Fish Farmer March 2019

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Fish Farmer VOLUME 42

Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977


MARCH 2019





First look at Scotland’s most exposed farm site

How aquaculture is driving Scottish builders

Holyrood separates fact from fiction

Plenty to digest in insects for feed forum

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05/03/2019 12:31:32




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Contents 4-17 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

18-21 16-21 16-17 16-22 extra Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquiry


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


Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham Salmon farming debate The final sessions

salmon farming sector in Scotland, when it was to he focus this month istopictures on Europe, the internati T HE is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal T last, the parliamentary investigation into Scottish salmon be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, embraced the industry willhas soon gathering the EAS (European salmon were sent tobe news outlets just asjoint the Scotti shbiggest news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry salmon farming concluded, withfor the findings of into the opportunity this would provide explain how it month. operated. Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament back to work atto the start of this These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy inquiry,went by the Rural Economy and Connectivity committee, The industry had nothing to hide and, if given a fair hearing, conference, tovity beto staged over in theof southern images had litt le do with thefive current state Scotland’s ficould sh the and Connecti (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench fiWith ve debated in an afternoon session atdays Holyrood last month. address much of the criti cism levelled against it. city ofngs, As well asare highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice levels in decline and, inthe fact, at abe fiParty vemeeti in private, to consider their report and we must exception of perhaps two dissenting voices from Green Fish Farmer supported this view, but at ti mes felt that salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng for their recommendati ons has been and one from the Conservatives, the consensus among politicians farmers were being drowned out bywhich the noisier elements offarming the sessions onpropaganda emerging markets and look atinvolves the role fishusual This latest campaign, allofgrowth, the made harder by leaks from the REC to anti -salmon seemed to be very much in within favour of the industry’s 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) sustainably of course. Considering the level of antipathy towards sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are their scope, subjects such asthat the committ social and Connecti vity committ eetackling returned the summer recess to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom it suggests ee the broadening sector from some quarters - described by Ben Hadfield, thewe 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 managing director of Scotland’s biggest producer, Mowi, as ‘a food security and saving the planet, aindustry move is toanti welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens in cahoots with -farming Those who want tocoordinated shut down the asbe expected, shut down this sector, rather than tohave, those who operate fairly sustained and attack’ - itthat is hugely encouraging Also investi gati ng initi ati ves in the developing world, Dr Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, regard the industry in a favourable stepped actiprevailed vities, which now involve breaching within it.up their that common sense in the end. Presented withthe the 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 stories may beabout inaccurate and, inpotenti any facts, most MSPs eventually disregarded the fiction, andcase, now Nigeria, both catfish and tilapia culti vati on.against responsibiliti seriously and that will day only ever invest the hopefarmers of fies nding ng businesses evidence farmers. Onein committ ee’s fiin ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fish farmers salmon canincriminati hopefully get on with their jobs. In Scotland, the summer has been something of a waiti ngdead game growth that not isfibeen sustainable. campaigner lmed himself searching, for have fortunate to have the supportwill of their minister, Thisalways does mean challenges ofunsuccessfully, farming while the parliament isthe in recess and the members of disappear, Holyrood’s and If ee members, those have yet tothose fi shthe at acommitt Marine Harvest site.especially Another he saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow the focus, as ever, is onsustainably. finding better said ways towho farm. Among Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up visit a salmon farm, would like to learn more about the subject ofof 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 breaking newinboundaries is into Cooke Aquaculture, with its ‘edge the evidence their inquiry salmon farming. We don’t expect 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 the ocean’ Our photographer, Angus their reportfarm until off theWestray autumn in butOrkney. 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 Blackburn, was acquainted granted access the trialabout site at East Skelwick to become fully withto the facts fish farming. they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s If the industry iswe proud ofreti itsthe high standards, as itsalmon says it is, it are in athis positi on to infl uence future course ofof farming, and in issue bring you the first how well the This month also sees the rement ofevidence Marine Harvest’s longest biggest fifaring sh 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 farm is in its exposed location. serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had no trouble collecting will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inindustry, Aviemore and representati vethey body, the SSPO, than itthe has done tothrough date. The toWe know who are, and weand hope its 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.

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

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

Cover:Steve Alisonsh Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti Sea Farms regional Cover: Stewart Rendall, farming director, Loch Etive. salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for farm Orkney, manager of Cooke Aquaculture’s Picture: Scott Binnie during his visit to Marine Richard Darbyshire (left), Harvest and the East Skelwick site off Westray. in 2016. Photo: Iain Ferguson Westerbister team at Scapa Pier Picture: Angus Blackburn

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Contents – Editor’s Welcome

46 48-49 41-43 42-44 38-39 Brussels Boatbuilding Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture Salmon market Montpellier preview From shrimp torobust salmon Investor advice Wellboat watershed

48-52 44-46 46-49 40-41 50-55 Net cleaners Brussels Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture New processors’ groupon Sti rling course Pictures atmarket the exhibiti Insurance AKVA’s new model

22-23 22-23 18-19 24-27 News extra Salmon market SSPO Tour de force

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

24-25 SSPO

56 48-49 50-58 42-45 54-55 Book review Training Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation Insects for feed

Beyond Brexit

Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best ofonthe start-ups Focus cleaner fish Scottish potential

56-57 57 53-55 60-63 48-49 Insects for feed Aquaculture UK Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 Net cleaning

24 20 20-21 28-29 Comment BTA Shellfish

Introducti onons The ground rules Farming angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti

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

58-60 58-59 60-63 68-69 51 Insects Aquaculture UK Australia Training Sea bassfor feed

26-27 26 22-23 30 Comment Shellfi Comment BTA Dr Martinsh Jaffa

Protein in perspective Barramundi boom Martyn Haines European leaders Chris Mitchell

Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod

28-29 28-31 24-25 32-33 Shellfish SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms Oyster opening Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet

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

13 13

32-38 34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Farm visit Cooke Aquaculture Comment Cleaner Orkney Farm visitfish Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New player Dawn new

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

69 64-67 70-73 52-54 64-65 UK Aquaculture Nigeria Networking Research Meet the team Boosti ng producti on Dave Conley Chris Mitchell Insects for feed The view from IFFO

81-82 76-77 56-59 73 the From Archive Value chains Aquaculture UK Processing & Retail News Awards David LittinleChina reports Growth Developing trends Bigger Brussels

91 78-79 63 74-75 Retail & Marketing Processing & Retail News Archive Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment Eat more fishchallenges

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

Sea lice strategy

40-42 Boatbuilding

Booming business

92-93 80-81 64-65 76-77 Aqua Aqua Source Source Directory Directory Find all you need for the industry

43-45 46-47 40 37 36-37 Boatbuilding Brussels Mull’s moment Innovation Cleaner fishconference Aquaculture Innovation

94 82 66 78 Opinion Opinion By Nick Joy

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

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 Novel technology Temperature Introducti on

Welcome May.indd Aug.indd Welcome ---- May.indd Sept.indd Oct.indd Mar.indd 33333 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 05/03/2019 18:05:09 12:34:30 09/05/2018 08/08/2018 15:36:28 06/09/2018 16:32:15 04/10/2018 09:15:28

United Kingdom News


Scientists make Leap in genetics research

A NEW research collaboration between academic and industry scientists aims to boost the selective breeding of stocks of vital UK aquaculture species. The £1.7 million AquaLeap initiative

will focus on four key species that have substantial economic and environmental importance for the UK: Atlantic salmon, lumpfish, European lobster, and European flat oyster.

consortium is led by the Roslin Institute in partnership with the Universities of Aberdeen, Exeter and Stirling, and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). The commercial partners are Hendrix Genetics, Xelect, the National Lobster Hatchery,Tethys OysResearchers will work ters, and Otter Ferry with industry partners SeaFish. to identify sustainable Teams will use cutting solutions to current edge genetic sequencchallenges facing ing technologies to aquaculture production, identify DNA markers including significant that are linked to diseases. economically important The interdisciplinary traits, such as disease

resistance or growth rate.This information will help develop and apply new tools to improve breeding programmes for these valuable species. Experts will also develop gene editing techniques to understand genes controlling resistance to diseases, and explore possibilities of using this technology to speed up stock improvement. The scientific programme is complemented by a series of training, dissemination and public engagement activities, including addressing skills gaps

identified by the ARCH-UK network, pioneered by Stirling University’s Institute of Aquaculture. The Roslin Institute will host a one-day conference on May 20, focused on the application of genetic technologies for improvement of finfish and shellfish. AquaLeap is funded by the UK government’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).

Scottish salmon exports SAIC gets top farmers on board DAWNFRESH farming director Alison Hutchins down 16 per cent and the managing director of Shetland SCOTTISH salmon exports dropped in value by 16 per cent in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs. Exports were worth £505 million in 2018, against a record of £600 million in 2017 – which was up 35 per cent on 2016’s total. Export volumes in 2018 were down by 18.9 per cent from 92,350 tonnes to 74,816 tonnes, a decrease blamed on lower harvests. The US remains Scotland’s biggest market, for farmed salmon importing 19,298 tonnes worth £139 million. A Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) spokesman said: ‘Export figures for 2018 follow the trend set in 2016 with the EU, the US and Far East continuing to be important markets for Scottish salmon. ‘ The spokesman added that 2017 was ‘an exceptional year for exports’ . It exceeded all previous records due to favourable market conditions as Chile experienced supply issues. ‘However, overall exports of Scottish salmon continue to do well and are a significant part of the Scottish food and drink export strategy.’


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Mussels, Michael Tait, have joined the board of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), it was announced on February 28. With a combined 35 years of experience, Hutchins and Tait will enhance the board’s existing expertise, said SAIC. The board consists of 10 members, including producers, academics, and observers from the Scottish Funding Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Based in Argyll, Hutchins has 17 years’ experience in aquaculture, working across organisations such as the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Scottish Salmon Company, before joining Dawnfresh, the UK’s largest trout producer. She has a strong understanding of regulatory processes, as well as developing strategies for site development and business growth. Tait, meanwhile, has been the chairman of the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group since 2012 and built Shetland Mussels into the UK’s second largest producer of mussels. An experienced director and entrepreneur, he worked on behalf of the shellfish sector to contribute to the aquaculture industry’s Vision

Above: Alison Hutchins

2030 growth strategy. Hutchins said: ‘This is an exciting time to be involved in the aquaculture industry in Scotland. Over the years I have worked hard to attract funding, encourage innovation and ensure the kind of growth the industry in this country is capable of.’ Tait said: ‘‘I hope that we can continue to assist the industry in unlocking its full potential, especially in rural areas like Shetland, where I’m based. I’m sure my SME and shellfish sector experience will enhance the board’s existing knowledge and bring a fresh perspective to its thinking.’

05/03/2019 12:35:30

All the latest industry news from the UK

Row erupts over seafood export charges SCOTTISH seafood businesses claim they are facing prohibitive increases in export costs because of council hikes, according to a report last month. The row centres on local authority health certificates, with some costs rising almost thirtyfold in less than two years. Health certificates are required when selling to countries outside the EU, but they are also likely to become a legal requirement when the UK leaves the EU, with or without a deal, this year. Cameron Brown, managing director of Loch Fyne Oysters, in Cairndow,Argyll and Bute, revealed last that the company was facing a bill of £125,000 this year, 30 times more than it paid in 2017. He told BBC Scotland at the end of February: ‘We have four tonnes of smoked salmon going out this week to Turkey.The value of it is £75,000.The health certificate for that costs £91. ‘But if we put out a single box of oysters - and we do many of these a year, to various customers around the world - the cost is still £91. ‘A box containing 100 oysters, weighing just seven kilos, has a sales value of £65. It needs a health certificate costing £91.That makes it unviable for our customers. It’s very unfair.’ Above: Salmon fillet A similar protest has been made by the Clyde Fishermen’s Association, which has warned that the higher charges could eventually cost jobs. It added that the costs vary widely across Scotland, depending on the local authority. The association wants charges to be standardised

across the country. Argyll and Bute Council, which said it had increased its charges in the face of budget cuts, told BBC Scotland in a statement:‘Our enforcement policy is to support business and in doing so, to protect public health and safety. ‘We would like to have maintained fees at their previous low levels but this is, unfortunately, not an option. Our export certificate fee was the lowest in Scotland and did not recover the cost of delivering this service.’ Scotland Food and Drink has also warned that the rising charges could damage a billion pound industry already facing additional problems because of Brexit. Its chief executive, James Withers, said:‘The sharp rise in the cost of these certificates is hitting businesses hard. ‘The increase in charges, as much as 400 per cent in some areas of the country, has been introduced with little discussion with industry. ‘The real concern is they fly in the face of the national efforts to grow food exports from Scotland.’ Brexit was also presenting problems and he described the prospect of businesses having to pay for certificates for the first time for EU exports as ‘daunting’. It was time for a rethink on the entire issue, he urged.

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UK news.indd 5


05/03/2019 12:36:10

United Kingdom News

Farmers in ‘Norwegian salmon’ probe

EUROPEAN Union officials visited several Norwegian owned salmon companies in Scotland last month to explore alleged anti-competitive behaviour in the sector. Grieg Seafood, Mowi (formerly Marine Harvest) and Scottish Sea Farms were all subject to inspections. But although Scottish producers were at the centre of enquiries, Norway was believed to be the main target of the investigation. In a letter reportedly sent by the EC to the companies, it was information regarding Norwegian farmed salmon that prompted the move. The letters were sent by the EC earlier in the month notifying some of the companies that there would be inspections in February. The letter said the commission had received information ‘alleging that some Norwegian producers of farmed Norwegian Atlantic salmon’ had participated in ‘anti-competitive agreements’. Norway is not an EU member state and as an EEA (European Economic Area) country is not under the same EU jurisdiction as the UK. The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) said it believed the focus of the investigation was outside Scotland. ‘The SSPO is aware of the inspections carried out by EC officials at premises belonging to salmon companies in relation to allegations of anti-competitive practices,’ said the organisation in a statement. ‘However, we understand the focus of the investigation is another jurisdiction, not Scotland.’


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A spokesperson for Scottish Sea Farms said: ‘We can confirm that we, like other Norwegian owned companies in Scotland, have been visited by EC officials and are cooperating fully.’ Grieg said: ‘Grieg Seafood aims to be open, transparent and forthcoming and will provide all necessary information requested by the European Commission DG Competition in its investigation.’ An EC statement said: ‘The Commission has concerns that the inspected companies may have violated EU anti-trust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities. ‘Unannounced inspections are a preliminary investigatory step into suspected anti-competitive practices.The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself. ‘There is no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anti-competitive conduct.Their duration depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which the companies concerned co-operate with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defence.’ Cost of raids: Europe News, Page 11 Making Mischief: Martin Jaffa, Page 30

Industry forges links with PhD talent pool AQUACULTURE’S future leaders are meeting industry representatives in a series of seminars designed to find new ways of tackling the sector’s challenges. Four PhD students from the universities of Stirling, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, as well as the Scottish Association Above: SAIC team with CEO Heather Jones (left) for Marine Science (SAMS), 19-20 and April 4-5. are joining 11 participants SAIC head of skills and talent, Mary from Scottish companies, including Fraser, said:‘Our new programme is Mowi, BioMar, the Scottish Salmon specifically designed to drive innovaCompany, Scottish Sea Farms, and tion, by forging early links between Dawnfresh Seafoods. In the first of the two-day seminars, aquaculture’s future leaders and equipping them with the right skills. held last month in Stirling, the ‘As well as coming up with new students learnt the skills, tools, and ideas, our participants will look at methods to address issues ranging how to discern workable ideas from from fish welfare to minimising the pack, develop and de-risk protoenvironmental impact. types, and work with regulators. The Scottish Aquaculture ‘We’re very encouraged by the Innovation Centre (SAIC), which level of engagement with the prois part-funding the PhD cohort, gramme – it has proven so popular hosted the inaugural Aquaculture that it is over-subscribed, underlining Innovation and Industry Engagement the appetite in aquaculture for innoProgramme (IIEP).The subsequent vation, learning, and development.’ sessions will take place on March

AKVA man Johnson to retire ONE of aquaculture’s most familiar faces, Dougie Johnson of AKVA, has announced his retirement. Johsnon, sales director at Inverness based AKVA Group Scotland, has worked across the industry in a career spanning more than 40 years. He started as a farmer and worked at Kames and for Landcatch, with spells in Norway and Chile. In an ‘Industry Pioneer’ interview for Fish Farmer, published in 2015, Johnson spoke of his pride in the aquaculture industry’s development and the jobs it Above: Dougie Johnson has created. ‘There is huge growth potential utilising new technology and farming practices,’ he said. ‘It’s a journey we’re on and I’ve been very fortunate to be part of it.’ Johnson is to be replaced by David Peach, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the marine industry and arrives at AKVA from a senior position as group sales director at 3Si, Safety and Survival Systems International. With AKVA in Scotland now employing more than 70 people, Peach’s role will be to lead the organisation in delivering profitable sales and ensuring customer service and support continues to be ‘best in class’, said the company. Jason Cleaversmith, AKVA’s general manager in Scotland, said: ‘David’s strong sales background will bring great value to AKVA Group Scotland as it continues to develop and thrive within the UK industry,.’ Above: David Peach

05/03/2019 12:36:35

All the latest industry news from the UK

AquaGen buys Scottish Sea Farms’ hatchery

Above: SSF’s Ralph Bickerdike (left) and AquaGen Scotland’s Andrew Reeve

AQUAGEN, the world leading salmon breeder and supplier of eggs, has signed a deal to buy Scottish Sea Farms’ freshwater hatchery at Holywood near Dumfries as part of a long-term strategic investment that will further improve fish welfare in Scotland. The acquisition follows a successful trial production of eggs under licence in autumn 2018 and will enable the Norwegian owned company to offer Scotland’s salmon farmers a reliable supply of eggs from locally farmed AquaGen broodstock, increasing food security. It will also facilitate a targeted breeding programme to identify the genetic and biological traits most suited to performing well in Scottish farming conditions, resulting in robust fish stocks and a high quality product for market. Welcoming the news, Scotland’s Rural Economy minister, Fergus Ewing, said: ‘AquaGen’s investment speaks volumes of the confidence from the sector of doing business in Scotland and supports the aims of Scotland’s 10-Year Farmed Fish Health Framework, helping to improve the security of Scotland’s ova supply.’ AquaGen CEO Nina Santi said: ‘We are committed to providing our customers in Scotland with a secure supply of eggs and this latest investment opens up the possibility of us supplying these eggs from locally grown broodstock.We’re planning a series of upgrades to the existing facilities at Holywood, using Scottish suppliers as much as possible, then we will go into full production later this year. ‘Deliveries will be from November to June initially; longer term, we hope to extend to year-round production of up to 50 million eggs annually.’ Overseeing production and research will be AquaGen Scotland, which was established in autumn 2017, headquartered at Stirling University Innovation Park, creating two new roles. The team has since expanded to eight, four of whom are based full-time at Holywood, with a further two new roles expected to be created at the hatchery as production develops. Unlike coastal hatcheries, the four-acre inland hatchery at Holywood uses groundwater drawn from a series of bore holes, a system that is known for its biosecurity, quality and constant temperatures, and is therefore well suited to egg production. Scottish Sea Farms’ head of Fish Health, Ralph Bickerdike, said: ‘This is a hugely promising development for Scotland’s salmon farmers, bringing world leading breeding expertise and technologies to bear on home grown broodstock so that their offspring can be adapted to specifically suit the Scottish marine environment.’ ‘This, in turn, will bring a whole host of further improvements in terms of fish welfare and product quality.’ In the four decades since the first commercial scale salmon farms were established, genetic advances have included: reducing the time that farmed salmon spend at sea; more efficient use of feed per kilo of meat produced; greater resistance to common fish diseases; increased survival rates; and higher quality of product for market.

UK news.indd 7

Welfare focus of fish vets forum WELFARE in farmed fish is the main theme of this year’s Fish Vet Society (FVS) conference, to be held near Edinburgh from March 26-27. The subject will be examined from three distinct angles: training in welfare, responsible use of therapeutants, and prevention strategies. Speakers include Dr Francis Murray and Dr Andrew Desbois from Stirling University’s Institute of Aquaculture, who will talk about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in different aquaculture markets and in cleaner fish. Alex Pargana, also of Stirling University, will discuss training in fish health, along with Mary Fraser of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). Other speakers include Amy Jackson of RUMA (the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture); Camilla Wilson of MSD, who will highlight innovative vaccination tools; Ana Silva of Elanco; and Rosa Merino of HIPRA, a veterinary pharmaceutical company. Pharmaq/Zoetis will also be present to address the role of vaccination in the growth of the global aquaculture

industry. The keynote speaker for the conference is Julie HeskethLaird, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO). And the SSPO’s Iain Berrill will also be on hand, speaking about prevention strategies in fish farming. The conference will be opened by Nikos Steiropoulos, junior vice president of the FVS and aquaculture business manager at MSD. Day two opens with a session on ornamental fish, followed by the ‘clinical club’ – a chance for fish vets and fish health professionals to share their experiences. Among the expert speakers is Mowi head vet Meritxell Padrisa, who will offer insights into Pasteurella skyensis outbreaks in Atlantic salmon. The last session of the second day will be on refinement in regulated procedures and husbandry for lab animals. The conference takes place on Tuesday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 27, with a conference dinner on the Tuesday night, at Houstoun House, Uphall. Visit uk

Above: Julie Hesketh-Laird of the SSPO is the keynote speaker


05/03/2019 12:36:56

United Kingdom News

Farmer’s role in wild salmon success

Above: Members of Benmore Estate and the SSC

A SCOTTISH salmon farmer has launched a restocking project on Mull in collaboration with wild fisheries interests. The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) supplied 300,000 ova to the Glen Forsa hatchery at Benmore Estate at Gruline as part of a long-term partnership. The hatchery marks a significant investment for the estate and will see salmon raised and returned to its fishing river. The Mull partnership is the latest in a number of restocking projects supported by the SSC to regenerate wild salmon numbers in Scottish rivers. In the spring of 2018, more than 4,000 smolt were released into a river system on North Uist as part of an ongoing project with the North Uist Estate. It was in this river system that the company’s own Native Hebridean broodstock originated – and it was fish from these bloodlines that restocked the estate. One of the company’s most successful

programmes is on the River Carron, where its relationship with the fishery began 10 years ago through the supply of feed and equipment. Then, in 2012, the University of the Highlands and Islands set up a research project to investigate the impact of restocking on the river. The River Carron Restoration Project was jointly funded by the SSC, Scottish Sea Farms, and feed companies Skretting, Ewos and BioMar. The SSC’s Langass hatchery has over the past eight years received 30,000 wild ova from the River Carron and returned more than 685,000 ova and 228,000 fry back to the river. Craig Anderson, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Company, said: ‘The unique natural environment on the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides is the fabric weaved into the provenance of our Scottish salmon. Restocking projects, such as those on the Benmore Estate, play an important role in our ongoing commitment to support the marine environment in these beautiful areas.’ Bob Kindness, manager of the River Carron Restoration Project, said: ‘The restocking project has proven to be effective on the River Carron, with elevated catches for the last 15 years, reflecting exactly the timeline of our restocking efforts. Our longstanding relationship with the SSC has delivered practical support and knowledge sharing between both parties and has delivered a measurable impact on wild stocks.’

SSC reports record earnings in 2018 THE Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) had a record year in 2018, with operating profits increasing from £38.7 million to £56.3 million. The company made £180.1 million in 2018, compared to £151 million the previous year. Fourth quarter revenue rose by six per cent to reach £42.5 million, while EBIT/ kg increased 20 per cent to £1.14, attributed to a 2.5 per cent increase in harvest volumes and strong prices. SSC harvested 29,913 tonnes during 2018, up from 25,272 tonnes in 2017, and has set a harvest target of 31,500 tonnes for 2019. CEO Craig Anderson said record Q4 results were ‘driven by strong operational performance across the value chain, good biological perfor-


UK news.indd 8

Above: Craig Anderson

mance and a positive market environment’. Some 61 per cent of sales in Q4 were exports, up from 58 per cent in the same period in 2017, while exports for the whole of 2018 accounted for 58 per cent of sales. ‘Throughout 2018 we focused on driving export growth. Our commitment

to Scottish provenance and quality are key differentiators in the international market place, said Anderson in a market update on March 1. ‘Our brands, underpinned by this unique Scottish provenance, have contributed to our export achievements over the past 12 months ‘Lochlander Salmon was successfully introduced into North America and Tartan Salmon Label Rouge launched in France, growing our market share in these territories. ‘Developing our presence in North America and the Far East remain our focus. While, like any business, we have been monitoring Brexit negotiations closely, we have a global perspective and robust long-term strategy in place to support growth.’

Grieg Shetland income up amid ongoing challenges THE Grieg Seafood Group ended 2018 on a high, with record harvest volumes and increased revenues, its results for the final quarter and whole year show. Driven by high prices and cost reductions, the group reported a fourth quarter EBIT of NOK 351 million compared with NOK 151 million 12 months earlier. The EBIT per kg amounted to NOK 14.81 for the period, up from NOK 8.07 in Q4 2017. The harvest volume was 27 per cent higher at almost 24,000 tonnes, thanks to a strong performance in Norway. But the company said it was still tackling biological challenges in Shetland. Grieg said: ‘The farming cost (total cost related to fish harvested this quarter) increased by NOK 0.43 per kg compared to the same quarter last year. This is mainly related to the high cost of harvested fish in British Columbia (BC) and on Shetland, which was affected by harmful algal bloom (HAB) and gill related diseases.’ Yet despite these problems, fourth quarter revenues in Shetland were up from NOK 185.7 million to NOK 245.2 million and the year up from NOK 745.9 million

to almost NOK 800 million. Grieg also said that the quality of the fish in the final quarter had been high, contributing to good prices. However, the region experienced reduced survival during Q4, caused by gill related diseases and winter ulcers. The total harvest volume for the year in Shetland was 11, 924 tonnes, close to the expectation of 12,000 tonnes. Planned harvest volume for Q1 2019 is 1,600 tonnes. Grieg said: ‘Grieg Seafood Shetland continues to co-operate closely with the other sea farmers in the region. Whole farming areas now operate with a three-month fallowing period, and lice counting and treatment activity is coordinated between farmers. ‘Over the last four years, production at Grieg Seafood Shetland has been cut from 27 to 17 sites, focusing production on the best sites with the strongest biological control. By focusing on initiatives to improve biosecurity and fish welfare, Grieg Seafood Shetland maintains the target of a harvest volume of 17,000 tonnes with a production cost of NOK 43 per kg in 2020.’

05/03/2019 12:37:36

NEWS... Mowi makes impressive debut

A STRONG demand for salmon and higher prices have helped newly branded Mowi make an impressive New Year debut. The company, which changed its name from Marine Harvest, reported a 2018 fourth quarter operational EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) of €213 million, up from €181 million for the corresponding period in 2017. For the full year, Mowi made an operational EBIT of €753 million. This, said the company in a statement, is the second best year ever financially for the group. It achieved operational Q4 revenues of

€1,074 million and, for the whole of 2018, a record high turnover of €3,815 million. The total harvest volume for the fourth quarter was 105,783 tonnes (112,628 tonnes in Q4 2017). The harvest guidance for 2019 is 430,000 tonnes. The board said it planned to pay a quarterly dividend of NOK 2.60 per share, ‘supported by good results, a strong market outlook, and a solid financial position’. In Scotland, there were reduced costs due to improved biology and good growth, with significantly higher biomass in the sea. Volume guidance for 2019 is up to

European News.indd 9

60,000 tonnes (GWT), due to increased smolt stockings. CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog said: ‘2018 was a very good year for Mowi. Strong demand for salmon and high prices in all markets resulted in great earnings for the company. ‘I am proud of all my colleagues who work hard to produce healthy and tasty seafood for consumers all over the world. They have all contributed to the strong results.’ Salmon of Norwegian origin achieved an operational EBIT per kilo of €2.44 (€1.77 in Q4 2017), while salmon of Scottish and Canadian origin reported oper-

European News

Royal results for Norway farmer NORWAY Royal Salmon (NRS) reported the highest operational EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) in the history of the company for both the final quarter of 2018 and the full financial year. The fourth quarter EBIT was 232 million kroner, representing an EBIT per kg of NOK 17.73. The corresponding figures for the same quarter last year were NOK 95 million and NOK 15.51 million. For the 2018 financial year, NRS announced operating revenues of more than NOK five billion and achieved an operational EBIT of NOK 642 million. The board is proposing a full year dividend of NOK 6.00 per share. CEO Charles Høstlund said he was pleased with the results, pointing out that while operations in the larger Region North continued with a positive development in production costs, biological challenges in Region South were impacting on results. Region North posted an operational EBIT of NOK 243.3 million in the quarter, compared with NOK 116.0 million for Q4 2017. Operational EBIT ational EBIT per kilo per kg gutted weight was NOK 20.20 compared of €2.32 and €1.42 with NOK 15.84 in Q4 2017. respectively (€1.19 But Region South posted an operational EBIT and €0.98). Salmon of of just NOK one million in the quarter, compared Chilean origin report- with NOK 24.4 million in the corresponding ed operational EBIT quarter last year. per kilo of €1.25 in NRS said it harvested 13,783 tonnes gutted the quarter (€1.03). weight in the quarter, which is 52 per cent highMowi Feed reported er than a year earlier. Estimated harvest volume an operational EBIT of for 2019 is 38,000 tonnes, an increase of six per €5.8 million against cent from 2018. -€2.8 million in Q4 2017. Mowi Consumer Products reported an operational EBIT of €38.0 million (€29.1 million). This year, the company has seawater expansion projects worth €50 million in Scotland, Norway and Canada, and Consumer Products automation and expansion plans worth €30 million in Europe and the US. Above: Charles Høstlund


05/03/2019 12:39:50

European News

SalMar delivers strong performance

Above: SalMar CEO Olav-Andreas Ervik

SALMAR delivered higher profits and earnings on the back of increased prices and strong demand during both the final quarter of 2018 and for the full year. The company announced a fourth quarter operating profit (EBIT) of 934.9 million kroner, up from NOK 707.2 million on the same period in 2017. It reported ‘good’ operations from all its business areas, including Scottish Sea Farms in which it has a 50 per cent share. SalMar is proposing a dividend of NOK 23 per share. Fourth quarter revenue from Scottish Sea Farms rose from NOK 485 million in 2017 to NOK 512 million last year, with operating profits up from NOK 115 million to NOK 158 million. For the whole of 2018, income dropped slightly from NOK 2,088 million to NOK 2,057 million and the EBIT from NOK 669 million to NOK 661 million. The harvest volume, however, fell

‘Smart farm’ wins licence to grow

from 8,100 tonnes to 6,700 tonnes during the quarter. Harvest volumes for the year were down by 3,500 tonnes to 27,500 tonnes at SSF, but SalMar said the business delivered good results during the final period. Underlying operations were also good, resulting in high average harvest weights, strong prices and lower costs. Harvest volumes for Scottish Sea Farms are expected to total 30,000 tonnes this year. Total group revenues for 2018 rose from NOK 10,817 million to NOK 11,342 million and the operational EBIT (profit) was up from NOK 3,162 million to NOK 3,460 million. Both the company’s operations in Northern and Central Norway posted good operational results, although the central section had higher costs. The company has also entered into an agreement to acquire a further 3,268,670 shares in its Icelandic subsidiary Arnarlax, with the intention of taking total control by buying the remaining 12 million plus shares. CEO Olav-Andreas Ervik said: ‘A good operational performance from all our business segments, strong demand and our highest ever harvested volume have all contributed to another satisfactory quarter for SalMar. The first generation from Ocean Farm 1 was also harvested during the quarter. The project’s biological results have been good and strengthened our confidence in fish farming further out to sea.’

NORWAY’S Directorate of Fisheries has given the subsidiary of SalMar eight development licences for its new Smart Fish Farm concept. The approval gives MariCulture 780 tonnes of maximum permitted biomass over five years. The company originally applied for 16 licences for the massive, offshore structure, a follow-up to its Ocean Farm 1. The farm will be up to 160m in diameter, significantly bigger than the 110m Ocean Farm 1, and will be able to tolerate wave heights of up to 31m. The directorate rejected Arctic Seafood Group’s application for three development licences for its IntelAbove: Xxxxx li-Aqua project, which

aimed to keep fish at a depth of between 10 and 15m, and reduce the impact of sea lice. The development licence scheme has now made 69 rejections, given nine projects the go ahead, has nine more in ongoing clarifications, and has 17 left to assess, according to Undercurrent News. In February, the directorate turned down licence applications for Sustainable Salmon’s ‘Close Landnot’ system (eight permits, worth 6,240 tonnes); IMO Clean (four, worth 3,120 tonnes); Evne’s offshore ‘Wave Master’ (10 permits, 7,800 tonnes); Infotronic (six permits, 4,680 tonnes); and Marad Norway’s ‘Torus Seafarm’ concept (two permits,1,560 tonnes).


Since 1958 Faivre company develops and manufactures high quality equipments for the aquaculture industry 10

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05/03/2019 12:48:00

All the latest industry news from Europe

Lerøy posts strong Q4 results

THE Lerøy Seafood Group posted substantially higher earnings and profits for the final quarter of 2018. The group, which owns a half share in Scottish Sea Farms, announced that Q4 revenues rose by NOK 773,000 to NOK 5,340 million. Harvest total was up by 17 per cent 49,000 tonnes gutted weight of salmon and trout, but the company admitted it still had challenges with trout. The operating profit was NOK 948 million in Q4 2018, compared with NOK 777 million in Q4 2017. For 2018 as a whole, the group reported revenue of NOK 19,838 million, up by seven per cent on 2017. However, the operating profit for 2018 was NOK 3,569 million compared with NOK 3,717 million for 2017. The profit figure before tax and fair value adjustment related to biological assets in 2018 was NOK 3,697 million compared with NOK 3,805 million in 2017. CEO Henning Beltestad said the final part of 2018 marked the end of a good year for the group. ‘We achieved record high revenue and record high harvest volumes. Our release from stock costs for salmon and trout are down on 2017 but we still have plenty of potential to improve.’

Bakkafrost hit by ‘difficult conditions’ THE Faroese salmon farming company Bakkafrost announced lower than expected results for the final quarter of 2018, blaming ‘difficult market conditions’. Total operating income before interest and tax (EBIT) fell by almost a third to 230.5 million Danish kroner (DKK) compared to DKK 331.2 million in Q4 2017. But harvested volumes were up from 11,500 tonnes to just over 12,200 tonnes, gutted weight. The combined farming and VAP segments made an operational EBIT of DKK 207.7 million ( DKK 265.4 million in Q4 2017) while the

farming segment made an operational EBIT of DKK 204.4 million (DKK 228.8 million). CEO Regin Jacobsen said: ‘Difficult market conditions and limited market access for a period resulted in a weaker than expected result in the farming segment for the fourth quarter. ‘We are pleased, however, to experience more activity in the VAP segment, due to increased contracts for our VAP products.’ He said 2018 had been an ‘eventful year with different

challenges’, but the company was satisfied with the operation and the results for 2018. ‘A lot of effort has also been put into our expansion activities in 2018, and we have now started operations in our new harvesting plant in Suðuroy. We plan to further expand our farming operation in Suðuroy this year. ‘Bakkafrost’s harvesting plant in Glyvrar faced banned access to the Russian market in Q4 2018 and experienced disruption in deliveries to other high-end markets from the new harvest plant in Suðuroy, due to delay in the issue of certificates to these markets.,’ the group said im a statement.

EU raids cost salmon firms millions ALMOST seven billion kroner (about £625 million) has been wiped off the value of a number of Norwegian salmon farming companies following a series of inspections by EU officials in Scotland and the Netherlands last month. The Seafood Index on the Oslo Stock Exchange took a huge hit, with SalMar, Mowi, Lerøy Seafood and Grieg Seafood the companies hardest affected. The European Commission inspectors moved in on suspicions of price fixing. As yet, the EU has not said whether it has found any evidence to back up its suspicions, other than stating it believes its cartel rules may have been broken. Although Scotland was the focus of the raids, Norway was thought to be the target, but the country is not under the same EU jurisdiction as the UK. The stock market reacted negatively immediately following news of the raids. Shares in Mowi and Grieg dropped by 2.6 per cent and two per cent respectively, but the fall in SalMar shares was down by more than four per cent at one point. So far, the share prices of those companies that have not been at the receiving end of EU attention have remained firm. Kolbjørn Giskeødegård, a seafood analyst at the financial company Nordea Markets, told the journal that Norway Royal Salmon and the Faroese company Bakkafrost, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, had seen small price increases. The Seafood Index rose by record levels last year and other analysts believe prices could soon recover if the EU suspicions remain just Above: The Oslo Stock Exchange (Bors) suspicions.

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05/03/2019 12:48:17

European News

RAS farm soars in value

Above: Billund Aquaculture’s Christian Sørensen feeds the young fish

THE land based salmon venture Atlantic Sapphire increased its share value by 35 per cent since the New Year to NOK 5.8 billion (£520 million), according to the Oslo Stock Exchange. The company is building an RAS (recirculation aquaculture system) farm in Miami with an eventual capacity of 90,000 tonnes. It will

be the biggest RAS salmon plant in the world, rearing fish on land throughout the life cycle. Last month, the company transferred the first two commercial batches of fish from the hatchery to the start feeding unit, said chief executive Johan Andreassen. Andreassen said: ‘This happened after a tremendous effort

from our entire team and partners. Special thanks to our partner Billund Aquaculture, here represented by founder and chairman Christian Sørensen that was the first one to give feed to our newborns.’ Atlantic Sapphire, which also has operations in Denmark, expects to start harvesting the fish in the autumn of 2020.

Norway exports off to flying start NORWEGIAN seafood exports got off to a strong start in the New Year with revenues in January increasing by almost a billion kroner – or £90.5 million. The country exported 200,600 tonnes of seafood worth NOK 8.6 billion (£778.3 million), a four per cent decline in volume, but an increase of NOK 992 million or 13 per cent in value compared to January last year. Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit, director of market insight at the Norwegian Seafood Council, said higher demand had seen an increase in the price of salmon, which was worth NOK 5.7 billion (£515.8 million) last month, adding that this was accompanied by a strong demand for frozen cod. The Seafood Council said the ratio between conventional fishing and aquaculture had changed little over the past 12 months. Fish farming brought in 70 per cent of total revenues, but accounted for just 45 per cent of total volume. Norway sold 86,000 tonnes of salmon in January, a volume increase of only two per cent, but a value rise of NOK 700 million or 14 per cent. The average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 62.93 per kilo last month against NOK 56.99 per kilo in January last year. The United States showed the largest revenue growth, but Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland, which process salmon for EU customers, again remain the main markets. The trout market was also buoyant, with volumes increasing by 24 per cent to 4,000 tonnes, while the value rose by 29 per cent or NOK 59 million. Fresh cod exports totalled 4,700 tonnes and were worth NOK 227 million. This represents a volume reduction of 900 tonnes or 16 per cent, while the value was at the same level as last year. But frozen cod exports, at 9,900 tonnes and worth NOK 401 million, were up by 2,000 tonnes or 25 per cent in volume, and up by NOK 130 million or 48 per cent in value, with the UK and China among the main markets. Shrimp sales did particularly well, totalling 1,800 tonnes and worth NOK 111 million, a volume increase of 1,200 tonnes or 175 per cent and a value increase of NOK 58 million or 110 per cent.

Biggest ever barge deal for Arctic challenge

AKVA group is to deliver an AC 600 PVDB feed barge to Arctic Offshore Farming, the largest deal ever for a single feed barge. Arctic Offshore Farming, part of Norway Royal Salmon, intends to use the barge in exposed locations and rough conditions north of the Polar Circle, after securing eight development licences last year from Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries. The barge is designed to operate two large submersible pens and is equipped with both flexible feeding and waterborne feeding systems. It measures 64x13m with 800 tonnes of storage capacity and


European News.indd 12

is certified for significant wave heights of 7.5m. It has space for a Polarcirkel 1050 workboat in the stern, and is made with a slip to lift vessels on board to protect them from rough water. ‘This is a new step forward for the aquaculture industry,’ said Klaus Hatlebrekke, COO of Norway Royal Salmon. ‘AKVA Group contributes to setting a new industry standard for offshore farming with unique solutions, combined with a focus on fish welfare and safe work conditions. The deal is a door opener for other deliveries in the project,’ said Hatlebrekke.

05/03/2019 15:34:40

All the latest industry news from Europe

Aquaculture halting population drift in Iceland THE expansion of aquaculture in Iceland is playing an important role in boosting prosperity and helping to stem the drift of young people away from coastal communities, says a new employment report. The report was prepared by the country’s Regional Development Institute and published by the Confederation of Icelandic Fishing Companies, which now includes the fish farming sector. It has looked at employment trends over the past decade in the capital, Reykjavik, against those in more isolated areas in the southern part of the Westfjords region. This is a part of the country that has suffered a population decline following the demise of conventional fishing activities, but where much of the growth in salmon farming is now taking place. A number of farming companies have recently announced plans for extensive further expansion – plans which have met resistance

from environmental groups but which have been openly welcomed by the communities where they will be based. The study has found that between 2008 and 2017 employment increased by 7.3 per cent, with more than 65 per cent of that rise due to aquaculture. And the average age of people in the southern Westfjords, where fish farming is strongest, is lower than the northern area – in other words, there are more young people. The report also states that fish farming is now having a considerable impact on secondary jobs in particular, and without aquaculture the increase in employment would only have been around 2.5 per cent. ‘Aquaculture is a growing industry and its development is the main reason for this change,’ the report adds. Leading Icelandic economists have said the authorities should Above: Xxxxx embrace what is happening.


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05/03/2019 12:50:35

World News


Canadian farmer plans $30m post-smolt plant COOKE Aquaculture is planning to build a $30 million recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) post-smolt facility at its Kelly Cove Salmon subsidiary, according to reports. The New Brunswick based company said it will be the first to use the advanced RAS technology in Canada, with the purpose of growing salmon larger on land, prior to their transfer to seawater pens. Cooke currently

Above: Salmon smolt

transfers its salmon at around 120g but in the new plant they will be reared to 300g, then loaded directly on to a wellboat to be transported to sea. Joel Richardson, vice president of public relations for Cooke, said: ‘Science shows that adding stronger, larger fish to the net pens reduces the chances of fish health issues. This new facility will help to reduce fish handling, reduce time at sea and reduce days to market.’ Kelly Cove Salmon

has applied to the New Brunswick Department of Environment and local government to drill additional wells for water testing and supply in the Chamcook Lake. If well testing shows the facility’s water requirements can be met and the project viability proves sound, Kelly Cove Salmon could then register to the province for an Environmental Impact Assessment. As part of the EIA process, Kelly Cove Salmon would

advertise and hold a public meeting for additional community input. ‘This new Bayside facility is an important component of our vision for the future to invest locally, which could see $198 million spent on upgrade projects and create approximately 258 new, full time jobs in New Brunswick over five years,’ said Richardson. The RAS plant would employ about 15 people full time once completed.

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THE World Aquaculture Society, which is meeting for a five-day conference in New Orleans at the beginning of this month, is already looking ahead to its next gathering, in India in June. The WAS-APC (Asian Pacific Chapter) is hosting the Asian Pacific Aquaculture 2019 (APA19) conference and exhibition in Chennai. The first plenary speaker will be Theng Dar Teng, Singapore’s ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, and a well-known public figure in the region, with experience of the Japanese aquaculture, hi tech farming and food tech sectors. His presentation will introduce the conference theme - Aquaculture for Health, Wealth and Happiness - depicting global scenarios and the outlook towards 2030. The second plenary talk will be given by Shri Tarun Shridhar, Secretary (Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries) in the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in India. He has represented the country at inter-

Above: Theng Dar Teng

national level over fisheries and aquaculture progress. And he was instrumental in introducing the L. vannamei shrimp culture to India, making the country a major global producer. The Annual Conference and Exposition of Asian-Pacific Aquaculture takes place at the Chennai Trade Centre (CTC) from June 19 to 21, 2019. Visit for more information.

05/03/2019 12:56:47

World News

China progresses with Chef Martha teams up with Cooke salmon project CHINA has launched a large-scale salmon farming project in the cold water of the Yellow Sea, according to Xinhuanet news agency. The salmon farm, which will be located about 130 nautical miles off the shore of Rizhao in eastern China’s Shandong Province, aims to produce 45,000 tonnes of salmon annually, said Dong Shuanglin, a professor at the Ocean University of China and the project’s chief scientist. The project, initiated by the university and two Chinese firms, involves a total investment of 4.3 billion yuan (US $642 million) and has demarcated a cultivation area of 30 square kilometres. It plans to erect the ‘Shenlan 2’ salmon cage in the second half of this year, following a successful trial of salmon farming at ‘Shenlan 1’, so far the world’s largest fully submersible fish cage. The Shenlan 2 cage is 80m tall, compared with the 35m Shenlan 1, and can accommodate one million fish, a huge step up from the pilot’s 300,000, said Dong. The project also includes the construction of an onshore industrial park, R&D facilities and a fry cultivation base. The first batch of salmon from the farm, which plans to cater for the growing demand for seafood in China, is scheduled to hit the market by the end of 2020. Above: Dong Shuanglin

Above: Martha Stewart

COOKE Aquaculture subsidiary True North Seafood has announced it is to partner with US celebrity Martha Stewart to develop a line of ready-made meals. Dishes will feature salmon, pollock and scallops. The company’s Joel Richardson said Stewart was a long-time fan of the firm’s products. ‘She came out to visit our salmon farms a couple of years ago and was very impressed by the operation… and wanted to look at opportunities to work together,’ said Richardson. Stewart was quoted as saying she had served seafood from Cooke Aquaculture ‘for years’ and had visited the company’s operation near her home in Seal Harbour, Maine. ‘I saw first-hand their innovative and industry leading methods of sustainable farming and fishing,’ she said. Richardson said: ‘Martha and her chef team worked with us to create the recipes, create the pairings between our seafood products and our spice blends.’ The products will be unveiled in March at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston before hitting the shelves in the United States in May. A Canadian roll-out will follow later in 2019.

Zambia supports aquaculture growth AQUACULTURE has great potential to increase Zambia’s fish production to meet growing demand, according to the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ). Speaking during a media briefing in Lusaka, DBZ acting managing director Edward Mulilo said the bank plans to support the growth of aquaculture by investing in the sector. It has so far invested 12.5 million Zambian kwacha (about £783,000) in Yalelo Fisheries, which is the biggest producer of tilapia in Africa. Mulilo said the bank has targeted to increase its support and also urged Yalelo Fisheries to expand its production and supply. Meanwhile, Yalelo Fisheries CEO Bryan Mccoy said the construction of new fish farms is underway. He said the company had been producing 10,000 tonnes of fish and plans to increase this to 20,000 tonnes by the end of the year. He said the company will provide more employment opportunities for Zambians when the new fish farms are opened.

World news.indd 15


05/03/2019 13:47:28

World News

Kenya shortage of fish farm experts KENYA’S top fish farms are having to import labour due to a lack of local experts, according to a leading fisheries scientist. Mary Opiyo, of the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), told the Daily Nation that there were numerous opportunities as aquaculture technologies grow. But some farms have closed down because they cannot get the right skills. ‘There are opportunities in cage fish farming, recirculation aquaculture systems, fish breeding and cold water aquaculture, among others,’ she said. ‘Many international organisations, like the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme and African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources, often seek professionals in aquaculture and fisheries,’ she added. There are now more than 4,000 fish cages in Lake Victoria, and Opiyo was instrumental in introducing cage farming into the lake, through a partnership with Dunga Fisheries Co-operative Society back in 2013. ‘I have also been actively involved in training of fish farmers on mono-sex fish production at various hatcheries,’ she said, adding that 90 per cent of hatcheries in the country are now producing mono-sex tilapia. To advance aquaculture in the country, she said

Above: Kenya fish farm

there needs to be more cage fish farming in Lake Victoria, marine farming at the coast, cold water farming in central Kenya and dry land aquaculture in dry areas. She said there are several fish diseases in Kenya,

but the deadly ones include fungal infections such as saprolegnia, itch disease and pop eye. ‘Farmers also need to be very vigilant when transferring fish from one country to another because of the current threat of tilapia lake virus.’



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05/03/2019 13:48:10

All the latest industry news from around the world

NZ salmon exports hit as China tensions rise INCREASED tension between Beijing and the West appears to be affecting New Zealand salmon exports to China. The company so far hardest hit is New Zealand’s biggest seafood exporter, Sanford. It has been experiencing problems in obtaining clearance for salmon through Chinese ports, as suspicions grow that China is turning up the heat on the countries that have put a block on the company Huawei supplying 5G mobile

Above: New Zealand fish farm

World news.indd 17

technology because it may be infiltrating Western security. The fear is that the issue could spread to other seafood exporting countries at odds with China. Six years ago, China effectively banned Norwegian salmon shipments over Oslo’s support for the late Chinese dissident and Nobel laureate Liu Xiabo. Trading relations only returned to normal 18 months ago. Sanford chief customer

officer Andre Gargiulo said in a written statement that several shipments of fresh salmon had been affected since the end of January. He later told Radio New Zealand that they had faced delays in being cleared through Chinese ports. ‘We have recently faced administrative issues with our salmon exports to China, which have caused delays getting shipments cleared through Chinese ports,’ he said. ‘We have not been given a reason for this by local authorities.’ He said he was not at this stage attributing these problems to the deteriorating New Zealand-China relationship, but pointed out that no reason has been given for the delays. Other New Zealand food exporters have reported similar problems and one Beijing newspaper said Chinese tourists had struck New Zealand off their travel itinerary.

Four species boost Peru aquaculture growth PERU is set to expand its aquaculture production in 2019 by 6.8 per cent, based mainly on the growth of scallop and shrimp farming, according to local news reports. Aquaculture production will be more than 110,000 Above: Raul Perez-Reyes tonnes this year, with scallop production increasing 15 per cent and shrimp 7.2 per cent. There is also expected to be further growth in trout – currently the biggest farmed species and tilapia farming. ‘This growth is driven by an increase in available raw material and in demand,’ said Raul Perez-Reyes, head of the Ministry of Production. In 2018, Peruvian aquaculture produced 103,600 tonnes, an increase of 1.3 per cent on 2017 volumes. Farmed trout accounts for 53.1 per cent of the country’s production volumes, shrimp for 28.7 per cent and scallops 12 per cent.


05/03/2019 13:48:38

News extra – Parliamentary inquiry

Growing consensu Holyrood hears robust defence of salmon farming


IG landed interests with fishing rivers, and the Greens, have been attacking the salmon industry in Scotland for many years and their portrayal of the sector was unrecognisable, said Shetland MSP and former Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott. Speaking in a debate last month in the Scottish parliament on the future of salmon farming, Scott said islands such as Unst and Yell wouldn’t exist without aquaculture. The allegation that his constituents deliberately polluted the environment they worked in, and do nothing about sea lice and mortalities, was a ‘line of argument I don’t recognise’. He was responding to comments from Green MSP Mark Ruskell who called on the industry to address its problems before being allowed to move forward, and advocated an end to net pen farming. The Greens, along with the angling lobby, have been among the most


Rec Debate.indd 18

outspoken critics of salmon farming in Scotland. Scott pointed to the investment by salmon businesses in fish health – with one company alone employing more than 50 fish health specialists – and in jobs and green innovations. ‘I think that’s something we should champion and support, not run down as some people have chosen to do,’ he said, in the most heated clash in the debate. Holyrood was discussing the report by the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee, which began its investigation into salmon farming early in 2018 following a shorter probe into the industry by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) committee, also last year. The focus of the REC investigation, which took evidence from a wide range of stakeholders – including farmers, academics, government officials and anti-farming campaigners - was the impact of salmon farming on the decline in wild stocks. It was prompted by a petition drawn up by the wild salmon lobby. The committee’s subsequent 148-page report, published in November, found that urgent action was needed to improve the regulation of the salmon farming industry and to address fish health and environmental challenges. However, it stopped short of demanding a moratorium on new salmon farm development and expansion of existing sites, something anti-salmon farming campaigners had urged. Despite criticism of the sector’s environmental credentials by several MSPs, there was Top left: Fergus Ewing cross party consensus during the debate that Left: Tavish Scott the industry provided value to Scotland and should be encouraged to grow. Rural Economy minister Fergus Ewing said he was heartened by support across the

06/03/2019 14:38:34

Growing consensus

sus chamber, as MSPs discussed the recommendations made by the REC committee. He highlighted the economic contribution salmon farming makes to Scotland and said many people’s livelihoods were sustained by a sector that is the ‘cornerstone of this country’s rural economy’. Salmon farming has helped reinvigorate remote island and coastal communities with investment in housing, transport and broadband, he added. He also mentioned the £63 million annual capital investment by farmers and the 10,340 jobs they generate throughout the country, on farms and in the wider supply chain. He said specific projects such as Mowi’s feed plant on Skye and Scottish Sea Farms’ new hatchery at Barcaldine together represented more than £150 million spent on helping to improve fish health. However, the minister said he agreed with the committee that ‘we do need to do more to get the balance right to protect the environment and we acknowledge that the status quo is not an option’. REC committee convener Edward Mountain (Con, Highlands and Islands), opening the debate, said he did not believe the sector’s acknowledged contribution ‘should be allowed to mask a negative impact on the environment’. A stricter regulatory and consenting regime could only benefit the sector, added Mountain, ‘giving it confidence that it is meeting its environmental responsibilities’. Mike Rumbles (Lib Dems) said the need for one regulatory body to oversee regulation and enforcement, another recommendation by the REC committee, was key. This ‘important industry’ hasn’t been helped by having many ‘silos’ responsible for different aspects of regulation and, in future, Marine Scotland should take on this overarching and

Rec Debate.indd 19

coordinating role. Rumbles suggested that official government guidance to local authorities on what areas were suitable for fish farming would speed up the planning process. Mountain – a controversial convener given his lucrative (declared) interests in a Speyside angling beat - said the REC committee strongly believed that until the salmon industry could demonstrate it was a good neighbour it was not appropriate for it to expand. ‘We don’t support business as usual so neither should the government nor the industry.’ Scottish Labour’s Colin Smyth, list MSP for the South Scotland region, said: ‘Saying [there] should be no expansion in the industry until some of the problems are sorted out – that sounds like a moratorium to me.’ As one of two MSPs (the other being Green MSP John Finnie) who had dissented from the REC recommendation not to impose a moratorium, he said he believed that the committee had, in fact, contradicted itself. Ewing outlined work already underway by the government and salmon farmers to tackle industry challenges. The sector was investing very heavily to improve fish health and has been doing so for some considerable time, and with some success, he said. The work of the 10-year Farmed Fish Health Framework, set up by the government last May, was ‘a serious way to address concerns’. The government has already announced it is conducting a review of the sea lice compliance policy, which will be completed by spring. This will consider, among other recommendations, making compliance and reporting a mandatory requirement. And the wild and farmed salmon interactions group, chaired by John Goodlad, would deliver its recommendations later in the year, but Ewing said its remit would extend to all possible pressures on wild stocks. In conclusion, he said: ‘I will do my best to seek to implement, direct and ensure that the direction of travel of government policy reflects the tone of this debate overall.’ Without setting any timeframe, he said ‘we will act swiftly’, but each of the groups set up under the Farmed Fish Health Framework needed to be allowed to do their work. ‘We don’t want to delay action but it must be evidence based,’ he said, adding that environmental monitoring will take place in the interim, as a condition of any consents, while longer term strategies are considered. ‘Few, if any of us, are experts. We must reach out to those who have the experience and knowledge, and gain the benefit of their work.’ The Holyrood debate was a ‘take note’ motion with no vote. FF

We don’t want to delay action but it must be evidence based


06/03/2019 14:39:29

News extra – Parliamentary inquiry

Was farm tour a turning point?

What this “industry has


VISIT to Scotland’s west coast to observe salmon farming in practice appears to have had a positive impact on some MSPs’ perception of the sector. In April last year, committee convener Edward Mountain led a small party of his REC colleagues to a tour of the Mowi (then Marine Harvest) site at Gorsten on Loch Linnhe and the company’s Lochailort hatchery, where they learnt how the fish are fed and how nets are cleaned, and discussed seal deterrent measures. The group also went to the River Lochy, where they met local fishery manager Jon Gibb (who also gave evidence to the REC committee). And they heard about the work of the Drimsallie hatchery in Lochaber, where a project is underway to replenish Highland rivers with wild stocks. The trip provided a good overview of the relationship between wild fisheries in the Lochaber area and salmon farmers, said Mowi at the time. One of the MSPs involved in the visit, Richard Lyle (SNP, Uddingston and Bellshill), was a member of both the REC and ECCLR committees. He had voiced concerns about the number of fish in pens, which he felt was too high and possibly a factor in disease, and suggested that farmers were doing nothing to address the mortality rates at farms. ‘If I was a fish farmer and 20 per cent of my stock was being lost every year, I would seriously be doing something about it,’ he said during one REC evidence session. And he challenged the SSPO’s David Sandison on escapes during an ECCLR session: ‘If you want to increase production and you want to ensure that you grow the industry, why are you allowing thousands of salmon to disappear from pens? As far as I am concerned, even one escape is enough…would you agree that you have to do better?’ However, last month, during the debate on the REC report, Lyle offered the warmest of endorsements to the industry which, he insisted, should be allowed to expand.


Rec Debate.indd 20

done for our country reflects the best of Scotland

‘What this industry has done for our country and what it can do in the future will reflect the best of Scotland,’ he said. ‘This industry plays vital roles in enhancing the lives of our communities, creates job opportunities for the people of Scotland, with salaries that tend to be higher when compared to the Scottish average.’ He said salmon farming helps keep rural schools, post offices, shops and community halls open, and spends around £400 million each year in Scotland on goods and services. After two reports by committees, Lyle believed protecting the environment was one of the top priorities of the industry. ‘SEPA reported that more than 87 per cent of the farms that produce salmon were either categorised as good or excellent. Salmon farms should rightly be committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of marine life. ‘Scotland’s salmon is quality superior. We have come a long way since the start of this industry and I want to see it expand to become a global leader.’ Another committee member who took part in the farm tour was John Mason (SNP, Glasgow Shettleston). Mason said during the debate

Top: Jon Gibb Left: Richard Lyle

05/03/2019 13:51:28

Growing consensus that, in light of the differences of opinion over wild and farmed fish interactions, it had been ‘refreshing to visit Lochaber and to see a better relationship and at least some attempt by both sides to work together and understand each other’. And he corrected the Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Donald Cameron, who tried to link wild fish numbers to salmon farms, saying the decline pre-dated salmon farming. ‘We heard that wild fish numbers were falling before farms were introduced and some rivers on the east coast had fewer wild fish, despite the fact they have no salmon farms.’ Mason said while everything was not perfect

and ‘we should not be complacent, let’s not go to the other extreme and run ourselves down’. ‘We spent a lot of time focused on problems rather than all the good things which are going fine. We have a fabulous product in a fabulous environment…let’s be proud of our environment and our product.’ Peter Chapman (Con, North East Scotland), another visitor to Lochaber last April, acknowledged the significant improvements in sea lice control and said mortality levels were beginning to fall - there was no doubt the industry took this ‘very seriously indeed’. While he thought the industry should ‘only expand carefully’, he attacked Mark Ruskell’s ‘entirely negative speech’ which he did not recognise as a fair comment on the sector. ‘With the Scottish government’s target to grow the food and drink industry to be worth £30 billion by 2030, it is vital we grow our biggest food producer, namely the salmon industry.’

Green view of Norway licences GREEN MSP Mark Ruskell, who was on the ECCLR committee, said the REC report marked a crossroads in how the salmon industry was regulated in Scotland. He called for ‘regulation that demands the industry innovates to address problems before it can expand any further’. Ruskell seemed to only be referring to innovation in closed containment systems, because the industry currently spends hundreds of millions of pounds annually on innovations in fish health, breeding, husbandry and feed, as other MSPs, and the minister, had pointed out. Both Mowi and Scottish Sea Farms have invested heavily recently in state of the art RAS, closed containment hatcheries at, respectively, Lochailort and Inchmore, and Barcaldine. Ruskell said Scotland was failing to adopt a ‘more Nordic approach’. The Norwegians were driving ‘transformative innovation’, allowing companies to

Rec Debate.indd 21

Above: Mark Ruskell

expand further only if they invest in innovation. He said companies had come forward with ‘an incredible array’ of closed or semi closed systems based in the sea, many of them offshore, which borrowed technology from the oil and gas industry. Ruskell said he had visited the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) and saw the work focused on improving innovation in open cage farming. ‘That work would be truly transformative if it was applied to the kind of sea based closed systems that are already being developed in Norway.’

He asked why Scotland was a ‘dumping ground for old open pen technology that Norwegian companies would not get away using on new sites at home’ and demanded Scotland ‘start thinking in a more Norwegian manner’. However, as the Norwegian regulations stand, expansion of open net pen farming is permitted under the traffic light system. Farms in the ‘green’ zone, within acceptable sea lice limits, are allowed limited growth. Eight of the country’s 13 production areas have been designated ‘green’. Existing fish farms in these areas can increase their production capacity by two per cent a year. The government also auctions new licences, increasing total production by six per cent, in green zones. Most of the major farming companies bid for new licences in an auction in 2018, with a total of 14,945 tonnes of new capacity sold. Ruskell may have been getting the traffic light system confused with the separate, development licensing scheme, in which the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate awards (or not) the go ahead to innovative farming concepts. The deadline for applications closed in 2017. The majority of these have been rejected, a handful won approval, and several are still under consideration.

Leaker shamed but not named CONVENER Edward Mountain blamed the delay in publishing the REC committee’s report, which appeared months after the evidence taking had concluded, on leaks to the media. These were clearly identified by one media outlet concerned as having come from a member of the committee and these leaks were sustained over several weeks. Private papers from a committee meeting that had only been circulated to members found their way into one journalist’s hands an hour or so later. ‘The committee member’s actions significantly delayed the committee’s consideration of the draft report but, worse still, it caused a level of mistrust within the committee,’ said Mountain. Leaks are a matter for the parliamentary code of conduct but unless the culprit is identified, no action can be taken. Mountain said he believed the incident was ‘totally unacceptable’ and suggested the code of conduct be strengthened. The frequency of the leaks, particularly to prominent anti-salmon farming campaigners, was raised by Fish Farmer with parliamentary clerks last autumn.

Above: Edward Mountain


05/03/2019 13:52:38

News extra

The Salmon story Oslo visitor centre latest of Norway’s fish farm tourist attractions


ORWEGIAN Prime Minister Erna Solberg said she hoped a salmon farming visitor centre in Oslo would help address misconceptions about the industry. At the official opening of the centre, called The Salmon, she acknowledged the importance of aquaculture to the country’s economy and said the government was committed to its growth. ‘The salmon industry is already making a significant contribution to Norwegian society,’ she said. ‘It is also helping to further develop the robust local communities along our coastline. ‘The government would like the aquaculture industry to continue to grow. And we are seeking to facilitate this. ‘New technology and knowledge are crucial if we are to develop the aquaculture industry in a sustainable manner. ‘Fortunately, we have highly competent fish farmers and a world leading supplier industry to advance the industry. ‘Continued growth in this sector is important for successful restructuring of the Norwegian economy.’ The Salmon, described as a science centre devoted to Norwegian salmon and the process of salmon farming, opened its doors to the public in October last year and has seen more than 5,000 visitors since then. The brainchild of businessman Petter Sandberg, owner of Oslo sushi restaurant Alex Sushi, and Nova Sea CEO Odd Strom, the centre’s aim is to educate people about salmon farming and to offer salmon to taste. It runs tours for school parties and highlights the jobs available in aquaculture. The official opening ceremony, at the end of last month, marked the completion of The Salmon’s auditorium and there are also interactive screens to provide insights into the salmon production process. Solberg said: ‘I hope that both the people of Oslo and tourists visiting our capital will take the opportunity to visit The Salmon. ‘It’s a great place to learn about this crucial industry – and perhaps


News extra erna.indd 22

clear up a few misconceptions as well.’ Visit a farm Norway has long made its fish farming industry one of its tourist attractions and has as many as 20 fish farm visiting facilities open to the public. According to the tourism agency Visit Norway, Akvakultur i Vesterålen, near Tromso, is an adventure centre for Norwegian aquaculture, ‘where you can get a unique insight into the production of salmon in one of Norway’s most beautiful regions’. Located in the small village Blokken in Sortland municipality, the centre is open from June to August, with regular boat trips out to the site, but will open throughout the year by appointment. ‘You get to go out on our boat to visit a real fish farm with salmon and trout, meet a real fish farmer and you get a guided tour of our great exhibits, showing aquaculture history from the pioneer era in the 50s to today’s hightech operations,’ the website says. There are activities for children, underwater cameras and a 12m long map in glass, showing aquaculture expansion in Northern Norway. The visit includes a taste of smoked salmon or trout from the farm. The aquaculture visitor centre at Smøla, near Trondheim, is operated by farmer Nekton Havbruk. Visitors can see an exhibition about the salmon life cycle, production technology, the history of the aquaculture industry at Smøla and innovation processes. There is also a 15-minute film describing fish farming on Smøla and Nekton’s business. Meanwhile, near Bergen, a visitor centre has been set up at a fully operational aquaculture unit. In the summer season, visitors can take a short boat ride from the welcome centre at Steinstø quay to the salmon farm on the fjord. The guided tour includes feeding the fish and seeing monitoring systems, and learning about the salmon lifecycle, from hatchery to plate. Groups can book catering in advance as a part of the visit.

Clockwise from top: Prime Minister Erna Solberg is shown around The Salmon visitor centre by Petter Sandberg (in pinstriped suit)

05/03/2019 13:54:22

The Salmon story

Meanwhile, a visit to the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre, at Helgeland (between Trondheim and Tromso), is ‘a unique opportunity to learn more about Norway’s largest and most important growth industry: aquaculture’. As the website boasts: ‘Did you know that when you are visiting the handsome town of Brønnøysund, you are in the heartland of one of Norway’s most exciting industries? ‘Here, you will gain many insights about salmon, what it eats and how it lives. Through underwater cameras, the centre gives you a novel view. You can watch the feeding of the salmon, and you can have a first-hand look as a knowledgeable guide gives you a tour of the

It’s a great place to learn “about this crucial industry – and perhaps clear up a few misconceptions

News extra erna.indd 23

fish-farming facility. ‘Our new indoor exhibition indoors has both freshwater and saltwater aquariums which recreate fascinating natural environments. If you are under 12 years of age, you can follow Salmo Salar on a tour that is especially designed to teach children about salmon and their life in the sea.’ And at the Hardanger Aqua Centre, situated on Hardanderfjord in Hordaland county, guests are given ‘unique insights in aquaculture at one of the world’s most beautiful fjords’. According to the website, visitors can ‘enjoy a guided tour and follow the journey of the salmon from smolt to top restaurants in Paris or Tokyo’. They can watch the salmon via underwater cameras and ‘walk on the farm to experience the salmon live’, and then enjoy top salmon cuisine, including salmon burgers, at the exhibition centre. Online reviews of the Hardanger centre

suggest the visitor attractions are doing a good job in helping to promote Norway’s aquaculture industry. One said: ‘Super guide... all presentations were in English. Tour every hour, on the half hour. RIB out to the farm.’ And an American tourist wrote: ‘As a consumer of a lot of fish, especially salmon, it was very interesting to visit this fish farm and learn about how farm fishing is done. You will need to put on a life jacket to ‘walk the planks’ out on to the water. It is a visit you will long remember.’ Another American said of the visit: ‘Didn’t realise the amount of scientific research that goes into fish food development and distribution. Would be great for kids to visit.’ FF

Scotland’s salmon farming hub still planned for Skye SCOTLAND is to get its own, perhaps long overdue, salmon centre, to be built and run by the country’s biggest salmon farmer, Mowi, near its new feed plant at Kyleakin on Skye. Land has already been earmarked for the facility, just over the Skye Bridge, and it is expected to provide audio/visual displays about all stages of the salmon lifecycle, as well as serve Scottish seafood to visitors. Kyleakin site manager Kevin O’Leary said last year: ‘If somebody comes on Skye, it’s one of the first places they can stop on the

main road, and we’d like to provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about Marine Harvest [now Mowi] and salmon farming while enjoying a taste of our Scottish salmon.’ Scotland did once have such a centre the Sea Life Centre on Loch Creran outside Oban. This was founded in 1979 by the late Guy Mace, then of Golden Sea Produce, to both inform the public about the fledgling industry and also to help fund the company’s broodstock unit.


05/03/2019 13:54:40

Trade Associations – Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation


‘No-one knows’ scenario Brexit confusion unites industry in search of answers


T is not hard to see why ministers – in London and in Edinburgh – are having sleepless nights. They know a no-deal Brexit will bring with it the very real prospect of stationary lorries blocking every route into the Channel ports from the moment the UK crashes out of the EU. But it is the possibility that many of these log-jammed trucks will contain perishable goods, like fish - products that will be stuck on this side of the continent while the clock ticks down towards their sell-by dates - that is really worrying officialdom. That is why plans have been drawn up to clear the inside lanes and hard shoulders for hauliers carrying perishable goods. But not everyone thinks this will work. Imagine the reaction of an already irritable driver, who has been sitting in his cab for 24 hours, as another haulier goes past on the inside, waving as he does so. Soon, the critics warn, every other lorry driver will pull over to the inside lane, willing to chance their luck rather than sit interminably in a queue and, at a stroke, turning the carefully ordered system into anarchy. Then there is the issue of certification. At the moment, fish sold inside the European Union does not need to carry an environmental health certificate. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, then it seems likely that every order will need a certificate. Not only will this mean masses more bureaucracy and cost to hauliers and producers alike, but no-one knows where the extra certification officers are going to come from. But even if the certification issue is sorted, even temporarily, that is unlikely to address the queues at the Channel ports. Haulage companies are already reporting a shortage of drivers willing to travel to the continent. However, even for those drivers willing to take loads across to France, the bureaucratic landscape is pretty frightening. Only a handful of the permits needed for hauliers to drive to the continent have been secured, placing big question marks over the others, even if they volunteer to stay on the continental runs. Spare a thought also for the feed producers. Many of the ingredients used to make fish feed come in from around the world, but through the EU. Feed producers have built up some stockpiles but don’t know whether a succession of hold-ups will prevent them getting their raw ingredients and, therefore, whether there will be a shortage of fish feed for the farmed salmon industry as a whole. In fact ‘no-one knows’ seems to be something of a recurrent theme as


SSPO.indd 24

far as Brexit is concerned. No-one knows what’s going to happen as far as certification is concerned. No-one knows how big the queues of lorries at Dover are going to be. No-one knows (at least at the time of going to print) whether we are going to crash out at the end of March, do a deal or delay everything for another three months. Yet, despite all this uncertainty, the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation has been working hard behind the scenes to try to find a way through these problems. There have been meetings with ministers, with officials, with civil servants, with advisers and with experts, all in the hope – not quite the expectation – that some measures can be taken to head off the worst of these looming potential problems. We have pressed for ‘no-deal’ to be taken off the table, we have worked to set out the sheer number of certificates which might be needed, and we have reminded ministers that this would not be an issue had electronic certification been brought in before we hit this crisis, as we suggested. We are also now working with the regulator to look at ways of growing larger fish and delaying some harvesting, just at the end of March, to avoid the worst of the potential logjams. The term ‘dynamic alignment’ has been Opposite: Scottish salmon thrown about recently and some believe it could save the Scottish farmed fish sector from the worst problems. We have certainly given our support to it. If we get a ‘dynamic alignment’ agreement with the EU, it will effectively keep things as they are, at least as far as certification is concerned, for a while after Brexit. It would mean that the EU would recognise the UK as a third country which is already aligned to EU regulations and this would do away with the need for extra certification, for

05/03/2019 13:56:51

‘No-one knows’ scenario

Spare a thought also “ for the feed producers… many ingredients come in through the EU

at least nine months. But will we get it? Will the politicians and the civil servants on both sides of the Channel deliver it in time? We are pressing constantly but, again, no-one knows. Brexit divided opinion across the farmed salmon industry, as it did in every other sector. Some saw it as an opportunity, others as a barrier to trade but, ironically, Brexit now seems to have united almost everyone in the salmon sector – it has brought people from all sides together in frustration at the lack of clarity and the uncertainty that still surrounds this most contentious of issues. Hamish Macdonell is director of strategic engagement at the SSPO. FF

Consultation continues


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05/03/2019 13:57:18



EU raids ‘mischief making’ After two inquiries, critics look for new ways to disrupt the industry


T came as no surprise that EU investigators from the Competition Commission visited the offices of Scottish salmon companies whose principle shareholders are Norwegian. Critics of the salmon farming industry held out great hope that the two Scottish parliamentary inquiries would demand the imposition of stringent controls, including the forced closure of some farming sites. However, it transpired that there was more support in parliament for the industry than the minority of MSPs who have continually fought against salmon farming would have us believe. Having failed to come up with the goods, critics have undoubtedly looked wider afield for ways to disrupt the farming industry. The European Commission was an obvious choice. I recently went to see the premiere of the flim ‘Of Fish and Foe’ about the last salmon net fishermen in Scotland. What did it in for them was a complaint to the European Commission. There is not much difference between salmon netting and salmon farming in the eyes of those who wish to protect wild salmon. However, while the Guardian newspaper suggests that the Commission has received information from different actors operating at different levels in the salmon market, the critics look the more obvious candidates, especially as the main target is those companies closely associated with Norway. For those of us who keep an eye on the critics, the anti-Norwegian message makes regular appearances in social media. Now the Ferret website and the National newspaper have both published long articles about Norwegian ownership of the salmon farming industry and how consumers are being conned into thinking that the Scottish salmon they buy is actually Scottish. Campaigners argue that these companies should be investigated for false advertising. It’s not a big step from investigating false advertising to market manipulation. It only requires a tip off to the right people in the Commission. One critic told the Ferret that Scottish salmon is a sham and a consumer con, and that some 99 per cent of salmon farming production is controlled by foreign owned companies. This critic said that the salmon was even less Scottish than the whisky industry, three quarters of


Martin Jaffa.indd 26

which is owned abroad. This critic is, however, probably too young to remember that salmon farming was initiated by a company called Unilever Research, an Anglo Dutch conglomerate based in London. There was never much Scottish about it, even the resulting farming name – Marine Harvest – did not give the impression of a Scottish company. The critic states that more than 200 of Scotland’s 226 salmon farms are not Scottish despite their Scottish sounding names. By the same account, how many of those criticising from behind so-called organisations such as Scottish Salmon Watch or Scottish Salmon Think Tank are of Scottish origin or have lived permanently in Scotland? The visit to Scottish salmon farming companies by representatives of the European Commission is supposed to be the first stage of an investigation into different ways that salmon farmers have allegedly coordinated the market in order to sustain, or possibly increase, the price of farmed salmon. I have personally had experience of EU investigations into the sector, after I became involved in the trade war between Scotland and Norway in the 1990s. What was apparent to me is that those involved in trade in the EU did not understand the difference between farmed salmon and something like steel. To the investigators, they were simply commodities. There was no understanding that salmon was a breathing, living thing and not just a lump of metal. It is easy to see how those from outside

Slower “ production

means less fish coming to market… is that collusion or is it just winter?

05/03/2019 14:00:03

EU raids ‘mischief making’

Above: Salmon farm

looking in could be persuaded that there is collusion to manipulate the market. Salmon prices do change with increasing or decreasing availability. We have seen with OPEC and oil that producers can force prices up by restricting supply, and it could be suggested that salmon prices are influenced in the same way. What is not appreciated is that not only are salmon live animals, but they are also cold blooded. This means that production cycles can vary. A broiler chicken typically takes 42 days to reach a size for slaughter. This production cycle is repeated time and time again. The growing conditions are manipulated to ensure that the cycle is always the same. With salmon, the picture is very different. For

Martin Jaffa.indd 27

example, if there is an exceptionally cold winter, growth rates will slow down and harvest size will be delayed. However, it is not just one farm that is affected, instead, it is the whole industry. Slower production growth would mean less fish coming to market, with an inevitable rise in prices. Is that collusion or is it just winter? A similar situation would apply should the fish become sick. Some diseases can affect whole sections of the industry at the same time, again restricting production, with a possible benefit in prices. The problem with manipulating prices is that if salmon becomes too expensive, consumer demand will fall away. There is plenty of evidence to show that is a feature of the salmon market. There is always a risk that consumers can be permanently deterred from buying salmon if the price is too high for too long. This seems too big a risk for salmon farmers, since any short-term benefit from forcing prices up would be offset by a potential loss of demand. This investigation has more to do with mischief making than collusion over prices. FF


05/03/2019 14:00:22

Trade Associations - Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers


Good omen for

oyster farm Journey from boatbuilding to shellfish via New Zealand


OW does anyone become an oyster farmer on the west coast of Scotland? What are the essential qualifications? Would a degree in archaeology be on the list of requirements? Being a skilled boatbuilder, as well as having built one’s own house, might definitely show the necessary practical ability. Being married to a marine scientist might be an additional advantage. Possibly having a tree surgery ticket NPCT* might not be the first answer to the question though! Becoming an oyster farmer was clearly not on Joe Hayes’s life plan. Farming oysters, however, is what he has been successfully doing on Loch Kannaird since 2013. I met him and his wife, Ailsa McLellan, at the house Joe built overlooking Loch Broom, and gradually pieced together the story of how it all came about. It is not straightforward. After graduating from Glasgow University Joe went to New Zealand. He was ‘employed’ by the New Zealand government to look at the remains of the sawmill set up by Shetlanders on Stewart Island. (Having been forced from Shetland in the clearances, they were even more aggrieved to find themselves relocated to a completely tree covered island, their experience in forestry, as Shetlanders, somewhat lacking.) From this first job, Joe managed to gain further work with ecologists he met on Stewart Island. He found himself involved in a telemetry project in association with the NZ plan to create ‘mainland islands’ – that is, totally protected areas to safeguard indigenous species from exotic predators, stoats being a particular problem. (Stoats in NZ have developed a specialised mode of life in that they climb trees.) Through this, Joe gained a lot of experience in tree work but on his return to


Shellfish.indd 28

His situation on the North Coast 500 route has made a huge difference to tourist numbers in the area Scotland he trained as a boatbuilder and worked in a boatyard in Crinan, a boating haven on the west coast of Scotland. He was later offered a job in the same line in Ullapool but with the opportunity to build wooden boats, so moved there and also constructed his house. Boatbuilding work was not, however, as plentiful in Wester Ross as in Argyll so he had to think carefully as to how he might earn his living, joined by now with his wife Ailsa whom he had met in Crinan. She joined him in Ullapool having completed her degree in marine science in UHI, Oban. One option was to carry on the expertise with trees – the other, oyster farming. So it was that Joe now has work in the winter using his expertise as a trained tree surgeon, collecting seed for native tree regeneration while the oysters overwinter, and from March to November he operates his company, Ockran Oysters.

05/03/2019 14:01:25

Good omen for oyster farm

It is not easy setting up as an oyster farmer. Joe contacted the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers (ASSG) and, through them, got help from Shian Fisheries, Isle of Mull Oysters and Kyle of Tongue. Nick Turnbull was particularly helpful, he said, offering the opportunity to go and work alongside him and his son, Gordon, in Mull. Angela Mackay of Kyle of Tongue, meanwhile, encouraged him with a make do and mend approach that was encouraging for a complete beginner who happened to be very handy and practical. It is still comparatively early days for Joe’s farm. First spat came from Ardtoe, he got half-ware from Shian Fisheries and some spat from Morecambe Bay, and since then has relied almost entirely on Guernsey Sea Farms. He is now producing around 100,000 shells per year but is limited in increasing this by not having a processing shed near his site. He currently has Opposite (top): Joe with to transport everything for grading about seven the spacer he uses miles down a public highway. Life would certainly for the young spat be easier had a plan to build a shed right by his site supplied from Triskell been allowed to go ahead. Seafoods; (below): The He can certainly sell everything he produces, and view from the house locally. Some go to restaurants – but most go to that Joe built. Top: Skye, where tourist demand is very high. And his Joe working on his situation on the North Coast 500 route has made a trestles in torrential huge difference to tourist numbers in the area, with rain on what should places such as the Kylesku Hotel needing oysters to have been a good serve. tide for seeing the The processing shed he does have is handy for his trestles. The problems home, being just down the hill and over the road. posed by low pressure It is well equipped, with depuration units in one and onshore winds walled off part, while a reconditioned Mulot hopper – sometimes things feed acquired some three years ago, a batch grader don’t work out quite (Marel) acquired via assistance from Highland and as the tide tables Moray FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group), and a predict! Mulot screen grader are ready for use in the main Right: Joe Hayes outside body of the shed. his processing shed Joe told me something Gordon Turnbull of Isle

Shellfish.indd 29

of Mull Oysters had said to him: ‘For every new bit of equipment one gets, it makes a real difference for about six months, then you begin to think about what else would help!’ Joe was clearly feeling the truth of that and wondering what next to purchase for his shed. Maybe this will be something to discuss at the ASSG oyster growers meeting in Oban in March which, he said, he was looking forward to. ‘Scottish shellfish farmers are so geographically separated from each other it is helpful to have opportunities for meeting up such as this and the ASSG conference,’ he said. Since he was a relative newcomer to the industry, I asked what would have really helped him starting out. His view was that it should be possible to start by getting planning permission for a pilot scale project. He feels it is such a big investment of time and commitment to make while not really knowing what is entailed, and this takes a great leap of faith. One of the questions I had before my visit was to ask about the name of his business. It was partly answered when I arrived and saw the name on his house. But there is more to it than that. The name ‘ockran’ originates from Shetland and means ‘potato patch’, in the original Norse, or implies ‘productive’- a good omen for an oyster farm. It comes from the farm that was in Ailsa’s family during the Highland clearances- a propitious link back to New Zealand, where Joe first embarked on ecological/biological work and perhaps sowed the seeds for the eventual oyster farm. *NPCT is the former name for the City and Guilds qualifications for land based industries. FF


05/03/2019 14:01:46

Trade Associations – British Trout Association

Norway’s global reach Salmon price comparison reveals omnipresent Nordic offering BY DOUG MCLEOD


HENEVER I travel I try to find the time to carry out a simple consumer survey of the local prices of products that interest me, and one that fascinates me (as well as pleasing my taste buds – at least usually pleasing the taste buds!) is salmon, and particularly smoked salmon. I would prefer it to be trout and smoked trout, but our product appears to be an irregular and minor participant on supermarket shelves, both domestic and internationally, and whether fresh, chilled or frozen. Prices per kilogram vary significantly according to processor and source, but also majorly according to the size of the pack being purchased. Unable to carry out robust and extensive research, but only checking out prices in a shopper mode, standardising as closely as possible in terms of pack size while noting source, I would not claim any technically robust method to my evaluation – just a regular consumer’s perception. As my baseline, I submit prices from a consumer survey for a major UK supermarket for January 2019: 120g packs of Norwegian smoked salmon valued at £25/kg, with more ‘upmarket’ versions (‘strong and robust’ and ‘mild and delicate’) coming in at £40/kg. In southern France in January 2019, a major supermarket store was selling 150g packs at £37.44/kg for Norwegian and at £41.19/kg for Scottish (a premium for the Scots of 10 per cent), while 80g packs were on offer at £38.15/kg for Norwegian and £46.21/kg for Scottish (a premium of 21 per cent). I’m not sure whether the French products were ‘strong’ or ‘mild’, but to be of equal value to the consumer, they would certainly not be the basic product! In a middle of the road New Zealand supermarket around the same time, a 200g pack of Norwegian smoked salmon was priced at £31.05/kg (in mid-February this had been cut to £26.31). This was quite significantly lower than local product, with 200g packs of ‘Aroki Gold’ at £36.84 and ‘Marlborough Sounds’ at £44.74/kg. Clearly, economies of scale enable the Norwe-


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gian industry to invade markets at a great distance, although I have no idea of the profit margin gained from such sales. But the absence of Scottish product may be an indicator of slim profits in the far flung antipodean market. En route back to the UK, I spent a weekend in Bangkok, and inevitably ended up checking out the salmon prices there too. There was little evidence of smoked salmon in either the supermarket shelves or the fish markets, but the former did, however, offer a variety of fillet products, mostly chilled and frozen. In a Tesco Lotus Express on Rama IV Road, chilled Norwegian fillets were priced at £24.75/kg while frozen fillets (also Norwegian) were on sale at £17.75/kg. In a Thai supermarket (Foodland, Soi 5 Sukhamvit), Norwegian chilled fillets were priced at £21.15/kg, while Norwegian frozen fillets were on promotion at £13.25/kg (normal price £15.25/kg) for a 650g pack. My UK baseline equivalents in an upmarket supermarket were £24.95/ kg (240g pack) for chilled fillets and £21.12/kg (260g pack) for frozen fillets, indicating a cheaper availability of the products in Bangkok, which is rather surprising, However, there is always the question of quality, although this can be a personal rather than a standardised quantitative value. I’m not sure if any specific pricing conclusions and marketing messages can be derived from my personal survey around the globe, but there is one clear conclusion – Norwegian salmon is a truly global phenomenon!. FF

Trout appears to be an irregular and minor participant on supermarket shelves




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05/03/2019 11:55:36

Farm visit – Cooke Aquaculture



Fish Farmer is invited out to see Scotland’s most exposed site REPORT AND PICTURES BY ANGUS BLACKBURN


Farm Visit - orkney.indd 32

05/03/2019 14:07:29

Ocean’s edge

Farm Visit - orkney.indd 33


05/03/2019 14:29:58

Farm visit – Cooke Aquaculture


TEWART Rendall has been farming off Westray for 26 years, learning from his father who owned a fish farm in the remote Orkney isle before it was eventually taken over by Cooke Aquaculture. But the site Rendall manages today is different – for him, for his company and for Scottish aquaculture – and its success could help change the way salmon are farmed here in the future. East Skelwick, North Sound, lies 2.5km from the nearest landfall or, as Rendall puts it, ‘on the edge of the ocean’. On a (mercifully) flat sea it takes about an hour to reach the pens of this trial site, which is still in its early days. Capacity is 2,500 tonnes, with eight 130m cages, the largest in Scotland, but there are just four at the moment, with 800 tonnes, stocked on November 21 last year. ‘We put the smolts into an existing site and they were 2.1kg when they came on to this site,’ said Rendall as we head out on the 13m Chrisanne. ‘And we’re looking at harvesting them on April 21, 2019.

The fish are doing “ exceptionally well, they’re growing like crazy ” 34

Farm Visit - orkney.indd 34

‘The fish, now about 4.3kg, are doing exceptionally well, they’re growing like crazy, and there’s no problem with their health. The gills are clean and they’re feeding very well. There’s no lice in Orkney, so we’re lucky with that.’ The site will be built up to its full capacity of eight pens by September this year, with constant monitoring of progress in the exposed location. ‘It’s a high energy site, on the edge of the ocean, so we’re experiencing oceanic swell and waves passing through the site,’ said Rendall, explaining the difference between Skelwick and other sites. He said they do not have to take extra precautions to make sure the defences are not breached in bad weather because the equipment and technology has been specifically adapted for a high energy farm. ‘The systems we’ve put into the site have been quite extensively researched in other parts of the world. We’ve gone over to different countries looking at their systems and seeing the high energy sites they’ve got, and implemented what we believe is the best system for this site.’ Farmers in Norway and the Faroes use 130m (and bigger) pens, and Cooke’s parent company in Canada routinely operates 150m pens. So far, after four months, the East Skelwick system is working fine. The 130m cages, ‘big enough to ride out those size of waves’, include two from Aqualine in Norway, fitted with their Midguard system, and two from Faroese supplier KJ, with Vonin nets. Vonin also supplied the moorings. The nets are cleaned with a specialised net cleaning boat that moves around Orkney and comes out to the site once a month. As a trial farm, East Skelwick’s performance is being carefully observed. There is a Waverider buoy to measure the height, duration and direction of the waves, and the durability of the mooring lines will be tested. All conditions will be monitored in real-time, alongside routine farm operations, to maximise the data gained from the new site. Cooke managing director Colin Blair said at the start of the venture: ‘This enables the resilience of cages and moorings, site accessibility and salmon performance to be correlated with the prevailing physical con-

Previous page: East Skelwick, some 2.5km offshore Above: Farm manager Stewart Rendall. Opposite One of the 130m pens, the biggest in Scotland

05/03/2019 14:30:54

Farm focus – Scotland

Ocean’s edge

New site brings jobs to Orkney Scottish Sea Farms expansion is good news for local suppliers too


Orkney salmon sales could now “ potentially reach £26 million in both the UK and international markets ”

could now potentially reach £26 million in both the UK and international markets. ‘We want to continue to build relationships locally and are bringing skilled employment with training packages to Orkney.

Above and opposite: The Wyre site is stocked with smolts for the first time

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ORE than 480,000 salmon smolts were introduced to their new home at Wyre, Orkney, last month as Scottish Sea Farms’ latest site went live. The 1,800 tonne farm has created six new jobs locally and will significantly increase production of the quality salmon farmed in Orkney waters. The Scottish Sea Farms investment of £2.6 million has also stimulated earnings for numerous Scottish suppliers and Orkney based companies, including Fusion Marine, Knox Nets, Leask Marine and Northwards. The local hotel and haulage company on the remote Island of Sanday have also benefited from workers staying on the Island as the site was developed and constructed. New barges and landing craft have been built for the Orkney region this year at Macduff Shipyards in Aberdeenshire. Jim Gallagher, managing director of Scottish Sea Farms, said: ‘This is good news for both Scottish Sea Farms and the local community. ‘This site at Wyre, made up of 12 x 100m cages, will help to secure the long-term future of our Eday site and increased Orkney salmon sales

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02/10/2015 05/03/2019 15:55:55 14:31:17

Farm visit – Cooke Aquaculture

Top: Trevor Byers, of the East Skelwick team, at the site. Above Fish will be harvested in April. Opposite: Trevor Byers and Stewart Rendall

ditions, including any extreme weather events.’ Rendall said: ‘The information we gather will be used with our current suppliers and other fish farms throughout Scotland who can make use of it. If it’s beneficial to them, we’d certainly share information.’ Weather is the biggest challenge, obviously, but winter has not been too harsh and they have only lost a few feeding days. ‘We’re feeding by boat momentarily, we don’t have a barge on site, so it’s weather dependent. But all systems are going good,’ said Rendall. ‘We’ve got a couple of boats – our own boat which is a 13m catamaran, which we feed with on a daily basis and do fish health checks and so on. ‘But we also take in a 26m multicat Sea Odyssey from Leask Marine. They come in and do our mooring work, and take our nets off. ‘We’re looking at different types of feed barges, the pros and cons of what’s going to be the most high maintenance and if the fish will miss the most feeding days with a feed barge or a feed boat.’

information we gather will be “The used with other fish farmers ” 36

Farm Visit - orkney.indd 36

05/03/2019 14:32:42

Ocean’s edge

They have a Steinsvik blower and feeding system with cameras, all operated remotely from the wheelhouse of the boat so there is no one on the cage in rough weather. Currently, three staff are employed at East Skelwick but Rendall said they are in the stages of hiring a further five as they expand the site to full capacity. This will bring the company’s UK employees to more than 320, with over 100 in Orkney. Once the full team is in place at East Skelwick they will work two weeks on, two weeks off shift patterns, and ideally will be recruited locally. ‘We’d certainly prefer to get island guys to come and work for us in the future, though we don’t want to interfere with other industries and take workers away from other parts of the island,’ said Rendall. ‘Westray has quite a bit of industry with the crab industry, farming, its own bakehouse, a couple of hotels, a couple of shops, and a care home for the elderly. Employment is not a problem on the island.’

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05/03/2019 14:33:10

Farm visit – Cooke Aquaculture

A former rugby player for Orkney, Rendall has lived on the island all his life and is now bringing up three children in what he says is a ‘thriving community’ of 600 people, nearly 100 of whom are school age or younger. ‘Westray has a great social life as well, we’ve got football, golf and rugby - 15 years ago we could field two full teams out of an island of 600 which is quite impressive!’ For now, all his focus is on the farm. Cooke said the site would not


Farm Visit - orkney.indd 38

Top: First harvest will be in April. Above The fish are ‘growing like crazy’

only enhance the Westray operations but will also improve efficiency at the company’s processing facility at Hatston in Kirkwall, where all Cooke’s fish are processed, bringing more local employment. When Rural Economy minister Fergus Ewing visited Kirkwall last September to hear about progress at East Skelwick, he welcomed the development. ‘Cooke are championing innovative approaches to sustainably growing the Scottish aquaculture industry, and are a fantastic example of what can be achieved in Scotland when there is a combination of vision and wider support,’ said Ewing. ‘It was great to see yet another example of how the aquaculture sector is adapting and being innovative when thinking about sustainable growth, and I wish them all the best moving forward.’ If all goes well, the site could be a template for other farmers looking to expand into new locations – and for Cooke too. ‘We do have plans to look at other sites in the same area,’ said Rendall, aware that his experiences are being closely followed across Scotland. FF With special thanks to Stewart Rendall and his team, and to Cooke Aquaculture in Orkney for the opportunity to visit East Skelwick.

05/03/2019 14:33:45

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05/03/2019 11:56:58

Boats and boatbuilding

New wave of


Aquaculture industry helps drive resurgence in boatbuilding in Scotland BY SANDY NEIL


NCE Scotland was shipbuilder to the world, launching the fastest, biggest and most beautiful boats, such as the Queen Mary, Royal Yacht Britannia, and perhaps the greatest, the QE2, all bearing the proud name ‘Clydebuilt’. Then, after the boom during both World Wars, came the bust due to overseas competition. But now there is a growing demand for ships designed and built back in Scotland, in order to meet the changing needs of the country’s growing fishing and aquaculture industries. So much so that last year Scottish boatbuilder Malin Marine unveiled plans to establish a new engineering hub on the Clyde to supply a need for workboats, potentially creating 1,000 jobs. So, Fish Farmer asked if, and how, other boat builders and designers around the country are feeling the boom. Boatbuilding returned to Fort William this year thanks to a drive to develop new types of vessels, in this case a new generation of feed barges made of steel rather than heavier concrete.


Boats Round -Up.indd 40

‘It is bringing boatbuilding back to the Highlands of Scotland,’ explained Fergus Watson, operations manager of Gael Force Boatbuilding, the new name for the Corpach Boatbuilding Company, acquired by the Gael Force Group late last year. Gael Force already has a well established concrete barge building facility in Inverness, but, in a bid to develop its boatbuilding business in Corpach, it also offers ‘an innovative, competitive home built substitute to imported steel barges’ with capacities up to 750 tonnes. Currently many of the competing steel feed barges are manufactured outside the UK in Eastern Europe. Now that the home grown company has won a contract to build its first SeaFeed steel barge from a Scottish fish farm, there is evident excitement on the shipyard floor. ‘We are hoping this will be the first of many,’ Watson said: ‘We are hoping other orders will come in from that customer and others.’

Above: Drawing of the SeaFeed 750 steel barge Opposite: Modular view of the barge, being built by Gael Force Boatbuilding

05/03/2019 14:34:57

New wave of vessels

The company now plans to expand its 21-strong workforce, recruiting seven more employees to work on the project, and its steel barge business, its website states, is ‘expected to grow as planned’. Down the coast in the Firth of Clyde, Ardmaleish Boatbuilding Company on the Isle of Bute is delivering its fifth landing craft for the Scottish Salmon Company, and has freshly signed a contract for a sixth, this time a net washing boat. ‘Repair work was our biggest job, but now the building has taken off, I am needing more men,’ Ardmaleish’s managing director Ewen Ferguson said. Many working boats are now becoming too old and too small for the job, he explained, and more fish farmers are turning to boatbuilders in Scotland, lured by the lower price. ‘The pound and the euro are nearly neck and neck, so building abroad is not as lucrative as it used to be,’ Ferguson said. The poor exchange rate would also be compounded by the cost of transporting

boats built abroad to their work sites on the west coast. Meanwhile, up on the north east coast in Macduff, Aberdeenshire, naval architects Macduff Ship Design have seen a recent surge in orders from both the fishing and aquaculture industries. ‘With this sudden increase in design activity, the last six to eight months have been exceptionally busy,’ said managing director Ian Ellis. ‘We are looking to take on new designers over the next couple of years to assist with this work and ensure long-term continuity.’ A new wave of vessels is needed to keep up

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05/03/2019 14:35:19

Boats and boatbuilding

It is a fully Scottish vessel, “owned, designed and built ”

with changes in the aquaculture industry, for example the move from chemical to mechanical sea lice removal, with machines such as hydrolicers, which dislodge the lice by turbulence, or thermolicers which bathe the salmon in lukewarm water, killing the lice by the sudden temperature change. The designers have just developed a 26m vessel for Inverlussa Marine Services, currently being built by Ferguson Marine Engineering in Port Glasgow. It is designed to carry out thermolicing within a fully enclosed deck, allowing work to continue safely in challenging weather conditions. This is only the first vessel being built to their design, but Ellis sees potential for more to follow, as well as a growing demand for bigger vessels to handle treatment, harvest and service automated feeding systems. ‘It is a fully Scottish vessel: owned, designed and built,’ he added. ‘Salmon prices are good and have remained stable over recent time. This stability gives operators more confidence in making large investment in infrastructure including vessels.’ Many fish farmers in Scotland are turning to local designers like Macduff Ship Design, he explained, because they are near at hand. ‘Having a close relationship with a designer is critical,’ he said: ‘You can ensure what you want is what you get.’ The company is ‘delighted’ to be entering 2019 with ‘an exciting and diverse order book’, including a 37m harvest vessel destined for Canada being constructed in Vietnam with Shipbuilding Asia, a second, smaller 21m, 100 tonne workboat for Inverlussa, also built by Ferguson Marine Engineering, and a 14m catamaran service boat, currently in build at Macduff Shipyards. Five years ago ‘the last shipbuilders on the Clyde’, Ferguson Marine, was facing closure following an illustrious history, due in part to ‘the general decline of commercial shipbuilding’. However, it was soon saved, alongside almost 100 jobs, when it was bought by Clyde Blowers Capital, which has invested millions in expanding the business. The shipyard subsequently launched dual-fuel ferries for CMAL, the MV Catriona and MV Glen Sannox, and is now diversifying, building its first boats specifically for the aquaculture industry. ‘We have gone from zero to two vessels,’ Ferguson Marine Engineering’s chief naval architect Chris Dunn said. ‘We had to diversify from traditional markets like ferries. We just put ourselves out there as a shipbuilder who could build anything. We have


Boats Round -Up.indd 42

got a healthy order book. We are the last remaining commercial shipbuilders in Scotland. We are taking our responsibility seriously. We are fighting back.’ One project in the pipeline, he said, is looking at the fish farms themselves rather than their support vessels. ‘There are exciting developments in the aquaculture industry,’ he added, ‘and we want to be a part of that.’ FF

Above: Macduff Ship Design’s boat for Inverlussa will have enough deck space to accommodate a thermolicer

Oceans of ambition in sector A NEW Shetland vessel company was announced in January, combining two established operators in the aquaculture industry. Ocean Farm Services (OFS) was formed by Aurora Marine of Whalsay and North Isles of Marine of Scalloway, and has already ordered its first boat. Designed by Marin and to be built by Stamas Yard Services in Norway, the 14.96m Apollo will be a sister vessel to the Aurora Quest. The workboats will mainly be deployed on net cleaning duties. At the launch of the new company, Colin Leask of Aurora Marine and a director of OFS, said ‘more interesting projects are in the pipeline’.

Above: The workboat designed by Marin for Ocean Farm Services

05/03/2019 14:35:45

Boats and boatbuilding

Made in Scotland Mull based Inverlussa looks local, thinks big


WARD winning Scottish aquaculture supplier Inverlussa Marine Services has had a busy year, with two new vessels on order to boost its 11-strong fleet. Managing director Ben Wilson said he was particularly pleased to place the latest orders – designed by Macduff Ship Design and under construction at Ferguson Marine Engineering in Glasgow - in Scotland. ‘We’ve built with two yards in Scotland before…and we’ve been to Norway more recently to build a couple of vessels there. Obviously, we’re happy to be building again in Scotland,’ he said. ‘It’s one thing we feel quite strongly about and hopefully the industry does too, with producers trying to use Scottish operators where they can and then, in turn, as operators we need to see how much we can filter back into the Scottish supply chain.’ Inverlussa is Ferguson Marine’s first aquaculture client and a departure from its traditional work, building ferries. Mull based Inverlussa, one of Scotland’s leading workboat operators (and named Supplier of the Year in the 2018 Aquaculture Awards), has customers throughout the Scottish aquaculture sector. The first of its new boats, 21m in length and due for delivery this summer, is being built on spec, and Wilson said there is already interest in it. ‘The first boat is very much built round mooring and grid inspections…we see there’s a small gap there. But, in general, the market is starting to fill up with boats, with a lot ordered recently, so we have to be careful not to overdo it.’ The second boat, to be delivered in January 2020, is Inverlussa’s

Inverlussa.indd 43

largest yet, at 26m by 12m, the extra wide berth designed to accommodate a mechanical delicing machine, and built in collaboration with an aquaculture client. Most of Inverlussa’s boats are multi-purpose vessels, said Wilson, but the challenge is to get the balance right between designing them to be versatile and ‘still being able to be good at a few things as well’. ‘I think the market has changed in the last maybe six years, where it’s become so much more specialised. You were able to build a boat five years ago that would do eight different activities in fish farming. ‘Where it’s changed is each task has become specialised – like delicing for example – so a great big boat that would be able to fit a thermolicer or a hydrolicer now is not practical to do mooring installations. ‘The bigger vessel we’re building for delicing is going to be 12m wide – you just wouldn’t build it that large if you didn’t have to.’ He sees equal preference among farmers for thermolicers and hydrolicers, but said farm managers tend to feel quite strongly about the

Above: Inverlussa apprentice Daniel Keivers (left) with skipper Ricky Young


05/03/2019 14:36:54

Boats and boatbuilding

As operators we “ need to see how much we can filter back into the Scottish supply chain

particular machine they’re using. And while Inverlussa boats are fully crewed and maintained by the company, producers use their own technicians, trained in fish handling, to operate the lice treatment machines. The move to more offshore farms is another change the company is keeping an eye on, although this hasn’t had a direct impact on its operations. ‘The big difference for us is the pen size increasing, as much as where they are,’ said Wilson. ‘There’s a requirement for larger boats and larger cranes.’ Inverlussa currently employs around 70 staff, with a further eight to ten due to be recruited within the next year. They are spread from Mull to Shetland, and Wilson recruits locally wherever possible but also has quite a few Shetlanders working on west coast vessels, depending on their skills. ‘It would make total sense to use a Shetlander in Shetland but if his skills are better suited to a west coast contract then that’s what we’d do.

‘A lot of the growth of the company has been on the back of having good people – anyone running a business will say that, but it really is for us because the guys are dealing with the customers day in and day out, and repeat contracts are based on performance, so it’s really important.’ Wilson is committed to supporting the local community and to encouraging more youngsters to look for career opportunities in the aquaculture sector. To this end he has developed a youth training programme. ‘We started the year before last – for our boat industry there’s not a proper apprenticeship scheme as such so we wanted to do something with school leavers.’ He wants to attract youngsters who, like he was, may not be interested in university but want to do something local and something to do with the sea. The two-year scheme provides intensive on the job training, as well as more formal qualifications, and there is a full-time job at the end of it. The first recruit, Daniel Keivers, started last year and is just over half way through the programme. By June this year, a second apprentice will be taken on and the hope, said Wilson,

Clockwise from above: The Kiera Fiona and Gina Mary; Geraldine Mary on site work; Helen Burnie hydrolicing; Inverlussa managing director Ben Wilson (right) being presented with the Supplier of the Year award by Martin Gill, managing director of Acoura, at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore last year


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05/03/2019 14:37:21

Made in Scotland

is to put one young person through the system every year. Daniel came from Tobermory High School, and Inverlussa is talking to other local schools, too, to widen the initiative. ‘I think it’s about pushing the benefits of aquaculture. It’s proper investment but it’s what we all should be doing.’ Looking ahead, Wilson said while the company’s business has been in Scotland to date, it is

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interested in other markets, and will be going to Aqua Nor in Trondheim again this August, perhaps taking a boat if there is one available. ‘At the moment, we’re just in Scotland but we’re always keeping an eye on what’s going on. We do want to continue to grow and probably can’t do all of that in Scotland.’ Wilson has been outspoken in support of the industry, and contributed a written submission to last year’s Holyrood inquiries into salmon farming. Is he encouraged by how the industry has projected itself, and confident in its future? ‘We’re certainly confident in its future. I think some of the good things that came out of the inquiry is how the industry is going to work a wee bit better at putting the benefits over to the public.’ He said he had been surprised to learn, for example, that for every one fish farmer there are five suppliers, and he thinks the sector should do more to promote its value to Scotland’s rural economy. ‘It’s not a case of selling the industry to people, it’s just about giving them the facts, what the benefits of the industry are. ‘It’s not a criticism of the industry, it’s more that we all need to be doing a bit more promotion. The industry is full of people who aren’t big into selling things or selling themselves, but if they’re more conscious of it, that will be a benefit.’ FF


05/03/2019 14:37:40

Boats and boatbuilding

Wellboat ‘a giant in every way’


the large dimensions. ‘The salmon must be treated and transported many times throughout their life cycle and bathing the fish in freshwater is an effective and environmentally friendly method,’ said Myren. ‘Producing our own freshwater makes the treatment more sustainable, as you avoid using natural freshwater, which is a scarce resource, you save time and fuel from not having to fetch it, and you don’t have to filter it. The water is of course reused as well.’ When the salmon is treated that often, it must be possible to take them out of the cages quickly and with care to avoid stress and reduced growth. This is why such enormous systems are needed to handle the fish. Ronja Storm will be delivered to Sølvtrans this autumn. Roger Halsebakk, Sølvtrans CEO, said he is certain the vessel will meet expectations. ‘It will be a fantastic addition to the Sølvtrans fleet. The ship once again confirms that Sølvtrans is at the forefront of technology developments that address quality, animal welfare and environmental considerations in the aquaculture industry.’


HE world’s biggest wellboat arrived in Norwegian yard Havyard from Turkey last month to be fitted out. At 116m, the Ronja Storm, owned by Sølvtrans and destined for Tasmania, will be longer than other wellboats. The boat’s freshwater production facility is also the biggest yet, capable of producing 16.8 million litres of freshwater a day. Furterhmore, Ronja Storm’s capacity is nearly twice that of the average wellboat, with four fish tanks able to load 1,000 tonnes of fish an hour – or 3,300 salmon per minute. Havyard senior designer Kjetil Myren described Ronja Storm as groundbreaking. ‘Ronja Storm is the biggest in the world, not only in terms of its actual size,’ he said. ‘The focus has been on thorough and reliable handling of large amounts of fish, which has required new solutions and equipment to be developed. ‘Clients and end users have challenged us down to the tiniest detail, and the result is that Ronja Storm will be a giant in every way.’ Ronja Storm will be rented by Sølvtrans to Huon Aquaculture, for farming operations that demand

Photo: David Zadig

Tasmanian customer demands bigger dimensions

Top: Project team, from left: Havyard process managers Jan Andre Førde Systad and Svein Frode Eggesbø, Havyard executive vice president Lasse Stokkeland, and process manager Håkon Bosdal.






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Boats - Wellboat.indd 46

18/02/2015 11:57

18/02/2015 11:57

05/03/2019 14:38:33

Meercat Boats - Advertorial

Meercat stands tall Buoyant times for aquaculture workboat builder


EADING multi-role UK workboat builder, Meercat Boats, is going from strength to strength. Established in 2009, Meercat Boats has delivered many multi-role steel workboats to Scottish, Tasmanian and northern European fish farms, including Dawnfresh Farming. Dawnfresh Farming operates four Meercat boats. The Falls of Lora is working at its trout farming operation on Loch Etive, where the vessel is being used for general fish farm maintenance, with a particular focus on feeding operations. In December, Meercat Boats delivered its latest aquaculture multi-role workboat, the Meercat M15, to the Scottish Salmon Company. The vessel steamed up to her new home in the Western Isles, where she immediately commenced a mix of aquaculture management support and fish farm servicing operations, made more effective by the joint working of the customer and design team through the build process. Impressed by their multi-role features, combined with excellent seakeeping ability and substantial cargo carrying capacity, leading UK civil engineering specialist Topbond acquired Meercat Boats, based in Southampton, in 2018. The team have worked to strengthen Meercat Boats’ purchase options, which are attractive to finance houses due to strong residual values. In February, Guernsey Harbours confirmed that Meercat Boats had won a tender to build a new Meercat valued in the region of £1 million, to replace its port harbour service craft. Topbond had worked closely with the Meercat technical team and subsequently ordered a new 22m aquaculture support vessel, the Meercat AS22. This steel workboat includes features synonymous with the brand, making it ideally suited to both fish farm support duties as well as multi-role workboat operations in marine construction. Launching at Seawork International in June, the AS22 will be available for contract and charter works and interested parties should contact Meercat for further information. The Meercat team includes in-house designers as well as fully coded and trained welders; ensuring consistently high quality throughout

Meercat - PED.indd 47

The steel “workboat is ideally suited to fish farm support duties

the design and build process. As well as being popular in the aquaculture sector, Meercat Boats are operating worldwide in other sectors, including port harbour servicing, oil spill response and wind farm support, by the likes of BAE Systems, Zamil Offshore, Williams Shipping, and ABP Southampton, Meercat vessels are operating in the UK, Middle East, Europe, Africa and Australia. Visit for further information. FF

Above: BK Marjorie on the way to work on salmon farms in Shetland Left: The Meercat

MC34 Scottish Salmon Company workboat being put through her paces during trials


05/03/2019 14:39:33

Net cleaners – AKVA

Smooth operator

New generation of flying net cleaners reaches all corners


HE original FNC8, the flying net cleaner made by ROV specialist Sperre of Norway in partnership with AKVA, was described as an ‘intelligent’ remote net cleaning rig, at the sharp end of aquaculture technology. It was introduced just over two years ago and is hard at work on fish farms around the world. But its creators have not been complacent since then and have now produced an even smarter version, the FNC8 2.0. Likened to an underwater lawn mower, the eight-disc net cleaner flies along the net as its name suggests, getting to the bits that other net cleaners can’t always reach, including the bottom; and the new unit boasts even greater accuracy. The man behind the machine, Thor Olav Sperre, in AKVA Group Scotland’s Inverness headquarters this month, said the latest generation has


AKVA.indd 48

undergone more than 70 upgrades. With feedback from customers and their own observations, the team has incorporated experience gained on the farm into mark 2.0. ‘The most important thing is the new driver boards for the thrusters,’ said Sperre. These have been refined to take better care of the thruster than was the case in the old system. The new model can get into the corners of the nets even better than the earlier model, and reach higher to clean around the collar, because the frame has been extensively redesigned and is now 35cm narrower, while the washing width

Below: FCN8 creator Thor Olav Sperre. Opposite (top): The FNC8 2.0 has more than 70 upgrades. (Below): FNC8 1.0 is deployed around the world

05/03/2019 14:40:20

Smooth operator

recorded for later analysis. The FNC8 is operated from a high-backed pilot chair with consoles on the arm rests to manoeuvre the ROV along the net. Housed in a special cabin or in the wheelhouse, the chair faces a bank of screens depicting the FNC8 at different angles. It can be operated easily, either remotely from the control room or at the cage from a hand-held console. A new and intuitive positioning system helps keep track of which parts of the pen have been cleaned and automatically generates documentation for each job. ‘Almost always, people install the chair because operators can be using the FNC8 for 12 hours, so the chair is an essential part,’ said Sperre. The control centre can either be transportable – it is modular so can

remains the same. The 2.0 is also faster and more efficient, cleaning about 10 nets a day, as well as lice skirts, horizontally, vertically or upside down. This net cleaner is all about a high volume of water targeted by electronic propulsion at the net, and not wasted on holding the machine in place against the cage. The new FNC8 supports a higher water flow of up to 250 bar pressure and 750 litres water/ minute. By increasing the amount of water, the pressure can be reduced without affecting the cleaning performance, but minimising wear on the net. AKVA in Scotland designed and built the net washing pump that provides the water, said general manager Jason Cleaversmith. ‘We’ve sold quite a few FNC8s with the net washing pump that we make here in Scotland.’ Further advantages of the FNC8 is that, with its smooth underside, it doesn’t damage the net, and there is minimal waste spread. All FNC8s have built-in auto features and advanced IP camera systems and sensors for monitoring during the cleaning process, so they can also be used for inspection. New software has been made for the 2.0 that will enable farmers to use the machine much better as an inspection tool, said Sperre. And, as with the first FNC8, camera images can be

AKVA.indd 49

More FNC8s have been added to Huon’s fleet in Tasmania to tackle their 200m pens



05/03/2019 14:40:47

Net cleaners – AKVA New FNC8s have been added to Huon’s fleet in Tasmania to tackle their 200m pens, taking the company’s total to eight. Sperre said replacing old net cleaners with new ones is like the car industry – ‘there are always new models’ – but the FNC8 1.0 can also be adapted with ‘upgrade kits’. It is at the more exposed sites, where nets don’t hang so smoothly, that traditional net cleaners are less efficient, and there is growing demand for FNC8s from offshore operators. ‘In Norway, there are several companies who work on offshore farms and we’re working with a lot of them, because this FNC8 can fly as an ROV and can clean upside down and at all angles,’ said Sperre. As an adaptation of existing ROV technology, there is also the option of a mort collector, often sold together with the FNC8s. ‘It’s a special skin for the ROVs, called ‘dead fish skid’, and it can run around and catch these fish, collecting up to 500, or almost one cubic metre of fish, and then dump them in the liftup,’ Sperre explained. Cleaversmith said these were not currently being used in Scotland but would be marketed here by AKVA. SalMar’s experimental salmon farming concept, Ocean Farm 1, was the first offshore system to use the mort collector, said Sperre – ‘they find it works well; they bought the ROV first and then the FNC8.’ Research and development is an ongoing process and feedback from the 2.0 will no doubt eventually result in even more fine tuning, but Sperre is very happy with the new launch. ‘I’m very satisfied with 2.0 system because we’ve done so many things and I think we have now refined version 1.0 and taken it to a new level of operational reliability.’ FF

be lifted on or off boats and the boat can be repurposed for something else - or it can be installed in the wheelhouse and made part of the boat infrastructure. Cleaversmith said companies would perhaps have one FNC8 for each farming area, fitted to a vessel that is on constant net cleaning duty during the summer months. The prototype of the 2.0, launched in January, is currently with a customer in Norway who won’t give it back, said Sperre. Some 60 FNC8s have been sold overall worldwide. Cleaversmith said there are five cleaners in two companies in Scotland, and two in the Faroes.

The new name for sea lice skirts for the fish farming industry Working together with Scottish Sea Farms to produce the strongest and most effective sea lice skirts on the market today. Above: Huon in Tasmania usess the FNC8 to clean its 200m pens. Opposite (top): Easy to control. (Below): Smooth surface ensures no net damage

William Milne Tarpaulins Scotland Ltd Aberdeen Scotland AB12 3AX T: 01224 631 012 M: 07786 578 456 Email: 50

AKVA.indd 50

05/03/2019 14:41:43

Smooth operator

I’m very “satisfied…I

think we have now taken it to a new level of operational reliability

Netwax E4 Greenline from NetKem Netwax E4 Greenline offers excellent protection against fouling on pen nets Netwax E4 Greenline is developed for antifouling treatment of pen nets under “green” licences. The special active ingredient is approved by IMO and listed by OMRI for use in ecological agriculture. “Green” licences

The Norwegian government has issued special licences for aquaculture with emphasis on reducing strain on the environment.


Institute for Marketechology, Switzerland. Approves products used in ecological agriculture.


Organic Materials Review Institute, USA. Lists products for use in organic food production.

Slalåmveien 1, NO-1410 Kolbotn, Norway - Ph.: +47 66 80 82 15 -

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05/03/2019 14:42:01

Net cleaners – AKVA

possible performance. Vertical and FW thrusters can easy be moved in new positions. New mechanical stronger grids for thrusters Increased dimension of nozzle rods, now 10 mm., before 6 mm. There is now larger clearance between the dipstick and the goods in the thruster compensator housing. This will prevent the dipstick from getting stuck. Each thruster have their own jumper. This will give no connector damages.

Thruster grids Nozzle rods Thruster compensator indicator

Above: Thrusters – the main bracket canimprovements be used for several FNC 2.0 vs 1.0 thruster locations Part or function

Thruster jumper


FNC VEHICLE, cameras and Light Camera

4 IP camera are standard


Nozzle rods are reinforced from 6 to 10 mm. and will not break in the future. Water inlet fittings to the FNC is increased from 1 inch to 5/4 inch. In addition, the pipe installation is simplified with straight pipes that have twice the area as on FNC 1.0. The pressure drop then becomes minimal and can transport up to 750 liters of water. The disc have increased diameter from 350 mm. to 360 mm. Larger tubing channels for water in the boss and the discs mean that there is a minimum pressure drop. The angle of nozzles are changed. The disc wash cleaner and will make an under-pressure between the disc and net. Bigger square of power conductors gives 20% less voltage drop, and greater power at FNC

Pipe system and water supply.

New better camera cable, from HD to 2. THRUSTER-Brackets Ethernet standard

Camera cables

Camera brackets

Camera can be moved to best possible position 4 lights are standard. 2 lights FW and 2 lights BW All lights have a cover to shield light against camera

Lights Light cover

Disc diameter, cleaning area Disc and boss/adapter

FNC VEHICLE Bottom frame

Bottom frame width

Maximum working depth Additional buoyancy Bottom plate Bottom plate attachment

Roller option for slack nets

Thruster bracket

Thruster clamps Main thruster bracket

Besøksadresse TELEMARK TEKNOLOGIPARK Merdeveien 1 Thruster grids 3676 Notodden

Nozzle rods Thruster compensator indicator

Thruster jumper

Reinforcement will result in less mechanical damage and greater working depth Reduced width 35 cm. Cleaning width same as FNC 1.0, 2,6 meters. Cleaning discs touch the outer frame. Increased from 50m to 75 meters This gives the FNC better stability and can fly as a ROV for inspection The bottom plate is more perforated and has recesses for ducts The bottom plate attachment secures the plate to the frame so that it is completely compact tightly fitting 1 or 3 rollers can be mounted on the bottom frame. The angle can be adjusted for best performance on slack nets. The attachment is integrated in the frame The bracket has a rubber damper that will remove the vibration from the thruster onto the frame and vice versa. Stronger thruster clamps hold thruster in place The brackets are prepared for different thruster configuration to get best possible performance. Vertical and FW thrusters can easy be movedKontaktinformasjon in new SPERRE AS positions. 947 063 405 Telefon: +47 35025000 Bank: 2610.13.48988 New mechanical stronger grids for E-mail: thrusters Increased dimension of nozzle rods, now 10 mm., before 6 mm. There is now larger clearance between the dipstick and the goods in the thruster compensator housing. This will prevent the dipstick from getting stuck. Each thruster have their own jumper. This will give no connector damages.

CLEANING UNIT Nozzle rods Pipe system and water supply.

Besøksadresse TELEMARK TEKNOLOGIPARK Merdeveien 1 3676 Notodden


AKVA.indd 52

Disc diameter, cleaning area

Disc and nozzles


CONTROL CYLINDER Fiber connector Camera connectors Connector and interface for navigation transponder POWER CYLINDER New VSD thruster driver boards

4 generation og VSD. New and more powerful. A lot of advantages and data readings and set parameters. SPERRE AS Kontaktinformasjon It shall be impossible to overload the 947 063 405 Telefon: +47 35025000 thruster with this VSD Bank: 2610.13.48988 New heavy duty highE-mail: connector installed. Each thruster have their own connector. This reduces the possibility to overload the thruster connector in the lid. The old FNC 1.0 had 2 thrusters on each connector. Easy clamp release any need for tools

Besøksadresse TELEMARK TEKNOLOGIPARK Merdeveien 1 3676 Notodden Power in connector

Thruster connectors

Control cylinder clamp TOP SIDE CONTROL STATION GUI Video system

Video presentation Video recording Navigation system

Nozzle rods are reinforced from 6 to 10 mm. and will not break in the future. Water inlet fittings to the FNC is increased from 1 inch to 5/4 inch. AS In addition, the pipe installationSPERRE is simplified with straight pipes that have 947 063TOP 405 SIDE POWER SYSTEM twice the area as on FNC 1.0. The Main Fuse Bank: 2610.13.48988 pressure drop then becomes minimal and can transport up to 750 liters of water. The disc have increased diameter from

The connector have got a new position in the lid for easy connection New better rugged connectors with good track record Connector for transponder is standard. SBL navigation system can be installed.

New overlay presentation New VSD page with VSD status IP camera system makes the topside and subsea video systems better and with less converters, cables and black boxes. One 4 K Monitor for all 4 video pictures All 4 video camera can be recorded Rack have space for the 3 U rack module for the Water Link navigation system

Kontaktinformasjon Telefon: +47 35025000 The fuse has increased from 32 amps to amps E-mail: 50 05/03/2019 14:42:31


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

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

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05/03/2019 11:58:20

Insects for feed – Introduction

Must FLY Insect farming could take off in Scotland


COTLAND could lose out on becoming a major player in the emerging insects for feed sector if it doesn’t engage with the opportunities soon. The country is well placed to become a leader in the field, with its large aquaculture industry, a daylong conference in Edinburgh heard last month. Organised by Zero Waste Scotland, the event attracted delegates from across the aquaculture and food and drink supply chains. Speakers described the need for alternative sustainable proteins to meet growing demand for animal feeds and address the limited availability of marine ingredients. Farming insects – in particular, black soldier fly – can convert organic residues into feed, helping to fill the protein gap and reduce waste. The EU produces 88 million tonnes of food waste annually, said Christophe Derrien, secretary general of the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF). This waste must be used more productively, and can be converted efficiently by insects, which are a natural part of the diets of carnivorous fish and are amenable to mass rearing. There are now hundreds of entrepreneurs moving into this burgeoning industry, with some already well established. These include AgriProtein, launched in South Africa, and the Netherlands company Protix, which began operations 10 years ago and now employs 100 staff. A major breakthrough for insect pioneers came in July 2017 when the EU passed legislation permitting the use of insects in aquafeed, opening up potentially significant markets for this protein source.


Insects - Intro.indd 54

One of the drivers behind the legislative change was Dr Elaine Fitches, of Durham University and FERA (the Food and Environment Research Agency), who was in Edinburgh to explain how insect farming promotes a circular economy. She extolled the virtues of the black soldier fly, which feeds on a wide range of residues and doesn’t carry human or livestock diseases. Fitches said the development of the sector would be heavily influenced by substrate supply – which currently excludes manure and catering waste – and she called on government to support the industry ‘to help make this happen’. The potential for insect feed in Scottish aquaculture was outlined by Dr Sam Houston, of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), who said with lower inclusion levels, a turnover of £25.6 million based on selling 18,000 tonnes was possible (in a calculation using AgriProtein’s MagMeal, which sells for £1,435 per tonne compared to around £1,179 for fishmeal). Houston said insect meal needed to compete with fishmeal before feed manufacturers would use it, but Nick Bradbury of BioMar, one of the delegates, questioned modelling the viability of insect meal for commercial salmon feed on replacing fishmeal. ‘To have a decent market, it’s got to replace plant proteins,’ he said, adding that these are in the region of £700 a tonne. The lack of volume in the insect sector, as well as public acceptance, was seen by many as the main obstacle to gaining traction in the market. The technology is now proven, said Keiran Olivares Whitaker of London based start-up Entocycle, but major government investment was needed. Europe is already playing catch-up, as places like Brazil, India and China accelerate animal production and demand for protein. Aquaculture is increasing and the markets are huge, and Entocycle, which is planning market entry in 2020, has identified five regions to target. ‘Scotland is going to be key in this industry because you have a very forward looking philosophy, especially around the waste cycle but also in the salmon industry, and other agriculture industries, and relatively condensed food production facilities which enable this to be rolled out in quick scale,’ he said. Insect production globally is starting to take off and is getting substantial

Left: Entocycle’s Keiran Olivares Whitaker Above: Investment in the sector Right: Zero Waste Scotland’s Dr William Clark, the Institute of Aquaculure’s Dr Richard Newton and Dr Elain Fitches Below right: Good alternatives

05/03/2019 14:43:38

Must fly

Decades to develop alternatives THE quest to find replacements for fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture feeds could take decades, according to experts attending a special conference in California last month. Mike Velings, co-founder of global investment fund Aqua-Spark, told delegates at the F3 (Future of Feed) meeting that many different ingredients are needed to avoid the dependency we have today on a few bulk raw materials. ‘In an ideal world, we would create 20 to 30 different bulk ingredients we could use in different settings,’ he told Intrafish during the conference. Within all these feeds, there should be multiple actors that are independent from each other, to produce the quantities we Above: Mike Velings need. ‘If you look at alternative feeds today, of products if aquaculture has to double or probably global insect production is about maybe even treble by mid-century’. 10,000 tonnes of insect meal,’ he said. That would imply an eight-fold increase in With single cell protein production globally, global aquafeed supply – or some 140 million ‘we’re talking really tiny amounts and we’re tonnes of extra ingredients. going to need millions and millions of tonnes That’s not going to come from plants, and

developing alternative ingredients from 10,000 tonnes, where we are today, is going to take billions and billions and at least another decade, maybe even two decades. ‘It will be a massive joint effort by all of us and everybody in the industry, otherwise we’ll never get there. It’s a massive opportunity but it will take quite some time to come before we can really say, hey, this was a success.’ *The F3 team has launched two contests related to innovation in fish-free aquaculture feed. The first contest, the F3 Challenge, focused on finding which company could sell the most fish-free feed. One of China’s largest aquaculture and feed producers, Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Company, was awarded the $200,000 (£151,300) prize in October 2017 for selling more than 85,000 tonnes of fish-free feed. A second contest, the ongoing F3 Fish Oil Challenge, will award a $100,000 prize to whoever develops and sells the most fish-free fish oil. The contest runs until September 15, 2019.

French pioneer secures $125m funding

support from some governments, said Whitaker. The French, for instance, have already given 38 million euros to just two companies and are investing up to one billion euros over the next five years (see box right). ‘Scotland should and could be world leaders in this – you have everything on the doorstep. We could do this rapidly but what we need is support from regions and local governments. Otherwise Scotland and the UK will simply fall behind.’ FF

Photo: Ynsect

We could do this rapidly but what we “need is support from government ”

A FRENCH insect farmer has secured $125 million from venture capital investors to build the world’s biggest insect farm, to be run by robots. Ynsect, one of the early pioneers of insect farming, rears a type of beetle for fish feed, as well as for pets and fertilising plants. The fundraising round, which will be spent on a farm in Amiens, in northern France, as well as a separate factory in the US, is led by Belgium’s Astanor Ventures, alongside France’s Idinvest Partners and Bpifrance. The new farm will produce about 20,000 tonnes of protein annually from insects, and will be largely automated. Machines will feed the bugs, monitor their health and harvest them as one-inch larvae that will then be boiled and processed into a brownish powder. This can be used as an ingredient for salmon, trout and shrimp feed. Antoine Hubert, who co-founded the company in 2011, said: ‘We tested a dozen species, like butterflies and crickets, before focusing on the mealworm beetle, which is the best in terms of production process and health benefits.’

Above: Mealworms at Ynsect’s current plant in Burgundy

Insects - Intro.indd 55


05/03/2019 14:44:00

Insects for feed – Regulations

Playing safe

The importance of boundaries and bringing people on board


ROTEINS from insects were authorised for aquafeed in July 2017, a regulatory change that has contributed to the development of the sector, said Christophe Derrien, secretary general of the insect lobbying group IPIFF (International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed). EU legislation is tighter than other countries, and some regions have no rules in place at all, but regulation is valued by the fledgling industry as an opportunity for growth. To this end, IPIFF has just published a guide for insect producers on implementing all EU food and feed safety legislation regarding insects. The Draft EU Guide on Good Hygiene Practices, adopted by IPIFF on February 21 though yet to be officially recognised by the EU, covers the production of insects destined for human consumption and the production of insects as feed for food producing animals, including farmed fish, as well as feed for pet food animals. It encompasses all production steps, from the feeding of the insects, their breeding, the killing and other processing steps, storage, transport or retail activities, to the final delivery of the product to consumers, feed manufacturers or livestock producers. The guide also identifies the elements that require particular attention from insect producers, as previously identified by the European Food Safety Authority, to comply with EU regulations. These include production methods, substrates used, stage of harvest, insect species and development stage and methods for further processing, and environmental effects. On the subject of substrates, Derrien told delegates in Edinburgh that insects kept in the EU for the production of feed are farmed animals, which precludes the use of certain materials, and that these rules are applicable no matter what the final use of the insects. Current banned substrates include catering waste, unprocessed former foodstuffs containing meat or fish, and manure. ‘We have to live within the existing boundaries so we can’t feed insects with slaughterhouse products, with catering waste, with manure,’ he said. ‘Once these substrates are authorised as feed for insects, the capacity of the sector to exploit its full potential will be much higher.’ There is enough permitted substrate for the sector to grow now, but perhaps in five, 10 or 15 years this will evolve, he said. Derrien pointed out, too, that there are 88 million tonnes of waste to get rid of in the EU – these waste products are an opportunity to feed insects.


Insects Regs.indd 56

And the UK alone has more than nine million tonnes of food waste available a year, according to Dr Elain Fitches, of Durham University and FERA (Food and Environment Research Agency). Derrien said: ‘If the sector is to maximise its potential it depends on the possibilities producers have to use under-exploited resources.’ European production represents a few thousand tonnes today but investment has amounted to more than 400 million euros so far, and is estimated to reach two billion euros by 2025, according to an IPIFF survey last year. The sector provides just a few hundred jobs but is expected to employ a few thousand by 2025. Dr Fitches said that insects would reduce demand on land for feed protein compared to crops, but that did depend on the substrates used. ‘There are increasing levels of automation in BSF (black soldier fly) production, making it more viable,’ she said, but the scale will be heavily influenced by the logistics of the rearing substrate supply. There are many suitable substrates- such as food waste containing meat; catering wastes; animal manure; and slaughterhouse products – that are not currently permitted. ‘Research and development is driving increased production efficiency and economic viability, but the scale of production is ultimately dependent on substrate availability and supplier logistics.’ But Fiona Donaldson of SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency), outlining the possible environmental controls in Scotland, said there were more questions to ask the industry. How substrates are handled and stored could be an issue, she warned, adding that although there are no maggot farm permits in Scotland at the moment, there was one in the Borders in the 1990s that ‘caused no end of problems’. A lot of that was to do with the building design, but SEPA would want odour vapour plants to be installed to make sure people near the site weren’t unduly affected. She also questioned how the waste from insect production would be used: ‘We don’t know what’s in it, we don’t know what its qualities are. We don’t

Above: The one-day conference in Edinburgh attracted much interest from the aquaculture sector Opposite (top): Insect regulations around the world (Below): Christophe Derrien of IPIFF

05/03/2019 14:45:26

Playing safe

The public in general are not terribly bothered by science – if they don’t like it, that’s it, they don’t like it know if anyone wants it, is it suitable for composting, have we spoken to any producers? ‘Would the end users want it, people going to use the compost, supermarkets, NFUS (National Farmers Union of Scotland), food assurance schemes, all these have to be happy that what’s in the back of your process and goes on to land to grow their carrots…is not going to be a problem.’ Donaldson said insect producers had to think of human perception, which is ‘massively powerful’. ‘The public in general are not terribly bothered by science – if they don’t like it, that’s it, they don’t like it, end of, ugh it’s icky, it’s flies, ugh. So you’ve got to get over that, and I can see that being a relatively uphill struggle. ‘Also, all the good feed stocks [for substrates] we’re talking about, I’d point out that everybody’s after them, everybody wants the good stuff. ‘Bear in mind that this stuff is not free, it’s not currently going to waste, this is going to animal feed, it’s being paid for, there’s a home for it already and you’re going to be competing for it. ‘You can’t just rock up and say I’ll take your biscuits off your hands because someone else may have done that already.’ Donaldson said Defra offers advice on what to do in the UK if you want to breed insects, but she welcomed further engagement with businesses interested in setting up in Scotland. ‘This is pretty new to us but ask the questions, start the dialogue, we want to be on the front foot with this, we don’t want to play catch up when someone

Insects Regs.indd 57

comes and says, ‘I want to have a soldier fly farm’. ‘We want to be able to understand everything about the process, what’s coming in, what’s coming out, what it’s going to do, and to have the discussions as early as possible.’ She said people could contact her at To read the full IPIFF guidelines visit http://ipiff. org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/IPIFF_Guide_ A4_2019.pdf FF

Fly task force states its case INSECT producers and other stakeholders have formed a group to lobby for support from the UK government. As part of the government’s industrial strategy to boost productivity in the agri-food sector, the Insect Biomass Task and Finish Working Above: Dr Fitches Group is coordinating a business case for insect into R&D and at possible barrifarms. ers and challenges. Dr Elaine Fitches, one of the The first meeting took place key players, said they would last July, at FERA in York, and push the government towards has since met five times around incentivising the industry. the country. It now has 23 The group is evaluating global members, including AgriProdevelopments and government tein, Entomics, FERA, Entocycle, and industry action, plus levels SAIC, Zero Waste Scotland and of investment; current levels of Tesco, representing expertise production, UK potential scale across the sector. of production, scale of demand, The group will submit its final and application across different report and recommendations in feed sectors. It is also looking April this year.


05/03/2019 14:45:48

Insects for feed – Nutrition

Making a meal Black soldier fly fits protein requirements of salmon


ISH are the only farmed species in the UK allowed to eat insects and current aquaculture feed production for Scotland’s marine sites is about 258,000 tonnes*. There are three main suppliers (one, Skretting, is closing its UK operation but salmon farmer Mowi is soon starting feed production at its new plant on Skye). ‘If you want to sell insect meal to one of these feed companies, your yearly production needs to be a minimum of 500 tonnes and you need to be able to sell varying amounts of this all year round,’ said Dr Sam Houston, knowledge exchange officer at the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). Houston’s talk was based on a theoretical analysis of insect meal used as a source of protein for Atlantic salmon based on how much insect meal could be used now and in the future, taking into consideration cost implications in today’s prices. Explaining the underlying principle of formulating diets, Houston said: ‘Animals need nutrients, ingredients contain nutrients, mix and match the ingredients to supply the right nutrients.’ Aquafeeds can be formulated with 20 or more ingredients, which could include soybean, rapeseed, krill, cottonseed, peanuts, fishmeal (mainly from anchovies and herring in Europe), fish offal, insects, micro and macro algae – but not GMO grains, avian offal or mammalian offal, which are banned in the European Union. Fish derive their energy mainly from protein and fat. But carnivorous fish such as salmon should not be fed large quantities of carbohydrates, although some might be put into fish diets as a binder. Proteins encompasses 20 amino acids, 10 of which are usually essential, and ingredients have varying amino acid profiles. For instance, the amino

acids in fishmeal do not compare with those in soya meal. ‘That in essence is the problem with feeding vegetable proteins to carnivorous species,’ said Houston. He then considered insect meal as a potential ingredient, using AgriProtein’s MagMeal as an example for his study, chosen because the amino acid composition is freely available online. MagMeal costs £1,435 per tonne (about 1,800 euros). Above: Dr Sam Houston Left: Figure 1. Requirements for amino acids of Atlantic salmon (1 g – 4000 g) expressed as a percentage of total protein. The supply of amino acids offered by MagMeal is plotted in red for comparison. Note only methionine and arginine are limiting in this ingredient. Opposite (top): Fish feed ingredients. Opposite (below): Typical Mowi diet

Figure 1. Requirements for amino acids of Atlantic salmon (1 g – 4000 g) expressed as a percentage 58 of total protein. The supply of amino acids offered by MagMealTM is plotted in red for comparison. Note only methionine and arginine are limiting in this ingredient. Insect - SAM.indd 58

05/03/2019 14:46:46

Making a meal

Overall, “this is a

Houston’s study focused on the seawater stage of salmon production, when fish are between approximately 200g and 4.5kg. Mostly, amino acids are required by salmon in similar proportions throughout its life. The amino acids in MagMeal, Houston found, ‘pretty much cover all the requirements of salmon. Overall, this is a really nice material to formulate with.’ Only methionine and arginine may be limiting (Figure 1). He next took a typical Mowi diet from 2017, containing 25 per cent marine materials, which he reformulated with some MagMeal, at inclusion rates of zero per cent MagMeal, then 7.4, 15.2 and 22.1 per cent. ‘We picked those percentages because they represent 50 per fishmeal replacement, 100 per cent and 22 per cent fishmeal replacement. ‘We’ve hit the dietary protein level with no problem and we’ve dietary energy level pretty closely with most of the diets.’ A reasonable fishmeal provides 60 - 70 per cent dietary protein and the MagMeal is 49 per cent dietary protein. ‘As the fish gets a bit bigger you can add a bit more oil to boost the energy content of these diets,’ said Houston. ‘What we can see already is that in order for MagMeal to compete you need to compete with fishmeal, which it doesn’t quite do at the moment.’ In current prices, fishmeal is £1,179 a tonne and MagMeal is £1,435. At 7.4 per cent MagMeal, the lower inclusion level, it’s only about £25 more per tonne to produce, based on today’s prices. The average growth rate of salmon production in Scotland is 2,630 tonnes per year – if business carries on as usual, in the year 2030 there could be about 205,000 tonnes of salmon produced. ‘The industry would like to grow faster than that so if anything this line will get steeper rather than shallower,’ said Houston. So considering current and future feeding levels and that the prices are reasonable estimates,

the MagMeal industry could be worth potentially £25.6 million in value, selling in these diets about nearly 18,000 tonnes. Houston concluded thatlike amino composition of this insect meal is ‘The industry would to acid grow faster than that so if anything this line will get steeper rathe ‘really good for salmon’. To get more of it into the diet it has to compete shallower,’ said Houston. with fishmeal but this is currently cheaper than it’s historically been. ‘It’s useful to have this material in your inventory because if fishmeal So considering current and future feeding levels and that the prices are reasonable estimate prices go up to £1,500 a tonne suddenly you want to use more of this inMagMeal industry couldshould be worth million stead. However, formulators furtherpotentially consider the £25.6 material’s chitin in value, selling in these diets abo content rathertonnes. high level of ash, which may pose constraints on the nearly and 18,000 level of inclusion. ‘It’s very fromrevenue the analysis it will be in a long thoughsalmon sector based on the assumpti Table X. obvious Potential forthat MagMeal thetime Scottish before it can compete with vegetable protein sources.’ MagMeal is sold for £1435 per tonne in 2019 and projected to 2030 based on the three inclu * SEPA discharge submissions by the industry: available @ http://aqualevels (7.4; 14.7 and 22.1 %). FF

59 * SEPA discharge submissions by the industry: available @

Insect - SAM.indd 59

really nice material to formulate with

Date/Value (Units)

IM 7.4%

IM 14.7%

22.1IM %





Value (m £)




2030 (Tonnes)




Value (m £)





Above: Potential revenue for MagMeal in the Scottish salmon sector based on the assumption MagMeal is sold for £1,435 per tonne in 2019 and projected to 2030 based on the threethat inclusion levels (7.4;composition 14.7 and 22.1 per Houston concluded amino acid ofcent). this insect meal is ‘really good for salmon

get more of it into the diet it has to compete with fishmeal but this is currently cheaper than historically been.

‘It’s useful to have this material in your inventory because if fishmeal prices go up to £1,500 suddenly you want to use more of this instead. However, formulators should further conside materials Chitin content and rather high level of ash which may pose constraints on the level inclusion.

‘It’s very obvious from the analysis that it will be a long time though before it can compete w vegetable protein sources.’

05/03/2019 14:47:04

Insects for feed – Nutrition

‘There’s the legislation and then there’s the customer requirement’ says feed company WHILE insects may meet the nutritional needs of salmon, there is still some doubt they can be produced in sufficient quantities and at affordable prices. Nick Bradbury, commercial manager of BioMar, said: ‘For commercial salmon feed production at the moment we’re at pretty minimal fishmeal content and, to be honest, that’s more dictated by the market – our customers and their customers. ‘I’m not sure you should be modelling it [insect meal] on the basis of replacing fishmeal – because it’s not necessary to replace fishmeal, we have plant raw materials that can do that. ‘For insect meal to have a decent market, it’s got to replace your plant proteins, and instead of talking about fishmeal price varying from £900 to £1,600 you’re talking plant proteins, depending what they are, at £600-£700 a

Above: Nick Bradbury

tonne. That makes the value of insect meal a lot, lot less.’ Feed companies such as BioMar would want an absolute minimum of 500 tonnes, ideally from one supplier, but in the early days it could be a mix. Bradbury said he had read a lot about insect meal and spoken to many people about its production, and had not seen anything that showed there was any more value compared to other proteins. ‘There’s no added benefits. On that basis, simply as a raw material, it’s coming in and competing with a lot of other, cheaper sources of protein and oils. I’m sure there will be a place for it, it’s just a bit unclear where it is at the moment.’ He said he didn’t think insects would be replacing fishmeal in bulk in the short or medium term, though they could have some niche market. ‘We are wanting to get involved and people are coming to us all the time. A lot of them

clearly, when you look at them, don’t have a lot behind them. Other people come to you with far more attractive ideas and of course you want to get involved early on. The problem is there are so many different options out there at the moment, which is the right bet?’ He said BioMar keeps an open mind and ‘as soon as there’s someone there who’s producing decent, commercial quantities we will absolutely be trialling it’. ‘If you get new raw materials coming along, people are producing tens of tonnes or maybe even hundreds of tonnes. We’re producing 120,000-130,000 tonnes of feed a year so if it’s a raw material that’s going in in just a tiny amount, one per cent, that’s 1,200 tonnes a year. ‘Nobody is at that stage yet, it’s very early days. But there’s so much interest, many different companies, and a lot of investment going in to this area, so things will move quickly. ‘I guess it’s partly legislators keeping up to speed and it’s also our markets as well. If you look at all our standards for various things, for retailers or Label Rouge or whatever, after the line that says no GM, it says no land animal products. ‘There’s the legislation and then there’s the customer requirements. There won’t be any salmon feed in Scotland or Norway that includes land animal products, and they’ll all be non GM, like other animal feeds. ‘Also, our feed produce salmon that often is being checked by the Halal and Kosher authorities, and certainly land animal products are not allowed in those. I’m not too sure where insect meals fit.’

Support for scaling up THE other big feed companies are looking at insects as functional feeds, with Cargill using insect meal in early feeding diets - diets that are low volume and high value, typically containing a lot more fishmeal. Cargill has said it is widening its raw materials base, and has also invested in Calysta’s production of methane gas for feed. Calysta’s first industrial scale plant for its FeedKind novel protein, which was developed in Teeside, is due to open in Memphis, Tennesse, this year. Meanwhile, Skretting Norway produced commercial salmon feed with insect meal for the first time last year at its Averøy facility. Salmon farmer Nordlaks became the first customer to test the product, with 360,000 fry receiving the feed, Skretting announced last October. In the trials, fish showed the same growth performance with feeds using insect meal as with traditional protein sources, said Skretting. Skretting believes insect meal will be an important raw material in the future and is helping producers scale up production. Just before Christmas, the first insect fed trout were sold in a supermarket chain in France. Dr Alex Obach, managing director of Skretting’s Aquaculture Re-


Insect - SAM.indd 60

search Centre, told Fish Farmer in January that the key for major feed companies looking at novel feeds is flexibility. ‘We see a lot of exciting things happening on the alternative raw materials front,’ he said. Insects ‘look very promising’, but it is still early days and the tonnages remain small, despite the large number of insect producers. ‘One of the things we’re trying to do at Skretting is support them, because we want these projects to go through. It is in our interest and in the interest of the industry.’

05/03/2019 14:47:24

Insects for feed – Scale-up

Breaking ground Dutch farmer’s new factory heralds ‘birth of an industry’


HEN Dutch insect farmer Protix opens its new factory in the summer it will signify the ‘birth of an industry’, bringing the kind of scale necessary for insect meal to gain a foothold in the aquafeed market. So said the company’s Bon Tjeenk Willink, as he explained to delegates at the Edinburgh insects conference how Protix, one of the early pioneers of insect rearing and marking its tenth anniversary this year, got where it is today. Starting out in 2009, Protix quickly focused on black soldier fly, because it ‘really is the easiest entry’ – it is efficient, it grows fast, and can eat more types of feedstock than other insect candidates. Willink said they made ‘tonnes of mistakes’. ‘It’s not just about the growth of a new company, but the growth of a new industry. That has specific problems because you need to build all the infrastructure yourself.’ With a ruthless rejection of methodologies that didn’t work and an upgrading of machinery (using German equipment), they were finally able to construct a fully integrated plant in Dongen in 2014. It is still sub scale, said Willink, but was meant to prove to investors and the world that what they were doing was possible. ‘It gave us the right to grow. You need to create consistent and reliable production without much volatility in breeding, rearing and processing.’ The company has been rearing black solider fly at its factory in Dongen for the past three years and delivers products, much to the pet food market, to 15 different countries, making them relatively well established in the emerging sector. They took part in the four-year AquaFly project with Norwegian partners, developing a salmon feed from black soldier fly larvae. In trials, the insect meal completely replaced fishmeal in both freshwater and seawater growth stages. Subsequent blind taste tests reportedly found no difference between salmon fed on insects or salmon fed fishmeal diets. Willink said while Protix is the market leader in terms of viable, scaleable insect production, it produces ‘a very tiny amount’ compared to the five million tonne demand for fishmeal. The new plant, being built in the business park at Bergen op Zoom, represents confidence in the industry, now that the technology has been proven. ‘We’re moving into a new phase where we don’t just have to show that insect farming is possible but that it can reliably supply customers,’ said Willink. Protix formed a joint venture with food processing technology company Buhler, called Buhler Insect Technology Solutions (BITS), which has provided

Protix.indd 61

‘total reach across the world’. Above: Bon Tjeenk Willink Willink said they have raised 45 million euros and the number of staff has of Protix. Below: Current jumped from 50 last year to more than 100 today. EU controls ‘Our aim is to boldly go where no one has gone before and learn from what we are doing,’ he said. ‘The amount of knowledge we generate daily is phenomenal.’ But he warned that entering the market as a beginner now would be difficult because ‘so many people are actively growing these things that it’s hard to compete’. ‘In my opinion, if you start an insect company now and are trying to think of technology, you’re so far behind that you’re better off focusing on a specific part.’ He said he could see the industry developing into separate specialties, with companies focusing on either breeding, rearing, processing, or even genetics. And he predicted that costs would come down with increased skills and technology, but he did not see insect meal as a commodity. ‘We might look at it as a fishmeal replacement but the supply is so low at the moment it has functional benefits, you can work on the reputation to try and sell it at a higher price. To try and price it lower than fishmeal is doing disservice to our industry as a whole.’ FF

aim “is toOurboldly

go where no one has gone before and learn from what we are doing


05/03/2019 14:48:25

Insects for feed – AgriProtein

Onward, soldiers Major EU expansion for South African insect pioneer BY COLIN LEY


N extensive development programme covering Benelux has been launched by the Insect Technology Group (ITG), owners of AgriProtein, which cleared the way for a major EU expansion late last year with the ‘friendly takeover’ of the Belgian insect feed company, Millibeter. Based at Turnhout, Antwerp, the Millibeter operation, recently rebranded as Circular Organics, uses the black soldier fly to convert EU approved organic substrates, such as vegetable waste, into high level fish feed and pharmaceutical products. Having agreed the all-share acquisition of the former Millibeter business in early December 2018, Circular Organics is committed to the construction of its first industrial scale factory in the Benelux in 2019, with further EU production plants to follow over the next three to four years. The first plant will be equipped to process EU approved organic substrates, turning it into insect meal, insect oil and frass, with the commencement of the build set for later this year. ‘Once this first development is commissioned we would hope the next plants will follow pretty rapidly,’ Jason Drew, ITG’s chief executive officer, told Fish Farmer, adding that the follow-on developments would most probably be similar in size and capacity to the company’s standard G1 series of factories which process 250 tonnes of organic substrate per day, producing 15 to 16 tonnes of insect protein, and nine tonnes of insect oil and frass. The Circular Organics parent company has sufficient funding in place to realise both its EU and global ambitions, having raised a further US $105 million in its latest round of funding, completed in June last year.


Agriprotein.indd 62

Clockwise from above: AgriProtein pioneered its black soldier fly farming technology in its first factory in Cape Town, South Africa

The new Benelux factory will be first of several Circular Organics plants in the region, and is also one of the key development launch pads for the group’s global activities. ‘Running alongside our EU factories, we are also committed to expanding our global reach through the building of group production plants in South Korea, Israel, California and South Africa,’ said Drew. While the company’s eventual Benelux network will take three to four years to complete, the group’s five global factories will all be under construction by the end of this year. Asked why the longer term focus on Benelux was so strong, given the group’s wider global ambitions, Drew replied: ‘We see the EU as a strategically important area, due in part to its stringent food and feed sector legislation and, of course, the fact that member states have a combined population of over half a billion people.’ The international reputation of the EU’s food and feed standards also means that, for companies like ITG, establishing a successful factory within the EU has definite global value as an indication of business excellence. While clearly confident that its current technology is ready to cope with the ongoing expansion, ITG is continually seeking insect feeding and processing knowledge, and has recently expanded its group R&D facilities in both South Africa and Belgium.

05/03/2019 14:49:35

Onward, soldiers

‘We have increased our Cape Town R&D staff numbers to 45 and our Belgium R&D team by eight,’ said Drew. ‘We have also recruited senior specialists from engineering and organic substrate management backgrounds to further enhance our project roll-out capacity. ‘One of our key research areas is feed safety, an obvious and constant focus for businesses like ours. In addition, however, we spend a lot of time looking at new substrates and their

are clear signs that the “There marketplace is ready ”

Agriprotein.indd 63

suitability as a base on which to rear the black solider fly.’ With the Benelux plants still to be built, there’s no firm date currently available for when larger volumes of Circular Organics products will actually start arriving on fish farms across the EU. In preparation for when products do become available, however, Circular Organics is already running feeding trials with some of Europe’s larger aquaculture companies. ITG is also confident that the insect industry’s consumer reaction hurdles are largely in the past. ‘Production will need to wait until plant commissioning, of course, but we have every confidence in our ability to deliver what the industry wants, going forward,’ said Drew. ‘We obviously take consumers’ food sourcing awareness very seriously and understand their rationale around the use of traceable substrates in food production. There are clear signs, however, that the marketplace is ready for the sort of expansion on which we have now embarked. ‘Consumers in France, for example, are already being presented with insect reared salmon products, which are clearly labelled as such on the country’s supermarket shelves. ‘In the UK, meanwhile, Sainsbury’s started selling roasted crickets last year, describing them as ‘crunchy in texture with a rich smoky flavour’. ‘That is the evolving consumer base on which our five-plant global and Benelux development programme is founded, a base which we are confident will become even stronger over the next three to four years.’ FF


05/03/2019 14:50:09

Insects for feed – IFFO


Sustainable source The fishmeal perspective on developing future aquafeeds


S a start, it is probably useful to get some perspectives clear. IFFO (the Marine Ingredients Organisation) recognises the importance of, and need for, novel ingredients production for aquafeed. As everyone involved with aquaculture knows, the sector continues to grow over time, and with that growth comes an ever increasing need for feed. Marine ingredients, especially fishmeal and fish oil, are important components of aquafeed, and that position is not under threat. Terrestrial crops such as soya and wheat, which have been used as partial substitutions for protein and fat in feeds, are not set to provide significant increases in production as there just isn’t the opportunity for additional arable farming in undeveloped regions of the terrestrial environment around the world. What is required is a range of novel ingredients that complement the use of fishmeal and fish oil, which secure production efficiencies and health of farmed stock, maintain farmed fish quality, without carrying any additional significant environmental impacts within a global animal feed ingredients sector.

Left: The majority of marine resources come from responsibly managed fisheries Opposite: Aquafeed ingredients should be complementary to marine sources


Insects - IFFO.indd 64

The farming of insects and the production of insect meal seems to fit in rather well with that viewpoint. Some of the opinions expressed during the Edinburgh conference exposed unfortunately misinformed positions on the environmental impacts of fishmeal and fish oil production. Presumably this is a strategy for communicating the perceived benefits of insect farming as holding apparently superior environmental credentials in the minds of some. There is a place for novel ingredients production, but let’s be clear – the vast majority of fishmeal and fish oil production is sustainable, with at least 50 per cent of annual production certified as coming from responsibly managed fisheries. In addition to this, insect meal production has a very long way to go to reach anything like the commercial volumes that the marine ingredients sector has been supplying for decades, and upon which the modern aquaculture industry is founded. The novel ingredients need to stay more focused on their own stories and less on criticising others if they are to mature into commercially viable industries in their own right. From a production perspective, we heard a lot of detail about research and small-scale commercial production units. The production of insects for feed seems to be focused on the black soldier fly (BSF). With BSF there is considerable available substrate that could be utilised for feed for farming BSF, and that in itself does make the system potentially useful in achieving a protein supply from low value resources. When some of those resources are already themselves used as ingredients directly for aquafeed - for example, DDGS (distiller’s dried grains with solubles) and microalgae then one does question whether the addition

05/03/2019 14:51:09

Sustainable source

of another trophic level in the production process is worthwhile, as it carries cost and environmental impact considerations. One fascinating point was that the insects themselves produce faecal waste material (known as frass), which also carries some regulatory and practical disposal issues. In terms of production quantities, the discussion indicated that there are really only pilot scale, or very small commercial volumes, at the current time, although there was also some apparent confusion between quoted volumes of insects, and volumes of actual insect meal. The reduction ratio from insects (pupae) to meal was quoted as roughly 4-5:1, which is similar to fishmeal, suggesting that any equivalency in global insect meal production will require an approximate 20 million tonnes of insects to be produced every year. That is very far off current volumes. From a nutritional perspective we heard that insect meal carries a similar amino acid profile to fishmeal. This must be a standard, somehow scientifically defined, fishmeal, because as those in the industry know, fishmeals differ in composition depending on the raw material, so the amino acid profile changes according to

Insects - IFFO.indd 65

ingredients need to stay more focused on “Thetheirnovel own stories and less on criticising others ”

which fish species is present in the derived material. That fact aside, it appears that there is a strong point of difference between fishmeal(s) and insect meal with regard to the other micronutrients present, such as the vitamins and minerals that are present in rich concentrations in fishmeal and which the feed companies know so well are crucial for fish physiology and growth. Not least in this regard is the presence of the long chain omega-3 fatty acids in fishmeal, and having seen a picture of the fat portion of insect meal at the workshop, which appeared to be solid at room temperature (that is, highly saturated), there seems little quality comparison with regard to lipids. Other nutritional issues include the presence of chitin and the need for its removal or management in the product as it has comparatively low digestibility, with different fish species having apparently different chitinolytic enzyme profiles. This was an interesting and useful information exchange platform in a room full of enthusiasm for a potential new industry and what that could mean for Scotland. It can be important but, as with all aquafeed ingredients, they should be complementary to marine sources, to ensure that the optimal nutritional benefit from fishmeals and fish oils can be achieved in support of high quality aquaculture products. Dr Neil Auchterlonie is technical director of IFFO. FF


05/03/2019 14:52:44

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05/03/2019 12:00:41

Ecomerden – Advertorial

Ecopen invitation The world’s largest semi-closed fish farming pen is launched and towed on site


ITH a volume of 22,000 m3, the Ecopen, delivered last week to Osland Havbruk from Ecomerden, is the largest semiclosed fish farming pen yet produced. With this delivery, the Ecopen is now commercially available for fish farmers. By using the Ecopen, fish farmers don’t need to be concerned about sea lice and can concentrate on growing a larger volume of high quality fish, due to the greatly reduced mortality rates. In the Ecopen, the water is pumped through four pipes from below the depth of the sea lice larvae, into a large bag made from the strongest available offshore fabric. As the inflowing water is never lifted


Eco merden.indd 68

above the sea surface, the energy used for moving water from the deep into the bag is low. Inside the bag is a normal net pen, allowing for easy retrieval of the fish and double security from escapes. The water leaves the bag at the bottom, allowing for collection and retrieval of the waste. The strong opaque fabric bag also protects the salmon from seal and tuna attacks. The entire water volume is exchanged every 40 minutes and oxygen added to maintain a stable oxygen saturation at 90 per cent. This results in a near sea lice free production in a stable current and highly oxygenated environment. The observed mortality in the post smolt phase is remarkably low at around 0.5 to one per cent in the Ecopen and in combination with open pens after six months around six per cent. The Ecopen (renamed from the Ecocage) can be used in conjunction with open cages, with smolts grown to a large size, or fish could be left to grow out in the enclosed cage. The pilot Ecopen at Sulefisk in Western Norway is presently producing its

Left: The Ecopen has left its construction site and is on the way to its permanent position in the Sognefjord. The fabric bag is held up by strong ropes. Once in position, the ropes will be loosened and the bottom of the bag, where the water will exit, sinks down to 38m depth. This is equivalent to a 12-floor building Opposite - clockwise from top: The Ecopen at the assembly site before being lifted out to sea; The second relay was a 125 nautical mile tow from Sagvåg at Stord Island to the Sognefjord, done in three days at under two knots; then the Ecopen passes outside Bergen with the Askøy bridge to the left in the background and the MS Bergensfjord in the middle; anchored at its permanent position in the Sognefjord with open pens. The Ecopen will fit directly into most existing anchoring grids. At this location, the Ecopen will be served with electricity and oxygen from a land base. Alternatively, Ecopens can be served from barges; the first relay, carried out by the crane barge Tronds Lift 6, was the 700m stretch from the wharf to a neighbouring ferry key.

05/03/2019 14:53:35

Ecopen invitation

fourth generation of salmon post smolts. Experience from the production is very good, both in the post smolt phase in the Ecopen and in the open phase afterwards. Sulefisk managing director Michael Niesar said that the post smolts in the Ecopen are, in practical terms, sea lice free. ‘The fish seem to build a stronger immune system that they carry with them into the open pens. We have seen a stronger colouring and have measured higher asta values in the post smolts coming from the Ecopen, as compared to equally fed siblings from open pens. ‘I see this as an indicator of a stronger immune system, which corresponds well with the low levels of disease and mortality we have experienced in the entire sea phase of the Ecopen fish. ‘As I see it, the combination of hardly any sea lice and no sea lice treatment, high and stable oxygen levels and a steady current, all lead to lowered stress levels for the smolts which give these fish better resources for building a stronger skin and thus immune system. I foresee exciting research into the skin, immune system and general health of salmon produced in the Ecopen.’ The very favourable pricing per production capacity combined with no sea lice treatment, low disease levels, low mortality, lower feed conversion ratio (FCR), and high growth, gives a significantly lower total production cost in the Ecopen compared to open pens, he added. The savings from no de-licing combined with the value of the extra tonnage for slaughter due to strongly lowered mortality hugely outweighs the additional

Eco merden.indd 69

costs of electricity for the pumps, oxygen and a higher depreciation. The return on investment of the Ecopen is calculated to be around two years. This number is based on the biological results obtained at Sulefisk combined with statistics from the Fisheries Directorate of Norway on mortality in fish farms and the size of the economic investment. Given the calculated life expectancy of 23 years for the aluminium collar and 10-12 years for the fabric, the Ecopen is a good investment for fish farmers. The Ecopen is delivered for site depths from 20m and deeper, currents up to two knots and significant wave heights up to 2.5m. For more details on the Ecopen visit ecomerden. no FF

The post “ smolts in the Ecopen are, in practical terms, sea lice free

For more information on the Ecopen contact (in the UK and Ireland): Jens Christian Holst, jens@ or +47 97170960. For Norway, contact: Jan Erik Kyrkjebø, or +47 92620065


05/03/2019 14:54:04

Brynslokken – Advertorial

Voice of the



After success in Chile, Norwegian firm now targets the home market


ORWEGIAN antifouling company Brynslokken is looking to replicate the great success it has enjoyed in South America back in its European heartlands of Norway, Scotland and Iceland. Brynslokken (part of the Veso Group) made its name in antifouling products and the impregnation of fish farm nets. The company’s headquarters are south of Oslo in Vestby. It first became involved in the Chilean market in 2011, but it was three years later before it had the staff there to develop its full potential. Since 2014, the company has seen a steady and significant growth in sales as Brynslokken increases its knowledge and understanding of the Chilean market. Speaking to Fish Farmer, Vebjorn Ohnstad, general manager of Brynslokken, explained the development. ‘Our first steps in Chile started with sample sales to Cermaq and Bluemar and it has gradually developed from there. ‘Customers test the product and reach conclusions based on their own observations of the success of our products. ‘That has lead to us becoming a market leader and among the largest suppliers of impregnation in the aquaculture industry in Chile.’ Ohnstad added: ‘The increase in our share of the market has been erratic


Brynslokken - PED - Draft.indd 70

at times, but shows a continued growth coming from offering the market the best solutions to the problems the industry faces. ‘We are now established in Chile and well equipped to maintain a strong position in the future.’ The market in Chile has at least 10 providers of antifouling, with companies from both South and North America, Asia, and Europe- including competing companies from Norway. Being up against such tough competition makes teh firm’s success all the more satisfying, said Ohnstad. Over the past year, several customers have discontinued in-situ high pressure cleaning and replaced it with antifouling. ‘There are benefits to a successful antifouling regime over a high pressure cleaning regime, and that includes more than just the direct cost difference,’ said Ohnstad. ‘For example, Bluemar received plaudits when they completed production cycles without the use of any antibiotics, and put that success down to, among other criteria, good antifouling products. ‘Feedback we have received suggests that the use of good antifouling products has a positive effect on both growth and mortality rates.’ The aim is for clean, undisturbed nets which result in less stress on the fish and good access to high levels of oxygen. ‘We are working on the collection and analysis of further data on the growth and health of fish, and I’m confident it will show our theories are correct,’ Ohnstad said. So far the success of the company in Chile has not been mirrored in Norway as the company has

Top: Fish pens in Chile Left: Vebjorn Ohnstad Opposite: Net change in Chile

05/03/2019 14:54:52

Voice of the impreg-nation not been able to assert itself on the market in the same way. Ohnstad explains: ‘I am sure the main reasons lie in the available net cleaning strategies, and the fight against sea lice. There are significant differences in the use of antifouling as compared with Chile.’ In Chile, it is not allowed to high pressure clean impregnated nets in situ. The farm must choose between changing impregnated nets when necessary or, alternatively, cleaning in-situ, but without using biocidal impregnation. Changing nets is a lot of hard work and there are risks connected to the process, Ohnstad pointed out. When choosing to use antifouling in such a regime, the duration and efficacy of antifouling becomes very important to the end user. Sea lice are a problem everywhere, but the biggest difference between Chile and Norway in the eyes of an impregnation producer lies in what it is possible to use to combat the threat. ‘One crucial difference is that in Chile they have not found any suitable local cleaner fish. Therefore in Chile, the main function of antifouling is to keep the net so clean that the oxygen supply remains good. ‘In Norwegian conditions, the impregnation also ensures that cleaner fish do not feed on the net. Among the organisms found on the nets are crustaceans, which the cleaner fish find a lot easier to feed on than the lice. Some of these crustaceans are very tolerant to antifouling. Nets are often cleaned in-situ, just to be on the safe side, regardless of the quality of the product,’ said Ohnstad. ‘This explains why we have a greater degree of success on the other side of the world than we have at home. So far, we have only entered the market as a supplier in Western Norway, areas with large sea lice pressure. ‘We are not giving up on improving our market share in the rest of Norway. We are working closely with the industry to find good solutions. ‘Products will continue to get better and new innovations and changes to regulations will be important in the choice of cleaning strategy, but we can be certain that salmon thrive best when contained in a net which is not high pressure cleaned.’ The results in Chile have helped Brynslokken gain the additional knowledge needed to take to the markets in Norway, Scotland and the rest of Europe. The company is confident that when customers see the results achieved so far, Europe will prove as successful a market as South America. For further information on Brynslokken call Vebjorn Onstad on +47 64 90 99 10, email or visit FF

Being up against such “tough opposition makes

our success all the more satisfying

Brynslokken - PED - Draft.indd 71


05/03/2019 14:55:14



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392014 05/03/2019 12:03:10

Processing and Retail News

Brussels show set to grow

Scottish salmon prize product in France EIGHT master fishmongers competed for the ‘Golden Fish’ prize at a French exhibition by preparing Label Rouge salmon. Sponsored by the Scottish Salmon Company, the Golden Fish competition is arranged by Gaston Moreau, president of Lyon-Poissonnier-Ecailler society, and presided over by Etienne Chavirer, best craftsman of France (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) 2007, one of the country’s most talented fishmongers. The contest is held at Sirha, a world renowned hospitality and food service event, which takes place in Lyon every two years. It showcases the crème de la crème of the industry over five days, with more than 3,000 international exhibitors.

Above: The Scottish pavilion at Seafood Expo

THE world’s biggest seafood exhibition will be even larger this year, with the processing section spanning two halls for the first time. The Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Processing Global show, to be held in Brussels from May 7-9, is an annual event that last year attracted record attendance, according to the organisers, Diversified Communications. ‘This year’s edition promises to be even bigger as we’ve expanded the exhibit space into a new hall,’ said event director Wynter Courmont. Seafood Processing Global will expand and encompass Hall 3 and Hall 4 at the Brussels expo, with additional seafood processing companies exhibiting. And Hall 8 will now exclusively hold seafood exhibits and will also feature the entries to the Seafood Excellence Global competition. Among this year’s exhibitors, more than 70 national and regional pavilions will showcase their seafood products and equipment, with new pavilion participation from Busan Techno Park of Korea. New country pavilions will include Guyana, Uganda and Tanzania. This year’s exposition marks the 27th edition of Seafood Expo Global, and the 21st edition of Seafood Processing Global. The trade event connects more than 29,100 international buyers and suppliers for three days of networking and business opportunities, said Diversified Communications.

Processing News.indd 73

Winners of this year’s contest, which involved the Scottish Salmon Company’s Label Rouge Tartan Salmon, were: Pierre Bessonnet in first place, followed by Romain Paro in second place, and Brian Isihlis, who was awarded third place. Craig Anderson, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Company, said: ‘We are proud to be sponsoring the competition for a third time and showcasing our Label Rouge Tartan Salmon. ‘Our congratulations go to all of the competitors for their efforts at this year’s ‘Golden Fish’ competition. Each of these professionals are true ambassadors and represent the very best in their industry in France.’

Gaston Moreau added: ‘It was wonderful to have the support of the Scottish Salmon Company once again at this year’s Sirha exhibition. ‘The ‘Golden Fish’ competition showcased the top talent of French fishmongers. The finalists were exceptional and all deserve our congratulations.’

Above: Gaston Moreau, president of LPE (bottom row, third left), with participants and sponsors

Young’s £100m redesign makes brand ‘unmissable’ YOUNG’S Seafood has announced the redesign of its Gastro range as part of its plan to grow the premium seafood brand from £66 million to £100 million. The new packaging strengthens the restaurant quality brand, giving it a more contemporary look, with new food photography.

Yvonne Adam, marketing director of Young’s, said: ‘When Gastro was a £20 million business, we set steep targets to triple its size over three years. Now at £66 million, our vision is to grow the number one premium seafood brand to £100 million, and we’re confident this revamp will be a building block that makes our products unmissable in store.’ As part of the project, Young’s conducted detailed research with more than 1,500 shoppers. It found the new Gastro packaging performed the best across all key measures, increasing purchase intent, improved brand recall and was the quickest design to find in a shelf test. The change will span across the full frozen fish category, with the first packs already in stores.

Supermarket makes transparency mandatory of consumer organisation, Happerley, that AN English supermarket has become UK’s first aspires to improve ‘provenance honesty’. to make it mandatory for suppliers to tell shopHapperley founder and CEO Matthew Rymer pers where their ingredients are sourced from. said: ‘Food and drink have become one of the The Midcounties Co-operative in Bourtonmost opaque industries, where disingenuous on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, said the move branding, marketing and selective truths disis aimed at ensuring consumer transparency connect consumers from the throughout the food chain. truth they deserve. From February 27, the food ‘Consumers increasingly retailer said it would delist want to know the impact of every food and drink brand their food and drink purchasacross its entire ‘Best of our es, and the whole industry Counties’ range that refused can benefit by delivering a to have its ingredient supply Above: Rymer (left) with shop CEO means to empower the conchain audited and published Phil Ponsonby and TV host Adam sumer to know the journey for public scrutiny. of their food. ‘ The event follows the efforts Henson


05/03/2019 14:56:09

From the archive – March/April 2003

Getting it right with lice

Success of oral treatment set to boost Scotland’s National Sea Lice Strategy Jim Treasurer of Seafish Aquaculture, Ardtoe, and Chris Wallace and Graeme Dear of Marine Harvest Scotland report on the use of oral treatments to control sea lice numbers when wild salmonid smolts migrate.


COORDINATED National Sea Lice Treatment Strategy was introduced in Scotland in 1998 by member companies of the SSGA, now Scottish Quality Salmon (Rae, 2002). This entails farms treating fish in late winter, at least by week 10, with follow up treatment if required. The aim is to treat fish at a time when the viability of sea lice copepodids is low, with the objective of reducing the number of ovigerous females to as low a number as practicable (Wadsworth, Grant and Treasurer, 1998). This treatment strategy has been shown to have benefits for sea lice control on farms with reduced mortalities and downgrades at harvest. The aim is to minimise lice


Archive -Mar.indd 74

Oral treatment on two salmon farms Historically, bath treatments such as hydrogen peroxide (Salartec, Solvay Interox) and Cypermethrin (Excis, Novartis) have been the medicines used in Scotland. Oral sea lice medicines have only been used commonly in Scotland since 2000. These include the moult inhibitor teflubenzuron (Calicide, Trouw) (Branson et al, 2000) and emamectin benzoate (SLICE, Scherin-Plough) (Stone et, al 2000). Calicide is surface coated on the feed at the rate of 10 mg kg body Wd and SLICE as 50ug kg biomass d for seven days. Small scale feed trials on Atlantic salmon farms (Stone et al, 2000b) and later full scale treatment of selected cages (Stone et all 2000c) showed that emamectin benzoate was effective against both larval and motile sea lice and prevented reinfection by lice for 69 days. The use of oral treatments with SLICE to control sea lice on an entire farm stock (farm E) over a production cycle is described here. SLICE was used in two applications in the second production year in a sea loch in west Scotland and this was compared with farm L, 25km separation, where there was only one oral application with follow up bath treatment. Lice were counted weekly on five fish from each of six cages. After anaesthesia, lice stages were recorded as larval stages chalimus I-IV and motile lice, and also Caligus elongatus were recorded separately. Lepeophtherius salmonis numbers were initially controlled using bath treatment on farm E at the end of the first year when fish were treated successfully with Excis. SLICE was used to treat fish on week 10 of the second year and this was followed by a sharp decline in mobile lice. A follow up settlement by copepodids in the loch presented as an increase in chalimus numbers in weeks 11 and 15. However, the application of SLICE persisted as chalimus numbers declined with no moulting to mobile stages. Lice numbers were zero for a 14week period thereafter before recruitment recom-

Left: The March/April 2003 Fish Farmer cover. Opposite: Caligus elongatus and Lepeophtheirus salmonis on the belly of a salmon

05/03/2019 14:57:41

From the archive – March/April 2003 the period when wild salmonids are migrating to sea. A lack of coordination of oral treatments on the two farms was due to delays in the consenting process and control of sea lice could be more effective by coordinating treatments in a single hydrographic area, potentially reducing the frequency of intervention. [Best timing of treatments] The timing of oral sea lice treatments has to be examined to maximise benefits, particularly as discharge consents may be limited. An integrated approach (IPM) to sea lice control to minimise use of medicines and prevent development of resistance is increasingly seen as good practice (Mordue and Pike, 2002) and this involves fallowing, single year class production, and also biological control where feasible. This requires best use of available medicines, bath and oral, and the development of resistance can be reduced by rotation of medicines. The moderate success of national sea lice control regimes using bath treatments has been attributed to the lack of effective intervention techniques (Rae, 2002). The elimination of lice for 12 to 14 weeks on the farms demonstrated here indicates that the National Sea Lice Treatment Strategy could be enhanced using oral treatment provided the development of resistance can be minimised. Given that discharge consents may be limited, a suitable strategy may be to use bath treatments in the first production year and oral treatments in the spring of the second year when fish biomasses are higher. Fuller details of the application of emamectin benzoate on two salmon farms in Scotland are given in treasurer, Wallace and Dear, 2002. Permission to reproduce the data from the Bulletin of the European Association of Fish Pathologists in the graphs is acknowledged. FF

menced in week 30. Fish were treated with SLICE again and subsequently lice numbers declined to negligible levels and remained low until all fish were harvested. On farm Lice numbers remained at an average of one louse until December and fish were treated with Excis as numbers increased. The discharge consent for the oral treatment was received later in farm L and so SLICE could not be used until week 15. Lice numbers declined to zero over three weeks and remained at this level for 12 weeks. As in farm E. lice numbers increased from week 36 but, as there was only a limited discharge consent for one treatment with SLICE, bath treatment with Excis was used. The treatment was effective, but there was subsequent lice settlement and two further applications of Excis were required before the farm fallowed. Conclusions Zero lice numbers were achieved for 12 t o14

Archive -Mar.indd 75

weeks on salmon on two farms in spring 2001 following treatment with SLICE. These results indicate that sea lice control can be attained on salmon farms using oral sea lice medicines during

Three topical sea lice treatments are authorised for use on fish farms in the UK BOTH products (Salmosan: active constituent azamethipos, and Excis: active constituent cypermethrin) are manufactured by Novartis and Salartect, active constituent hydrogen peroxide produced by Solvay Interox. These treatments are administered as a bath, and enclosed tarpaulin are placed round the cages being treated, to ensure that the correct concentration is reached, and that as little of the product as possible is transferred to the water outside the cages. Bath treatments are largely effective against the mobile stags of lice, and re-infestation may occur within a relatively short time, especially if any of the lice survive. Salmon farmers in Norway, Chile and the Faroes are also able to use a fourth bath treatment produced by Novartis, Betamax, which is another synthetic pyrethroid, with a different formulation to Excis. Betamax is currently being trialled in Ireland.


05/03/2019 14:58:58

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05/03/2019 12:02:03

Opinion – Inside track

Be different BY NICK JOY


ERHAPS I am too jaundiced by government and its attitude to see any good in the REC recommendations, or the subsequent debate, for the rural areas in which we all farm. From the phenomenal cock-up of the handling of agricultural subsidy, to the proposed protection of beavers, or the suggestion that wooden stoves should be banned (after the government recommended them), it is hard to see any value in government at all for us who live in the country. Maybe we should look a little further ahead to how the proposed changes will affect not just our industry but the fragile rural areas in which we do our business and, in my case, which hold a very strong place in my heart. Agriculture, with the advent of the silly ideas about beef allied to the end of subsidy, will be a very difficult place to survive, especially if you are a small farmer. Most have gone already and it is only the determined or the independently wealthy that remain. Inshore fishing is all but done and if you think Brexit will solve this, it won’t. Governments, be it the EU, Westminster or the Scottish imitation, will not and do not understand fishing, and habitually misunderstand the needs of small fishing communities. If you look at all the money going into stock assessment and then look at the size of the vessels which currently fish, you can only draw the conclusion that government is pushing everything towards big business, and you have to wonder why. I have no argument with big business but diversity of production is key to producing a diversity of foods – so that we balance the food offering to the consumer, and have food production for those who wish to buy cheap, but also food quality for those who want to eat well. The increased regulation, linked to the push to offshore, ensures that the small fish farmer is unable to survive. The time spent filling in forms is one thing, but as everything is regulated by law nowadays the legal requirements become more and more onerous. Of course, they are not onerous to a big business because to set up a department, defraying the cost over 30 sites, is easy. It is not so easy when you only have a few sites, and impossible when you have one or two. With small businesses, the manager is expected to know everything about every facet of the business and to deal with all the regulation and regulators. Clearly, this eventually becomes impossible. More perniciously, the people in large business departments are experts in their business and how the regulation affects it so they pressure the regulators to interpret the regulation to suit them. This is not malign but just a simple and logical way to behave. So what we have is a situation that suits bigger business and which will go on refining against the interests of small business. Government, which prefers to hear one message, will continue to play into the hands of corporate food. The result will be moving the bulk of the jobs into the larger towns and cities because that is where the labour pool is. These larger offshore sites employ fewer people per tonne, but also, because of their geography, they will require few services at the nearest shore and more in town. I am not decrying efficiency nor arguing that such business models should not exist, but that regulation and government should be focused on


Nick Joy.indd 78

want to “loseIf weinnovation and new forms of farming, then we are headed in precisely the right direction

the outcomes they wish for. If we want to lose innovation and new forms of farming, then we are headed in precisely the right direction. There will be no more small businessmen stepping into fish farming looking to find better ways or new species. I am not forgetting the shellfish farmers, who are the last bastions of hope in all of this, but we need a diverse industry with many species and differing forms of production, servicing different markets. The more we design legislation in one direction, the worse off we are. I am sure that there will be those who think this argument is harking back to the old days, but we have to hope that aquaculture will come out of the ludicrous position of eternally justifying its existence to so called environmentalists and the wild salmon and sea trout lobby. If it ever does, then we would hope to have an innovative sector which starts small and grows again. Of course, there is the other possibility that food will eventually not be produced from land or sea but through an industrial, chemical process. Luckily, I am pretty sure that I will be looking at the daisies from below at that point. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that! FF

05/03/2019 14:59:41

The stunning process can be a huge stress for fish It doesn’t need to be.

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05/03/2019 12:03:56

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05/03/2019 12:05:03

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