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Fish Farmer VOLUME 42



Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977





Sandy Neil reports on advances in ADD technology

Can the industry still meet 2020 deadline?

Aquaculture Europe 2019 exceeds expectations

Launching monthly round-up of latest products and services

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

Contents Contents Contents

4-15 36-38 48-49 4-14 41-43 42-44 38-39 48-49 4-15 4-14 41-43 42-44 38-39 Containment Brussels News Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture What’s happening in aquaculture Suppliers’ view Salmon market What’s happening in aquaculture Montpellier preview From shrimp torobust salmon Investor advice Brussels 48-49 News 4-15 4-14 Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation 41-43 42-44 38-39 in the the UK UK and around around the world world in and the Salmon market robust What’s happening in aquaculture Montpellier preview From shrimp to salmon Investor advice Brussels News Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation in the UK and around the world Salmon market What’s happening in aquaculture Montpellier preview From shrimp torobust salmon Investor advice 50-55 44-46 46-49 40-41 JENNY in the UK and around the world JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR 16-21 16-17 16-22 50-55 44-46 46-49 40-41 Brussels Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture JENNY JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR 16-21 16-17 16-22 Platform New processors’ group Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquiry 50-55 Sti rling course Pictures atmarket the exhibiti on Insurance Brussels Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation 44-46 46-49 40-41 JENNY JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR Heather Jones of SAIC Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The fi nal sessions New processors’ groupon Industry pioneer News Extra platform 16-21 16-17 Parliamentary inquiry Brussels 16-22 Sti rling course Pictures at the exhibiti Insurance market Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions New processors’ groupon Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquiry 40-41 Sti rling course Pictures atmarket the exhibiti Insurance salmon farming sector in Scotland, when it was to he focus this month istopictures on Europe, the internati onal T HE is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cial OR our November focus on containment we revisit the Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The fi18-19 nal sessions EAS Berlin 22-23 18-19 24-27 the subject ofwent athat parliamentary inquiry, embraced the HE salmon farming sector in Scotland, when told it(European was to industry will soon be gathering for the joint EAS salmon were sent to news outlets just as the sh news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry into salmon industry’s progress in reviewing the Scottish Technical he focus this month isto on Europe, where the internati onal T be is coincidence pictures and videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer press, there was sti llScotti no offi cial News Extra Introduction 22-23 18-19 24-27 opportunity this would provide to explain how itinto operated. Salmon SSPO be thewere subject of a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced the Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work atwhere the start of this month. farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy Standard, which due to come into force next year. If These there industry will soon gathering for the (European salmon sent to news outlets just as the Scotti sh news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry salmon Mowi’s newmarket managers salmon farming sector in Scotland, when told itEAS was to he focus this month is on Europe, the internati onal T HE is coincidence that and videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went toispictures press, there was sti lljoint no offi cial Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The industry had nothing to hide and, if start given aof fair Meet thehealth new chief executive opportunity this would provide to explain how ithearing, operated. Salmon market 22-23 18-19 conference, to be staged over fifor ve days in the southern French images had litt le to do the current state Scotland’s ficould sh and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fito, ve SSPO was afarming, consensus among the handful of people we spoke it’s 24-27 Aquaculture and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work atthe the of this month. These conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy be the subject of aSociety) parliamentary inquiry, embraced industry willsent soon be gathering joint EAS (European salmon were to news outlets just as the Scotti shthe news from the Scotti shwith parliamentary inquiry into salmon address much of the criti cism levelled against it. Current trends In good health Julie Hesketh-Laird The industry had nothing to hide and, if given a fair hearing, could Meet the new 42-43 city of Montpellier. As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms where sea lice levels are in decline and, in fact, at a fi vemeeti ngs, in private, to consider their report and we must be that thehad standard, for all its merits, still needs fine tuning. And conference, to be staged over fi(World ve days in southern French images litt le to do with the current state of Scotland’s fish SSPO and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held five opportunity this would provide explain how it operated. Salmon marketchief executive Aquaculture Society) and WAS Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work atto the start of this month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy 20-21 Fish Farmer supported this view, but at ti mes felt that salmon address much of the criti cism levelled against it. 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 it is unclear how it is be implemented, or even who will make city of Montpellier. As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms where sea lice levels are in decline and, in fact, at a fi vemeeti ngs, in private, to consider their report and we must be Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had to hide and, if given fair hearing, Meet thehealth new chief executive EAS Berlin conference, to benothing staged over days in theaof southern images had litt le to do with thefive current state Scotland’s ficould sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five 56 48-49 50-58 42-45 farmers were being drowned out by the noisier elements offarming the Fish Farmer supported this view, but atREC tiit. mes felt that salmon SSPO sessions on emerging markets and look at the role of sh This latest propaganda campaign, which involves all the usual made harder by leaks from within the to anti -salmon that decision. advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng for their recommendati ons been Women in Aquaculture address much of the criti cism levelled against city of As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice are in decline and, inwe fact, at afihas fifeature vemeeti ngs, in private, tolevels consider their report and must be 56 angling lobby, which had called forto investi gati on. But as the 48-49 50-58 42-45 United approach farmers were being drowned out by the noisier elements of the Book review farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4)farming Training Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture Farmers, meanwhile, continue invest in upgrading their sessions on emerging markets and look atinvolves the role of fibeen sh This latest propaganda campaign, which all the usual made by leaks from within the REC to anti -salmon Fish Farmer supported this view, but atthe ti mes felt that salmon advances inharder our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng for their recommendati ons has sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we Focus on cleaner fiInnovation sh angling lobby, which had called for the investi gati on. But as the are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such as the social and Connecti vity committ ee returned from the summer recess to makes grim reading for the industry as it suggests that committ ee Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best of the start-ups Book review equipment to guard against escapes, and in making their sites as 56 farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4) Training Aqua 2018 Aquaculture 48-49 50-58 42-45 farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions onpropaganda emerging markets and look atinvolves the role fishusual This campaign, allofthe madelatest harder by leaks from within the to anti -salmon 44-45 became more opti misti c.the We now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on itasfarming. makes toto global sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we consider its draft report into the future of salmon members have been willing to listen to those campaigning Focus on cleaner fi sh are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such the social predator proof as possible. Is everyone doing enough, though, and Connecti vity committ ee returned from the summer recess to makes grim reading for industry as it suggests that committ ee Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best of the start-ups angling lobby, which had called for the investi gati on. But as the Book review farming inThe alleviati ngofpoverty. Increasingly, ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, as Economy activists. latest thesecame (see ourHolyrood’s newsindustry storyRural onmeeti page 4) Training Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation EAS Berlin food security and saving the planet, acontributi move that isitto be welcomed. the excepti on of one or two Greens in cahoots with anti -farming became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture and the on makes to global Those who want to shut down the industry have, as expected, shut down this valuable sector, rather than to those who operate in the face of American legislation which, from 2022, will halt consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we Focus cleaner fish are broadening their scope, tackling subjects suchsummer asthat the committ social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the recess to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom it suggests ee Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best57 ofonthe start-ups Innovation forum 53-55 60-63 48-49 Also investi gati ng initi ati ves inregard the developing world, Dr Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry in aUS favourable food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that isperhaps toanti be welcomed. the excepti on ofproduced one or two Greens in cahoots with -farming stepped up their acti viti es, which now involve breaching the within it.draft imports of fish indown contravention of animal Those who want to shut the have, as shut down this valuable sector, rather than to those who operate became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on ittough makes toexpected, global consider its report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to 24 20 20-21 28-29 Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al and inthe 57 53-55 60-63 48-49 light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Also investi gati ng initi ati ves inbe developing Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, regard the industry in a Dr favourable Aquaculture biosecure of farm sites to photographs in Ofwho course, such stories may inaccurate in any case, Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 UK Net cleaning welfare rules? With the clock ticking, lethal (seal shooting) stepped up their acti viti es, which now involve breaching the within it. food security and saving the planet, athe move that isand, toworld, be welcomed. the excepti on ofenvironments one or two Greens in cahoots with anti -farming Those want to shut down the industry have, as expected, shut down this valuable sector, than tosnatch those who operate 24 20 20-21 28-29 Nigeria, both in catf ish and tirather lapia culti vati on. BTA Shellfi sh Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in Comment Introducti onons UK light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Farming angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Aquaculture 57 non-lethal (ADDs, for example) measures are the spotlight. biosecure environments of farm sites to snatch in Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, in any case, the Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 Net cleaning 53-55 60-63 48-49 Also investi gati ng initi ati ves in the developing world, Dr Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, regard the industry inunder aphotographs favourable 46-48 stepped up their acti viti es, which now involve breaching theng within Init.Scotland, the summer has been something of only aofwaiti game in28-29 What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Nigeria, both in catf ish and ti lapia culti vati on. Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. BTA Shellfi sh 24 20 20-21 responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will ever invest Comment Introducti onons campaigner fi lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always been fortunate to have the support their minister, Berlin in October was not so politically charged, despite angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti the hope of nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fistories ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fish farmers Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about thesnatch farming potenti al inthe light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Aquaculture UK biosecure environments of farm sites to photographs inthe Of while course, such may be inaccurate and, inof any case, Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 NetFarming cleaning EAS Berlin the parliament is in recess and the members of Holyrood’s Inthe Scotland, the summer has been something aof waiti ngminister, game If committ ee members, especially those who have yet to What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. fi sh at a Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. Brexit backdrop, as scientists from across Europe and beyond Nigeria, both in catf ish and ti lapia culti vati on. campaigner fi lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always been fortunate to have the support their BTA Shellfi sh responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in Comment Introducti on Farming angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti ons the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Smart farming Rural and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue tosubject weigh up while parliament ishas in recess and the members of 58-59 60-63 68-69 51 visit a Economy salmon like tosomething learn more about the of Phil IfBut the ee members, especially those who have yet infested salmon in awould pen, but we only have his word against that itthe should not go unchallenged some MSPs on thetoREC In Scotland, the summer been ofhe aof waiti ngHolyrood’s game 22-23 gathered for afarm, record, in numbers ofthat delegates, EAS conference. fi sh at acommitt Marine Harvest site. Another said saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Thomas growth that isfibeen sustainable. campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always fortunate to have the support their minister, the evidence in their inquiry into salmon farming. We don’t expect 26 22-23 30 Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up 58-59 their we have plenty of good stories in our May issue. Even 60-63 68-69 51 bass UK visit ainquiry, farm, would like to learn more about the of of while the parliament istheir in recess and the members of Holyrood’s of professional and biologists who manage the welfare committ ee, with own agendas against the growth of the Aquaculture On the evidence ofsustainably. this inspiring, forward looking show, there infested salmon avets pen, but we only have his word against that But itsalmon should not go unchallenged that some MSPs onsubject the REC Australia Training Sea If the committ ee especially those who have yet to Shellfish fi sh at athe Marine Harvest site. Another said hefarming. saw ‘hundreds’ ofexpect Fergus Ewing, to grow their report unti l in the autumn but hope the MSPs are using the time the evidence inmembers, their inquiry into salmon We don’t 26 22-23 30 Shellfi sh Comment BTA bett er, they could head to the Highlands later this month, where Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up their inquiry, we have plenty of good stories in our May issue. Even Chris these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Barramundi boomUK Martyn Haines European leaders seem to be few boundaries in the world of aquaculture and of the professional vets and biologists who manage the welfare of committ ee, with their own agendas against the growth of the Aquaculture 58-59 Australia Training bass 60-63 68-69 51Sea Mitchell visit a itsalmon farm, like we towith learn more about the of time Janet H Brown become fully acquainted the facts about fiare shsubject farming. infested salmon in go awould pen, but only have his word against that Butto should not unchallenged that some MSPs on the REC their report unti l inquiry the autumn but hope the MSPs using the Montpellier report Dr Marti nsh Jaff a Doug McLeod they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s the evidence in their into salmon farming. We don’t expect BTA Shellfi Comment 26 22-23 30 bett er, they could head to Highlands later this month, where If the industry is proud of its high standards, as it says it is, it are in a positi on to infl uence the future course of salmon farming, Chris Mitchell much productive collaboration. Next year, Aquaculture Europe these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Barramundi Martyn Haines European leaders their inquiry, we have plenty of good stories in our May issue. Even This month also sees the reti rement of manage Marine Harvest’s of the professional vets and biologists who the welfare of committ ee, with their own agendas against the growth of thelongest Aquaculture UK toreport become fully acquainted with the facts about fiusing sh farming. Australia Training Sea bass boom theirbiggest unti l the autumn but hope the MSPs are theaittiright me Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a fi shCork farming show. Doug McLeod they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s must mount a much more robust defence of itself, through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we have moves to for, let’s hope, even more cordial pan European If the industry is proud of its high standards, as it says is, it are in a positi on to infl uence the future course of salmon farming, Shellfi sh Comment BTA bett er, they could head to the Highlands later this month, where serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had no trouble collecti ng Chris Mitchell these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they This month also sees the reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest Barramundi boom Martyn Haines European leaders to become fully acquainted with the hope facts about fish farming. 24-25 We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inindustry, Aviemore and biggest fish farming show. representati body, the SSPO, than it has done tothrough date. to who are, and we the its discussions. must mount athey much more robust defence of through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we have alook right Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the 28-31 24-25 they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s 32-33 serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had no ng If the industry isve proud of its high standards, as ititself, says itcollecti is, itThe are in aknow positi on to inflthe uence the future course oftrouble salmon farming, This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest forward to seeing many of you there too. We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore and look campaigners, we now see, will stop at nothing, and farmers representati ves, will pressure the parliament to investi gate before Comment ve body, the SSPO, than it has done to date. The to know who they are, and we hope the industry, through its milestone and, along with the rest of the industry, the team at Fish biggest fi sh farming show. warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the 28-31 24-25 32-33 must a much more robustWe defence itself, through its and ofmount businesses vital toBracken. Scotland’s economy, we have a right SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms serving employee, Steve hadtoo. nooftrouble collecti ng forward to seeing many of you there should be prepared to fiwe ght back. the REC report isall published. Martin Jaffa campaigners, we now see, will stop nothing, and representati ves, will pressure the parliament investi gateatbefore Farmer wish him the very best for the future. will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inat Aviemore look milestone and, along with the rest of industry, thefarmers team Fish 28-31 representati ve body, the SSPO, than itthe has done toto date. The toWe know who they are, and hope industry, through its Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff Orkney anniversary Janet warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the SSPO Comment Scottish 24-25 Shellfi sha Sea Farms 32-33 49-51 should be prepared toyou fivery ght back. the to REC report ispressure published. Farmer wish him all the best for the future. forward seeing many of there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at nothing, representati ves, will the parliament toand investi gateatbefore milestone and, along with the rest of the industry, thefarmers team Fish Rising stars Marti n Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet Brown SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms EAS Berlin 26 should prepared to fivery ght back. the RECbe report published. Farmer wish himisall the best for the future. Rising stars Marti n Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet Brown Offshore farming 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Fish Farmer is now on @fishfarmermagazine 69 Containment 64-67 70-73 52-54 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Facebook andisTwitter Shellfi shfiSea Cleaner sh Farms Scottish Comment Fish Farmer now on Introduction @fishfarmermag 69 64-67 70-73 52-54 UK Aquaculture Nigeria Networking Research Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm visit Marti nBrown Jaff afiSea Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner sh Scottish Farms 32-33 26-27 26-30 Comment 34-35 56-57 Fish Farmer is now on Meet the team UK Boosti ng producti on Dave Conley Chris Mitchell Aquaculture 69 Nigeria Networking Research 64-67 70-73 52-54 Contact us Meet the team Janet Brown Machrihanish Orkney farm visit Marti n Jaff a Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner fi sh Scottish Sea Farms Comment MASTS Conference Meet the team Boosti ng producti on Dave Conley Chris Mitchell Contact us131 Meet theAdvisory team Board: Aquaculture UK Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 551 1000 1000 Editorial Tel: +44(0) Nigeria Networking Research Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit Reports from Glasgow 34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Fax:+44(0) +44(0)131 131551 5511000 7901 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Meet the team on Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Contact Steve Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Boosti ng producti Dave Conley Chris81-82 Mitchell Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: us MeetBracken, the Bracken, team 76-77 56-59 Email: email: Jim Treasurer, Chris Mitchell, Migaud, Patrick Smith and Jim 34-35 28-29 32-33 Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer and 36-41 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Comment Cleaner fi sh Orkney Farm visit 81-82 Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 551 1000 76-77 56-59 Aquaculture UK jhjul@fi131 From Archive Value chains Jason Cleaversmith and Hamish Treasurer, Wiliam Dowds Jim Treasurer and William Dowds William Dowds Patrick Smith and Jim Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer and Fax: email: Marti nofJaff afiera Vaccines New player Dawn new 62 Littthe Comment Cleaner sh Orkney 34-35 28-29 32-33 Farm visit 36-41 +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé SteveMigaud, Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Awards Head Office: Special Publications, David le reports Growth in China Developing trends Aquaculture UK 81-82 jhjul@fi From the Archive Value chains 76-77 56-59 Macdonell Editor: Jenny Hjul Treasurer, Wiliam Dowds Jim Treasurer andand William William Dowds Marti noffi Jaff a era Vaccines Newvisit player Dawn new Migaud, Patrick Smith Jim Head ce:496 Special Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer andDowdsemail: FettesOffi Park, FerryPublicati Road, ons, Farm What’s New Comment Cleaner sh Orkney Awards David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Designer: Andrew Balahura Editor: Jenny Hjul Editor: Jenny Hjul Aquaculture UK jhjul@fi From the Archive Value chains Fett esOffi Park, 496 FerryPublicati Road, ons, Dawn Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds Edinburgh, 2DL Products and services Head ce:EH5 Special Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New43-45 player new Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: 36-39 32-35 34-35 Designer: Andrew Balahura Awards Designer: Andrew Balahura David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Edinburgh, EH5 2DL 28-31 Editor: Jenny Hjul 91 Fett es Park, 496 Ferry Road, 78-79 63 Dave Edler HeadSubscriptions Office: Special Publications, Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: 36-39 32-35 34-35 43-45 Commercial Manager: Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney IoA careers Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Designer: Andrew Balahura 91 78-79 63 Containment Retail & Marketing Fett es Park, 496 Ferry Road, dedler@fi Processing & Retail News 62-63 Dave Edler Janice Johnston The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine Sti rling students Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney 36-39 32-35 34-35 Subscriptions Address: Fish IoA careers 43-45 Looming legislation Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Eat more fi sh Adverti sing Executi ve: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment challenges Retail & Marketing 91 Subscriptions dedler@fi &News Retail News 78-79 63Processing Processing Edler The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine Farmer Magazine Subscriptions, IoA Sti rling students Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney Scott Binnie careers Eat more fi sh Adverti sing Executi ve: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment challenges Subscriptions Technology Executive: Subscripti ons Address: Wyvex Retail & Marketing dedler@fi Processing &update Retail News Warners Group Publications plc, Sti The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine sbinnie@fi rling students Scott Binnie Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Callum Docherty Media, FREEPOST RTEYStreet, YUBG TYUB, Eat more fishchallenges Adverti sing Executi ve: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs 92-93 Recruitment Subscripti ons West Address: Wyvex 32-33 Subscriptions The Maltings, Bourne 80-81 64-65 Publisher: Alister Bennett Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBGWethersTYUB, Scottsbinnie@fi Binnie Lincolnshire PE10 9PH 92-93 64-65 80-81 Aqua Source Directory Subscripti ons Address: Wyvex Containment Publisher: Alister fi eld, Essex 4AY fi eld, Braintree, Braintree, Essex CM7 CM7 4AY Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, WethersPublisher: Alister Bennett Bennett Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Wetherssbinnie@fi Tel: +44 (0)1778 392014 Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Find all you need for the industry Seals watch Aqua Source Directory 92-93 Tel: +44 (0) 1371 851868 80-81 64-65 Cover: Alison Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Steve Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti sh Sea Farms regional fifield, Braintree, CM7 eld,Subscriptions: Braintree, Essex Essex£75 CM7a4AY 4AY Publisher: Alister Bennett year Trinity House, TrinityUK House, Sculpins Sculpins Lane, Lane, WethersWethersfarmingMowi director, Loch Etive. salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for trainee Orkney, Find all you need for the Find all you need for the industry industry UK Subscripti ons: £75 a year Cover: Scotland’s Tel: +44 (0) 1371 851868 Cover:his Alison Hutchins, Cover: Steve Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti sh Sea Farms regional Aqua Source Directory ROW Subscriptions: £95 a year Picture: Scott Binnie during visit to Marine Harvest Essex Richard Darbyshire (left ),Dawnfresh and the fifield, eld, Braintree, Braintree, Essex CM7 CM7 4AY 4AY managers Connie Fairburn, farming director, Loch EtiHilary ve. salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for Orkney, ROW Subscripti ons: £95 a year 94 UK Subscripti ons: £75 a year 34-35 82 66 in 2016. Photo: Iain Ferguson Westerbister team at Scapa Pier Find all you need for the industry including postage - All Air Mail Turnbull and Graham (0) 1371 851868 Cover: Alison Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Steve Bracken Lumpsucker Scotti sh SeaShannon Farms regional Picture: Scott Binnie during his visit toexplains Marine Richard Darbyshire (left ), Harvest and the Tel: +44 46-47 including postage - All£95 Air Mail ROW Subscripti ons: 40 37 36-37 94 farming director, Loch Eti ve. Pier salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for at Orkney, 66 82 in 2016. Photo: Iain Ferguson Westerbister team Scapa Opinion Containment UK Subscripti ons: £75 a year a year Picture: Scott during his visit Binnie to Marine Richard Darbyshire (left), Harvest and the 46-47 including postage All Air Mail Brussels 40 37 36-37 Nick Joy Scottish Technical Standard ROWMedia Subscripti £95Colour a year Innovation Cleaner fishconference Aquaculture Innovation Printed in Great for Ltd Thomson Printers Opinion 94 Printed in team Great Britain for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Ltd by by JJons: Thomson Colour Printers Ltd, Ltd, 82 66By in 2016. Photo: IainBritain Ferguson Westerbister at Scapa Pier Introducti on Glasgow ISSN Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 0262-9615 Brussels 46-47 including - All AirColour MailPrinters Novel technology Temperature Introducti onfish By By Nick Nick Joy Joy Innovation conference Cleaner Aquaculture Innovation Opinion 37 36-37 Printed Media Ltd Printed in in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Mediapostage Ltd by by JJ Thomson Thomson Colour Printers Ltd, Ltd,40 Introducti on Glasgow Glasgow ISSN ISSN 0262-9615 0262-9615 Novel technology Temperature Introducti on Brussels By Nick Joy Innovation Cleaner fishconference Aquaculture Innovation Printed in Printed in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Media Ltd Ltd by by JJ Thomson Thomson Colour Colour Printers Printers Ltd, Ltd, 33

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





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

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

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

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

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

Introducti on Novel technology Temperature Introducti on

3 3 09/05/2018 08/08/2018 15:36:28 06/09/2018 16:32:15 04/10/2018 18:05:09 09:15:28 04/11/2019 16:41:17

United Kingdom News


Rising sea temperatures hit fish health

Above: Mowi Scotland hit by warmer waters

Mowi Scotland said several of its farms had been affected by warmer waters, which resulted in higher mortalities in the third quarter. The company, which more than doubled its operating profits and harvest volumes in Q3, had to contend with harmful algal blooms related to the above average sea temperatures. Mowi CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog said at the Q3 announcement in Oslo on October 30 that rising sea temperatures could present serious biological challenges ahead for Scotland. ‘Incident based mortality losses were high in the third quarter, and amounted to €8.8 million related to an algal bloom and fish health issues (€1.2 million in Q3 2018).’ Mowi Scotland said the conditions provided challenges to salmon and lumpfish survival at some of its sites. A recent inspection of Mowi’s Bagh Dail nan Ceann farm by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) raised concerns that lumpfish health and welfare was not adequately managed, during a month that saw the highest average sea temperatures. Mowi said its staff have since met with APHA inspectors to discuss the agency’s concerns.

‘Unfortunately, some farm locations have suffered higher than normal mortality rates over the past few weeks,’ said Gideon Pringle, Mowi Scotland’s production director. ‘Our farmers are devastated to have lost fish after spending months raising them at their farms, and are doing what they can to protect their fish from this prolonged change to their environment.’ To help alleviate fish stress from high water temperatures and associated reduced saturated oxygen, Mowi has provided additional air bubbling where feasible, and are harvesting affected crops earlier, the company said. ‘Despite this challenge, the company still plans to harvest guided volumes and remains committed to its open seas site development programme at locations best suited for our fish and the local environment,’ Pringle added. Mowi’s Scottish division delivered an operational EBIT of 26.2 million euros, compared to €12.3 million for Q3 2018. Harvest volume were up by 27 per cent to a record19,634 tonnes (9.034 tonnes in 2018).

WiSA investment for women in aquaculture THE Scottish government has pledged to support an initiative to boost career opportunities for women in aquaculture, with the announcement on October 31 of £20,000 funding. The investment was unveiled by Mairi Gougeon, Scotland’s minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, at the opening of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers conference in Oban. Gougeon had earlier visited the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), also in Oban, where she met representatives from Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA). The group has already attracted £30,000 of industry sponsorship and plans to use the money to encourage more women to enter the sector, provide a network across industry and academia, and harness the potential of women in aquaculture.The government funding will go towards creating an online platform for the network, as well as financing a mentoring programme. ‘In any professional industry it is important to nurture a workforce that is diverse, and that means having a healthy gender balance,’ said Gougeon. ‘Women in Scottish Aquaculture was developed in close collaboration with industry because there is a growing desire by all to break down the barriers stopping women from moving into in this thriving sector. ‘The funding I am announcing today will help to kick-start this work. I hope it will lead to many more women considering a career in aquaculture.’ WiSA membership is open to anyone, of any gender, studying or working in Scottish aquaculture, and most of Scotland’s producers have vowed to back the network, which was launched following a SAIC (Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre) consultation. SAIC CEO Heather Jones said:‘It’s been fantastic to secure financial sup-


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port for this initiative from both the Scottish government and the aquaculture industry in Scotland. The resources announced today will allow us to build capacity, confidence and capability amongst women working in Scottish aquaculture. ‘Diversity matters - research shows that it can significantly impact business performance, with companies that commit to diverse leadership likely to be more successful than those who don’t.’  Women in Aquaculture at the EAS: Page 42.

Above: The minister (centre) at SAMS with (from left to right) Rowena Hoare and Sophie Fridman of the Institute of Aquaculture, Mary Fraser of SAIC, and Teresa Garzon of Patogen

04/11/2019 16:36:57

All the latest industry news from the UK

Business awards top a winning week for Ace Aquatec wood to single cell protein innovator Arbiom, DUNDEE based Ace Aquatec, which supplies and Pegasus Science of Brazil, which has detechnical equipment to the aquaculture veloped technology to better measure fungal industry, triumphed in two separate award toxins affecting aquafeed. ceremonies last month. Forbes secured 51 per cent of the audience Managing director Nathan Pyne-Carter won vote after delivering a presentation of Ace the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Courier Business Awards, an honour he was Aquatec’s electric stunning technology. He said: ‘We’re proud to be exporting indusshortlisted for last year. try leading innovations from Scotland to the The company also picked up the prize for rest of the world, and to be recognised with Science and Technology business of the year, awards in both India and Scotland within the after being on the shortlist in 2018. space of a week shows it’s possible to have a And the Ace team made the shortlist in a truly global impact on sustainable aquaculture third category – Design and Innovation – from Scotland. which it won last year. ‘These awards are a result of the commitment A total of 24 awards were presented at the everyone in our team has annual event, staged by to creating new technewspaper group DC Thomson nologies that can help Media at the Apex City Quay accelerate the adoption Hotel in Dundee and attended of responsible marine by more than 800 guests. practices.’ Ace Aquatec’s head of sales The company has preand marketing, Mike Forbes, viously won innovation also collected the prestigious awards at Aqua Nor in Innovation Award on behalf of 2017 and at the Aquaculthe company at the Global Aqture UK awards in 2016, uaculture Association’s GOAL as well as two Queen’s conference in Chennai, India. Awards for Enterprise The company beat two other Innovation, in 2018 and finalists, whittled down from Above: The Ace Aquatec team 2019. a record 41 applications: US

Seafood Scotland appoints new boss SEAFOOD Scotland, the national trade body, has appointed Donna Fordyce as its interim head, replacing Patrick Hughes, who was in the role since January 2017. Fordyce has been Above: Donna Fordyce Seafood Scotland’s John Anderson, industry engagement chairman of Seafood specialist for the past Scotland, said:‘Donna two years. has a passion for the She is already engaged with the industry seafood industry and has excellent at leadership level, knowledge of how it having previously spent operates, across a wide time as an observer on range of sub-sectors the Seafood Scotland and supply chains.’ board, been a member Fordyce said:‘In an of the working group ever changing and for Scottish Seafood uncertain landscape, it’s Partnership, is a Proimportant now more jects Approval Comthan ever that Seafood mittee (PAC) member Scotland is agile and for the European ready to take on any Maritime & Fisheries opportunities or Fund (EMFF) and, with challenges the industry Hughes, co-authored may face. It’s an exciting the recently launched time to be at the head Seafood Scotland stratof the organisation.’ egy, Changing Tides.

Three pioneers scaling up for future challenges

UK news.indd 5


04/11/2019 16:37:16

United Kingdom News

Bakkafrost wraps up SSC purchase

BAKKAFROST formally sealed its acquisition of the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) last month. At an extraordinary general meeting in the Faroe Islands, shareholders authorised approval for the board to issue six million new shares to settle the outstanding debt. The vote was overwhelming, with 99.1 per cent in favour and just 0.9 per cent against the proposal. Bakkafrost had earlier paid £336.7 million to Northern Link, SSC’s parent, 70 per cent towards the (£517 million) cost of buying 68.6 per cent of SSC. The meeting means the remaining 30 per cent will now be paid for in shares. Bakkafrost said in a statement after the meeting that the approval will allow the board to issue: 2,256,470 new shares to Northern Link in settlement of the seller’s credit granted by Northern Link at the closing of the company’s purchase of Northern Link holding of approximately 68.6


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per cent of the equity instruments in the Scottish Salmon Company Limited; and 2,358,709 shares to DNB Bank for the purpose of enabling DNB Bank to redeliver the same number of shares borrowed from Regin Jacobsen (Bakkafrost CEO) in connection with the settlement of the private placement announced by the company on September 25. ‘This will close the remaining matters relevant to the private placement of new shares announced on September 25, 2019, and the share purchase agreement with Northern Link Limited for the majority of the equity instruments in the Scottish Salmon Company Plc,’ the announcement added. Jacobsen, CEO for the past 30 years, has already indicated that the company eventually plans to bid for the entire SSC shareholding. The fully integrated Faroese company said it expects to generate synegies in key areas, including feed, which it manufactures, and sales.

Tartan Salmon drives exports to Japan THE Scottish Salmon Company has secured a sushi deal with a leading Japanese chain, helping to increase the company’s exports to the region by 25 per cent in the past year. The SSC, recently acquired by Faroese salmon producer Bakkafrost, has supplied its Tartan Salmon to Genki Sushi, a Tokyo based restaurant group. Genki Sushi piloted the Scottish salmon at 27 of its restaurants across Japan before extending its promotion to a further 127 subsidiary stores, the Edinburgh Evening News reported. A link between the SSC and Genki Sushi was established in October 2017 at an event to showcase Scotland’s export potential. Craig Anderson, chief executive of Edinburgh headquartered SSC, said:‘Japan and the Far East is a key market, and demand for our salmon has helped drive a 25 per cent increase in our exports over the past year. ‘We expect this to increase as more consumers experience the great taste and provenance of our quality Tartan Salmon. ‘We take great pride in our Scottish heritage, and this is demonstrated through our commitment to bringing the finest quality Scottish salmon to worldwide markets.’

Welfare assured as RSPCA scheme marks 25 years THE RSPCA’s food label scheme is recognised by more than half of shoppers, the charity revealed as it marked its 25th anniversary. RSPCA Assured has achieved 58 per cent recognition among its target market of young professionals and families four years after it was re-branded from Freedom Food. This is more than two and a half times the level (19 per cent) measured when the new logo was launched

in 2015.The majority of Scottish salmon farms are now in the scheme, compared to about 11 per cent of the rest of UK farming market. Clive Brazier, CEO of RSPCA Assured, said:‘Despite a difficult political backdrop of uncertainty for the food and farming industry, these results continue to reflect the growing trend for ethical food and are further reassurance that consumers are standing firm by farm

Above: The RSPCA Assured scheme’s aquaculture manager, Malcolm Johnstone

animal welfare.’ Georgina Wright, head of UK sales at Mowi, one of the scheme’s salmon members, said:‘With the vast majority of Scottish farm raised salmon production operating to the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards, RSPCA Assured and all its salmon members really have got something to celebrate. ‘But not only has the scheme helped improve the welfare of salmon but so many other farmed animals too. For us, ensuring the health and welfare of the fish is at the heart of everything we do. Good welfare makes good business sense, so being a member of RSPCA Assured, the best scheme for animal welfare, is an absolute must.’

04/11/2019 16:37:42

All the latest industry news from the UK

Niche market salmon farmer Wester Ross a BBC big fish WESTER Ross Fisheries, Scotland’s oldest independent salmon farmer, recently starred in the BBC 2 programme ‘What Britain Buys and Sells in a Day’. Company director David Robinson took presenter Cherry Healey to Ardmair Farm, located in Loch Kannaird near Ullapool. They spent the day on the farm, hand feeding the salmon and talking about sustainable farming of the seas. The programme highlighted the importance of salmon farming in Scotland and the industry’s positive impact on the rural economy. Gilpin Bradley, managing director of Wester Ross, said:‘Being on ‘What Britain Buys and Sells in a Day’ was not just a good promotion for our salmon but also for many successful businesses operating in rural areas of Scotland.’ Wester Ross, being the smallest salmon farmer in Scotland, was presented as a high-end salmon producer. Bradley explained the difference between the volume of production of the major players on the international market and the niche market of Wester Ross Fisheries. If the high volume producers were the cake, and the smaller farmers were the icing on the cake, ’we are not even the icing on the cake; we are the sprinkles on the top of the icing on the cake’, said Bradley.

Above: Cherry Healey with David Robinson (above) and Matt Ross (photos: Barbora Gaborova, Wester Ross)

Fast test to detect deadly heart disease Institute and the Scottish Aquaculture AN early warning system for one of Innovation Centre (SAIC). farmed salmon’s deadliest diseases is They aim to identify specific cardiac being developed by a Scottish research markers in the blood of fish, which can consortium. be used to detect CMS prior to signs of Cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS), a clinical disease. fatal viral disease which causes inflammaIn both human and veterinary medicine, tion of the heart, is known to be caused cardiac issues are already detected via by piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV), biomarkers, measured using commercial although the triggers for the disease are testing kits.They will identify new cardiac not fully understood. markers to specifically detect heart disIt can lead to heart failure in apparently ease in salmon and apply these to diaghealthy fish, resulting in significant stock The SPC states that losses, and is an increasing issue for the nostic techniques currently used in human ALPHA JECT micro 1 Scottish salmon industry. and veterinary diagnostics. PD is approved for: This will include tests adapted for on-site While there is no vaccine or treatment Active immunisation for CMS, a warning system would enable farm testing with the ability to provide of Atlantic salmon to results in less than three hours. salmon producers to better manage the reduce mortality, leThe biomarkers could also help to differdisease and take preventative steps to sions in the heart and minimise its impact. entiate between CMS and salmon diseases pancreas, and impaired such as pancreas disease and heart and In its early stages, CMS is difficult to growth caused by pan- detect and fish can skeletal muscle increas disease (PD). flammation. be infected for some We trust the above The project outtime before symptoms clarifies the claims for appear. comes could also the vaccine ALPHA contribute to future The team involved in JECT micro 1 PD. genetic breeding the research include programmes against Cooke Aquaculture, CMS, using the meththe University of Edinodologies to select burgh, Life Diagnostics, fish that show physioBenchmark Genetics, Above: Getting to the heart of killer disease logical resistance. Moredun Research

ALPHA JECT micro 1 PD vaccine: Pharmaq correction PHARMAQ would like to make a correction to a recent article in Fish Farmer (June 2019,Volume 42). We would like to advise readers that reduction in viremia and viral shedding mentioned in the above magazine article is not a licensed indication for ALPHA JECT micro 1 PD.

UK news.indd 7


04/11/2019 16:38:03

European News


Norway salmon firms face ‘hostile’ 40 per cent tax

Above: Seafood Norway CEO Geir Ove Ystmark

NORWAY’S fish farming companies face the unpalatable prospect of a new 40 per cent basic tax rate on their profits. That is the main majority recommendation from the special committee chaired by economics professor Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe as she presented her plans this morning. The decision of the committee, which was set up last year to examine new tax proposals for

aquaculture, has not gone down well with the industry, which said it will decimate future investment plans. Ulltveit-Moe described it is as a 40 per cent natural resources tax based on profits and the rate is in line with what was imposed on the power and hydrocarbon industry recently. The committee also proposed eliminating the property tax on fish farming facilities. If implemented, the new tax would give the government revenues of around seven billion kroner, or £600 million, a year. However, the committee was divided on its proposals and there is speculation as to whether a Conservative led coalition government

is likely to implement the full recommendations that have been described as Marxist. Professor Ulltveit-Moe told this morning’s presentation: ‘The aquaculture industry is spending money on the community’s natural resources, and then the community must also get something back.’ Six of the nine members on the committee have voted in favour of the proposal. The Norwegian seafood website said the recommendation ‘oozes Marxism’. Speaking on behalf of the some of the seafood companies, spokesman Robert Eriksson said that if the plan went through, then aquaculture would be burdened by a special tax, adding that many rural districts

would be hit hard. ‘This is hostile politics for the districts and will effectively cut off the branches that make up the aquaculture tree,’ he added. While industry headlines are often dominated by large international names, such as Mowi and Grieg, most of the 174 salmon companies that make up the industry in Norway are small or medium sized. So far there is no specific mention of the Aquaculture Fund which supports rural communities, but Seafood Norway CEO Geir Ove Ystmark fears it could spell the end of the scheme. This year, the fund will dsitribute 458 kroner (almost £40 million) to more than 100 fish farming communities.

SalMar owner takes over as CEO

INTEGRATED MARINE, RAIL & ROAD LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS THROUGHOUT THE UK Work vessels and Port services available for short term, long term and one-off contracts


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Witzøe. These activities will now be GUSTAV Witzøe, the billionaire transferred to a subsidiary which owner of Norwegian salmon Ervik wanted to lead.’ farming giant SalMar, took over The change will ensure continuity in as CEO of the company as part of a management, Wtzøe said. major restructuring last month. Sal‘By establishing SalMar Ocean, SalMar jointly owns Scottish Sea Farms Mar makes another move to with Lerøy Seafood. strengthen its leading position in The current CEO, Olav Andreas Ervik, the development of ocean based fish will become managing director farming.’ of a new subsidiary called SalThe group has released a new Mar Ocean, and will be responsible generation of fish in its for the company’s offshore cage Ocean ventures in ocean Farm 1. Meanwhile, the based fish farming. subsidiary MariCulture A statement said: is finalising the design ‘SalMar’s initiatives phase of a larger and in ocean based fish more advanced offshore farming have to cage, Smart Fish Farm, date been organised Both these businesses as a business area now become part of within SalMar and Above: Harald T. Nesvik SalMar Ocean. headed by Gustav

04/11/2019 16:34:28

All the latest industry news from Europe

Iceland sets up group to drive aquaculture

Breeding centre built for future growth

Minister Þór Júlíusson said: ‘UnderpinAS Iceland gears up for a major expansion ning the decision to set up an aquaculture of its fish farming sector, fisheries minisconsultation committee, the main idea lies in ter Kristján Þór Júlíusson has appointed a promoting the necessary consultation on the special consultation committee designed structure of the industry. to advise the government on aquaculture ‘It is designed to give science, stakeholders issues. and the government a common platform for Both the fish farming and conventional exchanging views on the important growth fishing sectors are well represented but the that is already underway as well as being committee, set up through an act of parliaplanned. ment, is also composed of board members ‘With this committee, from local communities, we are also following the environment and our advice from our the Marine Research main neighbouring Institute. countries, which have It is hoped the new come much further than group will also take some Icelanders in building of the heat out of what a powerful aquaculture has been an angry deindustry. bate in the country over ‘One of the key factors the past couple of years. will be to promote close The main aquaculture cooperation among the industry is represented government, the aquaby Heiðrún Lind Marculture companies and teinsdóttir from the Icenature and science so we landic Fisheries Assocican work better together. ation (SFS), who played ‘I hope this consultaa key role in helping to tion committee will be settle the three-month an important step in long fishermen’s strike Above: Heiðrún Lind Marteinsdóttir achieving that aim.’ in February 2017.

Above: Sigurður Pétursson

Iceland farmed fish exports hit new heights EXPORTS of Icelandic farmed fish have soared by more than 60 per cent and were worth £97 million (ISK 15.5 billion) in the first eight months of this year, figures from the country’s Office of Statistics show. August was the best month, with overseas sales – mainly consisting of salmon and trout – hitting £10 million, up by 123 per cent on the same month in 2018. SFS, the industry body which represents both aquaculture and fishing, said it expects the total value for 2019 to be around 24 billion kroner – or about £150 million The figures show that Iceland’s still modestly sized aquaculture sector is making huge strides and is now starting to have an impact on global markets. Less than nine years ago, aquaculture exports were worth a mere £600,000. However, with Arnarlax, the country’s largest fish farmer, reporting a €16 million loss for 2018 earlier this week, companies are still some way from the sort of profitability enjoyed by their counterparts in longer established salmon producing countries. Meanwhile, Iceland’s Finance and Economic Affairs Ministry has said that it expected aquaculture production to double by 2021 and be worth around £300 million. The ministry believes that companies will not have trouble finding customers, with Asia likely

European News.indd 9

to be the main target. Chinese customs authorities recently gave Arctic Fish the green light to export salmon and the company has said this is just the start. The ministry said it would take companies about two years to reach full production capacity.

A HUGE new aquaculture breeding and hatchery centre has opened for business in the west of Iceland, on a remote fjord more than 250 miles from the capital Reykjavik. The £25 million (ISK 4 billion) Arctic Fish owned facility covers 10,000 square metres near the small fishing harbour of Tálknafjörður, where the company is currently engaged in a major expansion of its salmon farming operations. It is also Iceland’s largest aquaculture centre and has been built with further expansion in mind. It will bring dozens of new jobs to an area of the country that has lost much of its traditional fishing activities. The building will house a wide range of activities, including breeding and hatching, and is connected to one of the world’s most advanced (RAS) water recycling systems. Managing director of the centre, Sigurður Pétursson, told an audience at the opening ceremony that the plant uses geothermal heat and was the only water recovery operation of its type in the world. He pointed out that the land based period was likely to be longer than the marine period, with fish grown to at least 200g before transfer to sea. ‘This will shorten the time in the sea and the intention is that the salmon will only be one winter in the sea, but not two at present.’ Arctic Fish, which is part owned by Norway Royal Salmon, made company history recently when it shipped its first consignment of tariff free salmon to China, using the established NRS distribution network in the Far East. The centre’s opening comes just a year after Arctic Fish and another Icelandic salmon farming company, Arnarlax, were forced to shelve growth plans.Their licences were revoked following objections from various conservation groups. Those licences have now been successfully restored and are valid for at least 10 years. Arctic Fish CEO Stein Ove Tveiten said he was proud to be involved with the project, adding that the new centre was of the highest quality and utilised the best available technology. The company also has a farming operation nearby at Patreksfjordur. Together, the two centres will rear up to 17,500 tonnes of salmon a year.


04/11/2019 16:34:47

European News

New salmon traffic light scheme ‘almost ready’ NORWAY’S seafood minister, Harald Tom Neskvik, has announced that the country’s long awaited new traffic light scheme for regulating future growth in the aquaculture industry is now well on track and should start to be fully implemented over the next few weeks. He declared: ‘We have not yet switched on the lights, but we hope to do that before the end of the autumn. ‘We now plan to start measuring and testing everything before we turn everything on,’ the minister told the market leading financial provider TDN Direkt at the DNB Markets seafood conference in Norway. But he added that the Above: changes would not formally come into effect until next year in order to give the industry time to adjust. It is more than four years since Oslo first decided that salmon farming should be managed by

Salmon farm near Bergen a colour code system to regulate growth and decide which parts of the country are best suited for fish farming. The codes depend on levels of

Norway sets up forum to cut fish escapes NORWAY’S aquaculture sector has joined a special forum to prevent further large scale fish escapes. The industry has come under strong criticism from across the country after it was revealed last month that more than 284,000 salmon have escaped so far this year, almost double the figure for 2018. The country’s seafood minister, Harald T. Nesvik, said the figure was not acceptable and ordered the industry to act. Now fish farming companies, coastal businesses, the industry body Seafood Norway and other interested groups have agreed on a number of measures to improve the situation, including establishing a forum to co-ordinate


European News.indd 10

efforts. Norway’s Industry and Industrial Policy director Knut E. Sunde said: ‘It is not only important that we create a common front against escapes, but also that we are able to share knowledge across the sector. ‘We have also had a very constructive dialogue with the minister.’ The new group has already established that 80 per cent of escapes this year were down to human failure and poor operating routines, so improved training courses will now be given priority. Henrik Stenwig, health and environment director at Seafood Norway, said the training courses will be introduced into different parts of the value chain.

sea lice, which cost the Norwegian industry more than five billion kroner, or some £440 million last year, according to research by Nofima.

The first part of the scheme was introduced two years ago. Those areas shaded green will be fully open to growth, while yellow or amber dictates that production should be frozen at current levels. Red areas mean that production will either be stopped or cut back. New licences awarded in the first round gave a potential annual production increase of 7,897 tonnes. Farmers in green zones are given the opportunity to bid for permits at an auction. The ministry believes that the scheme, which could also include trout farming, should provide companies with a large measure of predictability. Meanwhile, Nesvik said earlier that the government is determined to spend millions of kroner on a greener marine policy, which will include clearing plastic along the coast and reducing carbon dioxide emissions in both fishing and fish farming.

Nesse new Akva boss as CEO resigns THE CEO of aquaculture equipment supplier Akva and amortisation) up 62 per cent to NOK 115 stood down earlier this month, the Norwegian million (£9.7 million). headquartered company announced. Overall revenues also jumped, by 21 per cent, to Hallvard Muri, who took up the post in November NOK 771 million (£65.5 million) compared to the 2016, resigned, and has been replaced by an insame period in the previous year. terim leader, Knut Nesse, current chair of the Akva The company’s order intake in the quarter was board and until last year CEO of feed giant Nutreco. 723 million NOK (448 million NOK in the same Nesse resigned from the board of directors, who period in 2018), a jump of 73 per cent. have elected Hans Kristian Mong as the new chair. The order backlog at the end of Q3 2019 was Mong was previously chair of the Akva board, 1,524 million NOK (1,085 million NOK), some stepping down in 2019 after six years, to be 569 million NOK of which relates to land based succeeded by Nesse. He remained as a board technology. member. In the land based division, an agreement with Muri said: ‘After serving as CEO for three years, Cooke Aquaculture was established in Q3 and a I believe it is time to pass on the tender project with Russian Sea leadership of Akva, and let others Aquaculture was awarded in Q2. take on the challenge of developing These are not yet recognised Akva further. in the order intake but represent ‘Akva is a great company with a significant potential for growth, strong position, and potential for said Akva in its Q3 report. the future.’ Growth in the Americas region Mong said: ‘Akva has grown continued, too, with revenue of strongly and gone through a posi142 million NOK compared to 123 tive development in the last three million NOK in the same quarter years, and on behalf of the board of in 2018. directors, I would like to thank Mr A contract for delivery of four Muri for his continued dedication barges to a customer in Chile was and hard work in this period.’ signed in September, contributing Akva reported strong Q3 earnings to an increased order intake from last week, with EBITDA (earnings 78 million NOK to 284 million NOK Above: Knut Nesse before interest, tax, depreciation within the region in Q3.

04/11/2019 16:35:16

All the latest industry news from Europe

Lerøy go-ahead for open sea farm near Tromsø LERØY Aurora has been given permission to establish a large sea based salmon and trout farm just 20 miles from Tromsø, despite opposition from a number of wildlife and conservation groups and left leaning politicians on the city council. The go-ahead for the 48,000 square metre project was granted under the Pollution Control Act by the county governor’s office of Troms and Finnmark following a public hearing earlier in the year. The fish farm will be based on a site near the island of Sommarøy, 22 miles west of the city. It will consist of six aquaculture cages covering just under 49,000 square metres of sea surface. The production biomass has been limited to around 3,600 tonnes. Normally, an application of this kind would pass without too much controversy, but a year ago Tromsø City Council resolved

Above: Tromsø

to end open sea farming in the region, demanding that all future developments should be emission free, closed land based farms. It was a decision which brought strong criticism from the aquaculture industry, which stressed that much of the technology for what was being demanded had yet to be fully developed. Local elections last month are thought to have strengthened the anti-open sea farm lobby on the council, although the ruling Labour Party (AP) has since rowed back on last year’s strong stance. Media outlets in the region are reporting that the local municipal authority can appeal against the county governor’s decision if measures to restrict emissions are found to be not effective enough. A final decision on Lerøy Aurora’s application will be made by the less left leaning Tromsø County Council.

Oslo to spend millions protecting aquaculture

NORWAY has set aside 10 million kroner (around £900,000) to investigate the cause of the devastating algae outbreak that hit several salmon farms last May. The money, along with other measures to boost the country’s fishing and aquaculture industry, was announced in the national budget for 2020. The spring algae attack was one of the worst for almost 30 years, killing at least eight million salmon in the Nordland and Troms regions, leading to job losses, hitting communities hard and costing the industry hundreds of millions of kroner. Some of the government money will be used to set up surveillance systems along the coast so fish can be moved quickly if another attack looks imminent. Seafood minister Harald T. Nesvik, who outlined the new measures, said: ‘We need to have better knowledge and be better prepared if future attacks occur, especially in the early stages of an algae bloom. ‘The coastal areas offer great opportunities for employment creation and investment so it is important that we try to protect them. ‘The algal bloom in Northern Norway in the spring hit the aquaculture industry and the local communities hard, and a lot of money was lost.’ Nesvik said the Oslo government is also planning to spend NOK 2.2 billion in various projects to boost marine research and to protect coastal waters. ‘We must be at the forefront of knowledge and the use of marine technology,’ he added. One of the priorities will be to try to reduce the use of plastic.


Fish Farmer VOLUME 42



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SPOTLIGHT ON SALMON fact Holyrood separates from fiction

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04/11/2019 16:35:46

World News


Civil unrest in Chile hits salmon production

Above: Fish farm Chiloe island




Heavy Duty and BREATHABLE

Manufacturing in France since 1964




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THE Chilean salmon industry has been hit by weeks of civil unrest in the country, with farms reportedly operating at half capacity. Industrial action has seen roads blocked and supplies held up as customs workers joined in mass walkouts. Curfews have been imposed, disrupting night shifts at many businesses, including salmon processing plants. The trouble began after metro fares were increased in the capital, Santiago, sparking demonstrations over mounting social inequality. One salmon factory at Calbuco, owned by AquaChile, was reportedly set alight at the height of the protests; the plant is close to Puerto Montt, the main salmon producing region of Chile In a separate inci-

dent at the company’s Quellon plant on Chiloe island, also in southern Chile, staff managed to dissuade protesters from looting the site, according to Intrafish. AquaChile shut down the Quellon site to protect the safety of workers. Six Chilean salmon processing plants are paralysed in Quellon, Chiloe Island, Arturo Clement, president of trade body SalmonChile, told IntraFish. Among other affected plants, some are

Above: Arturo Clement

running intermittently, others are partially working, and some have resumed full production. Chilean exports have been affected by the crisis, with customers in the US and Brazil complaining of shortages. Acme Smoked Fish, one of the largest salmon smokers in the United States, said just 30 per cent of normal fresh salmon volumes were expected to be shipped from Chile towards the end of October. There are fears about the longer term impact of the protests on exports, particularly to the United States, which gets around 50 per cent of salmon from Chile. The reputation of Chile is at stake, in a highly competitive international market for farmed salmon supplies.

04/11/2019 16:30:46

World News

Mowi boss in Newfoundland talks after salmon ‘catastrophe’ MOWI is still in discussions with the government of Newfoundland and Labrador over the future of its farming operations in east Canada, following the temporary suspension of 10 licences. The company’s CEO, Alf-Helge Aarskog, was due to meet the fisheries minister of Newfoundland and Labrador, Gerry Byrne, earlier this month in the wake of a mass mortality in September, which Aarskog described as a ‘catastrophe’. The incident, at Mowi’s Northern Harvest subsidiary, saw mortalities of 2.6 million fish with a biomass of approximately 5,000 tonnes, caused by low oxygen levels due to high seawater temperatures. Added to this, there were prolonged periods with no currents or waves on the sites, said Aarskog on October 30, presenting his company’s Q3 results. Ten out of 13 sites that Northern Harvest operates were affected, totalling 72 cages. Aarskog said the previous owner of Northern Harvest, which Mowi took over a year ago, had farmed in the area for many years and had never experienced ‘anything like this’ which shows how farming ‘depends upon nature in many ways’. He said the nets used on the stricken sites were too shallow, just 8m deep. The one new site Mowi has built in the area, with bigger and deeper nets, did not lose any fish. ‘It was farming practices from before –tradition – that made this happen.’ Aarskog said staff at Northern Harvest had worked hard to clean up the sites, a process that is harder in Canada than Norway, which has support industries and where it ‘was always easier

to be a fish farmer’. Working with the government and gradually building up the service industry in Newfoundland, he was optimistic about the area, though there were never any guarantees in fish farming. ‘We have a good plan for this region going forwards,’ said Aarskog, ‘it’s a fantastic area to farm fish in, done right.’ Aarskog added that the province of Newfoundland had been very supportive of fish farming, so ‘I think we will work through it’. Byrne said earlier: ‘Our government is committed to making the aquaculture industry safer and recently implemented new policies and procedures, including enacting strict policies to compel companies to disclose disease and all mortality events, regardless of cause, in a timely manner. ‘I want to reassure the people whose livelihoods depend on the aquaculture sector that we continue to focus on solutions that strengthen policies and practices to ensure public transparency is ever present.’

Above: Alf-Helge Aarskog

Trudeau ‘won’t close farms on the west’ THE re-election of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau in last month’s elections will not spell the end of net pen farming in British Columbia, according to Mowi, one of the biggest operators in the region. Trudeau, whose Liberal Party lost the popular vote but secured enough seats to form a minority government, had announced plans to shut down traditional salmon farms on Canada’s west coast and

move the industry to land based tanks. His party launched its campaign against farming salmon in sea pens in September, with backing from the country’s Green Party. However, Alf-Helge Aarskog, the CEO of Bergen headquartered Mowi, told Intrafish that he was confident Trudeau’s victory would not affect the company’s operations in BC, where it produces around 45,000 tonnes a year. ‘We work with any government there is and I’m sure when [Trudeau] puts his mind to it, this will not be an issue,’ said Aarskog. Trudeau will now need the backing of smaller parties to pursue his legislative programme, and Aarskog believes this will lessen the chances of any salmon farming ban succeeding. ‘I’m sure he will realise that farming with net pens is fairly good for the environment,’ added Aarskog. ‘If the world needs anything, it’s not more red meat. It’s more fish and vegetables.’ Trudeau could seek allies for his minority government among the left-wing (and environmentally focused) NDP (New Democratic Party) – and the smaller Green Party. Left: Justin Trudeau

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04/11/2019 16:31:11

World News

Israeli RAS expert targets shrimp market

Above: AquaMaof RAS technology launching in the shrimp market

AQUAMAOF, the Israeli RAS specialist that has pioneered land based salmon farming, is set to launch its technology for the shrimp market. The company said that after three years of research at its R&D facility in southern Israel, it has adapted its recirculating aquaculture system for the production of shrimp (L vannamei), with high survival, disease free results. ‘Moving production indoors in a closed containment environment has

enabled us to overcome many of the industry’s challenges and become the first company to offer a commercial end-to-end solution,’ said David Hazut, CEO of AquaMaof Aquaculture Technologies. AquaMaof said the global shrimp market was 4.66 million tonnes by the end of 2018, and is expected to reach 5.83 million tonnes by 2024. ‘However, the traditional ponds culture has not been able to keep up with the global demand, due to a con-

tinuous struggle with shrimp diseases and high mortality rates,’ it said. The company said it has achieved high density shrimp production, high shrimp survival rates, and a low FCR (food conversion ratio), in a disease free environment, with very low bacterial counts in the water, with its solution, which will be commercially available next year. The technology also facilitates control over the colour of the shrimp and their genetics, and enables partial harvest in different sizes, while maintaining low operational costs, said AquaMaof. The company’s RAS technology has been used to establish land based salmon farms in Poland, Russia and Japan. It is also providing the RAS for Grieg NL’s hatchery in Marystown, Newfoundland, and has teamed up with Pure Salmon, owned by 8F Asset Management, which last year announced plans to roll out land based farms around the world with total capacity of 260,000 tonnes. AquaMaof said its facilities are located near large cities to reduce transportation costs, and that no

antibiotics, hormones or chemicals are used in the farming process. Other companies have recently embraced indoor shrimp farming, with Thai giant Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods) revealing this summer it had moved 30 per cent of its production to RAS systems. The entire production would be moved inside within five years, the company said. American firm NaturalShrimp, which claimed to have developed and patented the first commercially operational RAS for shrimp, is now reportedly planning to adapt its technology to farm barramundi, salmon, and tilapia on land. Meanwhile, a land based farm rearing vannamei was set up in Scotland this year, with the aim of supplying local restaurants with the warm water species. Great British Prawns, in Balfron, Stirlingshire, plans to grow up to a million shrimp a year. Despite an initial setback in the summer, when it lost most of its stock, the company hopes to produce its first harvest before Christmas.

Thai shrimp farmer commits to fishmeal standard THAI shrimp giant Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL (CP The developed fisheries action plan will push for more Foods) has committed to using fishmeal only from certiassessment of marine stocks in the west coast of India in an effort to prevent overfishing. fied and traceable sources. The company has established CP Food Fishmeal SourcUnder the programme, the company will arrange training Restrictions to guide its aquaculture operations in ing courses for partners in the supply chain, including fishmeal producers and fishermen, to guide them Thailand and in overseas operations. This will ensure that they are all working under a single through sustainable practices. standard for sustainable sourcing of marine ingrediCP Foods’ Vietnam operation, meanwhile, is ents, the company said, adding that the move is driving a pilot FIP, established in 2017 in Barin response to consumer demand for sustainable ia-Vung Tau province, in collaboration with local fishmeal processors and IFFO RS. products. Under the restrictions, CP Foods’ entire aquaDr Sujint Thammasart, COO of CP Foods’ culture business would use by-product fishmeal aquaculture business, said all the company’s seafood operations, in Thailand and from processing plants certified by the Global overseas, have integrated UN Sustainable Standard for Responsible Supply (IFFO RS). Above: Dr Sujint Thammasart Development Goals (SDGs) into their busiThis is consistent with the Code of Conduct nesses with social responsibility, environfor Responsible Fisheries of the Food and Agriculmental footprint and traceability throughout the supply chain. ture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). And he said the projects in India and Vietnam are a ‘prototype’ And for by-catch fishmeal, CP Foods said it would source ingredithat needs to be expanded to other coastal areas across the counents from fisheries that have been certified according to internatries. tional standards. ‘It is important to note that CP Foods is a buyer of fishmeal and At present, the company said 100 per cent of fishmeal sourced producer of farmed shrimp as well as shrimp feed; we have never and used for its Thailand operations has been from by-product of been an operator nor owner of any fishing vessel, and we do not fish processing plants and certified by the IFFO RS. produce fishmeal,’ he said. In its India operations, CP Foods has collaborated with fishery ‘However, CP Foods has a clear policy to make all of its operations societies, seafood companies and the government to establish the worldwide to operate in accordance to international standards country’s first ever FIP (fishery improvement project), accepted in an effort to prevent IUU [illegal, unreported and unregulated on to the IFFO RS Improver Programme, and now ready for implefishing) and promote a sustainable supply chain.’ mentation.


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04/11/2019 16:31:40

All the latest industry news from around the world

Nigerian fish farm forum debates industry growth and food security MORE than 90 Nigerian fish farmers attended a conference in Lagos last month, with a view to developing the country’s aquaculture industry. Organised by feed company Skretting, which has built mills in Nigeria, Egypt and Zambia, the AquaForum brought together government representatives and industry experts. The event, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, provided a platform for networking and discussion, with issues such as best practices, professionalism, market analysis, value addition and government policy all debated. The first day of the forum, which was opened by Skretting CEO Therese Log Bergjord, included a culinary session, with participants preparing dishes of catfish and tilapia, Nigeria’s two main farmed species. On the second day, eight industry leaders took part in a panel discussion, focused on current challenges and potential solutions. Despite local aquaculture production, the majority of fish consumed in Nigeria is imported. Increased farm production would make way for product development and value adding, the forum agreed. And with an increase in supply and a decrease in cost, Nigeria would no longer be so dependent on imports. Rob Kiers, managing director of (Skretting parent company) Nutreco

Africa and Skretting Asia, and a panel member, said: ‘We need to feed the fast growing global population with the limited resources that we have available on our planet. ‘The solution for providing enough food for Nigeria is to increase aquaculture production in Nigeria itself.’ Globally, aquaculture plays an important role in strengthening livelihoods and enhancing food and nutritional security. The United Nations High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) recently concluded that fish is ‘crucial to any debate and action to reduce poverty and improve food security and nutrition’. During the AquaForum, the Dutch Consul General in Lagos, Jan van Weijen, stressed the importance of aquaculture to Nigeria. ‘I started 25 years ago in Nigeria, and there were 140 million people then. Nowadays, Nigeria has over 200 million mouths to feed. Aquaculture is vital in providing enough protein to feed the country.’ Skretting wants to help achieve food security in Africa, said the company’s general manager in Nigeria, Seyi Adeleke-Ige. ‘Skretting Nigeria believes that only by working together we can truly strengthen the industry further and accelerate the needed growth of aquaculture in Nigeria,’ she said.

Above: Delegates at a culinary session featuring catfish and tilapia

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Veramaris algal oil wins ‘fish free’ challenge

Above: Veramaris CEO Karim Kurmaly (centre) accepts the prize money

A NATURAL marine algal oil has been named the world’s best-selling alternative source of omega-3 for aquaculture. US based Veramaris won the Future of Fish Feed (F3) Challenge after selling more fish free omega-3 EPA & DHA and ARA than other aquaculture ingredient suppliers. The company paid tribute to Norwegian salmon farmers for rapidly adopting its algal oil. Salmon farmer Mowi, Yuehai Feed Group and AlphaFeed have committed to use the oil in new trial feeds. ‘I have to thank those courageous leaders along the entire value chain for their collaboration and for taking significant steps to ensure a continued sustainable future for aquaculture,’ said Veramaris CEO Karim Kurmaly during the

award ceremony, which took place at last month’s Global Aquaculture’s Alliance GOAL conference in Chennai, India. The F3 Fish Oil Challenge is a $200,000 prize to accelerate commercial scale adoption of alternative feed ingredients that reduce the industry’s reliance on wild caught fish. According to F3 calculations, the EPA, DHA, and ARA volumes sold by Veramaris are equivalent to nearly 90 per cent of the two billion fish conserved through the challenge. The Veramaris volumes were predominantly produced at two pilot facilities in Slovakia and the US. The company, founded by DSM and Evonik, opened a new facility in Blair, Nebraska, in the summer, scaling up production to meet

demand. Veramaris said capacity at the Blair site can cover 15 per cent of the global salmon industry’s requirement for essential fatty acids, provided until now by marine sources. The Future of Fish Feed was launched in 2015 as a collaborative effort by NGOs, researchers, and private partnerships to accelerate the commercialisation of aquaculture innovations to alleviate pressure on the oceans. The F3 Challenge is sponsored by the University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts Boston, Cuna del Mar, Synbiobeta, Anthropocene Institute, Dawson Family Fund, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, the Nature Conservancy, the Campbell Foundation, Tides Foundation, and the National Renderers Association.


04/11/2019 16:31:57

Industry platform – Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre



sharing Why we need to build greater connections between aquaculture and energy


Above: A Scottish consortium is exploring innovative anchoring technology


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T’S not often that the aquaculture and energy sectors are talked about in the same sentence in Scotland. Yet, in Norway, for example, salmon is often considered to be the long-term replacement for oil and gas as the linchpin of the country’s economy. Should Scotland be any different? Looking beneath the surface, the two sectors could have a lot to learn from one another. Indeed, recent developments have brought this idea back to the fore: as decommissioning becomes increasingly important to the oil and gas industry – with the North Sea maturing as a basin – the issue has become more salient to fish farmers as they look to grow sustainably. In July this year, Mowi Scotland announced its decision to close salmon farms at Loch Ewe and Loch Duich. The company subsequently said it would open a new site off the island of Scalpay to align its expansion plans with the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee’s recommendations for sustainable fish production, moving away from locations near sensitive wild salmon habitats. The move has put decommissioning, at least in an aquaculture context, in the spotlight. These cases are relatively rare: a senior member of the industry recently told me they had only seen three sites pulled throughout their career of more than 20 years. But there are the beginnings of a direction of travel in the industry which suggest relocations, and therefore the decommissioning of assets, could become a more prominent issue, albeit for different reasons to oil and gas. The influences are twofold. The first is technological advances, which are making higher energy waters in more remote locations a viable option for fish farms. In that spirit, earlier this year a consortium of partners – including the University of Dundee, Sustainable Marine Energy, Gael Force, and

SAIC – began exploring the use of innovative new anchoring technology, often used in marine energy. The results could open up new sites for the industry in deeper and higher energy waters – a potentially crucial development for its future. The second is regulatory change, which could see fish farm operators naturally gravitate towards these sorts of areas. The REC committee’s report, published last year, will likely see fish farms encouraged to look at new sites for their operations, with high energy waters offering greater dispersal rates, a lower impact on the benthos, and, therefore, an opportunity to enhance sustainability. There has already been significant progress on this front, with one site in particular paving the way for the future. Cooke Aquaculture’s salmon farm at Skelwick Skerry, off the coast of Westray in Orkney, is a pioneer in this regard, showing how high energy locations could help deliver a more sustainable and productive future for aquaculture. While the relocation of sites to high energy waters on a wide scale basis is likely to be some way off, the Loch Ewe and Loch Duich cases show that it is possible and, perhaps in future cases, desirable. The process has been defined by companies which have been through the process before, such as Mowi.

04/11/2019 16:28:34

Power sharing

The decommissioning of assets “could become a more prominent

issue albeit for different reasons to oil and gas

When dismantling sites, the company ensures anchors are kept and either redeployed or donated for charitable initiatives, such as community development projects. The same is done with heavy chains used for mooring, while any plastics are chipped and recycled. The seabed, in time, returns to its natural characteristics. Of course, there has been some discussion around the use of current energy assets for aquaculture purposes as well. In the past, there has been a suggestion of converting defunct rigs into hubs for marine culture and deep-sea farming. A study from Curtin University in Malaysia was set up to look into the prospects for using disused platforms and, while the idea is yet to generate significant momentum, the project team said the proposal was ‘realistic’. Offshore wind farms have also been explored as a potential location for aquaculture sites. Knowledge sharing is key to economic development and aquaculture can learn a lot from other industries – energy, in particular. As the environmental and technological landscapes change and we look to harness more sustainable means of production, that will only become more apparent. Decommissioning is just one strand of the process where lessons can be learned. The time to forge connections between the two sectors to drive innovation is now. Heather Jones is CEO of SAIC. FF

Sunderland Marine provides market leading stock mortality & equipment insurance and is now underwritten by North P&I. Specialist knowledge & experience Complimentary risk management service Efficient claims handling With the very best service to clients and policyholders

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04/11/2019 16:28:56

News Extra – Graduate programme

Farming’s future Mowi puts its new trainee managers through their paces


HREE graduates have recently joined Mowi Scotland as trainee farm managers, embarking on a development programme on their way to careers in the salmon industry. Mowi decided to restart its graduate recruitment programme in 2016, to attract new people with a strong interest in becoming salmon farmers and who show potential for quick learning, said Donald Waring, learning and development manager at the company. Fitting the bill are Connie Fairburn, Shannon Graham and Hilary Turnbull, who are now deployed across Mowi’s sites in Scotland and who are, said Waring, ‘a great joy to work with’. The three key characteristics Mowi seeks in graduates are: high educational qualification, hardworking employment from an early age and, ideally, some current or past link to animal care. ‘But above all, they will have a very clear motivation to start at the bottom and work their way up,’ Waring added. Graduate recruits are put through a 75-week programme that exposes them to every aspect of the business, from egg to sales. ‘They will be implanted in a structured way, for various time periods, into targeted operations and expected to learn and understand the pro-


MOWI Graduate.indd 18

cesses quickly,’ said Waring. They are performance assessed at each step and required to demonstrate their rapid understanding. ‘As the programme proceeds, they are also expected to show their demonstrable influence on our operations.’ Here, in their own words, the new recruits explain what attracted them to the industry and to Mowi. Connie Fairburn I’ve been working at Inchmore Hatchery as part of the Mowi graduate programme for the past six weeks. Prior to taking on this role, I attained my BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Stirling in 2018. Here, my final year hydrology based dissertation sparked my interest in aquatic life and a desire to understand more about it. This led me to working as a fish vaccinator in

Above: Connie Fairburn, Hilary Turnbull and Shannon Graham Opposite: Hilary (left) and Connie

04/11/2019 16:24:54

Farming’s future

What attracted me most to this “ continuously evolving industry was its

growing importance, both globally and at home in Scotland Norway for Aqualife Services over the following summer, where I first learned about aquaculture, including RAS systems and fish health. Returning to Scotland with a desire to learn more about the industry, I received a scholarship from the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) to pursue an MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture at the Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) at Stirling and began learning Norwegian in my spare time. I recently achieved a distinction in my master’s thesis, titled ‘Stress and inflammatory modulation by dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in Atlantic salmon’. I’ll be graduating in November this year, and after a successful year of further education I’ve been keen to kick-start my career within an industry setting. The graduate programme offered at Mowi is one of a kind, allowing graduates like myself to experience every part of the business and meet a network of professionals in the aquaculture field. What attracted me most to this continuously evolving industry was its growing importance, both globally and at home in Scotland. After 18 months I’ll be a seawater farm manager, and hope to contribute to the sustainable growth of the salmon sector throughout my career with Mowi and the aquaculture industry. Shannon Graham I joined Mowi as a graduate trainee manager in July. I am from Fort William and graduated from Inverness UHI in October 2018 with BSc Honours in Geography. Even though my degree is not directly related to aquaculture, there are still many topics I studied which are useful in the industry; these include global warming and sea level rise, protection of the environment, sustainable farming, climate, land and weather. Prior to my employment with Mowi, I worked as a shop assistant in a local, family run business where I acquired skills in business management, employee and customer relations. I can bring these transferable skills with me to Mowi as I develop towards my management position. Over and above my personal experience and qualifications, Mowi was fast in putting me through training, where I have achieved important tickets such as Powerboat, Sea Survival, VHF Radio and First Aid. Before the end of the year I will have also completed a six-day innovation programme with the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre.

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Shortly into 2020, Mowi has enrolled me in a nine-month Aquaculture Management programme and also a Fish Health and Welfare course. Opportunities like these are one of the aspects that attracted me to join the business. I am learning every day, while working at the same time, and am lucky enough to be given opportunities to attend courses and further my studies. Growing up in Fort William, I have always been aware that Mowi are a great, reliable company to work for with many employee benefits. I enjoy being outdoors and travelling the scenic country and Mowi has given me the opportunity to do just that.

Hilary Turnbull I grew up in south-west Scotland with boats, sailing, water sports and fishing as regular summer activities and graduated with a biology degree from the University of Dundee in 2014. I then somehow found myself managing two very busy hotels on North Uist, which I absolutely loved. Fast forward four years and the time had come for a change when I saw the Mowi graduate management programme advertised. Fish farming is vital to the fragile economies in the rural and sometimes very remote communities of Scotland. The industry provides local employment and living in Berneray, North Uist, I have witnessed first-hand the importance of this. I saw the graduate programme as an opportunity to marry together my degree, management experience and love of where I now live, while also offering me a fantastic insight into the industry, opportunity to gain new skills and experience, and work alongside some very passionate people. FF


04/11/2019 16:25:24

Trade Associations – Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation


Plugging the perception gap We have to champion the good environmental story we have to tell


T is easy for anyone to take a hasty – and understandable – dislike to the United Nations, particularly those who have tried to wander around the UN’s campus in New York. If anything is going on there, roads are shut off, officious members of the NYPD stand, pompous and shouting while convoys of identical black SUVs with smoked glass windows hurtle past pedestrians squeezed into street corners. A talking shop, a job creation scheme, a sop to the west – all these accusations have been thrown at the organisation and yet, dig a little deeper and there is lot underneath the surface. Indeed, a lot of work is being done – and has been done - to make the world a better place and, crucially for our sector, to feed the world. One example of this is the snappily titled ‘Perceptions and Misconceptions of Aquaculture by the Globefish Research Programme of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations’. This report is quite dusty. It was published in 2015 and only reached my attention when it was flagged up by a colleague. But it addresses the central conundrum facing aquaculture in general – and salmon farming in particular – which is this. The world needs aquaculture to feed its growing population yet anti-farming campaigners in developed western nations are trying to undermine its potential everywhere, including in the developing world, where it is most needed. This is extremely frustrating for the UN which knows how important aquaculture is going to be. It is the future of food production: it is as simple as that. Consumption of aquaculture seafood overtook wild-caught seafood in 2014 but it has to rise to at least 62 per cent of global consumption by 2030 if we are going to feed the world. As this report makes clear, the vast bulk of aquaculture production takes place in Asia yet opposition is strongest in the western world. This UN-commissioned report expresses exasperation at the ‘perception gap’ that exists in the west between the way aquaculture is carried out and public understanding of the sector and the way it operates now. It insists that the critics – and their criticisms – should be taken seriously but that we have to champion the good environmental story we have to tell, locally and globally. The report is interesting in a variety of ways but it is also reassuring. It


SSPO.indd 20

is reassuring because it shows that we, in Scotland, are not facing the challenges presented by our critics alone. The issue of perception gap, of ill-informed critics trying to sway consumers without the full facts, of unsubstantiated claims based on erroneous knowledge and a short-termist, parochial attitude: these are all widespread. Not only that, but they are recognised and criticised by a UN body in an international report. It is also reassuring in that it provides a blueprint, of sorts, for how this misinformation should be tackled. It advocates a long-term solution based on openness and transparency, of an aquaculture sector championing its role in protecting rural coastal communities and the comparative benefits of fish farming over other forms of protein production, while being open about the challenges it faces. The authors of the report were well aware that the environmental movement, from Extinction Rebellion through to animal rights activism, is going to gather pace, if for no other reason than because it has become the cause du jour among the young – if only in the west. The questions over the sustainability of fishmeal and oil in feed, the impact of fish faeces on the ocean floor, the use of antibiotics and medicines and harvesting techniques are not going to go away. But perhaps the most interesting lesson in the report comes from Germany, where environmental concerns are centred on overfishing, particularly in the North Sea. As a result, German consumers tend to see farmed fish as the more sustainable product

Above: Future global food security depends on aquaculture says the UN Photo: SSPO

04/11/2019 16:22:15

Plugging the perception gap

of the two, giving it a level of environmental credibility it lacks elsewhere in the west. This more enlightened German approach has not really spread to other parts of the developed world but there is no reason why it shouldn’t. This central message, that if we want to save the wild fish in our seas then fish farming is the answer, should start to become more mainstream throughout the west in the coming years. But at its heart, the UN report is really about openness and transparency. If we accept that much of the criticism of our sector is based on ignorance then the best way to counter that is to shout about what is really going on. Sometimes this will involve difficult discussions over wild fish stocks and salmon feed, or

SSPO.indd 21

debates about medicine use or predator management, but we shouldn’t shy away from these. That is because, over everything else, we have the most important story of all to tell: if we want to feed the world, then aquaculture is the answer. The UN knows it, we know it, enlightened Germans appear to know it – it’s now just a question of making sure our critics across the rest of the developed world know it too. Hamish Macdonell is the SSPO’s director of strategic engagement. FF

accept that much of the criticism of “ourIf wesector is based on ignorance then the best way to counter that is to shout about what is really going on


04/11/2019 16:22:35

Shellfish - Creran Oysters


Building a business

Twenty-year route to full-time oyster farming, via salmon, turbot, sole, bass and bream


MET the Barringtons, owners of Creran Oysters, early on a gloomy September evening in Oban. First rule of journalism, grab a photo. ‘Oh no,’ said Jane Barrington, ‘I am nothing to do with it, I just keep the books.’ So, foolishly, I let the opportunity go. How wrong! Jane clearly is an integral part of the development of Creran Oysters. It remains a curiosity to me the path people take to becoming a shellfish farmer. While we do not have as many shellfish farmers as countries such as France with their tradition of shellfish farming, we do maybe have more diverse routes into the industry. Both Jane and John have degrees in zoology, Jane from St Andrews (1982) and John from Hull (1975). Both expressed the opinion that a degree in zoology is not very useful but it took them independently along the same line of thought, and into a fish farming career. Hence it was that they eventually met at Hunterston (1983). For younger readers I should perhaps explain that Hunterston was a nuclear power station on the Clyde in Ayrshire, where the cooling water was used for pioneering experimental work on rearing marine fish. John worked in the more strictly commercial area run by Golden Sea Produce (GSP) on turbot, Dover sole, sea bass and sea bream, while Jane was working with turbot and Dover sole with Seafresh Farms (formerly the White Fish Authority). They were married in 1986 but then in 1987 John was moved to Galicia to


Shellfish.indd 22

Above: John Barrington brings oysters in for grading off his specially constructed back-loader. Opposite - clockwise from top: The tractor and backloader return to the newly constructed work shed; close up of the trestles with the tractor working in the distance; John Barrington with his elegantly repaired oyster bags.

work for Prodemar where the turbot growing, by now fully commercialised, was being established in Spain. Meanwhile, developments with GSP had led to work with Scottish Sea Farms on Loch Creran, which brought the couple to nearby Benderloch. After what seems to have been an incredibly complex period in their lives of moving backwards and forwards between Spain and Scotland, John then moved to work with BioMar in Grangemouth. But it was not long before he was thinking about how he could find a means to earn his living in the family home on the west coast, without the weekly commute. Through his work with GSP John knew the Thwaites family, near neighbours in South Shian; Roger Thwaites had his own salmon cages and his wife Judy was an oyster farmer. Oyster farming seemed a good idea and John spent a year walking the bounds of Loch Creran to eventually find what seems to be an ideal site. A protruding spit on the north side of the loch as shown on the Ordnance Survey map was indication of a wide gently sloping shore, providing plenty of space for trestles, and also with a conveniently placed public house (where, incidentally, I enjoyed a warming soup on the day I visited the farm). Finally, a plan that allowed the Barringtons to live in their Benderloch home was fully realised and Creran Oysters was established in 1996. Initially, it was very small, and John worked the farm at weekends or by taking holiday from his salaried work at good tides. The first licence was just for 50 trestles. That same year John left BioMar and moved to Scottish Sea Farms, retiring as quality manager in December 2016. The farm is now 500 trestles and his newly acquired licence is for 750 trestles. This is all for rearing gigas, which he mainly sells locally or through Loch Fyne Oysters. The comment about the Barringtons’ respective

04/11/2019 16:19:54

Building a business degrees in zoology was interesting since in the early stages of salmon farming many participants did come from a biological background. It has appeared to me that often the people who become large scale farmers are more likely to have come from an agricultural, rather than life sciences background. John, however, could counter this by saying that after his zoology degree he had worked in New Zealand for a farm-relief agency, gaining valuable experience in agriculture. He also worked at the Glenariffe salmon trap on the Rakaia River in New Zealand as part of the enhancement programme for Chinook or Quinnat salmon, which involved pre-spawning tagging and collection of ossicles from the dead adults post-spawning. (This is not a native species to NZ but highly prized nevertheless). This must have been a useful background for going into the newly established salmon industry on his return to the UK. He has only recently built his work shed and he is very grateful that the farmer who farms the land has allowed him both the access and the shore base. This is one of the problems for many other shellfish farmers. The shed has not got mains electricity (and it would cost £30,000 to obtain) or mains water so John mainly grades by hand but plans to invest in a basic Mulot grader. One of the advantages of this inter-tidal shore site is the firm ground, which allows the use of a tractor to carry all the oyster bags on back loaders he has constructed. With the arrival while I was there of the new questionnaire from Crown Estate Scotland, I was prompted to ask what changes he would make if he could. He would like to have more assurance that Sepa (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) is taking the shellfish water protected areas more seriously. His farm will be surveyed as part of their plans next year, but he hopes this implies some commitment to protection of the water quality. His water is A/seasonally B from June to November and he can work with this. He has no depu-

John “worked

the farm at weekends or by taking holiday from his salaried work at good tides

Shellfish.indd 23

ration system so while he has to sell to outlets that can depurate, he can sell everything he produces. He has looked a little at growing natives with some small number in HexCyl baskets but he can see these will take five years to reach market size and so he is unlikely to increase the trial size. He is also looking at the use of float systems, whereby the oyster bag is attached just along one edge to the trestle and floats through 180 degrees with the movement of the tides to improve grow-out. This will be done very methodically so that he will know precisely the benefit or otherwise of the innovation. He uses Excel to keep track of all his oysters and while this is relatively cumbersome, it provides effective traceability of all the stock held on the site. Oyster seed comes from both Guernsey Sea Farms and Morecambe Bay Oysters but John worries that there is not a hatchery for gigas in Scotland. He also feels strongly that as a shellfish farmer he should be very aware of the use of plastics and he diligently repairs his oyster bags. The expansion to his full complement of trestles will be to the further side of his site which I was not able to visit and which is hardly visible in the photos. These probably fail to give the full impression of quite how wet it was on the day of my visit. The question I probably should have asked was whether they ever regretted not staying with the turbot industry and working in a warmer climate, but clearly all the effort had gone into building a means to live in their own home in a place they love. FF


04/11/2019 16:20:18



Cold blooded blunder Environmental regulator’s feed cap forgets crucial fact about salmon


T the beginning of October, the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) issued a statement rejecting the environmental regulator’s proposal to introduce a feed cap as a way of controlling organic waste. The SSPO has described this new initiative by the Scottish Environment Protection Organisation (Sepa) as ‘lazy regulation’ which, if introduced, would raise significant concerns about fish health and welfare. This is because feed is of course central to fish health, welfare and growth. The intention of Sepa’s new proposals is to replace the existing biomass controls, which have formed the basis for industry growth for many years. These new proposals come after repeated criticism of Sepa by a very vocal minority who have their own agenda for trying to control the development of the salmon farming industry. In my opinion, it does seem that Sepa is trying to show it is flexing its muscles to this minority but without actually achieving anything, and certainly not in relation to the protection of the environment. The critics continually talk about fish waste as sewage, equating the

amount produced as being equivalent to that produced by a small town. However, fish waste is not the same as human waste and is part of the natural marine ecosystem. After all, there are 3.5 trillion fish in the world’s seas and oceans, all of which defecate straight into the water. There is a build-up of waste under fish cages, but it is localised. If the footprint of all the cages in Scotland is added together it covers an area the size of two 18-hole golf courses, which is tiny considering there are more than 550 golf courses across all of Scotland. I have repeatedly asked over the years for the critics to point out where the huge damage they claim that salmon farming does to the environment can be found. Of course, there has never been an answer as

Left:Feed table from

the Handbook of Salmon Farming Opposite: Sepa’s graph


Martin Jaffa.indd 24

04/11/2019 16:16:59

Cold blooded blunder

I am left wondering how much Sepa actually knows about salmon

the environmental disaster they cite is more a figment of their imagination than some real and lasting damage. All farms I know could be moved if required and the seabed under pens does recover, but critics are not interested in hearing about such recovery. However, while the SSPO call Sepa’s proposal lazy regulation, I am left wondering how much Sepa actually knows about salmon because nowhere in its consultation document can I find any reference to the fact that salmon are poikilothermic (cold blooded fish). This is significant for one simple reason and that is the feed requirement of salmon changes with changing temperature. In a nutshell, the problem with a feed cap is that if the water temperature is warmer than expected, feed consumption will rise, and if feed is limited then the fish will go hungry. This is not some big industry secret, so it is unclear why Sepa didn’t mention it at all in its consultation document. Industry feed tables include water temperature as part of the feeding regime. An example of a feed table is given in the Handbook of Salmon Farming, written in 2002 by Selina Stead, now head of the Institute of

Martin Jaffa.indd 25

Aquaculture, and the late (and sadly missed) Lindsay Laird. One example is that fish of about 200g in weight are fed 1.55 per cent of their body weight at 4 deg C, rising to 2.60 per cent at 16 deg C. Larger fish of more than 3kg in weight are fed 0.4 per cent of their body weight at the lower temperature, but double that at the higher temperature. This clearly makes a significant difference as to the amount of food that the fish should be fed. In these days of changing climate, it will be even less apparent as to how much feed a farm will need each year. In its consultation document, Sepa suggests that the average quantity of feed used on farms varies from 15kg/tonne of fish at the start of the production cycle down to 7kg/tonne for larger fish. This is some form of acknowledgement that the feed rate changes as the fish grow. However, the way the feed usage has been expressed does not really relate to the realities of how the fish are fed. This is because smaller fish are unlikely to be stocked at levels where the biomass is calculated in tonnes. In fact, Sepa illustrates typical variations in mean daily rates graphically, and it has not recorded any feed rates of 15kg/tonne. Even the agency concedes that the mean rate is only 5.5kg/tonne. This is extremely misleading. I suspect that most people working for Sepa have no recollection that the salmon farming industry has now been operating for nearly 50 years. During all this time, salmon farms have been releasing organic waste on to the seabed, yet Sepa has not illustrated this need for change with even one example of where the seabed has been irretrievably ruined. There are probably some regulations that do need to be amended as the salmon farming industry grows, but regulating feed to control waste is not one of them. FF


04/11/2019 16:17:19

Containment – Introduction

Raising the


Countdown to Scotland’s new technical measures and tough US rules


T the recent presentation of its Q3 results, Bergen based Mowi said it had a target of zero fish escapes and was constantly striving to improve methods, equipment and procedures that can minimise or eliminate incidents. The goals of the world’s biggest salmon farmer will be shared by all producers, whatever their size; losing fish is expensive, both economically and in terms of public perception, with the potential impacts on the environment under close scrutiny. Scotland’s record on escapes has been relatively static over the past few years; in 2019, up to mid-October, there had been 41,037 reported escapes (the majority in one event). This figure did not include a still to be confirmed total (of hundreds rather than thousands) at one farm. And there were still two months of the year to go.

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But it compares favourably to last year’s total of around 53,000. In 2017, there were approximately 31,000 escapes, and just over 11,000 the year before. The numbers are still small considering the volumes farmed overall – 156,025 tonnes of salmon in 2018, and an expected 190,000 tonnes this year – but containment remains a priority for farmers. Since the 2015 publication of the Scottish Technical Standard - designed to help prevent escapes of finfish as a result of technical failure and related issues - farmers and suppliers have been working towards improving containment measures. However, although the standard is due to be implemented next year, there is still a lot of work to do, according to those involved in the Containment Working Group. In our special containment feature, we talk to the new chair of the group, Anne Anderson of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, about recent progress. And we hear from some of the leaders in the supply chain. Just as pressing is the need to address US legislation banning any food imports that do not meet that country’s strict animal welfare standards. Scotland, and all other salmon producing nations, have until the beginning of 2022 to come into line with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). To do so, farmers must stop shooting seals. Above: Farmers are While such lethal means are used as a last striving to improve resort by farmers, and only under government containment licence, there is no grey area in the American legislation, which insists on zero tolerance. We investigate advances in anti-predation technology, particularly in acoustic deterrent devices, which are also under increasing regulatory scrutiny. FF

According to those involved in the “Containment Working Group, there is still a lot to do ”

04/11/2019 16:15:29

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04/11/2019 11:04:18

Containment – Acoustic Deterrent Devices

Act now

Scottish technology advances help salmon industry address US welfare legislation



ITH a looming US ban on importing salmon from countries that kill or injure marine mammals, Scottish fish farms are under pressure to find non-harmful ways to stop predators stealing their stock. This month we look at acoustic deterrent devices and other startling alternatives available in Scotland, and ask if they can help circumvent the upcoming ban, and save Scottish salmon exports worth £200 million a year. The story starts back in 1972 when the US passed a landmark conservation law called the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which prohibits activities that harass (that is, injure), hunt, capture, or kill marine mammals. It protects cetaceans such as whales, dolphins and porpoises, pinnipeds like seals, and sea otters. Fifty years later, on January 1, 2022, an amendment comes into force that will impact countries from Scotland to Samoa. The new rule will prohibit America from importing fish and fish products from fisheries that cause intentional or incidental ‘mortality and serious injury of marine mammals’.

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The clock is ticking. From January 1, 2017, each harvesting nation was given exactly five years to apply for and receive a ‘comparability finding’ for each of its fisheries exporting to the US, confirming that each complies with the new law. If the nation fails, it will lose the States as a rich customer. The US is the world’s largest importer of seafood, buying about $20 billion of product every year. The stakes are high for Britain: salmon is Scotland’s biggest food export- and it is the UK’s biggest too. The largest market for Scottish salmon remained the US in 2018, with sales worth £193 million – a loss Scotland’s economy can ill afford. About 150 fish farms in Scotland are likely to be affected by the ban. The annual economic value of Scottish salmon passed the £1 billion mark for the first time last year, and the active farms support an estimated 12,000 jobs, many of which are in rural communities. Before the deadline, the Scottish government must prove that this higher standard of aquaculture welfare is on the statute book and being enforced. The spotlight has been focused on the ways fish farms reduce seal predation, such as licensed shooting, and non-lethal acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) – also known as seal scarers- which emit loud noises underwater. Campaigners have already called for ADDs to be banned, arguing they cause hearing damage to acoustically sensitive cetaceans such as dolphins, porpoises and minke whales. One such petition in Argyll last year, started by the marine biologist David Ainsley, attracted thousands of signatures, while Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee in March concluded all fish farms in Scotland should be forced to stop using ADDs. The committee said it had ‘heard ADDs are not effective as a seal deterrent and has seen little evidence of their efficacy’. Moreover, it understood ‘most ADDs are left to operate continuously, and is particularly concerned about this as it heard impacts from ADDs are cumulative and unintended and widespread underwater noise pollution may be affecting cetaceans’. The committee concluded: ‘There appears to be no assessment by government and regulators of the scale of ADD related noise pollution and its impact on marine species since 2014

Above: Humpback whale, dolphin, seal and sea otter Opposite: Ace Aquatec seal scarer

04/11/2019 16:09:46

Act now

“Farmers are all

deeply passionate about doing the right thing for the local environments they work in and no related action.’ Can ADDs cause injury, and potentially fall foul of the MMPA? Alexander Coram, a researcher at St Andrews University’s Sea Mammal Research Unit, told Fish Farmer: ‘There is theoretical evidence that the loudest ADDs could cause hearing damage in some circumstances, if an animal spent a long enough period of time within close range of devices. ‘The main risk is from cumulative exposure over several hours or days to farms using multiple devices. This is very hard to test empirically for obvious reasons. ‘Use of ADDs is advised against in areas where there may be a risk of creating ‘bottlenecks’, which might increase the risk of animals becoming stranded- for example in Scapa Flow. ‘There is also a risk of disturbance and displacement from preferred habitats, in particular to harbour porpoises which have been shown in some cases to avoid ADDs. ‘The exact extent of this effect is unknown, but will depend on the sound characteristics of the ADD, number of ADDs in use and sound propagation around the site.’ Research project A research project, launched earlier this year and being run by the University of St Andrews and Marine Scotland, is collating information on the extent and efficacy of ADD use in Scottish aquaculture, and is calling on fish farms to contribute data. The project statement explains: ‘Government policy on ADDs is currently being reviewed in light of the US MMPA and the potential harassment of European Protected Species, and a good evidence base is urgently needed to inform appropriate management policy. ‘A key part of this is collaboration with industry partners to make sure we have accurate and up-to-date information. ‘ADDs are widely used in salmon aquaculture industries worldwide as a tool to reduce seal predation, but it has been demonstrated that under certain circumstances, ADDs may cause disturbance of cetaceans. ‘Consequently, there is a requirement for a better understanding of the use of ADDs by the Scottish aquaculture sector – for example, how many are currently in use, how they are used, their acoustic properties, what is the most effective strategy for their use (continuous/responsive), how effective are they, and the potential for impacts on cetacean populations. ‘We will also review the use of alternative approaches for reducing seal predation to assess how effective they are, their financial and logistical feasibility, and any potential constraints associated with their use (with particular focus on

Containment - Sandy.indd 29

nets and associated configurations). ‘The information gathered though the project will be used to develop robust, science based industry guidance on the most effective use of ADDs. The outputs of the project will be available in summer 2020.’ Coram said: ‘Good policy decisions will depend on

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Containment – Acoustic Deterrent Devices ‘The information gathered though the project will ble, so industry engagement with the project is vital. ‘Industry representatives are invited to get in touch to learn more about the project via’ No harm How would the latest ADDs and alternatives, currently available or being developed in Scotland, fare against the Marine Mammal Protection Act? One Scottish manufacturer of ADDs, Dundee based Ace Aquatec, promises ‘award winning deterrents that protect fish from predators with no harm to marine life’. Its head of sales and marketing, Mike Forbes, told Fish Farmer: ‘Our acoustic predator deterrents do not injure marine mammals. ‘Before the introduction of our US3 and RT1 systems, the most commonly used acoustic deterrents were narrow ranged devices which played sounds at a constant 12.3kHz. ‘Research showed this to be an ineffective solution due to the likelihood of habituation after approximately six months, and the possibility of eventual reduced effectiveness of that sound frequency. ‘We partnered with an industry leading expert in acoustic transducers to develop a new kind of wide range transducer (the US3), producing randomised sounds between 10-20kHz. ‘The wide range and varied patterns of the US3 removed the risk of habituation or hearing loss. All our acoustic deterrents also include a slow start ramp up period to ensure marine mammals can leave the area before it reaches full volume.’ Forbes added: ‘Our next acoustic deterrent development was a low frequency version of our transducer (the RT1). This low frequency device used the same randomised pattern methodology to avoid habituation, but operated at the lower 1-5kHz range. ‘The importance of this frequency range is that it is below the sensitive hearing range of cetacean species like dolphins and porpoises. ‘Farmers told us it was important from an environmental impact point of view to have this option available for areas that have local or migrating cetacean populations. ‘We’ve been using both the US3 and RT1 deterrents to protect farms around Scotland for years without any decline in effectiveness over time.’ The company has also developed alternatives to ADDs, in the form of electric and acoustic startle devices. Startle response Forbes said: ‘We understand the use of acoustic deterrents can be a passionate subject, and we’ve developed alternatives and adaptations that can be used if the use of acoustic devices is ever restricted. ‘There are two main ways to create sensitisation to a stimulus (the opposition to habituation); the acoustic startle response and electric stimulus. ‘Creating an acoustic startle response is achieved by producing a noise that moves from its lowest to highest volume very quickly, and is something that’s been part of our acoustic deterrents since 2001. ‘While it’s an effective technique, our view was that adding electric stimulus to also provide an electric startle response would provide much better protection for farms that might encounter older hard-of-hearing seals.’ Most recently, Ace Aquatec has focused on developing the use of electric stimulus to deter predators. ‘First we developed an electrified net that was similar in principle to an electric fence surrounding a cattle field,’ Forbes explained. ‘After proving the concept of electric fields was effective in water, we then condensed the electric fields into a number of Electric Fish; electrified dummy fish deployed around the fish pen. ‘Encountering one of these fish creates a conditioned response that results in predators learning to stay away from that farm site. ‘Our Electric Fish deterrent was shortlisted in the Animal Welfare category at the 2019 Aquaculture Awards. These electrified systems are even more effective when paired with our acoustic devices but can also be used in isolation. ‘Farms want to minimise the amount of noise production in the water. One way of doing this is to produce an effective sound at low volume – which can be difficult in open water due to ambient noise – and another is to use higher volume sound that only activates when predation is occurring.


Containment - Sandy.indd 30

‘Seals, like humans, have less sensitive hearing as they get older, which is why the low volume approach has limitations. ‘Our preferred approach is to use a triggered burst of higher volume sound and triggered electric fields – utilising both the acoustic and electric startle responses to create the most effective possible deterrent. ‘Our deterrents are designed to work in conjunction with a sonar trigger that can identify a predator coming in to attack the fish and activate the deterrents. ‘We only provide predator deterrents we’re confident do not injure marine mammals. The farmers we work with are all deeply passionate about doing the right thing for the local environments they work in and we’re proud to be supporting them in that goal.’ Lower noise Another Scottish alternative to ADDs, called Targeted Acoustic Startle Technology (TAST), is being developed further along the Fife coast by a team in the Scottish Oceans Institute at St Andrews University. The institute’s research fellow, Dr Thomas Goetz, collaborating with its director, Professor Vincent Janik, explained: ‘These acoustic startle devices are different from ADDs in that they emit significantly lower noise doses.’ The TAST, Goetz said, harnesses ‘the autonomous acoustic startle reflex, which caused flight and avoidance behaviour without a decrease in responsiveness over time in the majority of tested seals’. He added: ‘This approach only requires low noise doses by using brief, isolated sound pulses emitted at low duty cycles. Target specificity can be achieved by choosing a frequency band where hearing sensitivity in the target species is higher than in non-target species. ‘There is no risk of hearing damage originating from the TAST acoustic startle devices since the noise doses (that is, duty cycle and sound pressure level) are significantly lower than in ADDs. ‘The device also operates in a frequency range where porpoise (and dolphin) hearing is significantly less sensitive than in seals. Harbour porpoise are particularly sensitive to noise, so this is another way to mitigate the risk in this non-target species. ‘This method has been shown to be successful in

We are confident that everything will be in place well before the 2022 deadline to ensure Scottish exports continue

Above and opposite: Ace Aquatec’s ADD systems and electric fish Left: Mike Forbes

04/11/2019 16:10:55

Act now

deterring seals from a fish farm while not adversely affecting the behaviour and distribution of harbour porpoise. ‘In a consecutive study, a startle reflex based system reduced seal predation by ~91-97 per cent on a fish farm over the course of one year while operating at a duty cycle of less than one per cent using a noise dose that is more than one order of magnitude lower than in ADDs. ‘The TAST has been implemented in an industrial prototype and product development is nearing completion.’

Earlier this month, Hamish Macdonell, director of strategic engagement for the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, insisted a way would be found to satisfy US laws. He told The Sunday Times: ‘The Scottish salmon farming sector is very aware of the MMPA and has been working closely with the UK and Scottish governments and the American authorities for some time now. ‘We are confident that everything necessary will be in place well before the 2022 deadline to ensure Scottish exports continue to this most important of markets. ‘It is not clear whether acoustic seal scarers will come under the provisions of the MMPA, but these devices represent just one of many methods farmers use to keep seals away from farms.’ FF

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04/11/2019 16:11:18

Containment – Salmon Aquaculture and Seals Working Group

Zero target

We need to engage more salmon farming companies, says seals campaigner


HE number of seal kill licences issued by the Scottish government in 2018 was down 81 per cent on 2011, when the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 came into force. Last year, a total of 45 licences were issued, of which 27 were for protection of health and welfare and one for prevention of serious damage, covering a total of 215 individual fish farms. The other 17 licences issued for prevention of serious damage covered rivers and estate fisheries (source: Scottish Government Seal Licensing). In the first half 2019, the latest figures available (for farms and fisheries), 30 grey seals were shot, the same as the corresponding period last year. And seven common seals were shot, an increase of 5.9 per cent compared to the previous year’s licences. The figures represent a fraction of the total seal population but they are still too high to comply with the US zero tolerance policy enshrined in the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Seal campaigners, who have long worked with the salmon industry to reduce shooting, say despite the massive reduction since 2011, the numbers being shot are no longer going down. ‘As far as I’m concerned, any seals shot are too many and they’re not addressing the problem,’ said Andy Ottaway, executive director of the Seal Protection action Group. Ottaway believes there is a ‘mythology’ in the industry that what works for one farmer doesn’t neccessarily work for someone else. ‘You still need a scientifically rigorous and methodical study supported by the entire industry that comes up with real solutions,’ he said. This demand will be met in part by the research project currently being undertaken by Marine Scotland and the University of St Andrews. Alexander Coram of St Andrews University’s Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), which is conducting the research, said while the focus is on acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs), it will include a review of other strategies too, anything that people want to give them information about. The project is collecting data from farm companies and will analyse what’s effective and what’s not; this information will then feed into a Scottish govern-


Containment - Seals.indd 32

ment review of ADD policy. The St Andrews SMRU is part of the Salmon Aquaculture and Seals Working Group (SASWG), established by Ottaway in 2008. Among its founder members were Marine Harvest (now Mowi), Sainsbury’s, Marine Scotland, the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, the RSPCA, and Scottish Natural Heritage. Chaired by leading seals expert Dr Simon Northridge, of SMRU, the group has made progress in addressing the predation problem. But there have been no meetings in more than a year and Ottaway, who has been involved in environmental campaigning for 35 years and seal campaigns for more than 15 years, warns against complacency in the industry. He said SASWG had ‘re-energised a dialogue with Mowi’ but he would like to see more involvement from the rest of the industry, to better understand the circumstances in which people feel forced to shoot seals. Coram agreed that the group has been NGO driven and ‘there has never been a huge amount of industry engagement’. However, he said a few things that have been developed in the industry could make ‘a serious difference’, such as the trend away from the nylon, older type of nets to plastic HDPE nets. Where plastic nets (such as Seal Pro) had been installed, farmers have been reporting a 100 per

The US “ legislation is protecting the world’s marine mammals… why aren’t we protecting our own?

Left: Andy Ottaway Above: Common seals

04/11/2019 16:04:25

Zero target

cent reduction in seal predation, he said. ‘There is no real scientific evidence to support that but it’s what we’ve been hearing from the sites, particularly up in the Northern Isles where they are trialling it [and where they have had problems in the past].’ Coram would like to see further research, especially with the new type of nets, to see how that affects seal behaviour. It has been more than three years since the last such investigation (Plugging the Gaps- Improving Our Knowledge of How Predators Impact Salmon Farms by Coram, Northridge, and Michael Mazilu, also of St Andrews) and the mechanism of how seals attack pens is still a little unknown, said Coram. Behaviour underwater is difficult to monitor in the wild, although the cameras – an increasingly common fixture in cages – must record some seal behaviour, he said. ‘They do tend to attack from the outside. Occasionally, they’ll get in over the top of a net or through a hole, but mostly they will bite fish from outside the net.’ Sometimes they will pick off the mortalities but that is certainly not always the case, he added. ‘I’ve seen occasions where there have been hundreds, or even thousands, of healthy fish that have been killed from the outside. ‘They don’t even get the whole fish out of the net…they use the slack in the net to bite the belly of the fish normally, kill it, often just leave it and go and kill another one.’ Ottaway insists the way forward to prevent such costly predation is for all players to continue to work together. And if the US legislation focuses minds, it is to be welcomed. He points out that the Marine Mammal Protection Act is the same law that has policed the global whaling ban since that was passed 30 years ago. ‘It says an awful lot that the US legislation is protecting the world’s marine mammals…why aren’t we protecting our own?’ FF

Containment - Seals.indd 33


04/11/2019 16:04:46

Containment – Scottish Technical Standard

No escape Containment Working Group chair on pinning down the details - and date for next meeting


ITH the new Scottish Technical Standard (STS) due to come into force next year, time is of the essence in finalising not just the details of its requirements but how it will be implemented. Overseeing this mammoth responsibility is the Containment Working Group (CWG), many of whose members have been sitting around the table together since 2013, with a remit to prevent fish farm escapes. But there is one new face and she happens to be the chair. Anne Anderson, director of sustainability at the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, took over from her SSPO colleague Jamie Smith earlier this year when he left the organisation. Anderson, who joined the SSPO from Sepa (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency), is not easily daunted, but she admitted that Smith was a ‘big loss’, and acknowledged that there was still much to be done – not least finding a date to get everyone in the same room. Her first and only, at the time of going to press, meeting of the CWG was on April 29, when there were about 30 people in attendance, a ‘cast of thousands’ that is proving difficult to corral. Anderson is relying on the expertise of the group to identify and prioritise those aspects of the STS, which was published in 2015, where a review is deemed necessary. ‘Everyone is working towards the 2020 implementation but there are areas where further work will be required and we need to explore some of these,’ she said. ‘Some of the standard is considered extremely above what is required – unrealistic and potentially too burdensome - and becoming almost unwieldly, as a consequence, in the delivery. With other aspects, it’s the opposite. ‘I think you find that with any standard or set of rules or criteria. It takes time to find the level for the majority.’ It will probably take several iterations to settle out and the purpose of the meeting (for her) was to hear the different views around the table. As the new chair, she asked the group to


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suggest any changes they would recommend and which they needed to invest ‘swift task time’ to address. Marine Scotland, the government agency that sits on the group, has been asked to summarise the list of changes and once Anderson has heard from everyone, she will find the ‘midpoint’. Smith, who took over the chairmanship in 2018 following the retirement of Mowi Scotland’s Steve Bracken, who had been in the driving seat since the beginning, highlighted three main areas that needed pinning down. These were training; incorporating innovation into the standard so it could accommodate technological advances; and implementation. By the time Smith left, he said much progress had been made in the training requirement and Anderson agrees this is ‘coming along fine’, with Iain MacIntyre of the Scottish Salmon Company overseeing a set of on-farm training measures he has already introduced at the SSC. And she also agreed with Smith that continuing to update the standard was very important and that it would be a work in progress. But perhaps the biggest sticking point – whether to implement the standard via legislation or through the industry’s (voluntary) Code of Good Practice – could be resolved quite simply, Anderson believes. She said she would not recommend the Code of Good Practice route, more for political and public perception reasons than anything else. ‘I think if you look at the wider context in which the industry operates, there is a huge amount of work that’s done exactly as expected by regulators but it’s not recognised as being done.

Above: The SSPO’s Anne Anderson Opposite: The Scottish Technical Standard covers design, construction, materials, manufacture, installation, maintenance and size of equipment

04/11/2019 16:00:43

No escape

Everyone is “ working towards

the 2020 implementation but there are areas where further work will be required

‘A case in point would be the sea lice numbers and sea lice submissions. That’s been a formal requirement by the Fish Health Inspectorate to provide that information. People say the industry doesn’t do mandatory provision but it does.’ She doesn’t recommend legislation either, but thinks the standard could become part of licensing agreements. ‘A Code of Good Practice should always be about moving beyond what legislation sets. But I think in the era we’re in, there are other mechanisms which could be appropriately used. ‘In terms of having the core standard that you’re expected to adhere to, there are a number of mechanisms that are open to the Scottish government to deploy - one of which would be through the conditions of a licence. ‘There is a real need to review the licences that the industry holds, go back into the core requirements…and ensure it is translating the detail that is required.’ In the wake of the two Scottish parliamentary inquiries into salmon farming last year, the Scottish Technical Standard must provide confidence in the industry, she said. ‘The industry, as much as its detractors and the wider public, needs strong regulation – it’s a supportive tool. There isn’t anything individuals should be shying away from. ‘The difficulty we have is this wooliness, this lack of understanding of the controls and the application of those controls. ‘We see that woven through the reports both from the ECCLR [Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform] and the REC [Rural Economy and Connectivity] committees. I don’t think we want to repeat that. We need to make it clear.’ Some of the detractors Anderson mentioned sit on the Salmon Interactions Group, chaired by John Goodlad, which was set up, along with the Farmed Fish Health Framework [FFHF] last year. They have their own views on containment. ‘There is not so much a crossover, although that doesn’t stop individuals commenting. There are a number of individuals who sit in at all three [industry groups]. I for one! ‘There has been quite a lot of dialogue around containment, with respect to escapes, a topic that has arisen at the Interactions Group,’ she said. But it is ‘further down the list on the Farmed Fish Health Framework, where the industry attendees are very conscious that their counterparts attend the containment group so this is being dealt with’. The implication is that the people on the FFHF will know how much the sector is spending on containment but many of the Interactions Group come at it from a different angle. The ever greater scrutiny of the industry, which its leaders say they

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welcome, increases the pressure to produce a Scottish Technical Standard that is beyond reproach. Anderson is aware of the hurdles ahead, but said the industry was committed to deliver, ‘the progress reports are all in train’, and there will definitely be another meeting this side of Christmas. ‘There is a big workload; as you’d expect from the REC, everyone was criticised and everyone wants to be seen to be doing something.’ FF


04/11/2019 16:01:09

Containment – Scottish Technical Standard

Net gains in getting it right Farmers have been trying to comply since STS was published say suppliers the standard to do that.’ He is concerned that in some aspects, the Scottish standard is asking for things that are ‘nearly impossible’. He sits on other standard committees to do with nets and said: ‘The one thing you’ve got to be careful to do is you don’t write the standard to be so strict that innovation stops. ‘There are lots of new materials being used and they actually cannot comply because they can’t be tested. ‘Knotted netting, for instance, you can’t test the same way you test normal netting because the knots slip.’ But the standard does make provision for the use of other materials, so there is some leeway with nets. Boris Nets is doing a lot of work on anti-predation nets at the moment, said Howard, experimenting with different materials and trying to keep cages ‘fish friendly’. OHN Howard, chairman and managing They do double netting, and seal bases, where the bottom of the net has an director of Fleetwood based Boris Nets, extra layer, with a separation between the cage net and the predator base. said as far as the net manufacturers are And they are also making some nets with the knotted polyethylene sides, but concerned, the Scottish Technical Standard using a softer base. requires ‘a bit of tweaking’, and mostly in the ‘Seals don’t like knotted polyethylene netting. But the problem with it is it’s way it is worded. not overly kind on the fish, so we’re trying to go the other way round where For example, the document refers to ‘continuous we’re using different material but keeping the cage nets fish friendly. rope’ but, as Howard said, does that mean it hasn’t ‘It is farm led, farmers come to us with a problem and we try something. got a break in it or does it mean it goes from the Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.’ top to the middle? It is the farmers who will have to comply with the Scottish Technical Standard Boris Nets, which mainly supplies the smaller and Howard believes if it is implemented the way it is now there will be probfarmers and the freshwater side, was brought into lems in the industry. the Containment Working Group after the first draft ‘Some of the larger companies are going along with what their parent comof the standard. panies are doing in Norway. Howard said the few minor compliance issues, for ‘It was written by people who wanted the aspiration of making things the nets, were mainly to do with the smaller companies best of the best, but the problem is you can never get to that. It gets to the being asked to do things that were ‘way out of point where it’s either not cost effective or doesn’t actually work.’ spec’. Howard said it was important for the industry to get it right and end up with a The specifications suited cages of 80m plus rather standard that fits the purpose. than the smaller farmers, but the three main net ‘The more complex things are, the more things can go wrong. So the simpler companies (Boris Nets, Morenot and W&J Knox) systems that people are using are probably better than the complex systems managed, ‘by a simple discusthey’re supposed to use.’ sion’, to match the standard to all And he questioned the suggestion that the standard pen sizes. could be incorporated into licence agreements. ‘The standard was written by ‘That’s where the problem would come in,’ he said. ‘It’s the bigger companies so what always difficult when you’ve got a standard and you want they want is lots of strength of to reduce it, but it was written much too strong in the first Above left: Boris Nets netting but not very many ropes,’ place.’ factory in Fleetwood said Howard. However, farmers, ‘from the smallest to the largest’, Left: John Howard ‘Whereas the smaller comhave been trying to comply with the standard since it was panies like the netting to be published and trying to upgrade equipment when they a little bit lighter for ease of can, he said. handling, but then they have a ‘I would say, as far as nets are concerned, we have not lot more ropes to compensate made a net that doesn’t comply since the standard came for it. But there is no system in out.’. FF

The “ simpler


systems that people are using are probably better than the complex systems they’re supposed to use


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04/11/2019 15:54:39

Containment – Scottish Technical Standard

Ever evolving along with industry

Does Norway know best?

THERE is a view among some Scottish suppliers that the industry here should adopt the Norwegian technical standard, instead of trying to implement its own version. David Goodlad, managing director of Morenot Scotland, who was at the last Containment Working Group meeting in April, said the current review of the standard was a slow process, not helped by the fact that it is very difficult to get everyone involved in the review in the same place at the same time. While the net manufacturers would be happy to get together to recommend any changes needed in their sector, he is now wondering if ‘we’re all wasting our time’. ‘I’m personally thinking at the THE Scottish Technical Standard (STS) was always going to be a working next meeting of asking why we’re document, evolving along with the industry, said W&J Knox’s Finlay Oman, looking for a complete new standwho sits on the Containment Working Group. ard and why don’t we just adopt ‘There are bits that probably need redrafted to consider new equipment the Norwegian one. and materials,’ he said. ‘Things have moved on since the original idea that ‘I was not involved in the group you had to use knotless nylon. It was a strongly held belief that knotted who started the process so possinetting would scale fish, which in reality is true, but careful handling by bly there is something I have not experienced people can turn this on its head. been told as to why we cannot. ‘There are a few grey areas in the standard that have been identified by ‘In the market in Scotland there the working group that need reconsideration and the main net suppliers are four big fish farmers so I have in the UK, Knox, Morenot and Boris, will be discussing these points in an four or five customers. We have attempt to arrive at a consensus of opinion that will be accepted by the rest a large order from one who has of the group.’ asked it to be designed to the How the STS will be updated is still unclear, but Oman is confident that Norwegian standard because he any innovations will be able to be included. doesn’t agree with the Scottish ‘The industry is looking to have some of the early thinking reappraised as Technical Standard.’ it no longer suits the evolution of the industry and we need to try and get The main reason for this is that things right. The committee is open to change so long as it is all agreed with the specifications are ‘way too all the net manufacturers, and isn’t one sided.’ high’ compared to the Norwegian Implementing the standard might prove to be difficult, though, in terms version, the NS 9451. of all the staffing that would be required to police it and ‘whether the guys Goodlad, whose company is Norgoing round are qualified to make judgements or not’. wegian owned, asks if the NorweOman said that in his experience farmers for many years now have been gian standard is good enough for taking the standard into account when they are looking to buy new equipthat country’s weather and coastal ment. This has resulted in many of the older nets, pens and moorings being conditions, why is it not enough replaced with up-to-date hardware. for Scotland. The Norwegians ‘I think things have moved on remarkably in the last three or four years – constantly review their standard, in terms of the industry investing in more substantial equipment. Whereas so it is kept up to date, and it could a few years ago each company had internal standards and ideas on specifibe adopted here just as it is. cations, there Is now something more measurable in place. ‘I’m a supplier so I’m obviously ‘As companies have begun testing the water in more exposed sites, specifications have increased in an attempt to meet the new demands [when the standard is introduced] and I think that it will just continue evolving as we all learn from our experiences.’ W&J Knox, based in Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, supplies Sapphire Seal Pro, single layer anti-predator netting, which has proved very successful in keeping seals away from salmon stocks. Made by Garware Technical Fibres of India in conjunction with Knox, the high density polyethylene netting has a more rigid surface than ordinary nets, as well as single-sided knots to deter seals without harming the fish. ‘Most of the major companies now have Seal Pro anti-predator netting and are planning to increase their use of it,’ said Oman. ‘Companies we haven’t done much with are asking us to quote for quite large volumes…whether they end up ordering it, they are certainly currently considering it.’

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Above: David Goodlad

going to be looking for my own ends, but I need to look for the industry as a whole. ‘I think there should have been advice taken from outwith suppliers, from the farmers and maybe even from the people who set up the Norwegian one.’ He fears that if farmers find the standard too burdensome, they will struggle to comply with it. ‘One of the farmers stood up [at the April meeting] and said, ‘we don’t comply with anything that’s in this at present because we’ve not been told we actually have to’. ‘It’s not been made clear to the industry that it’s going to be a lawful requirement for them to stick to by 2020. This was supposed to come in in 2020 and it’s still under review. I can’t see it’s going to be run out as a workable standard in 2020. It’s the farmers who need to comply. If we’re asked to build a net or a mooring grid by a farmer and it doesn’t comply, we point out that it doesn’t comply but it’s up to them whether they want to install it.’ Goodlad said everything his company sells has to conform with the NS 9451, and the same is true of most other equipment suppliers. ‘What we develop is well above any standard, we set our own high standards.’


04/11/2019 16:43:51

Containment – Scottish Technical Standard

Adapting to change But work needed on the wording of the STS to make it world class

Farmers seem to have bought into it and are making sure they adhere to it

Above: Stewart Graham Right: The SeaQurePen


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MPROVED containment is built in to Gael Force’s new SeaQurePen, an integrated sea cage system designed for higher energy sites. The Inverness based company’s sales director, Jamie Young, said there had been much interest in the new pens, launched at Aqua Nor in August, and two Scottish customers had already snapped them up. To this end, Gael Force has installed 13 SeaQurePens at sites across the country. The pens, which can be manufactured up to 200m circumference, are extremely tough and durable, designed to ensure containment in all weather conditions. They are described by Gael Force as an evolutionary system that reduces pen furniture and related maintenance, and are a ‘stepping stone on the way towards a much greater level of integration of farm development,’ according to managing director Stewart Graham. Young said: ‘With these pens now installed and winter just around the corner, the next few months will demonstrate just how robust SeaQurePen is.’ He was involved with the Containment Working Group, and while his Gael Force colleague Alexis Chatterton now sits on the committee, he said he is involved ‘on an almost daily basis’ with the Scottish Technical Standard. ‘As an industry, both from the supply and

consumer side, there is definitely a desire and a willingness to adhere to the standard that’s in place,’ he said. ‘I think there is an appetite for continual identification of areas where we can improve and keep working on; such as, some of the terminology could be made clearer, so it’s upheld as a world class standard and not one that just replicates standards from other places.’ Young said the Scottish Technical Standard cannot be compared directly to the Norwegian standard, NS 9415, as the scope is not the same. ‘This is a containment standard, focused firmly on fish containment. With the Scottish Technical Standard, you must have the right moorings, the right pens and the right nets – and it’s right that we have a standard which is fully focused on that one area.’ He said that as the standard is put into practice it will allow the industry to review and clarify its progression. But he believes it is ‘very well understood by farmers and suppliers across the board’. ‘I’d say the farmers have bought into it and are working towards making sure they adhere to it and are taking the extra care to do so. ‘From a supplier’s perspective, it’s definitely more work, of course, for us, but we recognise the benefits in a standard which supports secure and resilient containment and the efficiencies in it. ‘What people are doing as new equipment comes through is making sure they are at standard. It’s been published and I’d say it’s been widely and generally used, from what I’ve experienced.’ Young said he doesn’t have any strong views on how the standard should be enforced but observed that ‘it looks to be widely adhered to already’. ‘We as a company are well placed to adapt and adjust to any changes that may come through and the fish farm companies are too,’ said Young. So, there is nothing in it that Gael Force can’t comply with? ‘No, we’re fully complying with the Scottish Technical Standard as it stands, within our pen production and our mooring production.’ FF

04/11/2019 15:52:01

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04/11/2019 11:16:01

Aquaculture Europe 2019 – Introduction

Berlin, the only ‘B’ word Highlights from ‘one of the best ever’ EAS conferences


N international crowd of more than 2,700 delegates gathered in Berlin last month for the European Aquaculture Society’s annual conference and exhibition. Aquaculture Europe 2019 not only attracted record attendance, but also more than 1,000 abstracts, 798 presentations and 443 posters. Some 85 countries were represented, in the 56 scientific sessions and on the 150 stands, another EAS record compared to previous exhibitions. The conference featured an innovation forum for the first time, providing selected start-up companies with a platform to present their new technologies in front of discerning aquaculture professionals. And there was a special focus on land based aquaculture, with the separate Nordic RAS seminar taking place at the conference centre ahead of AE2019, and drawing its own visitors, many of whom then stayed for the EAS show. Sessions at the four-day EAS conference highlighted the latest research in nutrition; sustainable technologies; offshore farming; precision farming, and the use of artificial intelligence and big data in aquaculture; aquaponics and IMTA; fish welfare; the development of genomic tools and their applications; and the interaction between wild and farmed fish – among many other topics. The poster presentations featured several ePosters for the first time, to accommodate the increasing number of abstracts submitted to EAS events, and organisers plan to implement the scheme fully from 2020. Berlin had been ‘overwhelming’. EAS president Gavin Burnell said the overall response to AE2019 in As he opened proceedings at the splendid Estrel Hotel and Conference Centre, he made a reference to Brexit, saying the only ‘B’ word he wanted mentioned during the week was Berlin. ‘Let there be life and a future from growing from water,’ he added, echoing the show’s theme. Alistair Lane, EAS executive director, described this year’s event as ‘probably one of the best ever’. ‘Attendance was very high, especially regarding the companies presenting products and the number of countries present. ‘We also received the highest number of abstracts ever for presentation in the oral and poster sessions. This shows the attractiveness of Aquaculture Europe for science and for the sector, providing an annual hub for people to get together. We look forward very much to welcoming you in Cork next year!’ Aquaculture 2020 will take place in Cork from September 29 to October 2, 2020. FF


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“beLetlifethere and a future growing from water

Above: Gavin Burnell Left: The Estrel Hotel

04/11/2019 15:48:58

Berlin, the only ‘B’ word

Market knowledge a ‘must have’ for farmers

Above: Alexander Wever explains how important it is to understand customers’ attitudes

KNOWLEDGE of the market is a must have for anyone who wants to run an aquaculture business, said German fisheries consultant Alexander Wever, who delivered the plenary talk on the second day of Aquaculture Europe 19 in Berlin. Wever, who has been in the seafood business for 25 years, spelt out the importance of seafood, which is the most traded food commodity in the world, more than beef, pigs, soy beans or coffee, according to the FAO. While seafood supply from wild fisheries has remained stable over the last 40 to 50 years, there has been a huge rise in aquaculture production. The expanding global population needs protein, and aquaculture will have to continue growing to meet the demand. But there are challenges, said Wever, highlighting the recent opposition to marine farming from two big fish farming nations, Canada and Denmark. The move in both countries, to bring aquaculture

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production on land, would see competition for the use of water. Aquaculture also has to compete with other food producers for the use of raw feed materials, and the industry has to overcome a lot of prejudices, changing nutrition behaviour, and its own bad practices, said Wever. High on the list of challenges is understanding the market and the consumer. He said that in his experience, which is mainly in Europe, at least 50 per cent of failed seafood businesses were not caused by technical or biological problems, but by lack of knowledge and naivety about the market. ‘You should understand, if you run an aquaculture business, the market is not asking for fish or shrimps, it is asking for products,’ he said. If farmers want to sell products, understanding the potential buyers’ motivation can be half the battle. For example, an Italian restaurant owner expects good quality and taste, of course, but the most important factor is price.

Spotlight on student award winners A TRONDHEIM based PhD student was the audience’s choice for the EAS Student Spotlight Award, announced on day one of the European Aquaculture Society conference in Berlin. Frank Thomas Mlingi, of NTNU, is researching lumpfish biology, investigating sexual maturation and egg quality in farmed lumpsuckers, under different photoperiod and temperature regimes. Reliance on wild caught broodfish is unsustainable because it puts too much pressure on stocks, said Mlingi, so the aim was to close the breeding cycle in captivity. The other two finalists, selected from 150 abstracts, were Hanlin Xu, of the University of Las Palmas, looking at the improved use of low fishmeal and fish oil diets in gilthead sea bream; and Renata Goncalves, of DTU in Denmark, whose research is focused on the nutritional requirements of European lobster. EAS president Gavin Burnell paid tribute to the hard work of EAS student leader and board member Kathrin Steinberg, who is now working in the industry (for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council), and he asked for possible successors for the role to put their names forward. He said the EAS had taken the decision to make membership of the society free for students, from now onwards. ‘We’re very pleased with this initiative and it’s just one of the many activities we’ve been undertaking to try and improve the profile of students.’ At the other end of the scale, membership will also be free for retirees, and there is a new corporate membership too.

He knows what he can get from his guests – say 18 to 25 euros for sea bass – from which he has to deduct his costs (VAT, labour, rent). He won’t pay more than he can recoup. Also, he needs a stable price, because his profit must be stable. And size should be uniform – he can’t give his guests different portions for the same price. And he needs minimum orders and convenient delivery times. If your buyer is a big retailer, you must understand his customer. What is important to the retailer – on top of price, packaging, delivery – are sustainability, welfare, certifications, and the concerns and prejudices of customers. ‘At the end, you have to be cheaper or you have to be better than the alternatives,’ said Wever. ‘Perhaps as a farmer you will not sell directly to an Italian restaurant, or to the retailer. Our customers’ customer will make the difference and we have to try Above: Hanlin Xu, Renata Goncalves, to influence their attitudes.’ Frank Thomas Mlingi and Kathrin Steinberg


04/11/2019 15:49:20

Aquaculture Europe 2019 – Women in Aquaculture

Jobs for the girls Gender debate around the world an ‘ongoing project’


HERE is no wilful exclusion of women from aquaculture roles, but there is a generational issue of men avoiding the ‘difficulty of having a more diverse workplace’. This was the view of Lara Barazi, CEO of Kephalonian Fisheries in Greece, one of six panellists (three women and three men) at a Women in Aquaculture seminar at the EAS conference in Berlin last month. Barazi said the industry has a lot of challenges, ‘both image and actual’, and the workforce had to reflect these increasingly complex problems. ‘We have to be responsive to our stakeholders and to consumers, and our consumers are diverse, they are not just old, white men!’ Although gender imbalance is not a problem peculiar to the industry, there has been a recent drive to improve opportunities for women in the sector. The Women in Aquaculture initiative was launched by the Fish Site at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore last year, and the Berlin forum, organised in conjunction with the EAS, provided a chance for women and men in the industry to continue the debate. Co-chaired by the Fish Site’s Rob Fletcher and Nofima scientist Synnove Hellund, the meeting agreed that while there were plenty of women in aquaculture jobs – 70 per cent of the global workforce, in fact – they tended to be outnumbered by men in senior positions. Fletcher said: ‘It is not only an ethical imperative to ensure gender balance, but also an economic one. Research shows that having more


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women on the board is economically very wise. Companies with mixed gender boards out-perform all-male boards.’ Hellund said that at her research institute there are 60 per cent females at all levels, and at universities, the majority of masters and PhD students are female, but they are under-represented at higher levels. And most companies are also dominated by men at top management and boardroom level. Birgit Schmidt-Puckhaber of the German Agriculture Society pointed out that at an innovation forum during the EAS conference that afternoon, much of the start-up technology was presented by young women, but the judges were mostly older men. In aquaculture, as the industry becomes less labour intensive and more knowledge based and technology driven, the younger generation will benefit, and already there are more young women entering the sector, said panellist Matthijs Metselaar of Benchmark Animal Health, who has seen a rise in the number of female vets. But women still faced specific hurdles, many related to trying to work and raise a family at the same time. Panellist Selina Stead, director of the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling, recounted an experience earlier in her career, when she lost out to a male colleague when it was her turn for a sabbatical. It was based on length of service and she had taken maternity leave and he had not. She voted with her feet and left, but in her subsequent post she did not have a full-time contract and lost all her maternity entitlements. Since joining the IoA seven months ago, she said she had tried to support other women, and had introduced flexible hours to ease the path back to work for mothers. The option was also available to men, she added. Barazi highlighted a dilemma for those women who had reached executive level – ‘being tough and not being called a bitch’. ‘How do you pitch your voice just right so that everybody listens to you without seeming shrill?’ she asked. ‘Soft skills can really make or break your career because you can get a reputation for not playing by the game…then it’s not easy when

You can “easily be

passed over for being difficult whereas a man with the same traits would be seen as ambitious and good at their job

04/11/2019 15:46:45

Jobs for the girls

you’re climbing up the ranks. ‘You can easily be passed over for being difficult whereas a man with the same traits would be seen as ambitious and good at their job.’ She said this might be more of a problem in southern Europe, were attitudes were ‘less progressive’ than in the Nordic countries, but the response from the audience suggested otherwise. Barazi said flexible and remote working could help women, and she had introduced a creche at one farm site to try to make a difference for female employees. Another panellist from southern Europe, Javier Ojeda, general manager of the Spanish Aquaculture Association, said he noticed a north/ south divide at every EAS event, referring to the relative success of the salmon and sea bream and sea bass sectors. But, he said, in Spain things were changing fast regarding gender rights, mostly thanks to legislation outlawing discrimination at work. He said he was optimistic. ‘In marine aquaculture, companies are relatively young, they are not big companies with old sclerotical structures, so it’s easier and I think they are more modern minded.’ Barazi said there are more women in top jobs in northern Europe because of affirmative action – for example, in Norway, on boards. ‘Sometimes you need to do this, to have quotas. It can be so hard to get your foot in the door.’ Professor Hillary Egna of Oregon State University, speaking from the floor, made another suggestion. She said disaggregated data (statistics broken down by gender to measure differences) was necessary to redress the balance.

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‘Women and men need to know if they have a fair shot. So when we were talking about this being an individual voyage, yes you can be the best you can be, but there are systemic challenges at the top and barriers that still prevent women, when they reach the highest rung, from doing everything that any man can do.’ Gender equality was not just an individual challenge, but a community challenge, a global challenge and a cultural challenge, she added. Stead said training was making a difference in raising awareness that gender problems exist. For instance, the Athena SWAN scheme (for advancing the careers of women in science) forces panels to do unconscious bias training. She also stressed the importance of female role models and mentors, and said she had been lucky to have the generous support of her colleague, the late Dr Lindsay Laird. Schmidt-Puckhaber said she had also benefited from the backing of her female professor at the start of her career. And Metselaar agreed that mentoring could make a difference; he is one of nine mentors on a programme established last year by WiA. He mentors two early career female vets and said having a sounding board with someone in the same industry but from a different background was very valued. He gave advice, such as, when applying for jobs, if you have five out of 10 of the requirements needed, that is often enough. Women were too cautious about their abilities – ‘be prepared not to get the job, but at least apply for it’. Panellist Ole Christiansen of BioMar said he thought women should speak up more and if they really wanted a promotion they should say so. Other advice from the panellists included joining networks, which Barazi said would help women learn what rights they have. Stead also said sitting on panels was useful, and she advised women to have a plan and think two jobs ahead. And she said joining the EAS had opened doors for her (she is a past president of the society). The seminar was the final session of a busy day but drew a large number of delegates, both male and female, and overran due to the lively Q and A session. Fletcher summed up by saying: ‘We’ve asked as many questions as we’ve answered; this is an ongoing project and let’s keep moving forward.’ FF

Above: Co-chairs Synnove Hellund (centre) and Rob Fletcher (right) and the panel (left to right) Lara Barazi, Ole Christiansen, Birgit Schmidt-Puckhaber, Javier Ojeda, Selina Stead and Matthijs Metselaar. Opposite: Loch Duart operations manager Hazel Wade


04/11/2019 15:47:42

Aquaculture Europe 2019 – Innovation Forum

No gain without pain Start-ups pitch for place at next year’s conference in Cork


HE only thing that is guaranteed as a start-up founder is pain!’ said Olaf Birkner, a tech founder himself and an advisor in digital technology, opening a day-long Innovation Forum at the EAS conference. In his talk, titled ‘How to get yourself noticed’, Birkner outlined typical mistakes people make when launching new ventures, and offered practical advice. Innovation comes from education, and the amount of people able to create innovation and bring change to the world is increasing ‘tremendously’, because of the improvement of education on a global scale, he said. For start-ups, the next two decades would be even more stressful because of this increased competition, he warned. ‘With this knowledge explosion on a global scale you have to get noticed. It’s all about communication. ‘Name in a sentence what the value of your company is in the world. Make clear you communicate what you are doing,’ he advised the fledgling business leaders.

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‘In the beginning, the company doesn’t exist yet so you, as the founder…have to attract people to you. ‘Do you have the backbone to do this? Failure can cause severe damage to your financial situation and also to your happiness. It is not easy to handle.’ He said that even successful founders can be unhappy because they are doing sales not science, and not everyone is bullet proof enough to take on this responsibility. He advised young companies to focus on the facts of their propositions, not on unproven hypotheses. ‘Start-ups treat hypotheses as facts: be a hypothesis killer and separate them from facts.’ Birkner also stressed the importance of inviting people with experience – ‘the masters’ - into new businesses. ‘There is an incredible power in the combination between the master and the apprentice. The young ones have the passion and can take the risk. ‘The older ones are not ready to suffer so much any more but they have the connections to open the doors. The combination of young and old is the core of start-up success. ‘Fill up your start-up with masters,’ he said, suggesting that founders set up an advisory board of people willing to share their knowledge. His final point was to employ a full-time sales team. ‘Get out there! You need people who love to sell. One of you has to be out there the whole day, Monday to Friday, selling. It’s not a parttime job. Don’t have three engineers in your start-up and no sales people. You need one guy who loves the road.’ The forum, the first of its kind at an EAS event, was organised in partnership with Hatch Blue and the German Startups Association. The EAS said it wants to promote and support start-ups and emerging business models in the aquaculture sector, by matching ideas to those that can push the development of new companies and new products. ‘With all the new knowledge presented at our events, we have a wealth of possibility for innovation and value creation to help develop the sector.’

Left: Aquaculture expert Bjorn Myrseth, one of the judges Opposite (from top): Olaf Birkner offers advice to new businesses; award winner Christophe Vasseur of Inalve

04/11/2019 15:44:25

No gain without pain

Out of the wood

The first EAS Innovation Forum featured 12 start-ups, each of which was given a platform to present their technologies. These included converting wood into fish feed, early warning systems for harmful algal blooms, nitrogen sensing solutions, selective breeding, and using seaweed to reduce methane gases from livestock. The pitches were assessed by panellists with aquaculture or finance backgrounds and, at the end of the day, they selected the two companies in which they would most like to invest one million euros. The winners, who will each get a free booth at the next EAS conference, in Cork in October

2020, were the French microalgae producer Inalve (which, incidentally, recently won first prize at the Aquaculture Innovation Forum in London), and the Aquaculture Health Lab rapid diagnostics research led by Brian Quinn of the University of the West of Scotland. FF

AN American company has successfully brought wood into the fish feed chain and now hopes to scale up its product within the next three years. Arbiom, based in North Carolina with a pilot plant in Norton, Virginia, has trialled its alternative single cell protein ingredient, SylPro, in two locations as part of the four-year SYLFEED project. The aim of the project is to convert wood residues into a protein-rich ingredient comprised of SCP (single cell protein) and test it in aquaculture applications The scientific assessments, which were conducted on juvenile Atlantic salmon at Matis Icelandic Food & Biotech R&D and hybrid striped bass at Texas A&M University, found that SylPro achieved the same results as fishmeal or plant based proteins. The studies were designed to evaluate the product’s nutritional performance in terms of body weight gain, as well as its effects on the gut microbiome, which researchers measured over the course of a five-week trial period. With a 20 per cent inclusion rate, it was found there was no difference in weight gain, mortalities or feed intake. Arbiom and its partners will continue to validate the nutritional performance and sustainability of SylPro, which has been approved for use in feed and food in the US, Canada and EU. Wood is abundant and it doesn’t compete with food crops, the company’s Amelie Drouault told the Innovation Forum at Aquaculture Europe 2019 in Berlin. As well as being nutritional as an aqua feed source, it is also economical, traceable and sustainable, she added. Arbiom’s bioprocessing technology transforms wood residues into fermentable substrates for micro-organism production through pre-treatment and fermentation processes. The final product is a dried yeast, which is a nutritional protein source for use in aquafeed, and other animal feeds. SylPro Trials will continue with other species, including tilapia next year, and the company plans to design larger scale commercial plants due for completion in 2022-2023. Each commercial plant will produce 25,000 tonnes. Arbiom was the runner up of three finalists in the Innovation Awards at the 2019 Global Aquaculture Alliance Leadership GOAL event, in Chennai, India, announced on October 23.

Failure can cause “ severe damage to your

financial situation and also to your happiness

EAS Innovation.indd 45

Above: Arbiom’s Amelie Drouault


04/11/2019 15:44:48

Aquaculture Europe 2019 – Fish welfare

FishBit, a step ahead Smart device allows unprecedented monitoring of individuals in pen


IOSENSOR technology, a biological detection system, is becoming an increasingly popular means of monitoring animal health, welfare and behaviour. But the size and weight of the devices has been a problem – until now. The AEFishBit is both tiny and light, and allows for unprecedented monitoring of individual fish held in groups. At just one gram, including battery and full packaging to protect the tool, the device is implanted in the operculum of the fish, the outer bony plate that covers the gills, to measure accelerations of movement and the respiratory rate. The anchoring of the device is very simple and is done using a metal clip that allows the device to be immobilised as if it were just another part of the animal’s body. This smart device is the result of research by biologists, engineers and bioinformaticians from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Spain and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in collaboration with CCMAR (Centro de Ciências do Mar) in Portugal. Jaume Pérez Sánchez of the Institute of Aquaculture Torre de la Sal of CSIC explained to a fish welfare seminar the applications of the AEFishBit, part of an AquaExcel2020 project. It is composed of a tri-axial accelerometer, a microprocessor, a battery and a RFID tagging system for individual identification. The processing of the data is carried out by means of algorithms loaded in the device itself, which minimises the consumption of memory and energy. It gives six hours of continuous recording with different schedules – two minutes of recording every 15 minutes over two days. The team studied the different physiological responses in sea bream and sea bass. The FishBit can record differences in locomotor capabilities when comparing animals in the same family or same species, or different species, like gilthead sea bream and European sea bass. And the tool can also be used to test the behaviour of the animals in response to tank size and space availability as a welfare indicator. The initial functional validation with bream and bass juveniles in swimming test chambers highlighted the high correlation of oxygen consumption and fish activity with the calculated AEFishBIT records.


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‘We have carried out exercise tests in metabolic chambers with the fish in the study and we have observed that the oxygen consumption of animals subjected to different degrees of exercise increases to maintain their position swimming against the current,’ said Pérez Sánchez. ‘In parallel, oxygen consumption also increases, both types of measures being highly correlated with the records provided by the AEFishBIT device.’ Further AEFishBIT studies with free swimming sea bream and sea bass in rearing tanks showed that age, photoperiod, space availability or progression of disease outcome in parasitised fish alter diurnal/nocturnal activity. Progression of diseases is associated with reduced respiration and energy demand for growth, said Pérez Sánchez. ‘We can predict the risk of disease by looking at the activity patterns.’ The researchers found that physical activity and respiration are synchronised in sea bream but not in sea bass,’ he said.

Above: Jaume Pérez Sánchez explains how

the FishBit works Left: Tiny device Opposite: Results of the research

04/11/2019 15:39:52

FishBit, a step ahead

The AEFishBit is a demonstration of the different contribution of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism to growth and locomotor activity. High metabolic rates for growth and maintenance are associated with slow swimming and improved FCR. AEFishBIT is also able to discriminate between reactive and proactive fish when animals are challenged with low oxygen concentrations. Current experiments are focused on the effects of functional feeds in fish behaviour and its synchronising with the environment. The workstream also involves other partners, including Nofima in Norway, which is looking at the attachment procedures and the functional validation in other fish species, such as rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon. The patented FishBit can be used by aquaculture companies for selective breeding and welfare assessment of their farmed stocks. FF

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04/11/2019 15:41:02

Aquaculture Europe 2019 – Precision farming

‘Fingerprinting’ fish is welfare tool of the future

NOT so long ago, trying to identify individual fish in a pen of hundreds of thousands of salmon might have been dismissed as unachievable. But thanks to progress in machine learning and underwater camera technology, the industry not only now understands the value of such an endeavour, but the science exists to make it possible – one day. Christian Schellewald of the Norwegian research institute Sintef explained how far scientists have come in the automatic individual characterisation of farmed salmon. In the project INDISAL, funded by the Research Council of Norway, high quality video data was collected from full scale industrial fish cages with camera systems made by Sealab AS and analysed by advanced computer vision algorithms. The aim of the study is to develop an individual biometric ‘fingerprint’ identification of each salmon, and use the information gathered to improve animal welfare and productivity. ‘The images have to be of good quality when you collect them with underwater cameras, and when we process such real world data one has to cope with a lot of varying conditions,’ said Schellewald. ‘The main idea is to record the fish in the cage and try first to identify parts of salmon. When we find a good visible head, which is suitable for detailed observation, then we have to track this candidate to analyse it further.’ The researchers tracked the best visible heads of the salmon in underwater fish cage video streams and analysed the relative motion of the fish mouth. ‘We made quite good progress by exploiting state-of-the-art machine learning methods,’ said Schellewald. ‘In addition to this, you


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need a very large amount of annotated data.’ As well as the head, other fish parts were selected to be annotated in the data, including the eyes, the whole fish, the mouth (jaws), the top fin (dorsal fin), and the tail fin (caudal fin). ‘We hang the camera in the fish cage and then checked if we have a recoding which allows us to go one step further.’ A deep neural network (a machine learning approach) was then trained with labelled data representing a large variety of scenes in order to work robustly in many different lighting conditions. After the training phase, real time video streams or recordings can be analysed, and clearly detected fish heads (where the mouth and eye are also found) are tracked. A subsequent computer vision based analysis of the motion of the mouth allows the team to determine the ‘mouth opening frequency’. Schellewald said while he does the measuring (of the mouth opening and closing), a biologist interprets the data and decides what it means for the welfare of the fish. ‘It’s not perfect yet but I think it’s a very good step towards an individual characterisation of salmon. ‘You have to extract the data in a very robust way; we wish to identify 200,000 fish in a cage and this means our biometric algorithms need very high precision. ‘We are exploring a huge bunch of algorithms and one step that is currently missing is field trials, where we can observe the same fish over a longer period of time. But we will probably have field experiments this autumn or in spring.’ They are half-way through the three-year project, which hopefully will provide video technology and algorithms good enough to be able to automatically extract measurable welfare indicators.

wish “toWeidentify

200,000 fish in a cage so our biometric algorithms need very high precision

Above: How the technology works Left: Christian


04/11/2019 15:41:28

Aquaculture Europe 2019 – Offshore

Ups and downs Proven submersible pen technology could be adapted for salmon


NNOVASEA Systems may be primarily focused on open ocean submersible farms for growing warm water finfish, but the company is also interested in developing its technology for the salmon market. The Boston based company’s Langley Gace, taking part in a Sustainable Aquaculture Technologies session, said their new Evolution Pen, based on traditional surface pens, fits into a container equipped with buoyancy control. This means it can go up and down, ‘very slowly if needed’, to deal with fish with swim bladders, such as salmonids. Gace said that the system isn’t ready to be used for salmon yet- but it is in pre-production testing in La Paz, Mexico. Meanwhile, the company’s SeaStation submersible pen is beginning a trial off the coast of New Hampshire with trout. ‘The theory is that sea lice are obviously more attracted to the surface. What we’re going to trial is keep those pens down for two weeks and then at night – when sea lice are possibly fewer in number and less dense – bring up the pens for 40 minutes.’ Gace said that the first fish the company ever put in one of its pens, in 1996, were salmon. ‘We didn’t have a permit for the pens and we had to sink the cage when the federal inspector was coming. ‘We hadn’t sunk it before but we did, the guy came and there was no pen, and then we decided why don’t we just leave it? ‘We didn’t really have the economics to take it to the salmon industry, we were focusing on warm water, but we’re excited about this project. We’ll let you know!’ Innovasea – formed in 2015 by a merger between Ocean Spar (where Gace worked for 23 years) and Ocean Farm Technologies- had a significant cash injection when it joined the Cuna del Mar group in 2017. This, said Gace, ‘greatly improved’ the research and development division, which aims to advance aquaculture operations in the open ocean using fully integrated fish farming platforms. ‘There’s not much room for growth at conventional sites so we see opportunities in the open ocean, he added, making the distinction between ‘open ocean’ and ‘offshore’. ‘Whether 600m or 12km [offshore], they both have a lot of energy which is why we like to say open ocean rather than offshore.’ The company’s submersible pen technology, marketed as SeaStation, is now operational across the world, farming several different species at different

EAS Offshore.indd 49

depths and different distances from the shore – and in often hostile conditions. Some 2km off the island of Jeju in South Korea, northern Pacific bluefin tuna is farmed in submerged pens, in an ‘almost commercially viable’ operation. Jeju is in ‘typhoon alley’ and the last one recorded 9m waves; the pens were fine and the tuna was fine, said Gace. Meanwhile, 600m offshore in Hawaii, once a month the winds pick up, and the farm still has to operate, with most products going to restaurants Las Vegas, San Francisco or Los Angeles, ‘so they have to be able to do their operations’. At another location, in the Bahamas, Hurricane Frances passed by the submerged farm and they harvested two weeks later. And in Miramar, Panama, the cobia farm is 12km offshore and subjected to trade winds. Its 22 pens are submerged 90 per cent of the time. The Innovasea SeaStation pen design is based on two large steel structures: the spar and the rim, which provides a structure for the netting, typically copper alloy wherever waters are shark infested. The system provides better containment, said Innovasea in its brochure, and its tensioned nets contribute to the consistent delivery of oxygen around the clock, and the lack of churning prevents the fish from being tossed about by waves The spar, essentially the central pipe and key structural component of the pen, not only controls the buoyancy of the structure but also contributes to its stability. Because the pens stay submerged throughout most of the grow-out period, traditional feeding methods have been replaced by an underwater feeder, which distributes pellets through the equiv-

Above: Langley Gace in Berlin Below: Open Blue cobia farm off Panama, one of Innovasea’s clients


04/11/2019 15:35:05

Aquaculture Europe 2019 – Offshore

New wave Model chooses best sites in Scotland for salmon farming

There’s not much room for growth at conventional sites so we see opportunities in the open ocean

Above: Drawing of Innovsea submersible pens. Right: The Aquapod submersible


EAS Offshore.indd 50

alent of a soaker hose, developed by the Innovasea team. ‘It sounded easy but the holes are a special shape and it looks like a Christmas tree,’ said Gace. ‘Now the challenge is to factor in currents and maximise the time the pellets are in the cage – there is still work to be done.’ Feeding is controlled by monitoring fish behaviour with high-resolution cameras. Gace said the cameras were developed with the cost to the farmer in mind. ‘We saw there were two types of cameras, the ones that would last 100 years that are meant for North Sea oil that go to 900m, and are cost prohibitive, and then the ones you would almost order on and the cables break afterwards. ‘We hired an R&D team to make a camera that was just good enough for what you need.’ By keeping down the cost, farmers can afford to install up to six cameras in each pen. A network of sensors provides real-time monitoring and data analysis of environmental conditions and other factors, such as current and waves, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, depth, rope tension, and biomass. Gace said their biomass estimation can count a cage full of 200,000 to 300,000 fish with about 95 to 97 per cent accuracy ‘in good clear Caribbean water’, although not yet in turbulent water. He said they cannot yet identify individual fish, but ‘I think ultimately we will do it’. All the data is transmitted acoustically to a communication buoy and then wirelessly over a mobile phone network to the internet. Gace said he could look at any cage and see how deep it is and whether it’s tilting, and set text alerts to the farm manager. The pens also include a mortality containment and removal system, from which fish are vacuum airlifted out. The learning curve in open ocean farming can be steep and Gace said clients are also offered business advice, in a three-phase approach: • Phase one – demonstrate site viability, costs, processes and market demand. ‘No matter how well the species is known or how well trained your staff are, they are going to learn things that you don’t want to do on a large farm,’ said Gace. • Phase two- prove the scalability of the farm up to 1,000 tonnes, and the market. • Phase three- provide volume and profitability, ‘leverage everything you’ve learned and produce some commercial levels of fish’. FF

THE Scottish salmon farming industry’s expansion has been limited by concerns over its potential environmental impact – on wild fish stocks and on the seabed. The other limiting factor is that many of the easiest to operate, sheltered locations are reasonably well filled, said Thomas Adams of SAMS (Scottish Association for Marine Science). He has been evaluating the environmental conditions required for the development of offshore aquaculture, as part of the Off-Aqua project. A particular environmental challenge in salmon aquaculture is posed by sea lice, he said. Enhanced availability of host fish at farms can allow lice to reach much greater numbers than they would naturally. Dispersive environments in an offshore setting will reduce the pressure of sea lice from salmon farms, with reduced interaction with wild fish as well as increased dispersal. The hope, too, is that more exposed environments will be more dispersive of waste and chemical treatments so they don’t have so much of an impact on the seabed. And thirdly, the hope is that these environments will be less impacted by harmful algal blooms (HABs) which tend to proliferate in enclosed sea lochs. There are a range of issues associated with moving salmon production sites to more exposed locations in Scottish waters, including physical, ecological, economic and fish welfare issues, and the Off-Aqua project includes four work packages: • Physical oceanography – detailed physical observations at three contrasting sites, representing a spectrum of conditions and potential sites for development; • Wave modelling and risk analysis – a long term (25-year) high resolution hindcast wave model will simulate conditions on the west coast with specific focus on sites of interest; • Hydrodynamic and biophysical modelling (which is Adams’s work) – to evaluate sea lice connectivity and HAB development in contrasting environments; • Fish health and welfare – open water aquaculture offers a less predictable environment than fjordic systems, but the impact on farmed animals has been little studied. The research team has been physically modelling the west coast consistently for six and a half years with a meteorological-hydrodynamic model, with information on currents,

04/11/2019 15:35:36

Future of salmon farming

e temperature, and salinity. In 2019, the domain was expanded to incorporate more exposed environments. The aim is to show how outputs can be used by industry, regulators and other stakeholders to help guide management of new and existing sites. A biological particle tracking model was used to simulate the spread of ‘sea lice’ larvae from three different farm sites – Rum (existing exposed farm); Gorsten (sheltered farm); and a more intermediate site. The sites also differ in the number of neighbours they have; the Rum site has very few neighbours, for instance, which influences the spread of lice and retention (whether they are able to re-infect the site). While the Rum site behaves relatively independently, sheltered sites are typically more connected to other sites and have higher ‘self-infection’ rates, said Adams. In the relationship of farms with their local environment, whether farms are net receivers of lice or dispersers of lice, and whether they suffer from large amounts of self-infection, affects how they are best managed.

The next steps in the project will look to develop forecasting capability with the hydrodynamic model. More exposed sites offer an opportunity to reduce environmental impacts in terms of sea lice connectivity, with an associated reduction in outbreak frequency and risk to wild fish, said Adams. They may also offer increased dispersion of excess organic material. But while physical conditions at more exposed sites generally lie within the range suitable for fish, they can pose operational difficulties for site managers. A range of factors must be taken into account when selecting the most sustainable approach to industry expansion, and choosing sites upon which to focus.

Above left: Thomas Adams of SAMS Above: Cooke Aquaculture’s offshore farm at East Skelwick, Orkney

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04/11/2019 15:36:04

Berlin – Nordic RAS


challenge Brackish water RAS solution to cold water transfer ban


JORN Hovrud, managing director of Finmark based Laksefjord, said he is not an ‘RAS nerd’, but he is a convert to recirculating aquaculture systems. Speaking on day one of the Nordic RAS seminar, held in Berlin in association with the EAS conference, Hovrud outlined the challenges of farming in the Arctic and his company’s tailor made solutions. Laksefjord is a fully owned subsidiary of Leroy Aurora, part of salmon giant Leroy’s northern operation. Leroy operates in three areas in Nor-

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way, producing an expected 190,000 tonnes for 2019. Leroy Aurora has about 27 licences at sea and is planning on producing 37,000 tonnes this year. Its salmon is branded Aurora Salmon, which is well known in the sashimi and sushi market, said Hovrud. Laksefjord has been in smolt production

Below: Bjorn Hovrud at the Nordic RAS seminar

04/11/2019 15:31:12

Arctic challenge since 1987, and part of Leroy since 2005. When they complete the next post-smolt section they will have invested about $150 million since 1987. Laksefjord, which lies on 70.45 degrees northern latitude, is a combined flow-through and RAS facility, with 12 independent RAS systems, and a total tank volume of 21,300 cu m, producing 4,800 tonnes a year. ‘Being as far north as we are, we have trouble with the coldest water source in the world,’ said Hovrud. ‘For seven months of the year we have less than 0.5 degrees Celsius in the water.’ But the company has had almost exponential growth since the first harvest in 1988, and today has permits for 15.2 million smolt. Originally, Laksefjord relied on flow through, producing a one-year smolt in 17 months from eggs, with partly natural temperature and partly natural light. But five years ago they changed their production plan dramatically, installing their first RAS and investing heavily in heating pumps in the old flow through sections. The result was a system where everything can be controlled, where temperature in the hatchery is a constant 8 degrees all year long and between 12 to 14 degrees in every other part of the farm. ‘There is no natural light…the first time the fish sees light is when they go into the cages,’ said Hovrud. It meant an end to seasonal production and the beginning of standard batches, taking 10 months from when the eggs hatch to when the fish are transferred to sea pens. ‘The freshwater part is divided into five sections and they spend two months in each section. So in theory we produce six batches a year. ‘I’m not a RAS nerd but I really believe that a well managed RAS, and especially using fixed bed [filters], offers extreme stability and control over water quality, which combined with control over the rest of the farming environment – and standard batches - makes it possible to produce a high and even quality of the fish. ‘So our sea sites can rely on getting the same quality on each batch and that is important.’

Hovrud said there are ‘two almost religions in RAS, one is fixed bed and the other is moving (the old school and the new school)…I am absolutely in the old school’. ‘The freshwater RAS is standard Billund with fixed bed and moving bed filter (but the moving bed, you can sell it!). ‘We have learned the hard way that start-up biofilters take time and robust filters take much more time,’ he said, adding that well managed fixed bed filters give extremely clear water, and that brackish or seawater filters must be matured with brackish water. Laksefjord has had to develop both technology and husbandry innovations to address the ‘huge challenge’ of farming in the northern part of Norway. ‘You can have a maximum biomass at sea, it’s like a bank account, but if you are going to have interest from that (which is growth in this case) it’s important to keep it as full as possible. ‘In Norway, it’s not legal to transfer smolt to the sea when the temperature is lower than 7 degrees. So from the middle of November to the middle of March it’s not legal to transfer smolt [in Finmark]. ‘It’s too risky, so in northern Norway we have about only six months when we can transfer smolt to sea, which makes it very difficult to keep the max biomass. ‘The obvious solution to this is seawater/brackish RAS. We can’t have this huge production in flow-through on our temperatures, it’s not possible. It has to be RAS. ‘We take the smolt to the sea when it’s small salmon and then we can move it whenever we want. It’s not illegal to move small salmon already in the sea.’ Hovrud said this system means they can transfer fish all year long, with different sizes available all year. In another development, Laksefjord has used the spare capacity in the RAS to produce four post-smolt test batches in the last four years. Each batch of one million smolts was transferred to brackish RAS in late October each year at 80g and grown to 250g in two months. The SGR (specific growth rate) was two per cent on average, said Hovrud. Accumulated mortality over the two months ranged from 0.02 to 0.07 per cent for the different tanks. (‘You could name all the dead fish,’ he said, because there were so few of them). Transfer from tanks to sea cages took place in the last days of December/first days of January when the sea temperature in the wellboat was about 3.5 deg C. The average accumulated mortality from cage transfer to slaughter was 3.7 per cent. Laksefjord produces 650 tonnes in flow through and 4,150 tonnes in RAS, 1,300 tonnes in freshwater and 3,500 tonnes in brackish water. Hovrud said the company has adapted to its conditions, making its own research station and coming up with its own-design brackish water RAS – ‘with old school fixed bed filters’. FF

In northern Norway we have about only six “months when we can transfer smolt to sea ”

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Holyrood separates fact from fiction


Plenty to digest in insects for feed forum


For more information visit: March 19 Cover.indd 1 05/03/2019 12:31:32

EAS RAS.indd 53


04/11/2019 15:31:39

Warden Biomedia – Advertorial


Getting RAS right Filter media optimises treatment for Norwegian fish farm


N onshore fish farm in Norway has introduced a new type of filter media to reduce the size of the MBBR (moving bed biofilm reactor) systems required in its water treatment process. Norwegian water treatment company Sterner focuses on recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) for fish farming. Over the last year, the company has constructed a RAS treatment plant for an onshore fish farm owned by fishing and aquaculture specialist Eidesvik Settesfisk. The RAS plant comprises two 15m fish breeding tanks, each with a water volume of 780m3; a water treatment system; a feeding system; an energy system for temperature control and a plant for the treatment and handling of sludge. The water treatment system integrates two-step particle separation, an MBBR for removal of total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN) and a two-step carbon dioxide removal process. Warden Biomedia’s Bioflo filter media was selected for use in the MBBR because Sterner wanted to reduce the volume of the planned reactor. By replacing the standard biofilm carriers, which have a specific surface area of 650m²/m³, with a higher surface area media, the rate of oxidation of TAN into nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) could be optimised. Nitrifying biofilms are thin and the bacteria grow slowly, so the risk of the media clogging up is low. Having a high protected surface area is desirable to ensure high biomass concentrations. It was decided that Bioflo, which has a 10.5mm width and a protected surface area of 800m²/m³, was the most suitable filter media from Warden’s range for this application.


Warden Biomedia.indd 54

With “ Warden’s

expertise we have been able to meet our targets

Bioflo is a durable, rugged and highly efficient media designed to provide a large protected surface area for the biofilm and optimal conditions for bacteria culture growth. The media’s large apertures allow waste water to pass freely, which helps maintain a thin and healthy biofilm. It is ideal for use in biological reactor technologies such as MBBR, RAS and integrated fixed film activated sludge (IFAS) systems. When compared to conventional filter media, Bioflo reduces the necessary MBBR tank volume and size, lowering civil engineering costs. Sterner and Eidesvik Settefisk both say they are pleased with the results of the installation. Sverre Amrani, technical sales manager at Sterner, said:‘Selecting the right media is never an easy task. With Warden’s extensive knowledge of, and expertise in, filter media, we were able to select the most appropriate media for this plant.With their help we have been able to meet our targets.’ Mark Barrett is managing director of Warden Biomedia. FF

Above: The plant building in Eidesvik Top right: Bioflo media provides optimal conditions for bacteria culture growth. Right: Use of higher surface area carrier filter media meant a smaller volume MBBR could be used in this Norwegian fish farm application.

04/11/2019 15:24:13

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04/11/2019 11:23:33

Research – MASTS conference

Meeting of minds Aquaculture challenges being met by Scotland’s researchers BY KELVIN BOOT


HE Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) annual science meeting has been attracting the cream of Scotland’s researchers for the last nine years. The meeting, the largest of its kind in the UK, has a well-earned reputation for the quality and quantity of its presentations. Held again this year at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow, it saw almost 140 presentations and e-posters presented over two days, including in the plenary sessions and the 10 specialist workshops. The conference is where young Scottish scientists can take their place among more established researchers, to present their findings, discuss them with their peers and share their work with academics, NGOs, government and industry.


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The main topic areas ranged from decommissioning oil and gas platforms, through the biology and oceanography of the deep sea, to the multiple stressors in the Scottish marine environment. There were also a number of talks of direct relevance to the Scottish aquaculture industry, some of which are summarised.

Above: The MASTS ASM is the largest meeting of its kind in Britain, attracting the cream of Scotland’s younger researchers

The lice problem Sea lice and the damage they cause to farmed fish is never far from the minds of anyone involved in Scotland’s aquaculture sector. Numerous strategies to minimise infestations and potential economic losses have been pursued, pretty much since the first in-loch farms opened in the 1970s. While there have been some successes in reducing the impacts of sea lice, they are still a major bugbear for operators and a concern for environmentalists and regulators. It should not be surprising that the impact of sea lice is also a topic of concern for the marine science community in Scotland; a number of projects, which add pieces to the jigsaw puzzle of understanding were highlighted at the MASTS meeting.

04/11/2019 15:18:03

Meeting of minds

It was not so much gradual “ temperature rise that might cause difficulties, but the frequency of extremes

Studies by Philip Gillibrand (Mowi) used models that brought together 25 years of data from the east coast of Lewis and Harris and the wider Loch Linnhe. Larval dependence on temperatures and salinities and vertical swimming behaviour over a 15-day pelagic life-span were included in representing how the ‘particles’ (which represent larvae) in the model behaved. Perhaps as expected, there is high connectivity

Moving offshore As the demand for farmed fish continues to grow globally, and many inshore sites are already occupied there is an increasing need to search for new locations. John Phelan from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), working with collaborators at Mowi and Marine Scotland Science, is aiming to forecast abundances of sea lice around individual farms. The study, still in its early stages, will use mathematical models to simulate the various stages of sea lice combined with details of the local conditions which drive the dispersal of juvenile lice. The project will combine computer generated data with observations at farms to make predictions and hence aid management of the sea lice problem. In a parallel study, Thomas Adams, also from SAMS, and his colleagues from the Universities of Exeter and Stirling, are using computer models and other studies to test a range of sites. By characterising the physical environment within their computer programmes, they can look at the variety of conditions the potential farms might experience, including evaluating the hydrography of sites and predicting wave heights and the risks they present to working the farms in the real world. (See page 50 for more on this project.) How sea lice larvae disperse and connect between different aquaculture areas around the Scottish coast has been the subject of another research project, undertaken by Marine Science Scotland and the National Oceanography Centre, Proudman. So far, the work is showing that following the prevailing circulation, there is a general northward flow of larvae from the mainland farms, so some of these areas are net exporters of drifting sea lice larvae. The net receivers are predicted to be the north-west coast and the east of the Western Isles. Armed with this kind of information, regulators and industry should be able to adjust the areas and locations of farms to avoid the drifting larvae and hence minimise the risk of infestation and diseases, leading to sustainable growth of Scottish aquaculture.

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04/11/2019 15:18:26

Research – MASTS conference

between local site clusters, but longer movements and potential infection also occurred over longer distances. Warmer sea temperatures in late summer/early autumn led to stronger connectivity. One question that remains is the level of connectivity that determines when sites are sufficiently separate; work continues. Warmer waters on the horizon While sea lice might be a very obvious threat to the economics of salmon farms, climate change is never far from the horizon and this may be more so with offshore farms. Using the coast of Norway, which has a 13-degree latitudinal range and hence provides good data on performance of fish in different climates, Bruce McAdam of the University of Stirling set out to use this to test what might happen as sea temperatures rise. He used Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted scenarios as the basis for computer modelling future impacts on salmon farms. One challenge for the study was that sea surface temperatures (SSTs), supplied by existing farms along the Norwegian coast, did not always agree with those predicted over the same time period by the model. This was determined to be a symptom of the point readings of farms, often close to the coast, differing from the average SST on a spatial scale used by the model – the differences were site specific and variable over an annual cycle; a simple recalibration using data from individual sites, overcame this apparent contradiction. A threshold of 16 deg C, an extreme temperature for salmon, resulting in stress and poor feeding, causes many managers to withhold feed, so the model aimed to quantify its impacts, with and without feed, and against various climate change trends. The results showed that it was not so much gradual temperature rise that might cause difficulties, but rather the frequency of extremes, the breaches of the threshold. It should be noted that there was much variation between locations of farms and how they are managed, more so than simply between the current period and the modelled outputs for the next few decades up to 2060. Those in the south and those which keep fish at sea longer are likely to be more prone to climate


MASTS.indd 58

change impacts. As with all studies of this kind, the models are only as good as the data that feed them and there remains a need for more research on how both fish and farm management respond to temperature extremes. Acid test for aquaculture Another effect of rising carbon dioxide levels is ocean acidification, which has been shown to impair the metabolisms of many marine organisms, including fin fish, and more obviously affect the ability of shell-bearing animals to grow or maintain their shells. This has obvious consequences for aquaculture, so research by Susan Fitzer of the University of Stirling should be of interest. Working with other scientists in Australia on the Sydney rock oyster, she found that selective breeding of the oysters, for fast growth and disease resistance, can alter the way they obtain and use calcium carbonate (calcite) in building their shells. While impactful ocean acidification might not be imminent in Scottish waters, the risks will rise as climate change effects are felt. This research

The “ models

are only as good as the data that feed them and there remains a need for more research

04/11/2019 15:19:02

Meeting of minds demonstrates that careful selection for resilience might prove to be an effective strategy for shellfish survival and aquaculture continuity. Making a noise about oysters Climate change is not the only anthropogenic threat facing the marine environment and the aquaculture industry. Our awareness that noise pollution can affect whales, dolphins and porpoises and other vertebrates is well studied but its consequences for invertebrates is little understood. The European oyster, which used to be widespread, forming extensive beds containing vast numbers, has been brought to the edge of extinction in British waters by over exploitation; the species certainly reached the point of economic extinction by the mid-20th century. Now vigorous restoration projects are underway in an attempt to revitalise the oyster in its former haunts. One key question facing those bringing any organism back from the brink is whether its habitat remains suitable or whether it has been altered in the intervening period. Edward Bolger, from Edinburgh Napier University, and his co-workers have been investigating how the increase in anthropogenic noise might affect any re-colonisation. A key part of re-establishing the oyster beds is dependent upon the successful recruitment and on-growing of larvae, so anything that influences choice of where and when to settle by the larvae needs to be understood. Simulating ship noise in the laboratory and allowing the larvae a choice of two substrates for settlement, Bolger carried out a series of experiments. His findings show that the presence of a suitable substrate is the major determinant and where present ship noise made no difference to settlement and survival success. However, ship noise did affect the swimming behaviour of larvae, which may affect their ability to find suitable substrate. Past and future Anton Edwards (Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum), in a talk entitled ‘Growing fish and research together’, gave an entertaining retrospective about how SARF had been born from a need to provide scientific underpinning for a then fledgling industry. The unique structure of SARF, which included in its board representation a wide range of stakeholders, often with opposing views, ensured that a considered approach to providing the science behind the product could be achieved.

MASTS.indd 59

Opposite page - clockwise from top left: Edward Bolger investigated the impact of ship noise on oyster settlement; concluding slide from Edward Bolger’s presentation; Susan Fitzer’s poster presentation - the ePoster sessions gave an opportunity for detailed discussions with presenters; some of the issues facing Scottish aquaculture and the SARF board throughout its 15 year life, from Anton Edwards’ presentation.

Funded jointly by the Scottish government and industry partners, SARF was able to provide small grants for specific research projects which targeted areas of concern for the industry – the sea lice problem, for example, was the subject of many bids and projects. After 15 years, SARF has reached a natural end point and the need for larger, better funded projects is now being catered for by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). SAIC, mindful of the under representation of women in what has traditionally been a male dominated sector, supported a workshop at the conference organised by Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA). The network is developing a website, and has instigated Facebook and Instagram networking opportunities. Presentations from a number of women already working in or with the aquaculture industry demonstrated that the situation is beginning to change. WiSA can be followed on Twitter with the hashtag: #diversitymakesuswisa, or on Instagram @womeninscottishaqua. FF

This page from top: Maps from Berit Rabe’s talk showing how the Scottish Coastal Current transports larvae toward the north; the SARF board had representatives from a wide range of stakeholders (from Anton Edwards’ presentation); MASTS ASM coffee breaks provide the ideal opportunity for further discussions and ePoster viewing; Philip Gillibrand (Mowi) talked about connectivity between salmon farm sites


04/11/2019 15:19:36

Multi Pump Innovation – Advertorial

MPI establishes firm foothold in Scottish aquaculture market Leading robotic cage cleaning company invests in servicing its growing Scottish client base


OR more than a decade the cage cleaning technology from Norwegian firm MPI (Multi Pump Innovation) has been recognised by leading producers of farmed fish as being the number one in the market, evidenced by the fact that over 750 MPI systems are currently employed on fish farms of all sizes worldwide. With constant investment in its R&D division to bring even greater speed and stronger technology to its customers, MPI initially established itself in this sector with the basic RONC remote controlled system. In the past two years, it has introduced the hugely successful ‘Racemaster’ – a high speed and user friendly remote controlled washing and cleaning robot that can remove all marine growth from fish cages in the impressive time scale of between 45 and 75 minutes per cage (depending on the state of the cage). Already proving its worth for some of the world’s top aquaculture companies, the Racemaster continues to be in strong demand, and some 50 Racemaster systems have already been delivered to farm sites in every corner of the globe, where they are producing amazing results for their owners. And, in its strategy to constantly provide customers with more efficient and faster systems, MPI recently added to its range with the exciting new ‘JetMaster’ – a rim thruster, beltless remote controlled robotic cleaner. The prototype, which was launched amid much interest from the international aquaculture industry at this year’s Aqua Nor, is currently undergoing extensive trials and fine tuning of minor ‘teeth‘MPI has up until now catered for the Scottish and Irish markets with service ing problems’ in Norway, with the aim of being mechanics travelling from Norway, in addition to a mechanic placed in Engavailable on the market in early 2020. Such is the land,’ explained MPI CEO Kåre Myrvåg. interest in the JetMaster that several system units ‘But to be in a position to serve the market better, we are now changing the are already on the ‘pre-order’ books from several structure by establishing a separate company with an office, warehouse and leading fish farm companies. building for parts stock in Fort William and hiring local mechanics,’ he said. The whole idea will reduce the lead time for the customers waiting for Investing in Scotland’s aquaculture industry With Scotland one of the fastest growing markets replacement parts and/or a service engineer, he added. The warehouse will stock most of the normal parts needed for MPI equipfor MPI’s products, the company is currently investing in a dedicated depot, parts warehouse and ment operation and, by reducing shipping time and customs clearance, this will greatly improve MPI’s service in Scotland. service engineers in Fort William. A similar set-up was previously established by MPI in Chile two years ago and This programme of investment, and the formation of MPI Scotland Ltd as a registered company, comes has proven to be a great success for customers there. MPI Scotland Ltd has now signed a contract to hire a country manager in about as a result of MPI strengthening its market Scotland (with the successful candidate to be announced next month) and, in share in Scotland. addition, MPI Norway has permanently transferred one of its service engiThis includes the recent announcement of a neers, Mark Mountfield, from England to be based at Fort William. new service agreement with the Scottish Salmon It is also envisaged that additional mechanics will be hired for the Fort William Company to service all of its cleaning units, as well as a new service agreement with Mowi Scotland to base before the end of 2019, with the interview process for candidates already underway. FF service 17 out of its 30 units.


Multi Pump Innovation - PED.indd 60

The company is currently investing in a dedicated depot, parts warehouse and service engineers in Fort William

Above left: MPI’s RaceMaster in use at a Mowi site in Ireland Above: The innovation of rim thrusters for the MPI JetMaster has attracted much interest from the fish farming community

04/11/2019 15:13:15

Products and services

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

Tecnovit Seretec is a natural anti-stress feed material that helps aquatic species to cope better with stress. It is an Opuntia ficus indica extract that accelerates the synthesis of Heat Shock Proteins (HSP) which helps the aquatic species respond to recurrent repeated stressful challenges. It can be applied both in feed and by immersion which provides 72 hours of stress protection while aiding in cell repairing which promotes the return to the normal standard growth profile. Avoid higher production costs due to stress associated mortality derived from changes in water quality, transfers, transports, treatments and pathogenic challenges. T: (+34) 977 816 550 #51036

Aquaculture System Technologies Aquaculture System Technologies (AST) has brought the art of aquaculture to life by producing its own YouTube series. So far, this channel has accumulated more than 2,470 subscribers, ranging from everyday people who are looking to harvest fish, to notable leaders in the aquaculture space. According to AST, this channel was produced in order to create videos that were easy to understand while showcasing real life systems in action. The channel host, Paul Begue, brings his many years’ expertise in design and installation of recirculating aquaponic systems to allow the vast world of aquaculture to be readily available to the consumer. Although this channel has already surpassed AST’s expectations, Begue is excited for its future and plans to partner with dozens of customers around North America in order to show off their innovative systems. T: 1 866 890 2204

What's New - Nov 19.indd 61

SentrOXY is the most superior answer to many oxygen sensor problems, an innovative and smart series of optical oxygen sensors with an integrated control unit from Sentronic. Sentronic has been developing optical measuring systems for more than 25 years. Based on its experience in pharmaceutical process analysis, it offers products that meet the highest safety requirements of your process control. Ultimately, if any malfunctions occur, the health of the fish can be determined within minutes. With their integrated controllers and switching outputs, the sensors can independently control the processes, for example to regulate the supply of oxygen on the basis of threshold values or alarm signals. This leads to a high degree of operational safety, significantly reduces installation costs. And it simplifies the integration effort into central controllers, since these can access the states to be set directly via the digital bus (for example, the threshold value or time interval) and thus the programming of such evaluation algorithms is not required. Of course, the peripherals connected to the sensor can be directly controlled via this bus, using the Adisseo Adisseo’s customer event at Aquaculture Europe 2019 - Joining Forces to add value in Aquaculture - was attended by about 100 participants, including fish integrators and fish feed producers from all over the EMEA region. ‘This seminar has become a tradition during the annual Aquaculture Europe conference,’ said Dr Peter Coutteau, Adisseo’s Business Unit Aquaculture director. ‘It serves as a platform to share information with our aquaculture customers from Europe, although the number of participants from the Middle East, Asia and

central control, but now you have a backup control system. The variety of available analogue and digital interfaces enables a simple upgrade or modification of existing systems, as well as the installation of new complete stateof-the-art digital technology systems. The unique interface, integrated in the sensor and with its coloured LED feedback, helps you to easily install and safely operate your system. Because the interface is directly applied to the sensor, Sentronic offers the first sensors that no longer need to be removed from the process for reconfiguration, calibration or status information retrieval, dramatically reducing maintenance costs. T: +49 (0) 351 / 871 8163

Latin America is growing. The audience represents well over 50 per cent of the marine fish production in the Mediterranean region.’ Dr Waldo Nuez, lead scientist for the BU Aquaculture, opened the seminar with a update on research results supporting the broad range of feed additives offered by Adisseo to the aquaculture market. The emphasis was on the core programmes on

disease prevention and digestive/metabolic enhancement. Adriana Casillas, vice president of the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF), talked about insect protein for sustainable aquaculture. Amin Mansouri, technical marketing manager at Arona P.J.S. Co, Iran, reported the aquafeed industry in Iran. And Dr Panos Varvarigos from consultancy firm VetCare, gave an overview of the current health challenges and management strategies to prevent disease in Mediterranean marine fish. T: +32 52 77 01 30


04/11/2019 15:11:05

Processing News

Tomorrow’s technology at salmon ‘show how’

Above: Marel’s popular Copenhagen ‘show how’

MAREL is staging one of its popular ‘show hows’ at its Copenhagan demonstration facility in February to highlight advances in the processing sector. Hundreds of salmon

processors from around the world are expected to attend the event, which will feature demonstrations, guest speakers and seminars. The demonstrations

of integrated solutions, standalone equipment and food processing software will run in a simulated factory environment with real product. The focus will be on

showing visitors how Marel can help them increase yield, improve the utilisation of raw materials and enable full traceability. Guests will also have the opportunity to walk through simulations of hi-tech processing facilities in virtual reality. The Icelandic company said at a time of accelerated change in food processing methods, salmon producers are keen to stay informed about new technologies and proven solutions and its Salmon Show How

Stay informed Guests will have the “opportunity to walk through simulations of hi-tech facilities in virtual reality

provides this opportunity in a hands-on, practical way. The speaker and seminar agenda will be announced closer to the date.

At the 2019 event, Norwegian bank DNB’s senior analyst, Dag Sletmo, looked at some of the ways digitalisation is driving the salmon industry forward. And SalmonChile president Arturo Clément presented insights into how Chilean salmon producers are using the latest advances to face challenges and secure their competitive position. The event, to be held on February 5, will conclude with dinner and entertainment in the evening.

…and smart move in white fish Salmon smoker granted top taste title MAREL meanwhile has signed a deal with Icelandic white fish processor Brim for the installation of high-tech equipment and software. The order, scheduled for mid-2020, will make Brim’s Reykjavik facility the most advanced white fish processing plant in the world. The installation includes several new developments in processing technology, including a quality control system and the latest robot technology that will automate and streamline production Above: Sigurdur Olason significantly. ‘We are very happy to be taking part in this exciting project,’ said Sigurður Ólason, executive vice president of Marel Fish. ‘This is a historic agreement for a facility that will truly put smarter processing in action.’ Given the complexity of the high-volume installation, Marel presented the solution to Brim executives last month in virtual reality. This meant they could walk through a simulation of the complete facility to see how the integrated solution will work. Training will also take place in virtual reality ahead of installation, so that by the time machines and software are up and running, Brim employees will have a working knowledge of the set up. Marel increasingly uses engineering applications of virtual reality in its manufacturing and sales processes in order to speed up the innovation cycle and reduce the cost of installations for its customers. The installation at Brim will include a hi-tech packing system using 10 robots that will streamline the entire packing process. There will be three FleXicut pinboning and portioning lines, including trimming lines and automatic product distribution. Brim will also be the first fish processor to install Marel’s newest SensorX bone detection system for fresh products. The software within and connecting the machinery will be central to the value of the solution. Integrating software throughout the facility and connecting all equipment will give Brim full traceability throughout the production process. ‘We are excited here at Brim, and look forward to participating in this hi-tech white fish processing project,’ said Ægir Páll Friðbertsson, managing director of Brim.


Processing News.indd 62

GRANTS Traditional Rope Hung Smoked Scottish Salmon has been awarded the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Taste Approved award. The Maryport, Cumbria, based family company is the only independent smokehouse in the UK to receive the recognition. The Good Housekeeping experts test thousands of products each year and certification is focused on taste, texture, appearance and aroma. Grants owner Jonathan Brown said: ‘This is yet another honour for our premium product, the Rope Hung. ‘The Good Housekeeping Institute’s stamp of approval is of huge importance because it carries real weight with millions of shoppers. Only the finest products receive this accolade. ‘Our Rope Hung is widely recognised as being among the world’s best and this new award confirms it. ‘It already holds a three star Great Taste award, two gold medals from the Monde Federation and is the product of choice for some of the world’s leading chefs.’ He added: ‘The Rope Hung is so labour intensive and expensive to produce it makes little commercial sense to do so, but I wanted people to be able to enjoy smoked salmon as it really should taste.’ The Rope Hung is made with

Atlantic salmon from Scottish suppliers with the highest possible environmental and aquaculture standards, according to Grants. It is hand trimmed and then hand cured in sea salt, and rope hung in Grant’s brick kiln. Under the personal supervision of the master smoker, each side is then smoked for up to 36 hours over oak chips made from whisky barrels. After removal, it is allowed to rest in Grants’ conditioning room for 24 hours before being hand sliced. Brown said: ‘This has been a tremendous year for Grants. Our smokehouse is the only one in the UK to be BAP certified, which means it carries the highest possible global certification.’ The company, which employs more than 100 people, supplies smoked salmon to retailers, restaurants and food companies.

Above: Award winning smoked salmon

04/11/2019 15:05:38

Processing News

Seafood partnership a recipe for success SEAFOOD Scotland, the national trade and marketing body for the Scottish seafood industry, has committed to a year-long partnership with Scottish Chefs in a programme worth more than £10,000. The collaboration, the first of its kind for both organisations, highlights the role of chefs in the food and drink supply chain, said Seafood Scotland. The initiative will involve talking to hundreds of chefs, ‘how-to’ education videos, and providing seafood to five key Scottish chef events, including two global competitions (the Culinary Olympics and the Global Chefs Challenge). Clare Dean, trade marketing manager at Seafood Scotland, said: ‘Seafood Scotland is delighted to be working with so many fantastic chefs to ensure that our high quality reputation resonates from sea to plate within Scotland’s Land of Food and Drink. ‘The partnership with Scottish Chefs supports one of the final

Above: Kevin MacGillivray, president of the Scottish Chefs, with Clare Dean of Seafood Scotland

and most vital stages in the supply chain - putting Scotland’s larder on to plate. ‘They are well recognised within the chef community, holding vital links to both training and working chefs across Scotland. ‘This partnership will directly support the prevalence of

Scottish seafood on menus across the food service sector to our closest market, right here at home.’ Kevin MacGillivray, president of the Scottish Chefs, said: ‘Scottish Chefs is delighted with the huge commitment that Seafood Scotland have shown and, as always,

we are very proud to be able to showcase Scotland’s world class seafood on the global culinary stage. ‘We hope this will encourage more food and drink organisations to see the benefits in supporting not only Scottish chefs but the Scottish culinary team.’

Check out the

Fish Farmer website


Processing News.indd 63


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Ferguson.indd 1

Ferguson.indd 1


14/07/2014 14:54:15 Aqua Source Directory.indd 64

18/02/2015 11:57

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• Established by Transport and John Driege Sarl - Established in 2019inby2019 O’Toole

- 6 Strategically located depots in Europe O’Toole Transport and John Driegeserving Sarl all major seafood platform

- Operating a 20,000ftftchilled chilled facility • Operating fromfrom a 20,000 facilityin Bellshill, Scotland • 6 Strategically located - 6 Strategically locateddepots depots in in Europe Europe serving all major seafood platfo • 140 Trucks / 200 Refrigerated Trailers - Operating daily services between Scotland and Boulogne France -with 200 Live Refrigerated Trailers with Live temperature tracking temperature tracking

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Ferguson Transport & Shipping offers a comprehensive range of distribution services by road, rail and sea, covering the whole of the


since since1965 1965 since 1965

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• Aquaculture Longer Life-time Equipment Ltd Aquaculture Equipment Ltd Foxdenton Lane, Middleton, MOHN36, AQUAFoxdenton GROUP The Enterprise Park,Middleton, Forres, IV36 2AB, Scotland, UK Lane, • 36, Higher Intensity over time Tel +44 (0) 1309 678270 Fax +44 (0) 1309 673615 Manchester M24 1QG Manchester M24 1QG Tel: +44(0)161 6835869 • More Light per Watt Tel: +44(0)161 6835869 GROUP uses, Craignure uses, Craignure MOHN GROUP +44 AQUA (0)1772 322200 MOHN AQUA GROUP es,PA65 IV36 2AB, Scotland, UK 07715 007964 ll 6BE yll PA65 6BE MOHN AQUA GROUP TheMobile: Enterprise Park, Forres, IV36 2AB, Scotland, UK 07715 007964 MOHN AQUA GROUP TheMobile: Enterprise Park, Forres, IV36 2AB, Scotland, UK 09 615 678270 • Less CO2 Tel +44 (0) 1309 Tel +44 (0) 1309E: 678270 Fax +44 (0) 1309Footprint 673615 678270 TelFax+44 (0) Tel +44 (0) 1309E: 678270 +44 (0) 13091309 673615 678270

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Aqua Source Directory.indd 65


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Opinion – Inside track

Do square pens have the edge? I BY NICK JOY

T IS now nearly 30 years since I started down a different path in aquaculture and I feel it’s about time I explained why and maybe a bit about how. Firstly, I would love to claim that deciding to farm salmon differently was all my idea but it wasn’t. Jonathan Stansfeld, who died earlier this year, was formative in getting me to think differently. He was a deep thinker and cared about how we farmed.The other side of him was his knowledge of wild salmon, and in our many discussions he would challenge the thinking about farming in the 1990s based on what he knew. After three years of working with him, I asked how he imagined the farm would be; in other words, what was our culture strategy. He replied,‘what would you do if it were your farm?’ That question caused me hours of work and torment, trying to decide what the most important things were and what mattered most to me. In the end I came up with: farming needs to be a process that can last for 100 years in the same place, and the qualities of the animal we are farming should remain essentially the same too. There were, and are, refinements of that, of course. Clearly, breeding will affect the animals we grow and the area we farm will be changed inevitably. So I started with the fish and what sort of conditions would be ideal for them, but also least impactful on the local environment. This, in time, became our fallow system, which exceeded the requirements for the health of the fish considerably, precisely because it was designed to minimise impact on the site. People have often questioned the need for this length of fallow but usually from a health perspective. The most important thing is to ensure that nothing from the previous crop (or very little) exists at the site when the next crop goes in. It’s not as though this is particularly brilliant or clever, as it is the same as the sort of rotations used in agriculture. In those days, we were so busy trying to farm, that we often forgot about the poor creatures that we were farming. I don’t mean that we didn’t care! Of course we did, but the equipment we were using was in development all the time. We were encountering things that people had never faced before; even now, with all of the sophisticated equipment, we can’t stay on top of it. We knew little, worked hard and tried our best, so the philosophy of rearing animals was often put on to the back boiler. It was a tough time and we didn’t always perform as we might have liked. My target was to try to put the fish at the top of the tree (so to speak). We needed to think of the fish as the paramount thing when designing the farm and the systems to rear them.Too often in farming we see equipment designed for the humans who work there, rather than the animals grown there. Here are some examples of the things to think about, which I thought about then. I would argue that they are as relevant now as they were then. Salmon are piscivores and do not eat all the time in the wild.They are used to long periods of fasting and their systems are designed for that. Most feeding systems in use now try to keep the gut full as much as possible. Yet we know these animals are not designed for that. How should we ap-


Nick Joy.indd 66

From how “ to feed to how

we contain our fish, there are many solutions and who is to say which is right

proach this or should we at all? The modern development of circular pens has come about because of exposed sites and the cost of construction. Fish swim in a circle and sick fish try to leave the swim pattern to rest and recover. If you ever watch a fish that has jumped and hit something, they try to get out of the way of the rest of the population for a moment to recover. In square pens, the corners are where you see any fish that are sick or recovering, which is useful for the fish and for the stockmen. Where do the fish go in a circular pen? I would suggest mostly to the centre or the surface, neither being a particularly good place. I am not suggesting that we should get rid of circular pens, but just think about them differently. From how to feed to how we contain our fish, there are many differing solutions and who is to say which is right. There are so many difficult questions that we face as an industry and maybe it is awkward to bring up things like this. But if we are to last as long as agriculture, we will need to!. FF

04/11/2019 15:02:18

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Profile for Fish Farmer Magazine

Fish Farmer Magazine November 2019  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine November 2019  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977