingredients; and the contribution of marine ingredients to global protein production and food security. For those who would like to know more about IFFO, the website may be accessed at: The 2019 annual conference will be held in Shanghai, China (dates to be confirmed). Neil Auchterlonie is technical director of IFFO. FF


10/12/2018 15:21:29

Transport – Ferguson Transport & Shipping

Family values

Scottish company with 60 years of logistics solutions


ERGUSON Transport & Shipping, a family run business since 1959, is preparing to enter its 60th year in 2019. Marking such an occasion provides an opportunity to reflect on the magnitude of successes the company has enjoyed, as well as the various challenges it has overcome within that time. Built on strong family values, and still to this day a family affair, the company continues to adapt and expand in line with the needs of the industries in which it operates. Ferguson, first established in Ardrishaig and later in Spean Bridge, has become one of the largest independent logistics companies in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The company, now based in Corpach near Fort William and operating out of many locations throughout the UK, prides itself on its approach to bespoke logistics solutions. The company works closely and successfully with large multi-national blue-chip companies, as well as medium and small sized clientele operating within the following areas: • Road haulage and logistics • Integrated rail transport


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• Sea and shipping services • Port services • Warehousing services The company, led by group managing director Alasdair Ferguson and his siblings and co-directors Carol MacKinnon, Jack Ferguson and Leslie Innes, operates 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to provide services to a number of sectors. These include aquaculture, forestry, whisky, general haulage, fertiliser, chemicals, oil and gas and energy related products, and biosecure waste management solutions. Ferguson boasts a large fleet of modern commercial road haulage and distributions methods, and its own fleet of vessels, available for private hire, with long-term, short-term and one-off contracts, operating around the UK coastline, in particular the west coast of Scotland. The fleet consists of six vessels: one single hold general cargo vessel providing 1,100-tonne capacity; two 100-tonne multi-purpose workboats; a support vessel and landing craft; and two 80-tonne workboats. All vessels are fitted with self-load and discharge, sling hook or grabs with the largest of the fleet – Harvest Caroline II – fitted with a blowing discharge system that can blow up to 100 tonnes of feed per hour efficiently, with quality handling of the product. The company also has its own port facilities and dry dock in Kishorn, Wester Ross, with warehousing and storage facilities (see box); and offers quayside warehousing in Mallaig too, plus craneage, including a 65-tonne crane. Only this year, Ferguson was recognised as one of the London Stock Exchange’s annual ‘1,000 companies that inspire Britain’. The accolade is one the company is proud of as it reflects its ethos, putting employees and customers at the heart of the business.

Ferguson is passionate about its young people, with apprenticeships throughout the business

10/12/2018 15:19:04

Family values

The key to Ferguson Transport & Shipping is the diversity of the company and its ability to evolve to accommodate the needs of ever changing markets. The company is one of only a few in the UK to encompass road, rail, sea and port facilities – owning, operating and managing all its own assets. It can tailor contracts to suit individual customers and does not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ delivery policy, instead providing unique logistic solutions for customers.

Ferguson Transport & Shipping, a significant employer in the Lochaber area, takes pride in supporting various projects across the communities in which it operates, and in which its employees live and work. The company is also very passionate about its young people, with apprenticeship opportunities throughout all areas of the business, and earlier this year, the team was proud to receive a Highly Commended recognition from Developing the Young Workforce West Highland at the Highland Business Awards.

Above: FT&S multipurpose workboat Carly leaving Mallaig Opposite: FT&S multipurpose workboat Harvest Anne and FT&S general hold cargo vessel Harvest Caroline getting loaded at Kishorn Port.

For all enquiries please contact the company on 01397 773840 or email FF

Dry dock fit for the future FERGUSON Transport & Shipping has invested in one of the largest dry docks in western Europe at Kishorn Port, with its joint venture partners, Leith’s (Scotland) Ltd. The facility is ideal for the safe, environmentally secure decommissioning of floating redundant oil and gas structures in dry conditions. The site is also suitable for the manufacture of offshore renewable energy components and the storage/refurbishment of oil and gas exploration/production units. The 160m diameter dry dock, with 13.8m of draft at high tide, has the advantage of a deep access channel, extensive lay down areas, an on-site quarry for concrete manufacturing and comprehensive port and logistics support services. The dry dock has recently been fully refurbished and an access ramp installed down to the dock floor, making it ‘shovel ready’ for projects. Marine licences for the anchoring and storage of floating structures in Loch Kishorn are also in place.

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10/12/2018 15:19:24

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

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10/12/2018 12:13:58

Transport – Air freight

Seafood hub a game changer Oslo launch pad for salmon ‘mega route’


ORK is to start in the New Year on construction of the new seafood hub at Oslo airport, a terminal dedicated to the rising global demand for perishable exports – mostly farmed salmon – from the region. The Seafood Centre, due to be completed in 2021, will handle up to 250,000 tonnes of seafood annually, with up to the minute cool chain facilities and innovation, to service the 14 cargo airlines that now call at the airport weekly. The dedicated centre will be fully adapted to the future needs of the international seafood industry, said cargo handler Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), which won the £80 million contract to operate the hub. ‘Our terminal will be a game changer in the handling of seafood as air cargo and be an important part of ensuring the future growth of one of Norway’s most important industries,’ said John Batten, WFS executive vice-president Europe, Middle East and Africa. Martin Langaas, airline director of Avinor, which runs Oslo airport, said the move would help make Norwegian seafood more competitive globally and make Oslo the preferred hub in northern Europe. WFS would secure the industry’s future cooling logistics requirements to handle the ‘strong expected growth in Norwegian seafood’, he said. Norway currently exports 600 tonnes of seafood a day, but only a third of that total leaves from Oslo’s Gardermoen airport, the largest freighter airport in northern Europe. The rest is shipped to other airports in Europe, with London Heathrow a major transit point. Salmon now accounts for half of Nordic air freight volumes, growing at almost 10 per cent a year since 2006, according to Air Cargo Week. Marine Harvest head of airfreight, Tom Erling Mikkelsen, addressing a conference in Bangkok this year, said there would be growth in salmon freight of 500 per cent in the next 30 years. Air Cargo Week described the flying of farmed fish from Scandinavia throughout the world, especially to Asia, as the ‘emerging mega route’. Asia took 193,908 tonnes of salmon in 2017, Mikkelsen’s presentation said, three times the US market of 68,000 tonnes but only a quarter of the EU’s 841,000 tonnes. The EU market contracted by two per cent while the US market grew by 23 per cent. Airlines have been adding flights to accommodate the demand for salmon, particularly in Asia. For example, Finnair’s new flights started three weekly services in mid-May to Nanjng, its seventh destination in greater China, while Bangkok was due to go from daily to 10 weekly flights. And Osaka was also due to go daily in the winter 2018 schedule, Air Cargo Week reported. China’s Hainan Airlines is to open direct flights from Oslo to Beijing from spring 2019, it was announced in October, the first to fly scheduled flights between the two cities. ‘A direct route to China will be extremely positive for the export of fresh Norwegian seafood to the quickly expanding Chinese market,’ said Langaas. From Beijing, there are good onward connections to other Chinese and Asian destinations. At Oslo, Tuesday is the big day for salmon exports, according to a report by Salmon Business, because the bulk is sent on from the main airports to other towns and cities, and needs to reach its destination by the weekend. As well as the seafood flown from the airport on cargo planes, some of the salmon is also loaded into the cargo hold of passenger aircraft for transport to

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cities in the United States and Asia. This will be the future trend for air freighting salmon, according to Langaas. ‘We believe the future for the seafood industry lies in the type of freightage where the fish are flown in combination with passenger transport,’ he told Salmon Business in a report on December 4. ‘Aircraft that are designed specifically for transporting cargo are extremely expensive, have a high risk factor and are difficult to absorb via global hubs. ‘In the global market, the trend is such that airlines are increasing cargo capacity with their passenger aircraft, and the majority of airlines are phasing out aircraft that are purely built for cargo.’ FF

It will “ensure

the future growth of one of Norway’s most important industries


DELIVERING THE GOODS • Freight shipping, cargo handling, road haulage and distribution

• Temperature controlled transportation

• Direct connections into Scandinavia and Europe

• HGV workshop services

• Next day pallet deliveries/ collections throughout the UK

• Livestock movement • Ships agents

• Daily overnight service between all depots

Congratulations to Scottish Sea Farms on 10 years of Farming in Orkney


ORKNEY 01856 851088

ABERDEEN 01224 213215

SCRABSTER 01847 892052

INVERNESS 01463 233299

CUMBERNAULD 01236 728108


10/12/2018 15:18:00

Nauplius Workboats – Advertorial

Tough LUV New vessels perfect for harsh conditions


n 2018 Gronigen, Netherlands, based Nauplius Workboats became the first company to design and build a new line of vessels specifically for the demands of fish farming. The 1907 Landing Utility Vessel (LUV) is a hybrid design between a landing craft and a Multi Cat vessel, placing the wheelhouse on the side. The decision to invest in the larger work deck and easy access has been well received as the company makes a name for itself in the Scottish fish farming market. From September this year, several of its 1907 LUVs were operational with Marine Harvest Scotland (Mowi). Given the challenges of fish farming at the moment, Nauplius believe that this first success in Scotland is reflective of the industry’s need to improve efficiency. Having a more comfortable work environment is undoubtedly linked to improvements in performance and productivity. Coupled with this, Nauplius understands that those in the fish farming industry face big challenges and it wants to assist them by providing very reasonably priced custom build LUVs, which will lead to efficiencies in their operations or while carrying out delicing or peroxiding. Nauplius Workboats was founded in 2006 by Jaap van den Hul-Kuijten, a marine engineer, and Gerrit Knol, the company’s technical director. Since

then they have both been working passionately on changing the way boats are delivered. There is no such thing as a standard product offered to clients, but always an open conversation with their ‘needs and wishes’ as a leading guide in design. Nauplius customises and is constantly developing designs to address practical needs. The new generation 1907 LUVs are suitable for 60 NM and for the harsh environments of the North Sea. Nauplius recognises that those in the fish farming and maritime world rightly expect more than a standard workboat these days, with increasing demand for specific working conditions. All aspects and practical experience from feedback with operators is put to use by continuously updating the design. The 1907 LUV is designed for manoeuvrability. At 20m in length and 7.25m breadth, it has a

All our vessels are “ one hundred per cent tailor made ”


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Top: Gerrit Knol Above: Jaap van den HulKuijten Opposite (top): Contract signing by Scottish Sea Farms, another Nauplius customer (left to right): Gerrit Knol, Graham Smith (SSF regional production manager - Shetlands), Richard Darbyshire (regional production manager – Orkney); Jaap van den HulKuijten Opposite - (below left): New 70m shipyard close to the Nauplius Workboats office in Groningen, the Netherlands. Left: Askival 1907 LUV during operation in Scotland for Marine Harvest Scotland (Mowi).

10/12/2018 15:16:19

Tough LUV

relatively small footprint, making it cost efficient and a dead weight of eight tonnes. However, there is still ample space for four occupants in the two cabins, each with a bunk bed. The vessels are equipped with all the modern day comforts, with each occupant having an optional wall-mounted TV and access to the internet. The 1907 LUVs are scheduled for delivery in 2019 from the Groningen based firm. Marine Harvest farms at Uist and Barra will get new vessels in August and December. Muck will also receive one in August and the final vessel will go to Carradale before Christmas 2019. Nauplius’s Gerrit Knol, takes up the story: ‘Our vessels are one hundred per cent tailor-made and are, therefore, fully in line with the requirements of our client. ‘The 1907 LUV smaller version was very well received, also because we had consciously looked at how we could keep the operational costs for the client as low as possible. This led to a follow-up order for three more, but this time larger versions - the 2712 LUV ‘The 1907 and 2712 LUVs are built to the local

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laws and guidelines and the highest safety standards. The 1907 LUV distinguishes itself by a special layout: a work deck on starboard along the entire ship’s length, facing the side of the pen. This was realised by placing the superstructure at portside. There is also enough space for a large crane, an HS Marine AK40 HE4 an AKVA net washer mounted on deck.’ The 2712 LUVs are equally suitable for open sea, and these three boats will be used as service boats and for fish feed deliveries. Designed as a six-single cabin vessel, providing a relaxing environment for free time, it means people on board return to work refreshed and ready for their next shift. Quality was also an important consideration. The 27m long vessel has space for two cranes, an HS Marine AKC 145-20 HE4 and an AK 48-18,5 E5, as well as several trucks and deck space for seven 20ft containers and three 10ft containers. Built in the Netherlands, Nauplius will deliver two 2712 LUVs, which will be deployed in the

North Sea with DESS Aquaculture Shipping Norway. Knowing what clients’ needs are means a continuous relationship with them. Nauplius applies feedback not only to inform new designs but also implements conversions when needed. At the start of 2019, Nauplius will begin one such conversion by installing delousing equipment on vessels for Marine Harvest Scotland (Mowi) at the new 70m long shipyard of Nauplius Workboats. Nauplius has a team of smart, driven people who care a lot about getting the job done and on building relationships. ‘We have a solid team in which everyone contributes their value to the end product. I feel I can move mountains with this team and we need that because there are always some bumps to be expected,’ laughs Gerrit Knol. You can find out more about the company by visiting its website at www.naupliusworkboats. com FF


10/12/2018 15:16:43

MASTS conference


Workshop shows researchers how to apply for funds


WORKSHOP held during the recent MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology) conference in Glasgow provided training to help researchers secure grants for their projects. Run by ARCH-UK (Aquaculture Research Collaborative Hub) network, the session focused on improving Early Career Researcher (ECR) understanding of the grant review process and changing grant environment, highlighting funding available for the next generation of aquaculture researchers. Presentations were given by academics and funders, offering valuable tips and advice on how to write successful grant applications. ECRs also gained hands-on experience reviewing grant proposals so they could appreciate what makes or breaks the decision to award research funding. Dr Avril Allman, head of Research and Funding Operations for NERC, UKRI, highlighted the following NERC, BBSRC and UKRI two to seven year fellowships currently, or soon to be, available for ECRs, each with their own specific application and eligibility criteria: • NERC Independent Research Fellowships (next closing date October 2019) • NERC Strategic Research Fellowships • NERC Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowships • BBSRC Discovery Fellowship (opens spring 2019) • BBSRC Enterprise Fellowship • BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship (opens spring 2019) • BBSRC & NERC Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships • BBSRC & NERC Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowships (aiding those on a career break) • UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships (round 3 opens spring 2019) The general process of BBSRC/NERC applications includes the following stages: Fellowships are about the individual, so candidates were told to ‘sell yourself and your potential to be a leader in your field of research’, independent from senior colleagues. Allman’s key advice was to involve the research support office at your university at an early stage and to not underestimate the use of lay summaries in explaining the broader context and wider importance of your research to reviewers and panel members, who may not all be experts in your field. Gain critical feedback from your peers before submitting an application, to ensure your message is clear, concise and addresses the call objectives. While you (ECRs with non-permanent positions) cannot be Principal Investigators on proposals, you can be a Recognised Researcher on a grant, so make sure you get named! Once you have a fellowship or lectureship, you can apply for a New Investigator award. Callum Harvey (Knowledge Transfer Network) explained the difference between UKRI grants and the KTN Open Competition applications, which must


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Be “ resilient, you will fail more often than not

show their game changing/disruptive potential; a strong business case with evidence to deliver economic impact; a return on investment; and growth through commercialisation. A credible application to KTN is outcome focused, ensuring time for research and development. The ISCF Transforming Food Production Fund is also a route to fund disruptive research that provides data driven solutions to drive primary agricultural productivity and reduces environmental impact. New ISCF calls are expected to open in 2019. Caroline Griffin explained how the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) co-funds collaborative innovation projects on key barriers to aquaculture growth, with a combined investment of £34 million to date. SAIC funded projects meet the following industry priorities: health and welfare; developing feeds for optimised nutrition and fish health; developing secure health certified Scottish mollusc spat production systems; and unlocking additional capacity, facilitating growth. Collaborative projects must have a lead industry sponsor paired with a Scottish HEI (Higher Education Institution) research partner. Prof Anton Edwards (University of Highlands and Islands), Prof Charles Tyler (University of Exeter) and Prof Ross Houston (Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh) also gave valuable and candid grant writing advice based on their many years of experience as academics and reviewers. Common themes between all of their presentations were: 1. Read and re-read the call objectives. 2. Ensure your letters of support are to YOU, name specific individuals that are interested in your research, why they are interested and how they will use your research to achieve their goals. 3. Be resilient, you will fail more often than not. 4.When replying to reviewers, don’t get angry! Cross reference responses to individual reviewers’ comments, and don’t refer back to the proposal - explain the point differently.

10/12/2018 15:14:52

The art of aid

Separate box at end

[MASTS conference] [The art of aid] The feedback from the MASTS event was very

positive; ECRs found the review exercise particu-

[Workshop shows whereby researchers how to apply for funds] larly useful, donated grant applications

were given a mock review by attendees. Above: The presenters Thanks to a crash course in reviewing from An(from left to right), ton Edwards, By Dr Joanna Goslingattendees provided comments that Charles Tyler, Ross mirrored those of actual reviewers – proving that Houston, Anton asking a friend to criticise your grant before you Edwards, Avril Allman  submit A WORKSHOP spring 2019) valuable. it can be extremely and Callum Harvey.  BBSRC Enterprisefree Fellowship Join ARCH-UK or follow on Twitter (@  Aquaculture_hub) BBSRC David Phillips toFellowship hear about(opens future spring training2019)  opportunities BBSRC & NERClike Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships this one.  BBSRC & NERC DaphneisJackson Fellowships (aiding those on a career break) Dr Joanna Gosling projectTrust manager/coordi nator UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships (roundResearch 3 opens spring 2019) of ARCH-UK, the Aquaculture Collaborative Hub, an academia led network The general process of BBSRC/NERC applications includes the following stages: developing a UK aquaculture community. FF [‘Be resilient, you will fail more often than not’]

Where the money comes from IN aquaculture, funding either comes directly from government via research councils, or privately from industry. There used to be seven research councils, with BBRSC and NERC being the two most likely to open funding calls for fundamental aquaculture research. However, these are in the process of being amalgamated into one body, UK Research and Innovation. UKRI is the new funding organisation for research and innovation in the UK. It brings together the seven UK research councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England, working closely with its partner organisations in the devolved administrations. The UK government has committed to reaching 2.4 per cent of GDP investment in R&D by 2027 (currently 1.7 per cent), and to reaching three per cent in the longer term. Historically, aquaculture research has received far less funding than other science disciplines. However, BBSRC & NERC recently committed £6 million to aquaculture funding as part of their Aquaculture Initiative 2014-2017. ARCH-UK was funded under the aquaculture initiative in 2017 and has a responsibility to report on the outputs of the research funded under this initiative, which it does at annual science events (ASEs). The first ASE was in Belfast in September 2018, the second will be the end of June 2019 in Stirling, the third in Swansea 2020. SAIC and KTN also offer funding for aquaculture research that is closer to market, showing clear economic benefit.

Fellowships are about the individual, so candidates were told to ‘sell yourself and your potential to be a leader in your field of research’, independent from senior colleagues. Allman’s key advice was to involve the research support office at your university at an early MASTS-1.indd 67


10/12/2018 15:15:14

MASTS - Multi-purpose platforms

New wave Can offshore renewables and aquaculture together provide sustainable energy, food and jobs?


HE Scottish aquaculture industry is eager to expand into new locations, which at the moment tend to be available only in deeper waters, further from the coast. The harsher wave conditions, and the need to protect the environment, are among the challenges that need to be tackled. But, nowadays, aquaculture is only one of the many ‘blue economy’ industries aiming at a sustainable use of the ocean space: offshore renewable energy, maritime transport, biotechnology, tourism, and others – can these industries work together, helping each other and diminishing the impact on the environment?


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An international team of 24 researchers, funded by the UK (EPSRC, NERC) and China’s (NSFC) research councils, think so. Dr Maurizio Collu, the project leader, from the University of Strathclyde, said: ‘Offshore multi-purpose platforms - that is, platforms that serve the needs of multiple industries - could offer significant benefits at an economic and environmental level, benefits that would not be reached by a single industry acting alone.

10/12/2018 15:12:06

New wave

Oceans are seen as the next “ agricultural revolution frontier, where huge opportunities are available ”

‘For example, offshore wind turbines, complemented by a suitable energy storage system (batteries), could reliably and sustainably power aquaculture systems. ‘Furthermore, optimising the layout of a wave energy converter array around aquaculture cages, it is possible to create a ‘sheltered area’ in their wake, opening new areas of the sea that were not accessible before.’ Dr Collu, who presented his research at the MASTS conference in Glasgow in November, said he and the team were now working on the techno-economic feasibility of installing wind turbines on aquaculture floating feeding barges, to provide all the necessary power to operate and maintain a typical west of Scotland salmon farm. At the moment, where a connection to the shore is not feasible, diesel generators are used to provide this power, therefore using non-sustainable fossil fuels and emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If fish processing is not considered (since it is often done onshore), the power requirements are well within the capabilities of off-the-shelf small wind turbines (with a rated power around few hundreds kW) which, if coupled with a suitably sized energy storage system, can cover the power needs all year round. Feeding barges can be used as support structures for the wind turbines, finding a synergy and sharing the costs, said Dr Collu. The questions that the international, multi-disciplinary team are answering through research are: will the feed barge still be stable if one or more wind turbines are installed on it? Will it be safe to work on such platforms? What would be the environmental impact of such a combined system? Will the noise of the wind turbine have an impact on salmon growth?

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Will the local communities accept the presence of these wind turbines? A stakeholder workshop, involving a number of governmental institutions and companies operating in this field, was organised in Oban at the end of August, hosted by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), a member of the consortium: feedback from a wide range of expertise and point of views were collected and are now being taken into account. Those present included representatives from Crown Estate Scotland, SAMS, Albatern, the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, University of Dundee (MUSES project), AquaMoor, and Allan Thomson, former founding director of Wavegen and Aquamarine Power. Dr Collu said the idea of having renewable energy systems to sustainably power aquaculture systems was well received by the sector, and at the moment no major obstacle was foreseen. Suggestions on a careful evaluation of the site and the relative environmental conditions were made. The concept is not only about untapping ocean resources, it is also about providing sustainable energy, food, jobs, and economic prosperity to isolated/remote communities, said Dr Collu. In Scotland, there are island communities which do not have round-theclock access to electricity – like, not so long ago, Fair Isle, between Orkney and Shetland, which is now enjoying a 24-hour electricity supply thanks to a local renewable energy scheme. In China, there are hundreds of remote island communities that have seen their populations in rapid decrease or being relocated, due to the lack of access to basic services, such as energy and freshwater. A multi-purpose platform coupling aquaculture systems, offshore renewable energy devices, and desalinisation units, could provide the basic services needed by any small community, and enable their economic development. For the Chinese scenario, the team is working on a large offshore floating structure, extracting energy from the wind and waves, and providing this energy not only to the closely co-located aquaculture systems, but also to the local community grid. These remote islands, of rare natural beauty, are also seen as having a huge potential for the tourism industry. A scale model of the innovative concept will be experimentally tested in the ocean basins of Harbin Engineering University and of the National Ocean Technology Centre, in China. These will be useful not only to prove, experimentally, the validity of the concept in operational and survival conditions, but also to validate the numerical tools developed by the UK and Chinese engineers, to analyse and design the full scale concept. In conclusion, oceans are seen as the next ‘agricultural revolution’ frontier, where huge and untapped opportunities are available, some of which could have an impact in the next few years. But we must be careful to proceed sustainably and in an environmentally compatible way., said Dr Collu. Multi-purpose platforms, maximising the synergies among different offshore industries, could make a promising contribution to this revolution. This INNO-MPP project is supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK (EPSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council UK (NERC) and the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). FF

Above: Dr Maurizio Collu Opposite: Diagram of how the concept might look Right: Fair Isle


10/12/2018 15:12:29

Steen-Hansen – Advertorial

Net gains for Steen-Hansen Firm lands payout from Innovation Norway


orwegian supplier Steen-Hansen has been awarded NOK 5.7 million in financial support from Innovation Norway as part of its programme for developing environmental technology. This support is based on a holistic approach to the issue of fouling, with a focus on reducing the environmental footprint, improving fish health and increasing net protection. Fish farming in net pens will be a dominant operating form in the foreseeable future. It is therefore important to focus on achieving an acceptable environmental footprint, with more efficient operating regimes, improved fish welfare- and the reputation of the industry. The main aim of the project is to develop and implement a process line for the industrial production of new and more environmentally friendly net protection products. Stig Fagerlid, plant manager at Steen-Hansen, outlines the plans: ‘Steen-Hansen has long worked purposefully towards developing even more efficient and environmentally friendly products. Our new, innovative products have far greater processing requirements than traditional net impregnation,

and the financial support from Innovation Norway will play an important role in being able to achieve industrial production of these desired products.’ The project also looks at the entire life-cycle of net use; from impregnation products, their correct application, the traceability of products, to the re-use of packaging. Among other things, Steen-Hansen’s innovation project will provide fish farmers with a foundation for evaluating the environmental impact on their own locality through strategic choices for keeping the net pens free of fouling. Innovation Norway’s senior advisor, Tore Alfheim, was impressed with the project: ‘Steen-Hansen has demonstrated that it takes environmental challenges regarding the use of net impregnation seriously, for example by using copper free and copper reduced products, as well as having its own recycling unit for transport packaging. ‘They submitted a strong application for a logical continuation of this strategy, and we are excited about the future.’ You can find out more about the project at FF

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10/12/2018 15:08:29

Processing and Retail News

Rosyth ‘champions’ lift productivity MARINE Harvest Scotland’s processing plant in Rosyth has seen a ‘huge lift’ in productivity and performance, according to the company’s November newsletter. ‘It’s been all go at Rosyth. Supplying to Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Lidl, as well as the French market following a fire at the Kritsen factory, Rosyth has seen a huge lift in productivity and performance,’ wrote Rosyth operations and sourcing director Bertil Buysse. ‘This boost is largely thanks to investment

Above: The Rosyth plant

in new machinery and investment in our people.’ Additions to the machinery at Rosyth

said Buysse ‘These machines slice using laser scanners to give a perfect, fixed weight per slice. A new packing machine is also in use, increasing the efficiency of packing and meaning that product is with our customers as soon as possible.’ As of June this year, Rosyth had 574 full time equivalent staff preparing, packing and distributing include new I-slice 10,500 tonnes of 3300 machines, which finished product on a enable efficient yearly basis. processing of smoked ‘As such a large salmon products, operation, it is important that processes run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Seafood owned ‘That’s why the 5S Pinneys salmon plant at Annan a few weeks methodology has been implemented, ago, it means that both in the factory Scotland has lost at and offices,’ said least 700 seafood Buysse. jobs so far this year. The 5S system is an ESCo said it will organisational meth‘maintain the necesod that covers the sary employees’ to fulfil all current contracted obligations which run until the end of the year. MAREL, the Icelandic The company has processing equipblamed high salmon ment supplier, prices for its probis upgrading its lems. UK operations to

Edinburgh Salmon Co to close THE Edinburgh Salmon Company (also known as ESCo) is to close its production centre at Dingwall in the Highlands, with the loss of more than 250 jobs. The site had been experiencing heavy losses and the owners, Européenne de la Mer, a subsidiary of the global seafood giant Thai Union, warned two months ago that the site may have to go. The factory, which

produces smoked salmon products, will close at the end of the year. Européenne de la Mer said it regretted the closure but, in the face of challenging markets, it had found no other alternative to closure. The Ross-shire processing plant employs 163 staff workers, and up to 100 temporary workers. Following the closure of the Young’s

Seafish launches processing probe SEAFISH has launched a deep look at the UK’s seafood processing sector, with a programme of financial, employment and sector research. The probe has kicked off with a processing census, which is carried out every two years to collect information on the size, structure, and recent changes in the sector. Data collection has already started, and the results will be published in the Seafish Seafood Processing Industry Report 2018, due for publication

Processing News.indd 71

next summer. Meanwhile, a processing sector financial survey will be carried out in March 2019 to collect business performance data in processing. Results from this survey will also feature in the Seafood Processing Industry Report. As the UK leaves the EU, there will be a big focus on employment and recruitment issues in food industries, which is another area Seafish has been looking at over the past 12 months.

Young’s ‘in talks with Norwegian salmon supplier’ 99 per cent success All departments are “now audited every month ” Above: Jørn-Gunnar Jacobsen

five Ss: sort, set in order, shine, standardise and sustain. The team at Rosyth has been trained on the 5S methodology and ‘champions’ are assigned to different areas to ensure the 5Ss are delivered. ‘All departments are now audited every month, with the latest audits showing results of over 90 per cent, with the MAP department scoring 99 per cent,’ said Buysse.

YOUNG’S has remained silent on reports from Norway that it is negotiating a large scale deal with a well known Nordic supplier to buy salmon and white fish. The industry website said that representatives from the Norwegian Fish Company had visited a number of seafood companies in the UK recently, including the Young’s head office in Grimsby. Its chief executive, Jørn-Gunnar Jacobsen, told Ilaks that it was looking for new business in Britain, where it sees promising opportunities. He added that Young’s was responsible for 40 per cent of the fish consumed in the UK and was one of the largest kets for Marel. users of farmed The company’s UK salmon in Europe. He general manager said that Young’s had Graeme Rolinson said: responded positively ‘The new developto the approaches. ment in Colchester is a The next step, visual milestone in our said Jacobsen, was locations development to invite large UK and reinforces the hard purchasers such work, commitment and as Young’s to visit determination by all.’ the Norwegian Fish Internationally, the Company’s facilities company reported 2018 in Norway, where it third quarter revenues could show off its of 282 million euros, up modern factories and on last year’s Q3 figure its latest technology. of 247 million euros.

Marel to bolster UK base

strengthen its brand in the country and offer its workforce a more modern environment. And it is also looking to London for a possible Stock Market listing. The Icelandic company employs almost 200 people in the UK and Ireland, and its plans include renovating its manufacturing facility in Colchester, Essex, and creating a modern sales and service office at its Birmingham base. The company said the UK and Ireland were important mar-


10/12/2018 15:07:20

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10/12/2018 12:11:45

Opinion – Inside track

Reeling from REC impact BY NICK JOY


HE Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee has lived up to the wordiness of its name and produced a wordy report. I received it, as I believe others did, while embargoed, from the wild salmonid lobby and one notorious anti-fish farmer. I think this is the ninth of these kinds of reports I have seen in my career. They average around one every five years. It is a wonder that the industry has moved forward at all under the yoke of the endless, repetitious and vacuous nature of reviews. This one is particularly notable for the people it would not include, the limited industry representation, the lack of requirement for evidence of any substantial nature from critics, and an assumption before it started that the industry was at fault. The fact that the RSPCA was not allowed to give evidence should shame the members of the committee. I assume it was because the RSPCA is assumed to be English, despite the fact that it has an international reputation. So, to the actual conclusions of the report, all 65 of them: No 1: Our industry impacts on other marine businesses. It does but how many of these are significant impacts? Without evidence, one Anna Novak cites that the seaweed for her business might be contaminated with ‘toxins’ from salmon farms. She does not elicit what ‘toxins’, where they might come from, how they attached to seaweed and so on. In other words, she just thinks it might be so and doesn’t like salmon farms. She also thinks that seaweed has turned pink from ‘dyes’ used in farmed salmon! But still some of her comments actually made it into the report. Michel Wigan, the well known salmon farming critic, noted that if a scrupulous cost accounting were applied to the industry it would not come out well (shortened for your mental wellbeing). That might be so but I doubt it. His preferred industry, angling, might come out considerably worse.The problem with this section and almost all of the rest of the report is that nothing, not a single word, is subject to any serious scrutiny. If no serious scrutiny has been applied to criticism then no serious action should be attempted from it. I won’t give credence to the call for a moratorium and neither did the committee. Despite their virtue signalling at every possible point, even they have realised that there is no evidence to back this up. But it is interesting that the MSPs think salmon farms should move offshore. They champion the cause of small marine businesses, while making absolutely sure that no small businesses ever enter this industry again. They talk about moving or removing sites from salmon migratory routes, while making clear there is not enough evidence to act upon the criticism that wild salmonids are affected. They do not define at which point in the migratory route this becomes significant.They seem unaware that wild salmon rove and might be anywhere on the west coast - even offshore, where they suggest siting farms. This is the ‘precautionary principle’, that wonderful phrase that drives my blood pressure to boiling point. What will the committee members say to all those people who lose their jobs in the rural economy when their sites are shut down? If sea lice become an extreme rarity (as they have on one farm) and yet 10 years pass without an improvement in returns to the river, how the committee’s words will echo in the empty houses and sheds that once held people producing top quality healthy food. No 8:The committee calls for accreditation clarity, but Freedom Food, the second most recognised accreditation in the UK and its progenitor, the RSPCA, were refused permission to give evidence to the committee. It seems the REC had drawn its conclusions before it sat down. The committee thinks that government regulators can arrive


Nick Joy.indd 74

The “ committee had an assumption before it started that the industry was at fault

on site, drive away algal blooms, strike amoeba dead at a single blow and leave again, to the resounding cheers of all of the local people and fish farmers. Of course, reality is a long way away from this. Fish farmers don’t want mortalities, and nor do pig farmers, chicken farmers, sheep farmers, or any other form of farmer.When a really cold winter comes along and large numbers of sheep die on the hills, do we see politicians suggesting that industry regulators could make a difference? No, because they would be laughed at. We then finally get an admission of something we have known for a long time: there is no definitive scientific evidence of the various factors affecting the decline of wild salmon stocks. (I think they meant to include sea trout but they forgot.) Having said this, the committee then says it is all salmon farms’ fault and recommends we close a whole load down. No 42 is hilarious because, having said that there is no definitive evidence, the REC then says there should be an agency to deal with the unproven link between salmon farming and the wild salmon decline. I think we should also have an agency to look into my idea that the moon is made of green cheese. No 43 at least acknowledges that both industries (‘sectors’) should exist.The committee uses the word ‘sector’ because it knows the word ‘conservation’ cannot be uttered in the same breath as angling, as that could hardly support their arguments of protecting the environment. If the true terms were used, then this report would not accommodate criticism from an industry which uses a wild species for sport, and kills and has killed enormous numbers of a declining species, against one which is working out how to grow it. There are many more old and tired words about where sites should be, irrespective of site performance, history, facts or cost. So let me tell you what will not work. Creating more agencies, more research, more reviews, more regulations, more government employees monitoring tick book exercises from offices and once in a while going out to visit those weird people who live and work outside, will not make one jot of difference. More to the point, this report comes at the wrong time, not for the industry, not for the critics, but for the authors.They call for things they cannot have.The government does not have spare funds, and council budgets continue to be slashed. Finally, let’s have no more reports that repeat what has been said before. If it didn’t change things last time, then try another route. FF

10/12/2018 15:01:17

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Fish Farmer Magazine December 2018  

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Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977