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Fish Farmer VOLUME 42

Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977







New names, new products at record breaking show

Do Danes have solution to no-deal delays?

The woman behind Norway’s development scheme

Martin Jaffa finds new clue to wild salmon decline

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

Contents Contents Contents

44-45 48-49 4-15 4-14 41-43 42-44 38-39 48-49 4-15 4-14 41-43 42-44 38-39 Nor Innovation Brussels News Aqua 2018 Aquaculture What’s happening happening in in aquaculture aquaculture 48-49 Russian expansion Salmon market What’s Montpellier preview From shrimp torobust salmon Investor advice Brussels 4-15 News 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 Innovation Aquaculture 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 16-19 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 Comment 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 Marti nrecord Jaff a pioneer Steve Bracken SSC’s results inquiry Stewart Graham The final sessions New processors’ group Industry News Extra platform 16-21 16-17 Parliamentary 16-22 Sti rling course Pictures at the exhibiti on Insurance market Brussels Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The fi nal sessions New processors’ groupon Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquiry Sti rling course Pictures atmarket the exhibiti Insurance salmon farming sector Scotland, when itindustry was to he focus this month is on Europe, the internati T HE is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went topictures press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal HE size and ambiti on ofin Norway’s aquaculture Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The fi20-21 nal sessions 22-23 18-19 24-27 46-47 the subject ofwent acent parliamentary inquiry, embraced the HE salmon farming sector in Scotland, when told it(European was to last 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 was on magnifi display at Aqua Nor in Trondheim he focus this month isto on Europe, where the internati onal T be is coincidence that pictures and videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer press, there was sti llScotti no offi cial SSPO market 22-23 18-19 24-27 opportunity this would provide to explain how it operated. Salmon SSPO be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, embraced the Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at the start of this month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy Aqua Nor month, and the many visitors from Scotland will no doubt industry will soon be gathering for the joint EAS (European salmon were sent to news outlets just as the Scotti sh news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry into salmon Hamish Macdonell salmon farming sector in Scotland, when it was to he focus this month istopictures on Europe, the internati T HE is coincidence that andwhere videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was sti lltold no offi cialonal Current trends In good health Julie Hesketh-Laird The industry had nothing to hide and, if given a fair hearing, could Meet the new chief executi ve opportunity this would provide to explain how it operated. Salmon market 22-23 18-19 conference, to be staged over fi ve days in the southern French images had litt le to do with the current state of Scotland’s fi sh and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fi ve SSPO 24-27 Bright spark have found much inspirati on there. Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at the start of this month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy be thewere subject ofScotti a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced industry willsent soon gathering the EASinto (European salmon to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti shthe news from the sh parliamentary inquiry salmon 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 chief executi ve city of Montpellier. As well as highlighti ng 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 But while our presence was of course much smaller, this country conference, to be staged over fi ve days in the southern French images had litt le to do with the current state of Scotland’s fi sh and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fi ve opportunity this would provide explain how it month. operated. Salmon market SSPO Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament back to work atto the start of this These farming, went conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy 22-23 Fish Farmer supported this view, atreport tiames felt that salmon address much of the criti cism levelled against it. advances inle fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also feature year (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng their recommendati ons has punched well above its weight, with major Scotti suppliers city oflow As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice levels are in decline and, insh fact, at five- Meet meeti ngs, in private, consider their and we be Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had nothing to hide and, ifbut given fair hearing, thehealth new chief executive conference, to beour staged over fifor ve days in the southern French images had litt to do with the current state of Scotland’s ficould shabeen and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fimust ve 48-49 56 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 Shellfish 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 such as Gael Force and Ace Aquatec reporti ngwe steady advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng for their recommendati ons has been 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, in fact, at afiinterest fifeature vemeeti ngs, in private, tolevels consider their report and must be 56 Aqua review Nor Innovation angling lobby, which had called forby investi gati on. But as the 48-49 50-58 42-45 Nicki Holmyard farmers were being drowned out the noisier elements of the Book 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 2018 Aquaculture and business from the Norwegians, asmes well as from further afield. 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 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 Salmon incleaner the desert sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we Focus on 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 review the start-ups Book And, inpropaganda case you missed the big story of month, itEconomy was 56 farming inbeing ng Increasingly, industry meeti ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural acti vists. The latest ofpoverty. these (see our news story on page 4)a Training Aqua 2018 Aquaculture 48-49 50-58 42-45 farmers were drowned out by the noisier elements of the sessions on emerging markets and look at the role fish This latest campaign, which involves allof the usual made harder byalleviati leaks from within the REC tothe anti -salmon farming became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on it makes to global sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to Focus on cleaner fi sh are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such as the social Britilobby, sh company, Benchmark, that scooped the coveted Aqua and Connecti vity committ ee returned from summer recessNor to makes grim reading forcame the industry asindustry itgati suggests that committ ee Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best of the start-ups angling which had called for the investi on. But asngs Book review farming in alleviati ngof poverty. Increasingly, anti -aquaculture suspects, as Holyrood’s Rural Economy activists. The latest these (see our news story onmeeti page 4)the Training Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation food security and saving the planet, a move that is to 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 contributi on it makes to global 50-54 Those who want to shut down the industry have, as expected, shut down this valuable sector, rather than to those who operate Innovati on Award, repeati ng Ace Aquatec’s coup of two years ago, consider its draft report into the future of salmon 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 such as thefarming. 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 Best57 ofonthe start-ups 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 in abe favourable food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that isperhaps toanti welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens in cahoots with -farming stepped up their acti viti es, which now involve breaching the within it.draft and boosti ng our reputati on for innovati on in an excepti onally Those who want to shut down the as shut down this 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 ithave, makes toexpected, global Aqua Nor 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 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-farming a Dr favourable Aquaculture UK biosecure environments of farm sites to photographs in Ofwho course, such stories may inaccurate in any case, Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 Net cleaning competi tiup ve fi eld. stepped their acti viti es, which now involve breaching the within it. food security and saving the planet, athe move that isand, toworld, be welcomed. Exhibiti on round-up the excepti on of one or two Greens in cahoots with anti Those want tocatf shut down the industry have, as expected, shut down this valuable sector, rather than tosnatch those who operate 24 20 20-21 28-29 Nigeria, both in ish and ti lapia culti vati on. Comment 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 Introducti on light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental 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 Aquaculture UK 57 It was disappointi ng, therefore, to hear from Scotti sh salmon biosecure environments of farm sites to snatch photographs 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 ngacti initi aties, veswhich inregard thenow developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry inofa aDr favourable stepped up their viti involve breaching theng game within Init.Scotland, the summer has been something waiti What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Nigeria, both in catf ish and tisearching, lapia culti vati on. Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. BTA Shellfi sh 24 20 20-21 responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in Comment 28-29 Introducti on campaigner lmed himself unsuccessfully, for dead have always been fortunate to have the support of their minister, farmers at the show that they could not use Benchmark’s prize 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 Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in light. Theythe will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Aquaculture biosecure environments of farm sites tosomething snatch photographs ingame Of while course, such stories may be inaccurate and, inof any case, Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 UK Net56-57 cleaning parliament is in recess and the members of Holyrood’s Scotland, the summer has been aof waiti ngthe IfInthe ee members, especially those who have yet toinof Comment What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas growth that isfibeen sustainable. fi sh at acommitt Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ Fergus Ewing, to grow winning CleanTreat sea lice system on their own sites. Scotland’s Nigeria, both in catf ish and tisustainably. lapia culti vati on. campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always fortunate to have the support their minister, BTA Shellfi sh responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest Introducti onons 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 Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up while parliament ishas in recess and the members of Holyrood’s 58-59 60-63 68-69 51 visit a itthe salmon farm, likeespecially tosomething learn more about the subject of Phil IfBut the ee members, those who have yet infested salmon in awould pen, but we only have his word against that should not go unchallenged that some MSPs on thetoREC In Scotland, the summer been ofhe aof waiti ng game 24-27 Rural Economy minister, Fergus Ewing, who was in Trondheim, fi sh at acommitt Marine Harvest site. Another said saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. Smir 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 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 Hydrobass Pioneer UK supports trials of CleanTreat inwe Scotland. And the head of infested salmon avets pen, but 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 Boatbuilding fi sh at athe Marine Harvest site. Another said hefarming. saw ‘hundreds’ ofexpect Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. 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 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 Mitchell these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Barramundi boomUK Martyn Haines European leaders Marine Scotland, also at the exhibiti on, apparently reassured the 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 Sea bass 60-63 68-69 51 visit a salmon farm, would like to learn more about the subject of New course opens fully with the facts sh farming. infested salmon in go aacquainted pen, but we only have hisabout wordfiare against that Butto itbecome should not unchallenged that some MSPs on the REC their report unti l inquiry the autumn but hope the MSPs using the time 26 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 Shellfi Comment 22-23 BTA 30 bett er, they could head to the 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 Benchmark team that they had his backing too. these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of 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 Marine Harvest’s longest of the professional vets andagendas biologists who manage the welfare committ ee, with their own against the growth of the of Aquaculture UK toreport become acquainted with the facts about fiusing sh farming. Australia Training Sea bass boom theirbiggest unti l the autumn but hope the MSPs are thebrilliance, tiright me Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a fi shfully farming show. Doug McLeod they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse Scotland’s must mount adaily much more robust defence of itself, through its and of vital toBracken. Scotland’s economy, we have athey What, then, is the problem? If home-grown technical If the industry is proud of its high standards, as itsalmon says itlongest is, it are in abusinesses positi on to infl uence the future course ofat farming, Shellfi sh Comment BTA bett er, they could head to Highlands later this month, where serving employee, Steve We had no trouble collecti ng Chris Mitchell these farms on a basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As This month also sees the reti rement of Marine Harvest’s Barramundi boom Martyn Haines European leaders to become fully acquainted with the facts about fi sh farming. 28-29 We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inindustry, Aviemore and biggest fish farming show. representati ve body, the SSPO, than itthe has done tothrough date. to who are, and we hope its cheered on by producers and the powers that be, can address 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 is 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 ves, will pressure the parliament to investi gate before the greatest farming challenges and sustainably surely faceless Aqua Nor representati 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, thea team at Fish biggest fishtributes farming show. warm from his friends and colleagues to mark the 28-31 24-25 32-33 must mount a much more robust defence of itself, through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we have right SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms serving employee, Steve Bracken. We hadtoo. no trouble collecting forward to seeing many of you there should be prepared to fiwe ght back. the REC report isall published. Introduction bureaucrats would not block such progress. Or would they? campaigners, we now see, will stop nothing, and representati ves, will pressure the parliament to 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 to 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 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 Jaff a Farms Orkney anniversary Janet SSPO Comment Scottish Sea Shellfi shnBrown 30-31 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 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 58-59 Fish Farmer is now on @fishfarmermagazine 69 Aqua Nor 64-67 70-73 52-54 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner fi sh Scottish Sea Farms Comment Fish Farmer is now on Archive Innovation Award @fishfarmermag 69 64-67 70-73 52-54 Aquaculture UK 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 Aqua the Norteam past Fish Farmer is now on Meet Boosti ng producti on Dave Conley Chris Mitchell Aquaculture UK 69 Nigeria Networking Research 64-67 70-73 52-54 Contact us Meet the team Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner fi sh Scottish Sea Farms Comment Meet the team Boosti ng producti Dave Conley Chris Mitchell Contact us131 Meet theAdvisory team Board: Aquaculture Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 551 1000 1000 Editorial Tel: +44(0) Nigeria Networking Research UK on Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit 60-61 34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 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: +44(0) 131 551 1000 usjhjul@fi 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, US focus 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 the 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: Vince McDonagh Marti nofJaff afiera Vaccines New player Dawn new Comment Cleaner sh Orkney 34-35 28-29 32-33 Farm visit +44(0) 131ce: 551 7901 Publications, 36-41 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé SteveMigaud, Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Head Offi Special Awards David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Aquaculture UK 81-82 From Archive Value the 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 FettesOffi Park, FerryPublicati Road, ons, Farm Head ce:496 Special Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer andDowdsemail: Comment Cleaner sh Orkney Awards David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Designer: Andrew Editor: Jenny Hjul Balahura Editor: Jenny Hjul Aquaculture UK jhjul@fi From Archive Value chains Edinburgh, 2DL Fett esOffi Park, 496 FerryPublicati Road, ons, Dawn Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds 63the 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 32-37 Editor: Jenny Hjul 91 Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, 78-79 63 Processing News Dave Edler HeadSubscriptions Office: Special Publications, Adverti sing Team Leader: 36-39 32-35 34-35 43-45 Adverti sing Manager: Executi ves: Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney IoA careers Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Designer: Andrew Balahura 91 78-79 63 Aqua Nor Pinneys pay-off s& Retail News Retail & Marketing Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, dedler@fi Processing Dave Edler Scott The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine Sti rling students Subscripti Adverti singBinnie Manager: Team Leader: Wild salmon decline Cleaner sh Orkney 36-39 32-35 34-35 IoA careers 43-45 Stand up forfiScotland Edinburgh, EH5ons 2DLAddress: Fish Eat more fi sh Adverti sing Executi ve: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment challenges Retail & Marketing 91 Subscriptions dedler@fi Processing & Retail News 78-79 63 Farmer Magazine Subscriptions, Davesbinnie@fi Edler The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine Sti rling students Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney Scott Binnie IoA careers Eat more fi sh Adverti sing Executi ve: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment challenges Subscriptions 64-65 Maree Douglas Subscripti ons Address: Retail & Marketing Warners Group PublicatiWyvex ons plc, Processing & Retail News The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine sbinnie@fi Sti rling students Scott Binnie Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEYStreet, YUBG TYUB, mdouglas@fi Eat more fishSource The Malti ngs, Bourne Adverti sing Executi ve: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs 92-93 Recruitment challenges Subscripti ons West Address: Wyvex 38-39 Subscriptions 80-81 64-65 Aqua Directory Publisher: Alister Bennett Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, WethersMedia, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBGWethersTYUB, Lincolnshire PE10 9PH Scottsbinnie@fi Binnie Publisher: Alister Bennett Find all you need for the industry 92-93 80-81 64-65 Aqua Source Directory Subscripti ons Address: Wyvex Aqua Nor Publisher: Alister Bennett fi eld, Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY fi eld,+44 Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, WethersTrinity House, Sculpins Lane, WethersTel: (0)1778 392014 sbinnie@fi Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Find all you need for the industry Development licences Aqua Source Directory 92-93 Tel: +44 (0) 1371 851868 80-81 64-65 Cover:Alister Alisonsh Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Steve Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti Sea Farms regional fifield, Braintree, Essex CM7 eld,Subscripti Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY ons: £75 a4AY year Publisher: Bennett Trinity House, Lane, WethersTrinityUK House, Sculpins Sculpins Lane, WethersCover: Piper Rhuaraidh farming director, Loch Etive. at the salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager forEdwards Orkney, 66 Find all you need for the industry UK Subscripti ons: £75£95 a year Tel: +44 (0) 1371 851868 Cover: Alison Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Steve Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti sh Sea Farms regional Aqua Source Directory ROW Subscripti ons: Gael Force recepti on at Nor Picture: Scott Binnie during his visit to Marine Harvest Essex 4AY Richard Darbyshire (left ),Aqua and the fifield, eld, Braintree, Braintree, Essex CM7 CM7 4AY a year farming director, on Loch Eti ve. salmon farming to Prince Charles producti on manager for Orkney, ROW Subscripti ons: £95 a year UK Subscripti ons: -£75 a year 40-43 82 66 Opinion in 2016. Photo: Iainat Ferguson Westerbister team Scapa Pier Find 94 all you need for the industry including postage All Air Mail Photo: Scott (0) 1371 851868 Cover: Alison Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Steve Bracken Lumpsucker Scotti sh SeaBinnie 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: a year 40 37 36-37 By Nick Joy 94 farming director, Loch Eti ve. Pier salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for at Orkney, 82 66 in 2016. Photo: Iain Ferguson Westerbister team Scapa Opinion Aqua Nor UK Subscriptions: £75 a year Picture: Scott during his visit Binnie to Marine Richard Darbyshire (left), Harvest and the 46-47 including postage - AllaAir Mail Brussels 40 37 36-37 By Nick Joy Norwegian Gannet ROW Subscripti ons: £95 year Innovation conference Cleaner fi sh Aquaculture Innovation Printed in Great Britain for the proprietors Wyvex Media Ltd by J Thomson Colour Printers Ltd, Printed in team Great for the 94 82 66Opinion in 2016. Photo: IainBritain Ferguson Westerbister at Scapa Pierproprietors Wyvex Media Ltd by J Thomson Colour Printers Ltd, Introducti on Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 Brussels 46-47 including postage All Air Mail Novel technology Temperature Introducti on By Nick Innovation Cleaner fishconference Aquaculture Innovation Opinion Joy 37 36-37 Printed Printed in in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Media Ltd Ltd by by JJ Thomson Thomson Colour Colour Printers Printers Ltd, Ltd,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 Better treatment Fair hearing French connection Farmers must fight back Uphold the code Fair French connection Farmers must Uphold the codefight back TIAT hearing





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 September.indd 3 Welcome Aug.indd Welcome -- May.indd Sept.indd Oct.indd 33

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.

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3 3 05/09/2019 18:05:09 09:13:10 09/05/2018 08/08/2018 15:36:28 06/09/2018 16:32:15 04/10/2018 09:15:28

United Kingdom News


National Trust ‘risks credibility’ over salmon claims THE National Trust for Scotland has ‘exaggerated’ claims that a proposed salmon farm off the island of Canna will cause environmental damage, said Ben Hadfield, managing director of Mowi Scotland. Scotland’s largest salmon farmer was invited by the Canna Development Trust to investigate setting up a high energy site off the west coast island, following the success of similar operations off the isles of Rum and Muck. But the plan has run into strong opposition from the angling and environmental lobbies, including the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), whose senior nature conservation adviser, Richard Luxmoore, has long been an outspoken critic of the salmon farming sector. Hadfield told the Financial Times last month that it could ‘categorically show’ the farm would not damage the area’s natural heritage. ‘We can demonstrate that the position they have taken at the moment is wrong, and it risks the credibility of a body like the NTS,’ he said. If approved, the farm would provide 10 jobs on Canna, which is Scotland’s smallest inhabited island, with a population of just 18. Mowi recently announced its intention to close two of its inshore farms –at Loch Duich and Loch Ewe – if it could relocate the biomass

goods – and also improving connectivity, said Mowi Scotland communications director Ian Roberts in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today show. The NTS cited the impact of sea lice on wild salmon and trout stocks in its objection to the Canna development, but wider causes are thought to be behind the decline in wild salmon populations. Hadfield told the Financial Times that Mowi was having increasing success in controlling sea lice without the use of chemicals and was ‘very comfortable’ with the levels of infestation currently seen on the company’s farms. The likelihood of sea lice transferring to wild salmon was much lower on sites Above: Ben Hadfield such as Canna than in constricted sea lochs, he added. to alternative, higher energy sites. Bergen based Mowi announced its ‘best ever’ ‘It is not for the NTS to block that on the basis second quarter results in August with major of exaggerated claims of damage to the environ- progress at its Scottish operations in both harment,’ said Hadfield. vest output and earnings. The Canna proposal is for a 2,500 tonne orGlobally, Mowi achieved an operational EBIT of ganic farm with eight, 160m circumference pens, 211 million euros, compared with €175 million covering an area of more than 16,000 square for the same quarter last year, and Scotland metres. contributed almost a fifth of that figure. Mowi’s farms off Rum and Muck are performThe Scottish operational EBIT totalled €46.5 ing well and the company has addressed roads million in the three months between April and and housing issues in the communities, as well June this year, compared to €21.3 million, the as assisting with freight – of both people and equivalent of €2.92 per kg (€2.38 in 2018).

Benchmark Holdings founder to step down A PROFITS warning was behind Malcolm Pye’s surprise decision to stand down as chief executive of the Yorkshire aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics business Benchmark Holdings, it has been disclosed. Pye, who will formally quit on November 30 but who will stay on as a non-executive director, told the board that he taken the decision to allow the company to appoint a new leader to drive the next phase of Benchmark’s growth and development. Benchmark Holdings said that Pye had decided a new boss was needed. However, the company stressed it wants to retain ‘his extensive knowledge and experience’. But the decision was taken in the wake of a profits warning a week earlier which wiped a fifth off its market value. The company then warned that in the past three months it has faced ‘challenging conditions in the global shrimp and Mediterranean seabass and bream markets’, which had affected sales in its advanced nutrition business. However, the share price, which has varied from a high of 63p to 36.5p in the past year, did make some recovery later. • Prize winning pioneers: Page 30


UK news.indd 4

Above: Malcolm Pye

05/09/2019 09:18:07

All the latest industry news from the UK

‘Don’t underestimate importance of salmon farming’ SCOTLAND should never underestimate the importance of the salmon farming industry to rural areas, said MP Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP in Westminster, as he opened new pier facilities at Mowi’s Kyleakin feed plant on Skye last month. The newly refurbished and extended pier means both ingredients and the final feed product can be transported by sea, keeping road haulage to a minimum. And its opening marks a major milestone in the journey towards final completion of the feed plant, which is currently undergoing testing as part of its commissioning phase. The plant will produce fish feed to supply Mowi’s salmon farms across the western Highlands and islands of Scotland, as well as Ireland, Norway and the Faroe Islands. It will provide for a range of salmon diets, including organic feed for Ireland and Scotland, as well as specialist broodstock and freshwater feeds. The plant has the capacity to produce 170,000 tonnes of feed pellets a year. Blackford, the member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said: ‘We should never underestimate the importance of the salmon farming industry to this part of the world. ‘We are passionate about creating opportunities for young people and their families to live here and the salmon industry is playing an important role in that. Food and drink are an important part of Scotland’s economy going forward and salmon is now our largest food export.’ Mowi Scotland originally announced plans to build a feed plant at the Altanavaig quarry site at Kyleakin in 2016 and planning permission was granted in early 2017. Fifty five people now work on the site, with more than 60 per cent recruited from the local area. Mick Watts, Mowi’s project director and global engineer, who has

Above: Mowi’s Mick Watts (left) with Ian Blackford at Kyleakin pier

overseen the project from its inception said: ‘We’ve been delighted at the warm reception we’ve received from the community and would like to thank them for their patience over the last few years. ‘It’s also been great to build such a strong team here on site and we’re particularly pleased we have been able to provide employment for so many local people. ‘This is a big step forward for us as the pier facilities are an integral part of the company’s investment on this site. We’re also hopeful the plant will be finished in the coming months.’ The 147m long pier is used for the delivery of fuel and ingredients, and can accommodate up to four vessels at any one time.

Three pioneers scaling up for future challenges

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05/09/2019 09:18:33

United Kingdom News

Scottish Sea Farms’ homes boost for remote island in Orkney

SALMON farmer Scottish Sea Farms has been granted approval to build six new eco-friendly homes on the remote island of Eday in Orkney. The £750,000 development will create four new homes for employees of the nearby salmon farm, helping overcome the lack of available accommodation, with a further two homes available to rent by islanders or visitors. Scottish Sea Farms, together with local landowners Haydn Jones and Nick Lyde of Willowstream, are to build the homes within the secluded hamlet of Mill Bay on Eday, one of the smaller Orkney islands, with just 76 habitable properties for a population of 129 people. The company’s farm manager at Eday, Phil Boardman, (pictured above) said: ‘We’ve been farming on the island for over seven years now and while the conditions for growing salmon are superb, the remote location has made recruitment difficult. ‘Unless employees live on one of the nearby islands, such as Sanday, they face a two-hour commute by boat from Orkney mainland, then have to stay over on one of the islands until their next weekend off, leaving little time for family, food shopping or looking after home and garden. ‘The result is that we have seen valued employees leave with every crop cycle – they


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loved the job, just not the logistics that go with it.’ Boardman added: ‘Step one has been to introduce a twoweek on, two-week off shift pattern, which is enabling the team to balance farm life and home life. ‘Step two, and equally critical, will be building these high spec houses for the team to go home to after each shift, sparing them the commute to other islands and ensuring they have a good quality of life. ‘We gave the team the choice of multi-bedroomed communal homes or single dwelling and the decision was unanimous – they wanted their own space. ‘The bonus of having the two rental homes, meanwhile, is that there will also be somewhere for visitors, contractors and auditors to stay.’ There has been strong support locally for the new homes, said Boardman: ‘From the architect, Orkney Islands Council planning team and local Sepa [Scottish Environment Protection Agency] office, to the contractors we’re using and our logistics partners Northwards, who will help transport the homes to the island, local partnerships have been key to making this project happen. ‘Get it right and this eco-friendly development could be the start of things to come for remote communities such as Eday.’ • Hamish Macdonell: Page 20

Salmon farmer doubles efforts in gill health SCOTTISH Sea Farms is to lead an applied research project focused on increasing understanding of gill health in farmed salmon, part of its ‘prevention over cure’ approach to fish welfare. The £601,000 project – of which Scottish Sea Farms will fund 62 per cent – will be the salmon farmer’s second such collaboration with academics at the University of Aberdeen, feed specialists BioMar and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). Combined, the two projects bring the company’s investment in applied research into gill health to almost £750,000 since 2018. Scottish Sea Farms’ head of fish health, Dr Ralph Bickerdike, said:‘The gills are hugely important to the overall health and wellbeing of Atlantic salmon, yet the factors affecting these vital organs are as highly complex as they are little understood. ‘This second gill health project seeks to explore further the early insights gleaned in our initial collaboration, helping increase knowledge of the key risks and how to preempt and avoid them.’ The project team will focus efforts on exploring the effect of geography and seasonal influences on gill health; and testing the accuracy of a range of new biomarkers - veterinary tests which help indicate the health status of fish and will enable more informed decisions. Above: Dr Ralph Bickerdike

Focus on freshwater in new study SCOTTISH aquaculture experts are aiming to determine the optimal water conditions for treating salmon with gill health issues. A consortium - including Loch Duart, Nevis Marine, Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, Pulcea, Norway’s Institute of Marine Research, and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) – will test the effect of fresh and low salinity water on fish’s gills. The project could also help find new ways of reducing the impact of sea lice. Using freshwater to treat fish affected by amoebic gill disease is a well established practice in aquaculture. However, transferring seawater adapted salmon to freshwater conditions can cause short-term stress for the fish and, in some cases, lead to mortalities. Some types of cleaner fish are also averse to freshwater conditions. Building on research undertaken by salmon farmer Loch Duart, the consortium will use a range of techniques – including gas infusion from Canada, membrane filtration from Norway, and water quality monitoring from Australia – to test the effect of a variety of water parameters on

fish, including temperature, oxygenation, pressure, salinity, and pH levels. The project will then seek to determine the right balance of conditions for treating salmon with compromised gill health. It aims to support the Scottish government’s Farmed Fish Health Framework, by reducing the stress on fish during treatment, decreasing the use of medicines, and creating better conditions for cleaner fish. Dr Sophie Fridman, from the Institute of Aquaculture, said: ‘With the increasing prevalence of gill challenges impacting Scottish fish farmers, interventions to protect salmonid gill health have become an essential part of fish health management strategies. However, these treatments are not without their risks and impose a physiological strain on already health compromised fish. Studying the impacts of freshwater treatments is therefore an extremely timely area of research.’

05/09/2019 09:19:34

All the latest industry news from the UK

Record half year sales for Scottish Salmon Company THE Scottish Salmon Company has announced a strong financial performance with record sales during the first six months of this year, despite facing a number of market related challenges. It was only two months ago that the Edinburgh based company, which operates some 60 sites on the west coast of Scotland and in the Hebrides, announced that it was considering offers to buy all or part of the business. Revenues for the six months to June 30 rose to a record high of £111.8 million, with exports accounting for 67 per cent of that total, thanks to a successful export strategy.That is an export increase of eight per cent on the same period a year ago. CEO Craig Anderson said: ‘The business has delivered strong results in the first half of the year and we remain committed to responsible business growth through our well defined strategy. ‘Priorities are: to invest in our operations, enhance operating efficiencies and maximise value; further strengthen the position of our brands; and increase exposure into key export markets, which now account for 67 per cent of sales. ‘In the first half of the year, we delivered

record revenues of £111.8 million, despite a softening in market conditions and contending with localised operational and biological events that impacted production in Q2. ‘Over the long term, the aim remains to deliver steady and sustainable growth. We remain on track to achieve our target volume of 33,000 tonnes by the year end and 45,000 tonnes by 2025, with planning consent being obtained for two sites.’ He added: ‘Our ongoing investment strategy continues to demonstrate results and support increased production. ‘As we achieve greater scale, we continue to make significant investments in site development, operational capacity, biological innovations and infrastructure. ‘The full benefit of this investment cycle will be realised going forward, ensuring we take advantage of an increasing share of global market potential as the demand for our Scottish salmon continues to grow.’ During the period the company, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, received a 3-star Best Aquaculture Practice award for all of its processing facilities. It plans to pay a dividend of NOK 0.57 per share.

Grieg hints at sale of Skye farms The Grieg Seafood Group may sell its five fish farms on Skye, the company indicated in a surprise statement last month. Announcing a review with its second quarter results, CEO Andreas Kvame said:‘While we still have some challenges related to gill disease and algae in Shetland, the biological condition is improving. ‘We continue to work systematically to increase our smolt robustness in Shetland, and survival on smolt stocked to sea so far this year is increasing. ‘We have initiated a strategic assessment for our operations on Skye, as we see that the synergy between our farming areas on Shetland and Skye are low,’ he added, indicating that distances between the two centres

Above: Andreas Kvame

are creating problems. But he did not go into further details. Kvame later said the jobs in Skye should not be affected.‘This is a process of exploration and we cannot guarantee that it will result in any specific outcome,’ he explained. ‘We value our 21 talented employees on Skye and understand that this situation creates a degree of uncertainty for them. ‘We do not envisage that this process will lead to the loss of any jobs.’ Grieg Shetland, which

UK news.indd 7

employs almost 170 people on Shetland, reported a Q2 operating loss or EBIT of NOK 19.8 million compared to a profit of NOK 41.5 million in Q2 last year, even though harvest volumes increased from 2,482 tonnes to 3,297 tonnes. It expects to harvest 3,500 tonnes during the current third quarter. The group said that biological conditions due to algae blooms and gill related diseases remained challenging. However, there have been improvements in smolt quality and costs are expected to fall during the third trading quarter. And Shetland survival rates rose by four per cent to 87 per cent. Grieg said it was also experiencing biological problems in British Columbia, Canada.

The Scottish Salmon Company is reported to be carrying out a review of potential buyers or investors, which is expected to be completed by the end of this month or early October. It does not plan to comment on the sale process until after that review is completed.

Above: Craig Anderson

Cooke plans to expand in Shetland COOKE Aquaculture is planning to expand its Scottish operations with a proposed new farm in Shetland. The Canadian owned company has submitted an application for a 2,500-tonne, 12 x 120m circumference cage farm off Fetlar, the Shetland News reported. The development, at the Wick of Gruting, will cost more than £2 million and provide four, new full-time jobs, said Cooke. It would be serviced from the existing Uyeasound pier in Unst by a 200-tonne capacity Sea-Cap barge. Smolts would be delivered via a wellboat and fish would be harvested dead haul and landed at Cullivoe in Yell. Cooke said it would treat any sea lice infestation with a dedicated hydrolicer unit, which is based in Mid Yell.

‘As an alternative, the in-feed treatment Slice (emamectin benzoate) and bath treatments via tarpaulin or well boat delivery are also available to Cooke Aquaculture Scotland should the appropriate discharge licences be granted.’ An environmental impact assessment has already been carried out. Scottish Natural Heritage found that ‘interests of national and international importance on the site’ would not be adversely affected by the proposal. The environmental report said: ‘Good fish husbandry practices; the use of equipment of a design suitable to site conditions, and the use of a graded predator defence policy, are also strategies that will ensure impacts to species or habitats of conservation importance are kept to a minimum.’


05/09/2019 09:20:16

United Kingdom News

Scottish salmon exports soar by 25 per cent EXPORTS of Scottish farmed salmon for the first six months of this year are up 25 per cent in value on last year’s figures, to £319 million. And according to figures published in August by HMRC, volume has also increased by 25 per cent, to 47,000 tonnes, compared to the same period in 2018. France was the top market, with sales of £109 million, and the US was in second place, with sales of £97 million. Overall, the largest trading region remains the EU, with total sales of £153 million. Exports to the EU account for 49 per cent of export value and 52 per cent of the volume. Trade with Germany and Italy increased by 50 per cent and 72 per cent respectively. Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said: ‘This is an excellent start to 2019. The underlying international demand for Scottish salmon remains strong, which is hugely encouraging and supports the reputation that our delicious and quality product achieves globally. ‘While France and the USA are still the largest country markets, we are seeing growth in many mature and emerging markets around the globe, from Canada to UAE, which underlines sustainable, growing demand for salmon. ‘This uptick in overseas exports returns Scottish salmon sales to levels we would

Top: SSPO chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird

expect to see, helping secure its reputation in world markets and safeguarding the innovation, investment and valued jobs the industry supports across Scotland. ‘We must not take this growth for granted. It is vital that salmon farmers have the right home environment, in which they can continue to meet the demand from overseas, and that the UK and Scottish governments work together to ensure that easy movement to our biggest market – Europe – remains

available as the UK exits the EU.’ After France and the US, the top markets between January and June 2019 were China (£37 million); the Irish Republic (£14 million); and Taiwan (£12 million). Taiwan was up by 15 per cent and the Japanese market soared by 85 per cent, although sales to China fell by 21 per cent during the first six months of the year. From January to June 2019, Scottish salmon was exported to 47 countries.

BBC man is named as new SSPO chair


Photo: SSPO.


THE former head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland has been appointed chairman of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation. Atholl Duncan Top: Atholl Duncan replaces Gilpin Bradley, managing director of Wester Ross Fisheries, who took on the role on a temporary basis two years ago. Duncan – currently the chairman of UK Coaching, the national body for sports coaches, and the former executive director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland – will take up the post this month, working 30 days a year. He said:‘It is a great privilege for me to work with a farming sector which is the UK’s leading food exporter and contributes so much in terms of economic and social value. ‘I look forward to helping the sector’s leaders to fulfil their

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

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• Livestock movement • Ships agents

• Daily overnight service between all depots

Congratulations to Scottish Sea Farms Helping to bring new homes to Eday


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ambitious growth plans and to working with the local communities, politicians and regulators, who all have such an important stake in the continued development of Scottish salmon. ‘The Scottish farmed salmon sector is world leading today and keen to play an even larger part in the economic development of Scotland in the future. ‘But we fully appreciate the challenges of doing that in a way which is sympathetic to the communities we work in, while embracing the new regulatory and environmental standards being developed wherever the sector operates.’ Bradley said:‘We are delighted to have secured Atholl Duncan as the SSPO’s new chair. He will bring his undoubted qualities as a leader, his experience as a manager and his dynamism and drive to this successful Scottish farming sector.’

05/09/2019 09:20:48

European News

NEWS... Power plants ‘may have caused algae outbreak’

Above: Stig Skreslet,

THE algae bloom outbreak which cost several Norwegian salmon farming companies dearly this year was partly caused by hydro-electric power

plants in the area, a leading marine scientist has claimed. Millions of fish worth at least 2.5 billion kroner were lost during May and June

in what was described as the worst algae attack for 28 years. It has already impacted on the second quarter performance of two major companies, Norway Royal Salmon and Lerøy Seafood. But now, Stig Skreslet, marine biologist and professor emeritus at the Faculty of Life Sciences and Aquaculture at the country’s Northern University, has said the outbreak would probably not have happened without expansion in the number of hydro power plants. These are the main

provider of electricity throughout Norway, despite its vast oil and gas reserves. Professor Skreslet told Fiskeribladet, one of Norway’s leading seafood publications, that these power plants must also take some of the blame for the previous large outbreak, which took place in 1991. He explained that hydro power development had led to changes in the annual cycle of supplying freshwater to the fjords, which had altered the balance between ‘good algae’ and the ‘bad algae’

known as Chrysochromulina leadbeaterii. He said that before the number of hydro power units began to expand, the supply of winter freshwater to the fjords was low, but this had greatly increased in recent years because the demand for electricity obviously peaks during the winter months. This means that less freshwater reaches the sea during the spring months and this, in turn, leads to stronger growth of poisonous algae of the type which struck Troms and Nordland

this spring. When Fiskeribladet pointed out that some of the affected fish farms were a long way from power plants, Professor Skreslet replied: ‘Yes, that’s right, but the ocean current brings the algae from one area to another, and there is a fight between the diatoms and the poisonous layers in the sea. ‘Before the power development, the diatom (good) algae managed to keep the poison algae at bay. ‘It’s a battle for light and nutrients between the two algae species,’ he argued.

SalMar earns lower profits from Scotland SALMON farming giant SalMar posted impressive second quarter operating profits of almost a billion kroner, but there were lacklustre results from its Scottish Sea Farms business which it shares with Lerøy Seafood. Scottish Sea Farms (SSF), or Norskott Havbruk as it is called in Norway, generated operating revenues of NOK 407.4 million (£37 million) during the three months between April and June, compared with NOK 405.2 million (£36.8 million) in the first quarter this year and NOK 479.3 million (£43 million) in the second quarter last year. SSF harvested around 5,800 tonnes of fish in the quarter, compared with 4,800 tonnes in the first quarter this year and 6,200 tonnes during Q2 2018. SalMar’s share of the volume harvested came to 2,900 tonnes.

European News.indd 9

The company said: ‘Operations during the quarter were affected by the earlier than planned harvesting of fish to reduce the risk of biological issues. ‘This resulted in a lower average weight for the fish harvested, which affected both costs and price achievement. ‘Contract sales accounted for 47 per cent of the company’s volume. Operational EBIT per kg gutted weight came to NOK 18.37 in the second quarter, compared with NOK 22.78 per kg in the previous quarter and NOK 27.98 per kg in the same period last year. ‘The company expects to harvest around 30,000 tonnes in 2019 as a whole. This forecast is unchanged from that issued at the close of the previous quarter.’ SalMar’s share of post-tax profits from Scottish Sea Farms was NOK 49 million (£4.4 million) compared

to NOK 76 million (£6.9 million) a year ago. Overall, the SalMar group posted an operational EBIT of NOK 989.8 million (£90 million) in the second quarter, compared to NOK 878.6 million in the same period last year. It said the improvement is attributable largely to effective operations, lower production costs and a higher volume harvested by Fish Farming Central Norway. At the same time, biological challenges resulted in a more demanding quarter than expected for Fish Farming Northern Norway. Gross operating revenues totalled NOK 3.3 billion in the second quarter of 2019, up from NOK 2.9 billion in the same period last year. The group harvested 41,400 tonnes during the quarter, compared to 34,000 tonnes in the second quarter 2018. SalMar CEO Olav-Andreas Ervik

Above: Olav-Andreas Ervik

said: ‘It is very good to see that Central Norway continues the positive trend and shows that good biological performance gives good financial results. Biological challenges made the quarter demanding for Northern Norway, where we chose to harvest the fish earlier than planned.’


05/09/2019 09:23:23

European News

Algal bloom blow to NRS profits with the results in Region North, despite the challenges the company encountered during the period. Region South, however, had to deal with high production costs. ‘NRS will grow through sustainable growth,’ he said. ‘The group’s biomass has increased by 26 per cent on the same quarter last year. ‘NRS also had good price achievement and the sales business had a good result during the quarter. ‘To meet the growing demand for healthy Norwegian salmon, NRS continues to increase the activity in northern Norway. ‘We are now starting the construction of our new smolt facility outside Tromsø, and once again we have selected Norwegian suppliers as partners in a major investment project.’ Høstlund said Norway Royal Salmon had acquired 50 per cent of Nordnorsk Smolt.

August boom in Norway salmon exports

DESPITE an unprecedented heatwave when Europe sizzled during August and market talk of a slump in prices, Norwegian salmon farmers have just enjoyed their strongest month so far this year. Figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council show that the country exported 104,000 tonnes of salmon worth 6.2 billion kroner (£563 million) last month, up five per cent in volume and six per cent in value (NOK 341 million) on August last year. Tom-Jørgen Gangsø, director of market insight and market access at the seafood council said: ‘We NRS said low seawater BIOLOGICAL issues such as have never had such a large price difference betemperatures in Region North the algae bloom outbreak in tween (the various) markets as in August this year. (its main production area) May hit the second quarter ‘While the average price to the EU was NOK 52.43 profit and earnings of Norway and preventive measures due (per kg), the price to Asia was NOK 14.19 higher and to the algae bloom in May Royal Salmon. the price to North America was NOK 16.47 higher. and June had led to lower The company reported ‘A greater depreciation of the krone against the production. an operating profit of NOK dollar than against the euro is the explanation for As a result, the harvest 116 million (£10.5 million) this. volume forecast for 2019 compared to NOK 181 million ‘In addition, increased demand from Asia for large has been reduced by 2,500 (£16.4 million) for Q2 last salmon, which one cannot cover, may explain some tonnes to 35,000 tonnes. year. of this difference.’ However, the business sold The profit after tax was NOK Victoria Braathen, fisheries envoy for the Nor17,579 tonnes of salmon 114.1 million (£10.3 million) wegian Seafood Council in China, said: ‘Driven by during the quarter, three per against NOK 207.5 million increased demand, we see continued very positive cent higher than in the corre(£18.7 million) in 2018 and growth for Norwegian salmon sales to China. More sponding quarter last year. the operational EBIT per kg efficient trade means that Chief executive Charles this year was NOK 23.95 (NOK more Norwegian salmon is Høstlund said he was pleased 24.39). now being exported to China. ‘It is fresh, whole salmon that dominates doing their utmost to exploit this potential to THE Lerøy Seafood Group, co-owners of Scotthe salmon trade and the full. We have made several major investtish Sea Farms, announced higher earnings, Chinese buyers have a ments in farming in recent years. The results of pronounced preference but lower profits for the 2019 second quarter these, however, are not immediately obvious as for large salmon.’ period. the projects have long lead times.’ Revenues were up six per cent and totalled ‘Release from stock costs were too high in NOK 5,340 million, compared to NOK 5,042 the second quarter, but we expect to see an million for the same period in 2018. improvement in the second half of the year and THE Norwegian Operating profit (EBIT) before fair value Council has disclosed into 2020. adjustment related to biological assets came that in the past few Seafood Council has ‘Our trawler fleet for white fish has been out at NOK 774 million, down from NOK 1,000 revealed it is fighting months it has been successful in the quarter, while our onshore million in Q2 2018, due to lower farmed fish forced to spend ‘a lot fake news reports facilities in this segment have had a chalprices and earnings. of resources on myth about the safety of lenging quarter. We have made a number of But the company also said that the unexpectcrushing and media farmed salmon. investments in this area also, and expect these ed algae outbreak in the north of Norway had handling’ after a blog The battleground to provide lasting improvements by 2020.’ affected results. came up with claims appears to be conHe said downstream, the company was CEO Henning Beltestad said: ‘In terms of that salmon was a centrated in Asia watching the results of investments made in earnings, the second quarter figures are in line toxic food. – and South Korea, recent years and ‘can report a strong quarter’. in particular. Salmon with the expectations we had going into the Gunvar L. Wie, the Turning to other problems, Belstead said: ‘A quarter. council’s fisheries exports to that counfire in a smolt plant in the winter and an un‘However, we know that we have the potential envoy in South Korea, try have increased foreseen outbreak of toxic algae have impacted by 172 per cent in to do better and that our skilled employees are said that while the the results both for the second quarter and the volume and 300 per export growth was first half of the year. very positive, it was cent in value over the ‘But now that this difficult period is behind us, past five years. also important to we are confident that we have a strong position disseminate the true Last year, South Komoving forward into the second half of the year reans bought 25,400 facts to the media and into 2020. about salmon. tonnes of salmon ‘For our farming segment, the results of the In one example, an worth two billion investments we made in smolt will gradually anti-salmon blog was kroner, most of it materialise, and we expect to gain potential picked by the Seoul Norwegian. in terms of both increased volume and lower Broadcasting Service. But the Seafood Above: Henning Beltestad costs per kilogram of fish produced.’

And toxic algae hit Lerøy Q2 results too

Norway fighting fake news on salmon


European News.indd 10

05/09/2019 09:23:47

All the latest industry news from Europe

Bakkafrost reports sea lice fight success

Minister defends Danish fish farming ban

tonnes gutted weight THE Bakkafrost (12,900 tonnes in group disclosed 2018), making a total that its policy of of 26,316 tonnes for using non-medithe year so far. cal methods was The farming segment achieving considermade an operational able success in the EBIT of DKK 303.4 fight against sea million. Achieved lice. Above: Regin Jacobsen prices in this quarter As the Faroese increased and thus salmon farmer unhad a positive effect on the operveiled its second quarter results ational EBIT. for 2019, chief executive Regin But lower prices meant the Jacobsen told investors that second quarter profit was down there were clear indications that from DKK 338.8 million (£41.5 its large smolt strategy, together million) to DKK 188.6 million with the use of lumpfish and (£23 million). mechanical sea lice treatments, The profit for the half year is was working as intended. DKK 401.4 million (£49 million) ‘Our salmon is only treated with compared with DKK 611.1 million lumpfish, pressurised seawater (£75 million) in the first half of showers and with freshwater,’ he 2018. said. Regin Jacobsen, however, ‘We are very pleased of not seemed satisfied and said: ‘Even having a single site above the threshold level for sea lice during though the salmon price was nine per cent lower in the second the quarter.’ quarter of 2019, compared to Q2 Bakkafrost delivered a total 2018, the result for Bakkafrost operating Q2 EBIT (earnings was good for the second quarter. before interest and tax) of 338.8 ‘Bakkafrost is well on track million Danish kroner (DKK) with the investment plan, which (£41.5 million) compared to DKK includes investments of around 408 million (£50 million) in the DKK 3 billion during the period second quarter of last year. 2018-2022.’ Harvested volumes were 12,600

DENMARK’S environment minister, Lea Wermelin, has insisted that her decision to stop all future open pen fish farming at sea was not a politically motivated attack on the aquaculture sector. She said she wants to see ‘greener’ fish farming, adding that current applications will continue to be processed in accordance with regulations. The decision is not expected to affect existing fish farms. The minister added: ‘Denmark has reached the limit over how many fish can be farmed at sea without risking the environment. ‘I am concerned about the state of our aquatic environment. I do not think Denmark should be expanding its aquaculture industry at this time.’ But the move has brought strong criticism from Denmark’s aquaculture industry which, although small compared to near neighbours like Norway, is growing steadily. The country, which mainly produces rainbow trout, has around 19 open sea fish farms. Exports of aquaculture products are currently worth around 200 million euros a year. Denmark is also a large processor of farmed salmon, but that fish is sourced from Norway. Brian Thomsen, the head of Denmark’s Aquaculture Federation, described the decision as a serious setback on what is a flourishing industry, adding that the government’s new order will now make it impossible to increase the number of offshore farms or expand the size of the industry. The move, however, has been welcomed by the country’s environment lobby, which claims that farms create extra pollution. Above: Lea Wermelin

Salmon companies a safe bet, troubled investors told INVESTORS are being urged to turn to salmon companies as a safe haven amid the current global stock market turmoil. Shares around the world slumped last month over concerns about a US-China trade war and fears of another major recession. However, the seafood index on the Oslo stock market has been bucking Above: Carl-Emil Kjølås the trend. Johannessen Now, at least two leading financial experts have told the Norwegian business journal and website Finansavisen that the aquaculture industry can expect high earnings for some time to come. Carl-Emil Kjølås Johannessen of Pareto Securities said: ‘We believe the demand for salmon will continue to be strong. Combined with limited supply growth, and a weak (kroner) currency, prices should remain high. ‘We are still positive about the development in the seafood industry, although some stocks have become too expensive. ‘However, we think Lerøy [its shares rose by 6.5 per cent on one day] appears the most attractive, as its valuation is low compared to other companies in the sector.’ Pareto Securities has also upgraded SalMar as an another attractive proposition. Its shares were also rose over six per cent.

European News.indd 11

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05/09/2019 09:24:50

European News

Salmon to China by rail plan moves ahead

A SCANDINAVIAN consortium is pressing ahead with a bold new plan to send Norwegian salmon across Russia to China by rail. The first container shipments are expected to be on their way within the next two months. The plan is going ahead despite a recent unexplained decision by Russia to send back two airfreight consignments of Norwegian salmon. The new mode of transport has been made possible because in the past month Russia has lifted a ban on the transit traffic of a whole range of perishable products, including fish that were previously sanctioned. Russia imposed a ban on various food and agricultural products five years ago, after the EU and US placed sanctions on the country following hostilities with Ukraine. Although not a member of the EU, Norway was included in the ban. The planned rail route will begin at the Norwegian Port of Narvik, where refrigerated containers will be loaded with salmon bred in fish farms in northern Norway. The containers will pass through the Swedish-Finnish border crossing to a railhead in the Finnish town of Kouvola for onward shipment across Russia to Xi’an in China. The entire journey is expected to take around 12 days.

Mørenot acquires Hvalpsund Net will be able to offer more NORWEGIAN aquaculture competitive solutions supplier Mørenot and develop even has acquired the more innovative Danish net maker products across all Hvalpsund Net. markets.’ The move comes Hvalspund Net’s as Mørenot, Peter Polsen, who which was itself joined the company bought by northern in 1966 and took European investover as CEO in 1974, ment fund FSN Capital and his family have last year, continues to been majority shareexpand. Above: Arne Birkeland holders in Hvalpsund The acquisition of Net since 1974. They will reinvest family firm Hvalpsund is the fourth a significant share of the proceeds time the FSN group has invested in Mørenot and remain part of the additional capital in Mørenot. partnership. The company now has sales Poulsen said: ‘Hvalpsund Net worth more than NOK 1.2 billion and Mørenot together is a great fit and over 700 employees. and will strengthen our efforts to Arne Birkeland, CEO of Mørenot, continuously develop the business said of the latest purchase: and organisation. ‘Through hard work and solid ‘It was important for us to bring dedication for a long period of in a partner who shared our values time, Hvalpsund Net has been and visions and wanted to invest developed into an agile company with strong customer relationships, for the future, ‘Mørenot is the leading supplier and a safe and good workplace for to the aquaculture and fishing its employees. industry globally and it will give us ‘Mørenot, which provides solua fantastic opportunity to build on tions for sustainable harvesting of each other’s strengths.’ seafood, combined with Hvalpsund


European News.indd 12

05/09/2019 09:25:15

World News

NEWS... Huon profits stung by jellyfish

Above: David Mitchell at Huon’s hatchery, where salmon are reared to 1kg

IN Norway the villainin-chief this year was an exceptionally large outbreak of algae bloom. But at the other end of the world, jellyfish became a sting in the tail

for one major Australian aquaculture company. Tasmania based Huon Aquaculture has just seen its profits drop by more than 60 per cent, partly due to a jellyfish

bloom which killed a large number of fish. The particular species is known as Moon jellyfish and they killed many salmon in the Huon River and D’En-

trecasteaux Channel on the main island of Tasmania late last year. The company said the jellyfish event also increased production costs and caused poor growth rates associated with the secondary health impacts of affected salmon, increasing per kilogram production costs. Some fish later died from gill necrosis, which was not helped by warmer than usual summer water in southern Tasmania for the second year in succession. Huon’s net profit after tax for the year to June 30, 2019, fell to (Australian) $9.5 million in 2018-19 after totalling $26.4 million

$8million for New Brunswick aqua projects CANADA is investing more than eight million dollars in innovative new aquaculture and fishing projects in the Atlantic coast province of New Brunswick. The money will help more than 20 different initiatives, including the delivery of the Oyster Farm Development Programme, a new oyster hatchery operation involved in the culture of American oysters. The project highlights include: • The Regional Development Corporation receives funding for the delivery of the Oyster Farm Development Programme to New Brunswick commercial oyster producers. It supports eligible commercial oyster aquaculturists to adopt innovative and sustainable methods

World news.indd 13

Above: Jonathan Wilkinson

and equipment to grow oysters. • The Acadian Hatchery is establishing a new oyster hatchery operation in Cocagne, New Brunswick, and receives support to purchase and implement new equipment and technologies. • L’Étang du Ruisseau Bar Limitée is specialising in the culture of the American oyster. It receives support to develop and produce the first

Canadian strain of selectively bred Eastern Oyster for the Atlantic aquaculture industry. Canadian fisheries minister Jonathan Wilkinson said: ‘The lobster fishery and shellfish aquaculture industries are major generators of economic activity in rural and coastal communities in the Atlantic Region. We are proud to fund these innovative projects, creating jobs, and providing the needed support to assist these companies to remain productive in markets close to home and abroad.’ Some 17 other businesses will also adopt innovative technology to count and grade oysters automatically. These will increase the oyster grading capacity while improving efficiency and productivity of operators.

in the previous financial year. Revenue dropped by 11 per cent to $282 million, and harvest tonnage fell by 18 per cent Deputy chief executive Phil Wiese said the fish were held in the Huon River and D’Entrecasteaux Channel while the company awaited new leases in Storm Bay; in future, they would not need to place salmon in such jellyfish prone areas. He said the company was confident of a strong recovery, expecting harvests of at least 25,000 tonnes for the current financial year. ‘At this stage, albeit this side of summer, we

are very confident we’ll hit the mark next year.’ It is only two months ago that Huon Aquaculture achieved an important first when the biggest hatchery grown salmon in the southern hemisphere was transferred to sea. David Mitchell, the company’s aquaculture’s freshwater general manager, said: ‘Huon is setting a new benchmark for salmon farming in Tasmania. ‘The salmon will be in excess of 1kg, matching the size of a small proportion of salmon grown on land by the world’s leading salmon companies based in Norway and the Faroe Islands.’

Indian leader calls for aquaculture growth INDIA’S vice president has made a strong plea for a rapid but sustainable expansion of his country’s aquaculture industry, particularly in the hinterland and inland regions. M. Venkaiah Naidu made the call while addressing the threeday Aqua Aquaria India in Hyderabad. The biennial event, which attracts more than 5,000 delegates, is one of Asia’s main marine products conferences. Naidu said that the seafood industry needed a new drive to make the current stupendous growth sustainable and

to gain a competitive edge in international markets, as well as provide nutritional security and generate employment. This growth, he said, could and should take place in inland rural areas as well as on the coast.

Above: M. Venkaiah Naidu


05/09/2019 09:26:20

World News

AKVA lands new Cooke deal

Mowi may ban soy from Brazil

Above: Fighting forest fires in the Amazon

MOWI is considering whether to ban soy from Brazil in protest at the way the country is allowing fires to burn in the Amazon Rain Forest, according to reports from Norway. Brazil is one of the main producers of soy, a key ingredient in salmon feed. The world’s largest fish farming company produced more than 350,000 tonnes of fish feed last year which included around 40,000 tonnes of soy.

The company’s sustainability director, Catarina Martins, told the Norwegian news outlet E.24 that it was shocked at the way thousands of fires had been allowed to burn, adding that the world’s largest rain forest must be preserved. ‘We have a responsibility to say what is happening is unacceptable and it must stop,’ she added. ‘As a company, we only buy soy with

the strictest certification requirements. ‘We also want to stress that the soy we do buy is certainly not linked to deforestation or human rights violations.’ She said Mowi was closely monitoring the situation and was in close contact with the Rain Forest Foundation so it can receive up to date information on what is happening in Brazil. It was also looking at alternative sources of supply. Øyvind Eggen, general secretary of the foundation, said: ‘Mowi is an international giant so this move will send a clear signal to Brazil and hopefully steer the soy industry in the right direction. ‘I think this is a very good example of how seriously a company takes its corporate social responsibility in 2019. ‘Mowi clearly understands its role in society by buying ethically as well as getting its message across.’

AKVA group’s land based division has announced a deal with Cooke Aquaculture for ‘several larger land based smolt projects’. The first of these is a project in Chile, due to be finalised in Q3 2019, with delivery expected from Q4 2019 to Q4 2021, said AKVA. The Norwegian headquartered company’s land based business has experienced strong global growth in sales of recirculated aquaculture systems over recent years. Within the Americas, the delivery of projects in Canada and Chile has been supported by a team of more than 50 full time staff. AKVA recently announced the formation of AKVA group Land based Americas, based in Puerto Montt, Chile, and the appointment of Mary Ann Rademacher as the general manager of the new organisation. The new department will help the development of farmers’ increasingly large and complex RAS projects in the region, said AKVA. As well as working on projects within the Americas, the existing team has also delivered some of largest global RAS projects in Norway, the Faroe Islands, and Tasmania.

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


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World news.indd 14

05/09/2019 09:26:41

Untitled-4 15

04/09/2019 16:30:54



Eureka moment in

salmon battle Is removal of the three-mile limit to blame for wild stock decline?


N 1998, the July 4 issue of the New Scientist magazine reported that the ‘catastrophic decline of wild sea trout in north-west Scotland is largely due to commercial salmon farming’. Government scientists who advise the Scottish Office ‘have concluded that lice from farmed salmon are a major contributory factor in the collapse’, it went on. One senior government scientist, who wished to remain anonymous, told the New Scientist that ‘it’s as plain as the nose on your face’.

Given such an unequivocal message, it is not surprising that the salmon farming industry has had a battle on its hands to prove its innocence. One of the focal points of this battle has been the collapse of the Loch Maree sea trout fishery, which occurred in the late 1980s, seemingly after a salmon farm was established in the adjacent Loch Ewe.

What was “apparent

was the sudden collapse of cod landings after 1984


Martin Jaffa.indd 16

05/09/2019 09:28:15

Eureka moment in salmon battle The main antagonists have been the anglers’ representative organisation, the Salmon & Trout Association (now known as Salmon & Trout Conservation), which has been campaigning to have the farm removed from Loch Ewe. They say that this is the only way that sea trout stocks in Loch Maree will ever recover. The collapse of the Loch Maree sea trout fishery needs to be first put into context. Sea trout numbers caught by anglers have been recorded by the Scottish government since 1952. What is clear is that the number of sea trout caught in the north-west Highlands has been in decline since then. In fact, sea trout catches have been in decline across all of Scotland and not just the areas where salmon are farmed. Catches from Loch Maree also declined from 1952 onwards, but during the 1970s they rapidly improved. Loch Maree appeared to be bucking the trend. Nearby Loch Stack, another famous sea trout fishery, collapsed before the advent of salmon farming but this collapse is rarely discussed. The improvement in Loch Maree catches may have been because of increased policing of illegal netting in Loch Ewe that happened at that time. This allowed more sea trout to swim up the River Ewe to Loch Maree for anglers to catch. Whatever the reason, catches peaked in 1980 and as the five-year average graph by Butler and Walker (2006) highlights, catches then began to collapse. It was this graph, with its reference to the establishment of the farm in Loch Ewe, that originally caught my attention. Clearly, catches were in decline prior to the arrival of the salmon farm. In addition, Butler and Walker appeared to ignore the earlier declines from 1952, as did Dr Walker when he was commissioned by Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) to write a new report criticising the salmon farming industry in 2016. Andrew Graham Stewart of S&TC has said that there is no other plausible explanation for the collapse of the Loch Maree sea trout fishery than the presence of the salmon farm in Loch Ewe. In January this year, I was sent a copy of a report published by the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation (SCFF), which is campaigning for the return of the three-mile fishing limit around Scotland’s coast. The three-mile limit had been in place since 1889 to help protect inshore fisheries from the impact of newly developed steam powered trawling. This new technology had brought about a rapid depletion of fish stocks closer to shore. However, following the ‘cod wars’ with Iceland during the 1970s, Scottish fishermen campaigned to open local waters to fishing, as the loss of access to Icelandic fishing grounds had a significant impact on their incomes. The UK government acceded to their demands and in 1984, they implemented the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act which removed the

Martin Jaffa.indd 17

protection of the three-mile limit. This allowed trawlers to fish close to shore, which meant on the west coast that boats could trawl right into the many sea lochs, including Loch Ewe. Given that the three-mile limit was introduced in response to stock depletion by industrial trawling, it was possibly predictable what would happen next. The SCFF report included reference to a scientific paper co-authored by world renowned fisheries scientist Professor Callum Roberts of York University. The paper considered changes that have affected marine fish landings from the Clyde fishing grounds over the last 100 years. The report included a graph of cod landings taken from Professor Roberts’ paper. Seeing this graph was something of a eureka moment. What was so overwhelmingly apparent was the sudden collapse of cod landings after the removal of the three-mile limit in 1984. Between then and 2009, landings of cod fell by 99 per cent. This graph might have been for fish caught from the Clyde fishing ground, but the similarity with the decline of sea trout catches from Loch Maree was astonishing. The parallels between the collapse of cod landings and sea trout catches after 1984 clearly merited further investigation. However, a couple of issues immediately became apparent. Firstly, landings of marine fish are not necessarily an accurate reflection of the stock. It is possible that there may be plenty of fish swimming about but that they are not being landed at the local ports. Secondly, the collapse of landings might suggest that fishing effort has also declined, in which case, if trawlers had anything to do with the collapse of the Loch Maree fishery, why had sea trout catches not subsequently recovered now that there is no longer fishing for these demersal species? Scottish government scientists have been collecting rod catch data for sea trout since 1952. These scientists have also compiled sea fisheries statistics, but for much longer. Data for all commercial species landed at all Scottish ports is therefore readily available and is published as an annual report. From this, I extracted landings data for three main species: cod, whiting and saithe for all west coast ports. However, I excluded data from the port of Kinlochbervie because the port is used by many boats sailing out of east coast ports for dropping off catches on their way home, to get the best price for freshest fish. A lot of fish landed at Kinlochbervie is unlikely to have been caught from nearby inshore waters.

Above: Graph of cod landings - a eureka moment


05/09/2019 09:28:32


The data for these three species and for sea trout (weights) were collated as five-year moving averages and then standardised to fit the same scale. The resulting graph is just as astonishing as the Callum Roberts graph of the cod collapse. Landings of cod (dashed line), whiting (dashed and dotted) and Loch Maree sea trout (solid line) appear closely correlated. While correlation does not imply causation, the rates of decline are extremely close. Landings of saithe (dotted line) vary most but show a similar trajectory. While Andrew Graham Stewart claims that there is no plausible explanation for the collapse of the Loch Maree sea trout fishery other than salmon farming, there does seem to be an extremely compelling case to


Martin Jaffa.indd 18

suggest that the removal of the three-mile limit is a major factor in the decline. This raises an obvious question: had Salmon & Trout Conservation not been so focused on blaming the salmon farming industry, they might have come across this relationship before now and possibly campaigned for the reintroduction of the three-mile limit as a way of conserving sea trout stocks a long time ago. At the same time, it is surprising that the government scientists at Marine Scotland Science hadn’t realised that there may be a connection between declining sea trout stocks and the removal of the three-mile limit, especially as they collect and collate both sets of data. It’s possible that they never even considered looking for this relationship after their now retired fisheries scientist, Andy Walker, published his paper with James Butler in 2006 that implied the drop in sea trout catches from Loch Maree was the result of local salmon farming activity. Another question raised was whether removing the three-mile limit had any impact on wild fish catches elsewhere in Scotland. Cumulatively, sea trout catches from east coast rivers have also been in decline since the 1950s. However, because of the wide range of different river types, the trends for each river have varied significantly. For example, sea trout catches from the River Spey did decline after 1984 as did demersal fish landings at McDuff, the fishing port located at the mouth of the River Spey. Whether the two declines are connected requires further investigation. The north coast of Scotland is more interesting still. This is because of Loch Eriboll and its associated rivers, the Hope and the Polla. Unlike in other parts of Scotland, these two rivers, the Hope especially, appear to be doing quite well in terms of sea trout catches. This is

Above: Correlation of west coast catches Left: Fishing activity as monitored by Global

Fishing Watch

05/09/2019 09:28:54

Eureka moment in salmon battle despite there being two salmon farms in Loch Eriboll. The River Hope emerges into the loch almost at its mouth and Andrew Graham Stewart has argued that the fish migrate out of the river and swim straight out to sea, therefore avoiding any contact with the sea lice that might be present due to the farms. Of course, the reason that sea trout stocks are holding their own in this area could be due to the fact that trawlers have never fished in Loch Eriboll. The reason is unclear, but it has been suggested that, unlike west coast lochs which have a relatively smooth bottom, Loch Eriboll is extremely rocky and unsuitable for trawling. Could it be that the absence of trawling has allowed sea trout stocks to flourish since 1984? Again, further investigation is required. Finally, the graph of declining cod landings appears to show that by around the year 2000, the tonnage landed was negligible. This might suggest that trawlers no longer fish for cod and other white fish species around the coast because stocks have vanished. With no fishing activity for marine fish, stocks of sea trout might have expected to have recovered. But the decline of stocks of demersal fish pro-

on does not imply causation, the “Whileratescorrelati of decline are extremely close ” vided a space, which prawns have now filled. As a result, while landings of white fish species have almost disappeared, landings of prawns have skyrocketed. Thus, there is still significant fishing activity in inshore waters, especially north of Skye. This can be seen from the screenshot from the Global Fishing Watch website, which monitors fishing boats. The large white visible blobs are likely to be prawn boats. The Scottish prawn industry has regularly featured on TV programmes so there is a lot more awareness of what it does. What has been especially illuminating is the amount of other species caught in the hauls. However, a much lesser known fact is that in 2012, the Scottish prawn fishery had been judged to be the fifth worst in the world for by-catch. An analysis of the catch from boats in the Clyde fishing grounds suggests that between 66 and 80 per cent is discarded. Together, all this evidence suggests that salmon farming may not be responsible for the collapse of the Loch Maree sea trout fishery. Certainly, the removal of the three-mile limit offers a much more plausible explanation. FF


Fish Farmer VOLUME 42



Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977





Special feature to mark special salmon farmer

How Ferguson Transport is still driving innovation

Aquaculture world heads to Aqua Nor 2019

Fish farming industry says goodbye to a friend


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07/08/2019 16:20:24

01778 392014 19

05/09/2019 09:29:21

Trade Associations – Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation


Good neighbours Salmon farmers know they need the backing of their local communities


HERE is an honesty box at the end of the pontoon set up for yachties on the Isle of Muck, off Scotland’s west coast. Sailors stopping off for the night can moor up safely then pay a modest sum for the privilege. The proceeds from that honesty box go to the primary school just up the

hill, funding off-island trips for the children. There are mooring buoys off the Isle of Rum too. Both the pontoon and the moorings were provided free by Mowi, the salmon farm company which Opposite: Isle of Muck has farms off the shores of both islands. salmon farm

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Good neighbours

The company insisted it would take no income from the infrastructure it provided, preferring the money went to benefit the local schoolchildren instead. Mowi has also provided two house plots on Rum, all serviced with electricity and water, which will soon be handed over to the local community. There are similar stories on nearby Colonsay which has also benefited from Mowi’s investment. The company’s work on all three islands has brought everything from broadband to help in transporting building materials. This is the nature of ‘social licence’, the contract salmon farmers have with the communities they operate in. Some of this social licence is unwritten and offered by the companies because they know what the communities need. Other parts are actually contractual and are written and agreed between communities and companies as a condition of building a salmon farm nearby. Salmon farmers know they must be good neighbours to those who also work the marine environment in which they operate but they must be good local employers too. And it is because Scotland’s salmon farmers understand this and live it through their operations that islanders on Muck and Rum and Colonsay all voted for them to come in. But this is wider than just putting in pontoons and providing employment. Last month, four new houses in Ullapool were handed over to employees of Wester Ross Fisheries. Wester Ross, Scotland’s smallest salmon producer, knows that the biggest barrier to recruiting and retaining staff is housing. Gilpin Bradley, the managing director of Wester Ross Fisheries, said: ‘Houses are generally unaffordable for young people moving to the area, both in terms of the rent – because holiday homes have driven up those prices – and for those who want to buy. ‘That’s why we took the decision to buy these houses and provide subsidised accommodation for our employees.’ Similar tales are heard all over the sector. Housing is a real issue on the west coast. There is not enough affordable housing and the stock that does come available on the open market is usually snapped up by people looking to run holiday homes or by retirees. Remote working and the spread of good-quality broadband has also had an impact. People who might have been based in the central belt in the past can now work in the Highlands and islands, perhaps returning to their urban headquarters once or twice a month. Salaries in the salmon sector are good but, for young people starting off in the sector in the most popular parts of the west coast, they are often not good enough to even think about buying property, particularly if the competition comes from cash-rich retirees moving up from the south.

SSPO.indd 21

With the rental market also skewed by the holiday home businesses, having somewhere decent to live is the biggest challenge facing those trying to start out in the salmon sector. Then there is broadband. These days it is unlikely that anybody is going to take up a job in a remote area without it. That is why Scotland’s salmon companies have been so pro-active in providing this service. Last year, Scottish Sea Farms worked with broadband provider HebNet CIC to install superfast cover for the residents of the remote Knoydart peninsula and Loch Nevis. Salmon farms need it to connect the barges to onshore hubs and this has often been the catalyst for the companies to roll it out to the community at large. Opponents of salmon farming often like to portray Scotland’s salmon farmers as faceless, foreign owned corporates with no connection to the local communities they operate in. They could not be more wrong. Salmon farmers know they need the backing of their local communities, whether this is explicitly – as in the cases of Rum, Muck and Colonsay – or tacitly, in the case of most other parts of Scotland. In fact, they would not be able to exist, let alone thrive as part of their local communities if they took no heed of the social licence obligations they are under. They know that community involvement is not just a box-ticking exercise and that providing jobs and boosting the local economy is no longer enough. Sometimes this takes the form of sponsoring a local football team or providing prizes for a tombola. But, increasingly now, it can stretch as far as free moorings for yachts or even a clear route on to the property ladder for local employees. This is social licence made real and the visiting sailors who drop a few quid into the honesty boxes on the end of the pontoons are a key part of that – whether they realise it or not. FF

We took “ the decision

to buy these houses for our employees


05/09/2019 09:30:53



Tide is turning Inspirational films portray seafood women’s lives


HE third annual video competition organised by the International Association for Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI) asked women to share a short film of their observations and experiences in the industry, and the results are both inspirational and humbling. ‘We reached out to women right across the seafood sector, in fishing, aquaculture, processing, local fish selling and international trading, quality management, certification, teaching, learning, and the wide range of services related to the industry,’ WSI founder Marie Christine Monfort told Fish Farmer. ‘Cash prizes of €1,000 for the winner and €500 for two runners up were offered. ‘Our hope of building on the success of the competition in the previous two years exceeded our expectations and we received 32 entries from around the world,’ she said. WSI was formed to highlight the important contribution of women to the seafood industry, to raise awareness of gender issues, and to promote professional equality between men and women. It has a particular interest in promoting young female professionals, who will be the leaders of tomorrow. ‘One seafood worker in two is a woman; they are essential contributors to the industry, but many remain invisible, and the video competition helps to give them a voice and inspire others,’ Monfort said. Invited on to the judging panel this year, I had no idea that the task would prove to be so difficult, and it took some considerable thought to put my top three forward for final selection. The standard of the films was high, and many told powerful stories of perseverance and the struggle against circumstance, with women leading hard lives of a type I could not even begin to contemplate. A couple of films


Shellfish.indd 22

Left: Oyster farming of

Wadatar Top right: Women of the Arousa Sea Above right: Truchas Arapa Opposite - top: Historia de Mujeres de la Comunidad Nativa Arazaire Middle: Seaweed farming Below: Voices of the Margins: The Unsung Chefs of Hogenakkal

even brought a tear to my eye. All of them left me in awe. Take the women oyster farmers of Wadatar, on the west coast of India, for example. They used to collect wild oysters, which could only be reached on a handful of days each month. For their efforts, they earned a paltry dollar or two. Their lives began to change in 2013, when they were encouraged to form a self-help group in order to join a UN development programme; this showed them how to farm oysters in the creek behind their homes. ‘People laughed at us, said it would not work, and initially we thought this is not for us,’ said the women’s leader, Kasturi Dhoki. ‘Then a few of us decided to treat it as a game and see where the process took us.’ They built bamboo frames and suspended ropes underneath, threaded through with empty shells to catch the naturally occurring oyster spat, then waited to see what would happen ‘We were delighted to find that an initial investment of 85 dollars quickly brought in an

05/09/2019 09:32:44

Tide is turning

eight-fold return, and we are now helping women in other villages to replicate our success,’ said Dhoki. The women shuck the oysters and sell them loose, either at the market, or from street-side stalls, and are proud of their growing success as oyster farmers and marketeers. The work of women cockle fishers was highlighted in a couple of films, one of them showing women working up to their waists in the sea, in the pre-dawn dark, using headlamps to light their way, and pushing cockle rakes through the seabed. While admitting that their task was exhausting, one woman praised her job for allowing her to be ‘independent and the owner of the money I earn’. The camaraderie and the bond between old and young, as teacher and pupil, was highlighted as an essential element in helping the tradition to continue and maintain viable communities for the future. A film from the Arousa Sea Women’s Association in Galicia portrayed the work of the women shellfish gatherers, who seed and collect cockles from the estuary. Their participation in the association has helped them to develop a sense of pride in their work. This had been viewed in the past as being less important and less skilled than the work undertaken by women working in the markets, in processing and on fishing boats. On Lake Arapa in Peru, women formed a sustainable aquaculture project to grow and market trout. They process squat lobsters (Munida gregaria), a byproduct of the local fishery, to extract astaxanthin, which is mixed with the trout feed. This gives the flesh a vivid colour, which attracts a high market value. As well as working on the water, many women

Shellfish.indd 23

The men “ fish and now the women can get involved in the sea

are involved in processing the trout, which is filleted and vacuum packed. They speak of friendship, of mutual support that helps them to say, ‘I can do this too’, and of a real sense achievement. The success of the trout project is encouraging more young women into the sector, which in turn is helping to strengthen the local community, and the women hope that their story will help to inspire others to emulate their work. Also from Peru is a tale of women in Arazaire farming pacu, a family of freshwater fish related to the piranha, because the fish they used to eat came from rivers contaminated with mercury. But from adversity, a thriving business has developed, which goes beyond food security, and which has drawn the community together; a theme that runs through so many of the films. Matilde Tije Capi explains that early each morning the women have to check the ponds for predators, including crocodiles, before feeding the fish. ‘The project gives us the opportunity to improve the living conditions and the health of our families, and to grow our economy in the medium and long term, because it is sustainable,’ said Capi. From Madagascar, came a film about women seaweed farmers, narrated by seaweed technician Nadira. The seaweed is grown on longlines suspended in shallow water, and the women seed the lines, keep them clear of other species and monitor progress. ‘The men fish and now the women can get involved in the sea by taking care of the seaweed farms, which gives them a sense of purpose and a new found confidence,’ said Nadira. In the tourist town of Hogenakkal in the south of India, the Kaveri river forms a spectacular waterfall, known as the Niagara Falls of India. This popular destination is visited by up to 10,000 people per day, and the attractions surrounding the waterfall support 3,000 local jobs, 500 of which are accounted for by women who run riverside fish eateries. These ‘Unsung chefs of Hogenakkal’, as the film depicts them, prepare and cook fish grown in the river for the tourists. The women work up to 10 hours per day at the fish eateries, and are also responsible for looking after their households, while the men fish. Their earnings range from 7-21 dollars per day and they contribute two thirds of the household income. They are unsung, because the role that these women and others like them play in the rural economy has largely been ignored at local and national level. However, the women are starting to become more vocal and are slowly gaining greater recognition, and believe that efforts such as the video competition help. ‘The tide is turning,’ they said. All the films can be viewed and are well worth watching. FF


05/09/2019 09:33:06

Training and education

Building future


New apprenticeship will address skills gaps at Scottish boat yards BY SANDY NEIL


COTLAND’S first Modern Apprenticeship (MA) in boatbuilding begins this month at Argyll College, in a bid to plug a skills gap felt by a third of Scottish marine firms, and build a £7 million national marine training centre near Oban. The new MA, due to start in September, was urgently called for by the trade association, British Marine, in 2016. Its members raised a set of stark statistics, such as 31 per cent of Scottish companies having hardto-fill vacancies as a direct result of skill shortages. Three years later, Argyll College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, will become the first institution in Scotland to offer a Modern Apprenticeship in boatbuilding and repair, which aims to address this shortage of qualified adults and young people entering the industry. Skills Development Scotland, which set out the framework for the new MA, said it was long overdue. ‘There are approximately 100 boatbuilding and repair apprentices in England annually, but none in Scotland, despite the growing interest by Scottish employers in training, increased revenue and jobs, and interest in the marine and maritime sector.’ Argyll College’s head of curriculum Don Mitchell also argued the time was right, particularly for fish farmers. ‘Many of the main aquaculture companies are telling us they find it difficult to recruit, although there is a growing awareness of the long-term employment and career opportunities within the aquaculture sector. The older perception of fish farming simply being heavy work hauling nets is disappearing.’ Many west coast employers were calling for the course, and helped design it, Mitchell added.


Sandy's Boats.indd 24

‘Managers and owners of boatbuilding and repair facilities across Argyll have been instrumental in driving progress with the new MA. They have a highly skilled but ageing workforce, with few young workers entering the industry, and no formal qualification available - until now.’ British Marine members told the sector’s skills council, the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance (Semta), that the skills gap was having ‘a major impact on their business, and recruitment of skilled personnel [was] costly and limited in success’. The membership asserted that, overall, ‘17 per cent of Scottish companies have a skills gap or difficulties recruiting competently skilled personnel for their business ’. Furthermore, a majority of its employers - 59 per cent - identified that technical skill was a real challenge, rising to 70 per cent for boatbuilders. To make matters worse, Skills Development Scotland explained in its framework for the MA, ‘population growth has stalled and the number of young people entering work is decreasing’. The sector statistics show that 32 per cent of marine employees are reaching retirement age, and that 46 per cent of marine employers expect significant proportions of their workforce to retire in the next five years. From a recent survey, British Marine estimated 67 per cent of Scottish employers will require an increase in employees, and that 64 per cent will be in technical skill occupations. ‘The trends show that the sector needs a dedicated skills programme to sustain and continue the revenue growth and increasing employment in the sector,’ British Marine concluded. ‘A new competence based qualification was required’, alongside the ‘longer-term development of a modern apprenticeship framework, and encouraging young persons to enter the sector’. Since then, Scotland’s first MA in boatbuilding

Left: Argyll College Opposite: There are two main pathways in the apprenticeship

05/09/2019 09:35:17

Building future workforce

and repair has been devised by Semta, SQA, Argyll College UHI, Glasgow City (Nautical) College, Scottish Boatbuilding Department of the Scottish Maritime Museum, and boat industry specialists. The apprenticeships are expected to take 36 months to complete. Mitchell explained: ‘There are two main pathways within the apprenticeship, one covering wooden boat construction, the other composite and metal boat construction. ‘Underpinning these are college based courses, one in carpentry and joinery, delivered in a marine/boatbuilding context, and the other an engineering systems qualification, again with

Sandy's Boats.indd 25

the marine focus. ‘Initial interest is very encouraging. All courses need suitable numbers to be financially viable, and I expect we will hit this point in the coming few weeks. ‘As the initial demand came from facilities in Argyll and beyond, many of the employers have been waiting for this qualification to become available.’ One large employer in Argyll, Scottish Sea Farms, attested to the course’s value. ‘This all-new qualification, developed by Argyll College, promises far reaching benefits,’ Scottish Sea Farms’ head of human resources, Tracy Bryant-Shaw, said. ‘For those keen to pursue a career in salmon farming, it offers an alternative pathway to the traditional Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture or Engineering. ‘For Scottish Sea Farms and others across the sector, it will help establish a steady stream of role-ready candidates with a practical understanding of the fundamentals of boatbuilding and repair, as well as offering existing employees a new option in terms of their own training and development. ‘Beyond this, the qualification will also bring new, highly relevant skills to the remote, rural and coastal communities in which our farm teams work and live; skills that will be transferable to a number of sectors.’ Mitchell was hopeful the new apprenticeship would prove successful: ‘We don’t expect to solve the shortfall overnight, but see this as the beginnings of a longer journey to supply a well-trained workforce for the next generation. ‘As the apprenticeship becomes established, we are looking to offer stand-alone training in boatbuilding and repair as well as other industry specific training.’ If, as hoped, employers in the marine industry can attract and retain more young, skilled people, there will be wider benefits for Scotland’s coastal and rural communities. This is one reason why Argyll and Bute Council is investing more than

of “theMany main

aquaculture companies are telling us they find it difficult to recruit


05/09/2019 09:35:42

Training and education

£100,000 in Argyll College’s plan to build a new marine training facility near Oban, where it hopes eventually to run its courses. Mitchell said: ‘With over 3,500km of coastline, Argyll has a rich maritime heritage and many active maritime communities, both commercial and leisure, from fish farming, workboats and marine diving operations to marine tourism. ‘Argyll College UHI is committed to assist in the development of the current and future workforce required to support and grow these mari-


Sandy's Boats.indd 26

time communities and the maritime economy. ‘To achieve this, Argyll College is working on plans for a bespoke facility, the Maritime Industries Training Centre (MITC) to be sited at the European Marine Science Park at Dunstaffnage.’ Councillors on the Policy and Resources Committee on August 15 agreed to release

Above and left: The course will train the future workforce Opposite: Argyll College is also planning a new maritime training centre

05/09/2019 09:38:26

Building future workforce

£105,040 over a two-year period to July 2021 to help Argyll College UHI ‘develop a comprehensive curriculum plan and business case for the new training centre’. A council spokesperson said: ‘Should proposals for the £7 million project come to fruition, the Scottish MITC would be a world-class marine and maritime facility – Scotland’s hub for vocational training and academic study of this growing field – while also supporting the industry through continuing professional development and mandatory training courses. ‘The MITC will provide state-of-the-art training facilities in the heart of Argyll and the west coast of Scotland. There are two main facets to the design of the facilities: first, educational and training support and second, the maritime industry hub. ‘The facilities will incorporate a number of linked specialist workshops, fabrication spaces, training labs, classrooms, and conference spaces, plus a water survival training pool, exterior fire-fighting enclosure and marine simulation areas.’ The council said industry groups had already expressed interest in using these facilities. Councillor Aileen Morton, policy lead for economic development, said: ‘As part of our aim to boost the population of Argyll and Bute, there is a need to expand further and higher education opportunities, both to retain students from the area and attract others from

Sandy's Boats.indd 27

This is targeted at industries which have indicated a skills shortage

further afield.’ Mitchell welcomed the council’s support: ‘This is a fantastic development for Argyll College, targeted at industries who have indicated a recruitment deficit and skills shortage. ‘By developing a skilled workforce for tomorrow for industries with demand, we should help stem the flood of talent out of Argyll, and stop population decline in the region.’ Looking to training for even younger people, Argyll College UHI is also developing an ‘Aquaculture into Schools’ programme to enhance the NPA Aquaculture already on offer at National 4 and National 5 level. ‘Fish farming companies are providing considerable employment opportunities, but much work still needs to be done in schools, both in terms of curriculum delivery and in signposting the many career paths that exist within aquaculture,’ Mitchell said. ‘Argyll College have delivered NPA in Aquaculture in Campbeltown and Oban High Schools, supported by the Scottish Salmon Company and Scottish Sea Farms. While the uptake is relatively small, the course is well received. The hope is to grow on this, and expand the offering into other Argyll high schools.’ The Scottish Salmon Company’s head of HR, Debra Storie-Nichol, said: ‘The ‘Aquaculture in Schools’ project has worked very well for our company, providing keen young people an insight to commercial fish farming whilst still at school, ultimately helping their transition to work and aquaculture careers.’ Mitchell added: ‘We are currently in discussions with a number of fish farming companies around the delivery of Modern Apprenticeships in aquaculture for Argyll based apprentices. This is another step in supporting the growth and development of a local workforce. ‘This is the first time Argyll College will deliver the MA aquaculture, providing local delivery and support to fish farming employers and local apprentices working in Argyll. Other UHI partners are delivering this modern apprenticeship across the Highlands and islands area.’. FF


05/09/2019 09:39:41

Aqua Nor 2019 – Introduction

Norway centre stage Record Aqua Nor marks its 40th anniversary with focus on the future


ORWAY’S focus on innovation in the marine economy was centre stage at this year’s Aqua Nor exhibition, held in Trondheim from August 20-23. The spectacle of 14 of the country’s top research institutions – exhibiting together on the mighty Research Plaza – highlighted the country’s commitment to and investment in science and technology. This was enough to make other nations, Scotland included, green eyed, but the Norwegians are always a step ahead and we heard in August about the government’s plans to give the marine sector ‘extra help’. As the Mayor of Trondheim, Rita Ottervik, pointed out during Aqua Nor’s opening formalities, a proposed Ocean Space Centre has the green light and will be built in Trondheim, with work expected to commence in 2022. The NOK 6.2 billion, 48,000 sq m project, described as a national centre for education, research and technology development for the marine industries, will be run by NTNU and Sintef, and great emphasis will be placed on developing ‘future oriented solutions’ for the marine industries. The centre will replace the current marine technical centre at Tyholt in Trondheim, and will also include infrastructure and testing opportunities in the sea on the Trondheim Fjord, at Hitra/Frøya and Ålesund. At the opening of Aqua Nor, Arni Mathiesen, assistant director general, Fisheries and Aquaculture Division at the FAO, spoke of aquaculture’s role in addressing the world’s food challenges. ‘We have important work to do here in Trondheim and beyond…we can rely on Norway to be up there in the front.’ And no one could argue with that. It was a record show by all accounts. Visitor numbers were at an


Aqua Nor - Intro.indd 28

all-time high, with more than 28,000 people from 74 countries attending the four-day exhibition. The world’s leading aquaculture fair featured almost 700 exhibitors – another record – and a brand new main hall at the Trondheim Spektrum. The 2017 event saw around 27,000 visitors, and 550 exhibitors. Erik Hempel, the communications director of the Nor-Fishing Foundation, which runs the event, said there were 140 companies on the waiting list as the show opened this year, and he suggested that Nor-Fishing might reduce the maximum stand space for exhibitors in future, to accommodate the growing demand. The breakdown of attendance on each day of the event was 6,952 on Tuesday; Wednesday: 8,774; Thursday: 8,557; Friday: 3,811. Project manager Kari Steinsbø said exhibitors reported that many of those coming to their stalls were international visitors. ‘This fits well with our goal of being an international showcase for farming technology and the industry’s most important meeting place,’ she said. ‘The pavilions with international exhibitors have been popular with visitors. The signals from the visiting exhibitors have also been very positive – they want to come back next time.’ Aqua Nor 2019 marked the biennial exhibition’s 40th anniversary since the event was launched in 1979. The official opening, on August 20, was also the 20th occasion – out of 21 – that the Norwegian royal family had been present, with the popular Crown Prince Haakon touring the halls following the welcoming ceremony, a speech

Above: Petra Baader with Crown Prince Haakon on her company’s stand Left: Morenot’s David Goodlad and Iain Macleod Opposite (clockwise from top): The Institute of Aquaculture’s Professor Herve Migaud and SAIC’s Benedikte Ranum serve Irn-Bru at a reception on the SAIC stand; Greg Riddle of Northern Light Consulting and the IoA’s James Dick at the SAIC stand; Crown Prince Haakon is shown Morenot’s NetRobot, a finalist in the Innovation Award

05/09/2019 09:40:51

Norway centre stage

signals from the visiting exhibitors “The have also been very positive – they want to come back next time ”

by Norwegian fisheries minister Harald T. Nesvik, and the announcement of the winner of the Innovation Award – UK company Benchmark (see next page). Among the stands Prince Haakon stopped by was that of Baader, the German fish processing equipment company, which is celebrating a rather grand anniversary of its own – 100 years in business. Prince Haakon talked to Petra Baader, the current executive chairwoman and granddaughter of founder Rudolph Baader. Under her leadership, the company has developed technology that makes it possible to follow each individual fish as it leaves the fish processing facility. ‘We’ve invested heavily in the digitalisation of our entire value chain – and believe we can help both our clients and the fish farmers with the data we now offer,’ she said. The show’s new general manager, Kristian Digre, said there had been a positive response to this year’s seminar programme, which had ‘developed tremendously’. ‘Aqua Nor is a technology fair, so we want to actively contribute to all of technology, research and development being promoted,’ he said. The social events are also an important feature, and they too would be further developed for the next show. Trondheim Spektrum now boasts new facilities, completed shortly before the start of Aqua Nor, the first major event to be held there. Steinsbø said: ‘I also have to say thank you to all the exhibitors who have tackled new guidelines on transport and logistics in a fantastic way, and who have understood that small challenges can arise in a brand new building, Thank you for this year’s fair!’ Planning is already underway for Nor-Fishing 2020 and Aqua Nor 2021. FF

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Aqua Nor - Intro.indd 29


05/09/2019 09:41:54

Aqua Nor 2019 – Innovation Award

Prize winning


Home-grown Treat scoops top honour but regulators prevent trials in Scotland


HE team behind the Scottish invention CleanTreat, which won the much prized Aqua Nor Innovation Award, held high level talks at the exhibition to facilitate trials of the system in Scotland. So far, the breakthrough sea lice treatment system, which cleanses treatment water after delousing in well boats, has only been trialled in Norway. CleanTreat has successfully purified more than 300,000m3 of treatment water, according to John Marshall, head of Animal Health at Benchmark, which has developed the innovation over a 10-year period. Benchmark’s triumph, announced in Trondheim on the opening day of Aqua Nor, marks


Aqua Nor - Award Winners.indd 30

the second win in a row for Scottish innovation at the biennial show. Dundee based Ace Aquatec scooped the award at the last Aqua Nor, held in 2017, for its in-water electrical stunner. Scottish Rural Economy minister Fergus Ewing, in Norway to witness Benchmark beat off stiff Norwegian competition, said later that he was proud of the Scottish aquaculture industry’s achievements. However, there is some impatience among Scottish salmon farmers over bottlenecks in the regulatory system that have so far prevented them from trialling CleanTreat in Scotland. Marshall said his company had been approached by all the Scottish producers, interested in deploying CleanTreat at their farms, and he hoped there would be Scottish trials soon. ‘The target was for the end of this year but, realistically, it will be next year,’ he told Fish Farmer at the show. Marshall and head of CleanTreat Neil Robertson both said they had been encouraged by discussions at Aqua Nor with Ewing and Graham

Right: Crown Prince Haakon and Nor-Fishing Foundation chair Liv Holmefjord visit award winning Benchmark on the opening day

05/09/2019 09:43:52

Prize winning pioneers

Black, director of Marine Scotland. ‘Obviously, when you’re bringing in an innovative solution, people want some full understanding and a level of detail, and we’re actively working with all the authorities,’ said Robertson. ‘We’re encouraged by the positive message from the minister and from Marine Scotland. I think there is a really strong incentive to support us from the industry, and certainly from government as well.’ Marshall added: ‘The Innovation Award has helped in that everybody is saying this really works now, it’s got that big stamp of approval. ‘It’s not a case of having to have new regulation. I think there is regulation in Scotland to deal with it but, of course, regulations are interpreted and it’s about the interpretation of how you use the current regulation along with CleanTreat.’ Robertson said they had had meetings at Aqua Nor with potential

Tough competition BENCHMARK beat a tough line-up for the prize, including Norwegian Morenot Robotics, which was shortlisted for its autonomous underwater robot NetRobot. The net cleaner, which prevents fouling by means of low-intensity brushing, is intended to reduce the consequences of net flushing and was launched during this year’s Aqua Nor. The third finalist was Trondheim innovator Ecotone, nominated for its camera solution SpectraLice, which counts and reports salmon lice automatically, 24 hours a day. Ecotone was the first company to make a version of hyperspectral camera technology that works underwater – and has also patented it. Having delivered products and services to customers within the oil and gas industry, as well as to research and management, the company is now investing heavily in the aquaculture industry.

Aqua Nor - Award Winners.indd 31

customers in the other big salmon producing countries. ‘Many of our customers based in Norway certainly have interests in Chile and Canada as well, and the Faroe Islands.’ And many of the Norwegians who see CleanTreat currently being deployed in Norway are in the same companies based in Scotland. ‘We believe it’s a win for all, for the fish, for the salmon producers - and for the regulators, because they have expressed concern about new products on the market and their environmental impact,’ said Robertson. CleanTreat has the potential to be used on well boats, tankers, platforms and onshore, and has proven to be effective on most available bath treatments for sea lice. The solution also removes treated sea lice, so they will not spread resistance to treatments. Chemical based bath treatments that are released into the water are one of the biggest grounds for objections to the aquaculture industry. Marshall said their system is ‘revolutionising the way that we use medicines and we want to make it available for everybody’. Asked if Scotland might miss the boat because of regulatory hold-ups, Marshall said: ‘We obviously don’t want Scotland to lose out, but we will work where there is opportunity, demand and less resistance. ‘Scotland has to get its act together but I believe they are doing that.’ A boat is currently being fitted with the CleanTreat system in Leith, in Scotland, but this is due to sail to Norway to start work on Norwegian farms. FF

the way “thatIt’swerevolutionising use medicines and we want to make it available for everybody

Above: John Marshall and Neil Robertson of Benchmark


05/09/2019 09:44:11

Aqua Nor 2019 – Scottish supply chain

Watch this space! Who knows what’s going to happen next at high energy Gael Force


F you’ve bagged the biggest Scottish stand at Aqua Nor then nothing less than bagpipes and the presence of a Scottish government minister will do to accompany the biggest Scottish reception – and a major product launch. Gael Force Group pushed the boat out on the opening day of the exhibition as it officially brought to market its SeaQurePen, a fully integrated sea cage system designed for high energy sites. The piper was the company’s own Rhuaraidh Edwards, a product development engineer, and the minister, of course, was the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing. Ewing congratulated Gael Force managing director Stewart Graham for building up ‘an enormously successful business, espousing the highest standards in aquaculture throughout the world’. The Inverness based supplier has offices all over Scotland, as well as a base in England, and recently opened its first overseas branch, in Grand Falls Windsor, Canada, which perhaps explained the large Canadian presence on the Gael Force stand. ‘The expansion of the company with its acquisition of other companies, such as Fusion Marine and Corpach Boatbuilders, has been achieved in a remarkably short space of time and - watch this space - who knows what is going to happen next,’ said Ewing. In fact, the company has achieved the goals of its five-year plan in just three years, and has rapidly expanded its workforce to 250 and expects this to increase to 350 by the middle of next year. Stewart told a Scottish supply chain seminar earlier in the day: ‘We’ve been building our market share in Scotland and have always taken the view that we should get things right at home before we look towards export markets.’ Now the company has begun its expansion drive abroad, with the Canadian office, and it put its stamp firmly on the Norwegian market during Aqua Nor. Gael Force marketing manager Marc Wilson said there had been significant interest in the SeaQurePen design and features – ‘it was very much the centrepiece of our stand’.


Aqua Nor - Scotland.indd 32

‘We were taken aback by the number of Norwegians paying compliment to the SeaQurePen and more generally to our presence at Aqua Nor,’ he said. ‘One assumption I had in advance of the show was that we would struggle to attract the attention of Norwegians, given that we are competing against top suppliers out there. ‘However, we did feel that we managed to achieve our objective of going to Trondheim to present ourselves as a ‘premier league’ supply partner in the global space we are targeting – open pen finfish farming equipment.’ Wilson said there were enquiries about the SeaQurePen from ‘far and wide’, including from farmers based in Oceania, Russia and Canada. ‘We got a real sense of the international element of Aqua Nor, which gave us an excellent opportunity to consider our next steps for our export strategy. ‘And, importantly, it was incredible to see so many of the Scottish contingent visiting Aqua Nor, particularly to our reception on the opening day. ‘To see so many Scottish customers, suppliers and stakeholders show their support that day, and throughout Aqua Nor, was fantastic. We owe each and every person who visited us a great deal of thanks.’

Top: Hugh Mainland, farm manager of Scottish Sea Farms’ new Orkney site at Lober Rock, with Gael Force piper Rhuaraidh Edwards. Left: The Gael Force team at Aqua Nor. Opposite (clockwise from top): Stewart Graham with Fergus Ewing; salmon farm bosses Colin Blair of Cooke Aquaculture (left) and Alban Denton of Loch Duart; the Gael Force stand in Hall D

05/09/2019 09:47:18

Watch this space!

The SeaQurePen is the result of collaboration with Gael Force’s customers and has already been installed on some Mowi sites. It is available from 120m to 200m in circumference, is extremely tough and durable, and purpose built for exposure to high energy environments. Stewart said that while some of the new farming developments in Norway are truly offshore, in Scotland the move is to more high energy sites. ‘These are sites that previously may not have been viable but have significant weather challenges. We see the reach that we need to go to, in terms of equipment and technology, is a big step but it’s not massively into an offshore space.’ He said Scotland had set itself an ambitious target to double the sector’s economic value by 2030, and had the political support to optimise opportunities. ‘In terms of equipment and the supply chain and innovation, I rather think that we’re catching up a bit [with Norway].’ The SeaQurePen is described by Gael Force as an evolutionary system that reduces pen furniture and related maintenance.

Aqua Nor - Scotland.indd 33

‘It is a very integrated pen with all the services, but this is just a stepping stone on the way towards a much greater level of integration of farm development,’ said Stewart. ‘We’re on a journey to come to the market with an integrated farm concept – joined up, integrated, SeaQureFarm for high energy sites to farm at scale.’ Although the even newer concept of an integrated farm will not be officially launched until next year, details of its design are featured in the Gael Force catalogue, published in time for Aqua Nor. Described as the ‘farm of the future’, the SeaQureFarm is a modular system designed to enable the new pen and all other Gael Force equipment and technology to be linked together. This, said the company, will deliver lower cost per kilo of production and a lower environmental footprint. ‘Customers can either install a complete turnkey SeaQureFarm from the outset or gradually build up the system and add to existing farms too,’ states Gael Force. Features include barges with a large capacity for holding freshwater to create an on site treatment system, and also barge-based processing of mortalities lifted from pens. Plus, there will be a new containment system for partial capture and recovery of faecal matter. And, crucially, the system is being developed to operate at higher energy sites at sizes greater than those currently available, with biomass of 6,000 tonnes or more per site. FF

We “ achieved

our objective of going to Trondheim to present ourselves as a ‘premier league’ supply partner


05/09/2019 09:48:39

Aqua Nor 2019 – Scottish supply chain

Political parties ‘united behind salmon sector’ Scotland needs regulatory system that is a friend and enabler, not a policeman and enforcer


HE Scottish salmon sector has the backing of all the parties in the Scottish parliament, following the two inquiries held into the industry last year. Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Rural Economy minister, said the upshot of the committee investigations into the further growth of salmon farming was that all parties ‘together united in support behind the industry’. The inquiries were prompted by a petition from the wild salmon lobby which wants to curb the expansion of salmon farming, which employs 12,000 people across Scotland. Ewing, giving the opening address at a Scottish supply chain seminar held at Aqua Nor, said the sector was still very young. ‘Only 50 years ago, if you ate salmon it would be a caught salmon. In Scotland, all the rivers are owned by the aristocracy and the land owners. ‘Therefore, there were only two types of people who ate salmon: very rich people and poachers,’ he joked. The opportunities for growth were only limited by capacity and the continuing drive for sustainability, added the minister. The work the industry is doing is at ‘the very centre of this’, driving innovation. But the public did not always appreciate either the extent of the innovation, the efficacy and success that that is bringing, or the very sophisticated nature of aquaculture. Aquaculture is not just about farming but about engineering, biochemistry and the application of science, and if this were better known ‘it would help us all’, said Ewing. ‘Our vision in Scotland is that innovation must be an intrinsic part of our culture,’ he said, citing the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), which organised the seminar, and has budget of £13.5 million available to the industry. He said Scotland welcomed investment from outside, too, and in par-


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ticular from the major Norwegian players. The salmon industry in Scotland has been criticised by anti-aquaculture campaigners for being ‘Norwegian owned’, but the minister said some of the biggest investments recently had been from Scottish Sea Farms, which is jointly owned by Norway’s SalMar and Leroy, and by Bergen headquartered Mowi. ‘This is a good thing, they are committed to Scotland, they are employing a great many people in Scotland,’ he said, adding that the average rate of pay in some of these salmon companies is double the Scottish average. ‘You are providing opportunities for people on the edge of Scotland – on the islands, on the coasts, in the sparsely populated areas where there are no other opportunities for employment of that reward there. We recognise that is of tremendous value.’ Ewing said he was proud of the achievements in the Scottish aquaculture industry, and in the supply chain. Later, in a panel discussion with members of the Scottish industry, the minister raised Brexit concerns about the future of the workforce, which has a high proportion of EU nationals. At Mowi’s processing plant in Rosyth, for example, there were 650 employees from 23 countries, mostly in the EU. ‘We still hope Brexit won’t happen,’ he said, adding that Scottish MPs were working to prevent the UK’s exit from Europe. Mowi operations director Gideon Pringle said the ‘vast majority’ of his company’s fish health specialists were Europeans and if there were to be a mass exodus after Brexit, the company would become very vulnerable very quickly, losing years of experience. The industry panel included Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC; Stewart Graham, managing director of Gael Force Group; Ben Wilson, managing director of Inverlussa Marine; John Marshall, head of animal health at Benchmark; and Mike Forbes, head of sales and marketing at Ace Aquatec. Asked by a Norwegian member of the audience whether there was financial and political

vision “forOurScotland is that innovation must be an intrinsic part of our culture

Left: The panel at the seminar (from left to right): Ben Wilson, Mike Forbes, Fergus Ewing, Stewart Graham, John Marshall and Heather Jones Opposite: Fergus Ewing

05/09/2019 09:49:28

Aqua Nor 2019 – Scottish supply chain

support in Scotland for companies willing to make the switch to higher energy sites, with potentially risky projects, Ewing said there was some support. But the industry was very successful, he added, and ‘it doesn’t really need government to pay’. Ben Wilson, of Inverlussa, said ‘having a healthy appetite for risk’ had helped his company grow quickly. And Pringle said that the industry has got quite a record of handling the risk part itself. ‘But a major benefit from government would be making sure the regulatory regimes and frameworks let industry expand,’ he added. Ewing suggested that Scotland could learn from other countries about how to get the optimal regulation, ‘which protects the environment but allows, as the Norwegian fisheries minister said, profitability’. He said, like in the countries that have mature regulatory systems, the aim was to get one that

St Andrews team sees more Xelect species ALSO flying the flag for Scotland was St Andrews based Xelect. CEO Prof Ian Johnston and operations director Dr Tom Ashton found the show busier than Aqua Nor 2017. The company , which started as a spin-off from a St Andrews research group, manages and supports breeding programmes on behalf of leading producers of farmed finfish, shrimp and shellfish worldwide. Johnston and Ashton both agreed that one of the big trends in the growth of global aquaculture was species diversification. ‘We are now dealing with freshly domesticated and minor species such as baramundi and giant tiger prawn,’ said Johnston. ‘The demand for genetic solutions and specialist genetic support is now worldwide.’ Ashton said they had had a lot of interesting conversations about new species, from new countries – East Africa, Tanzania, Iraq, Costa Rica, China, India, and Russia. ‘The show is dominated by big salmon but the pattern is new species in new places. Countries with previously low levels of production are becoming more modernised,’ he said. ‘Globally speaking, lots and lots of different species are coming on to the map. Genetically speaking, they all need their own programmes so there are many opportunities arising for us.’ This was, in fact, Xelect’s fourth Aqua Nor, with the team having made its debut in 2013, just three months after setting up the company. Back then, the stand was small and quite make shift with just a few posters, said Ashton, but their ambitions were always big. In ten years, he said, they want a stand like Gael Force’s!

is ‘a friend and enabler, not a policeman and enforcer’. ‘To me, that is the biggest challenge, to ensure that we have the basis for growth over the next couple of decades.’ Richard Darbyshire, Scottish Sea Farms regional manager for Orkney, asked the minister if there was scope for exploiting areas off the north and east coasts of Scotland, not now available, as the industry tries to expand further offshore. Ewing said it would be logical to look at whether a historical ban should still be in place, in the long-term. ‘But in the short-term – five years perhaps – I think there is ample room off the west coast, around the islands in traditional areas and particularly further offshore,’ he said. ‘We’re not full up. We’re not as large as Norway but we are still large; our coastline far exceeds the coastline of our counterparts in the UK and my job is to make sure that over the short and medium term we take full advantage of those opportunities and see more consent and more activity.’ He pointed out that the 2,500 tonne cap on biomass – which doesn’t exist in Norway - was being lifted in some cases, and this would pave the way for more consents to be granted. But Pringle warned that if farming in Scotland does not increase in scale, the growing indigenous supply chain would seek opportunities elsewhere. ‘For many years, as a farmer, we’ve looked across the water to Norway for innovation and solutions. We now look far more at these major innovations – from whole farms to boats to medicines – in Scotland. ‘The farming part must stay at the front and have a scale to keep these industries going,’ he said. It was dispiriting for a farmer in Scotland to find a supplier is too busy working in Norway. ‘For the supply chain to have confidence that the industry will continue to grow. we’ve got to get the farms bigger.’ FF

Precision Phenotyping

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your expert genetics partner Above: Xelect’s José Mota-Velasco, Ian Johnston and Tom Ashton

Aqua Nor - Scotland.indd 35


05/09/2019 09:50:02

Aqua Nor 2019 – Scottish supply chain

Ace show for Dundee based innovator

“hasEveryone a huge amount of data and they do so little with it at the moment

SCOTTISH aquaculture technology innovator Ace Aquatec, well positioned in Hall D by the Gael Force stand, saw visitors from all over the world, said head of sales and marketing Mike Forbes. This was the first Aqua Nor for Forbes and he thought he would just be talking to Norwegians. But by day three, he and his colleagues had seen a truly international mix, from countries including Australia, Japan, Vietnam and Croatia. Mostly, visitors were interested in the BioCam, said Forbes, and the electric Humane Stunner Universal (HSU), which is well known after winning the Innovation Award at the last Aqua Nor. ‘They see it’s proven and see how many installations we’ve got, and videos of it working. They’ve heard about it and had feedback from people.’ But there is growing interest in the new BioCam, too, and Forbes believes it could ‘easily be our biggest product’. The BioCam 3D is an underwater time-of-flight camera that captures fish biomass in real-time. ‘We’ll have ten of them available by the end of this year,’ said Forbes. ‘There are two in the water just now, in the final testing stage [in fact, technically, just one in the water because one was on the stand] at Loch Duart. Dundee based Ace Aquatec also has quite a long waiting list and in the past few weeks the company has initiated a new leasing deal, whereby customers can pay a deposit for a three-month trial. ‘We will be doing these on three-year rental contracts but we’re offering the three-month trials with the first systems,’ Forbes explained. If the customer is happy after three months, they can convert the contract into three years. As for meeting potential demand, Forbes said they can put


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Left: Ace Aquatec head of sales and marketing Mike Forbes

more BioCams in production pretty quickly. ‘We’ve now got the hardware refined but what we’re working on is finalising some of the software side of things. ‘We’re talking to a couple of different artificial intelligence companies about how we can do more using their software. ‘What we always do with everything is go to the people who are experts, in really niche scientific fields. With the BioCam, we went to the experts in time-of-flight imaging and developed the system with them. ‘We’re not software or artificial intelligence experts, or data experts, so we go to people who all they do is software data analysis, who need the hardware to have use for their software. ‘Everyone has a huge amount of data and they do so little with it at the moment, so there’s huge potential there.’ The company continues to expand its overseas markets and Forbes was recently in Australia, where Ace Aquatec sees big potential. ‘We’re already in New Zealand so we know we have the capability to work in that part of the world – we have a couple of stunners there and are building more. We’ve had quite a few enquiries from there and wanted to show our presence.’ Forbes met with salmon farmers in Tasmania, as well as yellowtail farmers and a land based cod producer, Murray Cod Australia, a publically listed company, which produces under the brand Aquna. They have pond systems, which they are in the process of expanding, by the Murray River, and are interested in Ace Aquatec’s stunner and the biomass camera. Ace has also been in discussion with the Norwegian fish handling equipment company MMC First Process, to see how they can integrate a big, 200 tonnes per hour electric stunning system into the processing factories they build on boats. Ace Aquatec stunners – one of which was on display at Aqua Nor- have already been installed on vessels, including on a sea trout boat in Denmark, and one in Greece on board a barge, for sea bass and sea bream. Forbes said winning the Innovation Award in 2017 for the electric stunner was great for building credibility in what the company does. ‘This is the biggest industry event and to be the first non-Norwegian company to win the award was a big honour for us and very prestigious. ‘At the time we won, that product was new and it was very innovative and different, and people didn’t look at it as risky any more after we won. And from that point onwards, we’ve had this as a commercial system and it’s been easy to open doors.’

05/09/2019 09:50:46

Aqua Nor 2019 – Scottish supply chain

Scaling up ‘kilted solutions’ New Norwegian equipment giant committed to growth in Scotland SCALE AQ is the name and scale was the game at Aqua Nor for the newly formed company that merged three well established Norwegian suppliers, Aqualine, Steinsvik and AquaOptima. Astrid Buran Holan of AquaOptima, said the company’s stand in Hall A, at 200m2, was ‘bigger than my house’. Scale AQ, a global turnkey operation, employs more than 900 people across 11 countries and aims to be the world’s leading provider of technology and infrastructure to both sea and land based aquaculture. Heading up the UK and Ireland operation is Innes Weir, previously general manager of Steinsvik in Scotland. Relatively new to the supply chain but not to the industry, he worked for 30 years as a salmon producer, in Scotland, on the west coast of America, Australia and New Zealand. Weir said the new group had had a successful debut at the exhibition and he welcomed the combined might of three well known industry brands. ‘We’ve now got access to experts in all the disciplines,’ he said, talking to Fish Farmer a week after the show. ‘While we had considerable expertise locally in feeding systems, monitoring systems and things that directly affect production, now we also have access to experts in moorings and cages, and on water quality in recirculation systems.’ He said the Aqualine cages, which he had used for years as a producer, were the industry standard. The ‘escape proof’ Midguard system devised by Aqualine is installed on Mowi’s farm on Colonsay, and there are also Midguards at Cooke Aquaculture’s exposed farm at East Skelwick, Orkney. The high energy site, a trial in offshore salmon production, had already installed 130m Aqualine Midguard systems on two of its first four cages and farm manager Stewart Rendall was so pleased with the results, he has now ordered three more. ‘The good thing about the three companies is that there is absolutely no competition, so they are all complementary,’ said Weir. ‘It makes my life a lot easier when I’m speaking to customers because I’ve used all these components at some point throughout my career in production, so I can readily talk of the pros and cons of each system and we can be flexible.’ Scale AQ, based in Fort William, is looking at possible locations to set up a new site in Scotland, with sea access, for cage assembly and a staging area for repairs, and holding mooring stock, and so on. ‘We’ll need to put up a store there so customers can buy spares for cages and mooring systems, and an office and a team to run it, so it will create more jobs,’ said Weir. The company’s team in Scotland has already increased to 22, up from seven just over a year ago, and the focus is on expansion. During the Scottish supply chain summit at Aqua Nor, Weir, addressing a question about Scotland’s competitiveness, said: ‘I don’t think Scotland is going to fall behind because we’re fully committed to support the Scottish and UK industry with innovative products and solutions which are kilted. ‘We have the full backing from the group and our focus is to make sure Scotland doesn’t fall behind. We can bring global technology to bear in the market and work with colleagues to make sure the industry does grow.’ ‘Kilted solutions’ means products tailored to the conditions and scale in Scotland – for instance, building cages in the 100-120m range now, with the specifications allowing upgrades to 160m or beyond later. ‘We can make the systems cost effective for the Scottish producers, but the customers are asking us when we supply them, if we can upgrade them at a future date, so that’s how we set it up in the beginning,’ said Weir. With the Scottish Technical Standard coming on board next year, Scale AQ’s products could be in even greater demand. ‘Aqualine has for years had a good maintenance and monitoring programme, which slips relatively seamlessly into the Scottish standard. We re-certify and basically audit our systems, which is what’s going to be needed.

Aqua Nor - Scotland.indd 37

access to experts in all “We’ve nowthegotdisciplines ”

‘The technical standard has been there since 2015 Above: Scale AQ’s but the enforcement of it is going to have to come, impressive debut in Hall A and we will be able to use our maintenance programmes and our certification programmes, which go hand in hand with the sale of our equipment.’ Weir believes the sector in Scotland can grow in line with its ambitions, but there is a lot of work to be done, particularly in terms of recruitment. ‘At the moment, the industry probably doesn’t have the people it needs. It has people but they might not have the relevant experience or training to meet the needs of where it wants to go – or maybe even the needs of next year. ‘There is definitely a lot to be done on the staffing side of things, and on the education regarding moves offshore. There are challenges but the technology side is there to meet those challenges.’ Weir and his team try to engage young people in the industry by giving presentations at local schools. The company appeals to students who are interested in engineering, or electronics, computers and programming; ‘those are the kind of people we’re after,’ said Weir. ‘We’re very lucky in that we can take people with experience from other areas with transferable skills – such as electricians or electrical engineers, who may be coming from industries that are winding down.’ The company has just appointed its first Modern Apprentice, who is now enrolled at Inverness College, and a second youngster is starting on a short-term contract in October, possibly extending to an apprenticeship next year. Weir is also keen to recruit more women into the business and plans to attend a meeting of the WiSa (Women in Scottish Aquaculture) network, being hosted by Dawnfresh this month. He only has four women in the team, and said; ‘I can’t see why we can’t have more because there is nothing the men do that they can’t, and in some aspects they are better.’ FF


05/09/2019 09:53:54

Aqua Nor 2019 – Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries

Licence to


Boss of scheme loves job that triggered ‘enormous amount of creativity’


LMOST all the companies applying to the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries for development licences complained during the process. ‘Those who got a ‘no’ of course complained and almost all those who got a ‘yes’ also complained because they didn’t get nearly enough,’ said Anne B. Osland, head of section at the Directorate. The team in charge had very strict criteria to abide by, and if all the 104 applications had been given the go ahead in full, they would have amounted to 700 new licences. ‘That’s equal to 85 per cent of today’s Norwegian biomass, it is unrealistic,’ said Osland. ‘The licences state very clearly that there is a main purpose and that is to show us it is possible to solve some of the environmental challenges, or challenges regarding the use of sea areas, whether within the fjords or further in than where we are today, or whether you go offshore.’ The application deadline was in November 2017 and Osland said that, as of August, there were still some 20 appeals, which go to the fisheries ministry. They are committed to finishing the process by the end of the year. ‘At the moment, the ones that have completed amount to 77 normal licences of 780 tonnes each and perhaps there will be an additional 10 to 15 maybe. ‘So maybe 100 licences and then you can add up the production – some of these technologies will be quite production intensive. The licences can all produce different tonnages.’ The scheme will give Norway’s salmon farmers more than 70,000 tonnes of extra biomass, but perhaps more significantly it will have stimulated a level of innovation unprecedented in the industry. Anyone with an interest in aquaculture will have watched in amazement, as futuristic concepts shaped like eggs and donuts promised to transform the salmon farms of the future. Osland said there have been ‘a lot of funny solutions’, from large installations at offshore sites to partly or completely closed structures, and the programme has ‘triggered an enormous amount of creativity’, from companies


Aqua Nor - Licences.indd 38

large and small. She and her team make the decisions and then the minister approves them or not, and handles the appeals. ‘For the most part he has taken our advice, though not in all cases. We have one or two that he has changed. But all in all he has respected and leaned on our expertise.’ She said there was no political agenda to develop the industry in any particular direction, either further offshore or into closed containment. ‘I haven’t felt it was explicitly pushing us outwards because we all know with closed cages and new technology there are also available areas – or there might be – within the fjords, actually areas that we have moved away from. ‘But trying to get local acceptance and get a permit from all the different agencies for a permit within the fjords is fairly conflicted.’ Osland thinks it is too soon to judge the overall success of the government initiative, which is much envied by salmon farmers in less risk

Above: Anne B. Osland and Knut Inge Engelbreth at the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries stand Opposite: Mowi’s Hauge Aqua designed ‘Egg’ which has won six licences

05/09/2019 09:57:55

taking countries, including Scotland. ‘I keep repeating we should be careful about deciding if this is a success or the failure of a lifetime. Some say it’s never going to happen but I say it’s early, hang on for five, six, seven or eight years, then we will really know if the bottom line is a positive one. ‘When you get these licences then you have a development period and the average length is between four and five and seven to eight years to develop the project.’ If some of the new ideas do not work out in practice, farmers can then convert the development licences, which are free of charge, to ordinary licences, at a cost of NOK 10 million (around £900,000). ‘That’s the big carrot in the system. You may apply for converting your development licences into ordinary licences – you may use the new technology but you have no obligation to do so.’ But the system is no shortcut for farmers to obtain extra biomass and there are a number of ‘very hefty criteria, of things that you are supposed to do’ before development licences can be converted, said Osland. ‘But the criteria are not success criteria. If you have really tried and have done everything that we agreed you should do, but the operation period shows that this is a rotten idea, then at least you will have documents stating, once and for all, don’t do this again. Then you are still in a position to be able to apply for conversions.’ This, naturally, applies only to the ‘yesses’. ‘They have to finish the development years and provide us with this big final report and document what they did, what they didn’t do, what are the results. ‘We will follow them very closely through these development years. Then you are in a position to apply for a conversion of the development licences into quite ordinary salmon licences. ‘And there is no obligation that you must continue to use the technology. But we feel very certain that if the technology proves to be a good thing, why shouldn’t they use it?’ She believes that in the end the system of development licences will prove to be a success. ‘It has pushed the farmers – the applicants - to realising the importance of application, quality and what it means to really document things. ‘That is a very positive thing that a lot of the big ones didn’t really get and then had to pay the price. They’ve been on a very steep learning curve. ‘I think a lot of the good projects that involved a lot of joint operations with companies – such as oil and gas – has introduced the farming industry to people and knowledge that they traditionally haven’t worked together with. ‘I think they both have learnt enormous amounts. And, of course, there is a lot of patenting of gadgets and so on – a by-product. I’m sure the bottom line will be a positive one.’ Osland, originally a social scientist from the University of Bergen and a bureaucrat of 33 years’ experience, is too tactful to name a favourite project, but she does say she has very much enjoyed running the scheme. ‘I love it! It’s been such good fun and I’ve learnt enormous amounts.

the farmers…they’ve “beenIt hason pushed a very steep learning curve ”

Aqua Nor - Licences.indd 39

Photo: Kreativside/Hauge Aqua

Licence to thrill

It’s been a privilege to be able to put together a very young team.’ Each application got both a responsible lawyer and engineer – or some who were both, like senior adviser Knut Inge Engelbreth, sitting in on the interview before rushing off to serve fish soup to Aqua Nor visitors. The team also included biologists and economists but the work started with the engineers, going through the applications – most running to hundreds of thousands of pages. ‘Some are big as houses!’ said Osalnd. ‘We had a couple of applications that were so large they were delivered on separate hard drives.’ After the engineers’ scrutiny, they then worked together with the lawyers, evaluating whether projects were a big enough investment, innovative enough, and how they compared with projects that existed already; in other words, would they really solve problems. Osland said her strategy of recruiting a young team paid off. ‘Because of the downfall in the oil industry there were a lot of senior engineers out there who had taken redundancy packages. ‘When we were going to recruit them we thought should we take the young ones, just out of NTNU (the Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in Trondheim, who know all the latest, who are extremely motivated, without experience, or should we take the senior ones. ‘We interviewed both groups and we went for the youth and they have delivered fantastically. The combination between quite experienced lawyers and young, bold engineers was a good thing to do.’ So, is there going to be another round of development licences? ‘That’s for the minister to decide,’ said Osland. FF


05/09/2019 09:58:27

Aqua Nor 2019 – Logistics

Sailing into a storm Norwegian Gannet could transform the salmon farming sector ‘if reason prevails’ Norwegian salmon production. Since its launch last year, the Norwegian Gannet has processed 14,000 tonnes of fish, from 13 different fish farmers, at 21 locations, involving 41 trips, including one to Scotland (see next page). It is environmentally friendly, with its hybrid propulsion cutting carbon emissions, and has even won a mention in the Guinness Book of Records for the most energy efficient engine. The Norwegian Gannet also has welfare benefits for the fish, said Arnesen. Normally, well boats pump fish on board and then transport it to a processing plant – and in Norway this means also keeping the fish in ‘waiting cages’. After processing, the fish is transported, 70 per cent by ferry to Europe and 30 per cent by air freight. ‘The Gannet goes to the cage and does all this process in one handling of the fish, instead of three, so it is good for fish welfare, he said. ‘The biggest disease risk in the industry is in the transport of live fish and we have solved that.’ What’s more, the handling of the fish is different from a well boat, where farmers are accustomed to loading fish on board as fast as possible. ‘With the Norwegian Gannet, we harvest as the fish come into the boat and the fish should be stressed as little as possible, so the way they are crowded is very important,’ said Arnesen. HE Norwegian Gannet, the floating salmon ‘We go to the farm a day or two before the Gannet arrives to talk to the farmprocessor, was designed to revolutionise the er and explain the procedure. We teach them what will happen and we’ve seen way fish are handled, processed and transimproving results from this on the quality.’ ported, but in its first year of operation the He said the vessel is still in its start-up phase and will be further optimised, but vessel has sailed into a political storm. already, Nofima, the Norwegian research organisation, which is documenting Carl-Erik Arnesen, CEO of Hav Line, which owns its results, has found the Gannet is a boost for animal welfare. the ship, told a seminar in Trondheim that it had The boat can go from one cage to the next and then, once full, will deliver attracted much attention in its inaugural year, with to Denmark, at a competitive cost, said Arnesen – ‘the more fish we get, the some 720 stories appearing in the press, by his cheaper we can do it’. calculation. ‘It’s a very special story,’ said Arnesen. ‘We’ve had But it is the Gannet’s very efficiency that has provoked a political backlash. close relations with the authorities and have all the New fisheries minister Harald T. Nesvik, at first arguing that the ship would take processing jobs away from rural communities, then used an out of date Norwelicences in place, money from the Department of gian quality regulation to halt its progress. Environment, the Department of Transport and a The rule, created in the 1980s, stipulates that ‘production’ fish (those with lot of support from the last Minister of Fisheries visible defects) must be sorted and the faults corrected before they are trans(Per Sandberg). ‘Everything was fine and then, in late August last ported out of Norway. year, we got a new Minister of Fisheries who turned it all round and withdrew the licence we had been given to operate fully.’ The explanation is complex and affects Norway only. The Norwegian Gannet, 10 years in the planning, is the future of fish farming, or certainly a part of it, claim its pioneers. It collects fish at the cage site, harvests and processes it on board, and delivers it to port – Hirtshals in Denmark – for packaging and exporting to final destinations across the continent and beyond. The ship has the capacity for 1,000 tonnes of salmon and can handle up to 150,000 tonnes a year, more than 10 per cent of the current total



Aqua Nor - Norwegian Gannet.indd 40

Left: Ove H. Wilhelmsen and Carl-Erik Arnesen in Trondheim

Below: The Norwegian Gannet at a salmon pen Opposite: The ship cuts fish handling and improves welfare (Norwegian Gannet photos courtesy of Hav Line)

05/09/2019 10:00:28

Sailing into a storm

The thinking at the time, supported by farmers, was to protect the reputation of Norwegian farmed salmon. However, today the rule is seen as obsolete but maintained as an indirect subsidy for Norwegian land based processing. Nesvik used the loophole to prevent the Norwegian Gannet fulfilling its potential, but following an outcry in the industry, he issued a temporary exemption for a year. This allows grading to be carried out in Denmark, with production fishtypically, no more than five per cent of the catch- brought back to Norway for processing. Arnesen said at the time, he was pleased that the minister of fisheries ‘let reason prevail’, but he admits now: ‘The Danes are laughing, they think this is stupid.’ The waiver would not apply to any new vessels, thus thwarting the company’s plans to develop a fleet. Arnesen and his colleagues at Hav Line and at the ship’s designer Wartsila are fighting Nesvik, whose motives they have questioned. An editorial in the August issue of the Norwegian shipping magazine, Skips Revyen, referred to the minister’s former employment in the well boat company Solvtrans, and quoted other parliamentary representatives accusing the government of ‘having a hidden agenda’ in the Norwegian Gannet case. The Norwegian Gannet’s creators are not about to give up on their dream though. Ove H. Wilhelmsen, managing director of the ship designer, Wartsila, said the company has already designed a bigger vessel, 10m longer and 3m wider than the Gannet, to provide full processing facilities on board, and thus confound Nesvik’s restrictions. In the bigger ship, everything would be done on board, including fileting and packing the fish, so there would be no requirement to send production fish back to Norway to process. ‘It’s strange we need to build a vessel like this because of one person,’ said WIlhelmsen. ‘But the design is ready. If someone wants to operate this on the Norwegian coast it’s fully possible to do so.’ Wilhelmsen is also chairman of the maritime chapter of the Norwegian Federation of Industries and is lobbying against Nesvik’s ruling. ‘We are very clear that the decision made by the minister is against any

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industry – so we can use that powerful lobby to campaign. It’s on Prime Minister level now. It’s personal motivation, it should not happen in a country like Norway. ‘We would like to build more so we can develop the company,’ he said, insisting that even a big fleet wouldn’t jeopardise land based processing. ‘If we were to do the whole Norwegian salmon industry, in five years we would need 100 of these boats, and that’s not going to happen. ‘But there are many factories in Norway that are now up to 40 years old that really need renewing, and that’s big investments.’ Ideally, they would build a new ship every two years- ‘it takes two years to build one and we

was fine and then we “gotEverything a new minister of fisheries who withdrew the licence ”


05/09/2019 10:00:51

Aqua Nor 2019 – Logistics should constantly have one in production’. Arnesen, outlining the logistics case, said the Norwegian Gannet gets trucks off the road, which are narrow and dangerous. A full-up boat represents 50 trucks of fish. It eliminates not just this traffic, but also the lorries returning with empty boxes. ‘As we grow the industry – four or five times – we don’t have the roads, we don’t have the trucks, we don’t even have the truck drivers, so this has to be done,’ said Arnesen. ‘We have calculated that in transporting fish from Norway to Denmark we reduce Co2 emissions by 46 per cent.’ This, he said, is exactly what the politicians have demanded – smarter, greener and more innovative businesses. Everything has been done ‘by the book’, he added, and they have had support from environmental bodies, because ‘instead of nutrients being released from processing plants in the fjords, we clean it and take it out to the ocean’. There has been helpful backing from the animal welfare alliance, too, because there is less fish handling with the Norwegian Gannet, and disease reduction. As to the accusation that the Gannet takes away work from processing plants because it is so efficient, Arnesen said: ‘In Norway today it is a challenge to get enough people to work in a factory. ‘Last year was the first year since 2005 that we had a decrease in labour immigration. The economy in Poland is getting better and people want to work closer to home, and it’s the same in the Baltics. ‘In the very near future, we will have big difficulties getting people to do these jobs, in all kinds of industries. ‘But despite the political circus trying to stop us, we are operating, and our first customer is a very happy man.’ Located at a small farm in the southern tip of Norway, this farmer had to transport his fish up the coast, taking 20 hours to reach the well boat, put the fish in a waiting cage before slaughter, and then it was still another 24 hours to truck it to Denmark. ‘We picked up the fish and seven hours later the fish was in a box,’ said Arnesen.

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Innovation has never led to fewer jobs, but to more. There will be new jobs and different jobs

Gannet at a glance

THE Norwegian Gannet delivers processed salmon to Hav Lines’ 16,000m² terminal building in Hirtshals, Denmark. The boat was built in Spain and is 94m long and 18m wide, and powered by a Wartsila diesel electric hybrid engine. Travelling at 15-16 knots, it brings fish to market faster. The factory deck, where the fish are slaughtered, is approximately 500m². The boat has a capacity to process 100 tonnes of fish per hour. The ship has a crew of 100 people divided into two shifts. Initially, eight to ten people At the grand opening of Hav Line’s new terminal will work at the in Hirtshals earlier this year, Arnesen supplied a factory, increasing model of the Norwegian Gannet because the life size version was busy in the north of Norway, clear- to 36 once it is in full production. ing up after the algae crisis. It slaughtered more The on-board than 1,000 tonnes of algae threatened salmon in water filtration just 21 hours. ‘The boat really showed it could do the job when system processes the water, a C-flow needed,’ he said. pump pumps the Wilhelmsen said innovation will see new vessels fish along so the entering the industry. fish enter the boat ‘The oil and gas industry in Norway had a downturn and it’s about to recover, but a lot of the gently. The fish are then processed. vessels that were laid up have been out for three The fish guts or four years and will never come back into oil and go into tanks for gas,’ he said. ‘The sector has changed its requirements so these disposal and the vessels will either be scrapped or some will be con- fish go straight into tanks that are kept verted for a second use. It’s an interesting market at cool temperatures that can be developed in the future. of -0.5. Cooling the ‘The market will change and it will grow because fish down sooner to use the ocean space to produce protein is the can achieve a longer only way to survive 50 years from now. ‘We are ready to do more [vessels] and Hav Line is shelf life of up to also ready, and this technology can be exported, it’s seven days, and also reduces the demand already been tested in Scotland, and China. It has for ice, and ice big potential. trucks. ‘But, of course, we need to get the first one fully operational. And we need to adjust the Norwegian rules and regulations to allow it.’ As Skips Revyen editor Sigbjorn Larsen said: ‘Innovation has never led to fewer jobs, but to more. There will be new jobs and different jobs. The Above: Norwegian Gannet at work Norwegian Gannet has come to stay.’ FF

05/09/2019 10:01:41

Aqua Nor 2019 – Logistics

Fraught free freight Danes could offer salmon farmers solution to Brexit hold-ups


ROCESSING salmon at sea could address the potential crisis of delayed cross Channel freight deliveries in the wake of a no deal Brexit. The processing ship Norwegian Gannet made its first trip to Scotland last month, picking up 594 tonnes of salmon from Mowi’s Portnalong site on Skye, and a second trip to Scotland is expected this month. The fish was primary processed on board and delivered to the port of Hirtshals in Denmark. Mowi reportedly used the Hav Line boat to solve its own processing bottlenecks, created by bumper harvests in Scotland this year. But the solution could be deployed by other farmers in the future. There is interest from Scotland, where there has been a lot of pressure on well boats to treat lice. ‘A lot of small farmers in particular find it difficult to get access to well boats and this would solve it,’ said Ove H. Wilhelmsen of ship designer Wartsila. At Aqua Nor, Hirtshals Havn administrative director Jens Kirketerp Jensen told Fish Farmer that discussions to connect Scotland to the continent via Denmark were far advanced. ‘We have been in dialogue with Forth Ports for some time to see if it’s possible to have a service between Scotland and Hirtshals,’ he said. ‘We could see there is a possibility of getting rid of the Channel area and saying it’s possible to go directly from Scotland or northern England to Denmark. You can go in 33 hours by roro (roll-on/ roll-off) carrier, leaving from Rosyth. ‘There are no traffic jams at sea, and in northern Denmark we have customs clearance because we Above: The new Hav Line already have the traffic with Norway. terminal at Hirtshals ‘We have a tradition going back almost 100 years handling fish, and for the last 80 years we have a

We have “been in

dialogue with Forth Ports for some time to see if it’s possible to have a service between Scotland and Hirtshals

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tradition in traffic from Norway,’ said Kirketerp Jensen. ‘There is a lot of salmon coming through the port from Norway. The traffic comes from the west coast, some by ferry to Hirtshals and then on to markets in Europe. We have the biggest cluster of salmon processing in Hirtshals…and it’s growing, we have more companies located within the last few years. The fishing industry is a part of our DNA.’ The talks with Forth Ports started before Brexit but they have recently ‘speeded the process up’, he said. ‘We are looking at sailing schedules, and we have been to Rosyth a few times for meetings and discussing all kinds of issues to open a service across the North Sea.’ He said with Mowi’s big processing centre in Rosyth, it made sense to send fish to Denmark by boat rather than trucking it south to get stopped maybe at the Channel. ‘If we made a service between Rosyth and Hirtshals we could connect Scandinavia or northern Europe to Scotland and northern England. It’s a possibility to reduce the number of truck kilometres and is more environmentally friendly.’ The Norwegian Gannet took 46 hours from the west of Scotland to Hirtshals and worked very well, according to Hav Line CEO Carl-Erik Arnesen. Hirtshals harbour board chairman Anker Laden-Andersen said the port could become the northern European distribution hub for salmon. ‘It is obvious to see the first [Scottish] voyage of Norwegian Gannet from a Brexit perspective,’ he said. ‘After all, there is a certain likelihood that the British will leave the EU on October 31 without a deal and that will very likely mean that freight transport in the area around the English Channel will collapse. ‘Therefore, the collection of salmon in western Scotland and delivery in Hirtshals, which Norwegian Gannet has just completed, is just proof that the innovative Norwegian salmon industry can find solutions to the upcoming challenge. In addition, we as a port can only be satisfied that it has once again been proven that the unique location of Hirtshals port enables the most efficient transport solutions across the North Sea.’ Arnesen, who was on the trip from Skye to Denmark, said: ‘The whole task was solved to the satisfaction of the farmer. Of course, it has been exciting to pick up salmon in Scotland, since we have so far only collected salmon in Norway, and here we have worked up a certain routine. ‘The first trip to Scotland has therefore been an important milestone in the development of the entire Hav Line concept.’


05/09/2019 10:01:58

Aqua Nor 2019 – Russia

Northern powerhouse Murmansk salmon farmer buys Norwegian de-licing technology


HE development of salmon farming in Russia continues with the purchase by the country’s largest farmed salmon producer of a de-licing boat from Norway. Russian Aquaculture, which farms 20,000 tonnes a year in the Murmansk region, has bought the four-line de-licing barge Enabler One from FSV Group. The latest FLS de-licing technology is supplied by Flatsetsund Engineering and the vessel, acquired in May, has undergone a significant upgrade at Båt-og Oppdrettservice in Averøy. Following testing, the barge will be towed to Murmansk, where it will be operational by mid-September. Pure Shipping, which has two vessels with FLS de-licers already operating, has been responsible for the trials and also the training of the Russian operators. Russian Aquaculture accounts for more than 80 per cent of Russian salmon and trout farming production, and has further licences available to increase production. It currently owns cultivation rights for 34 sites for the farming of salmon and rainbow trout, with a total potential production volume of around 50,000 tonnes of salmonids. In its first half financial results for 2019, published last month, the company reported a record performance and said it could increase production to 30–35,000 tonnes per year by 2025. It has grown dramatically in a short time, having begun production in 2012. From January to June 2019 the company had revenues of 4.8 billion rubles (RUB) (almost £59 million at the current conversion rate of 81 rubles to £1), compared with RUB 0.3 billion for the same period in 2018. The adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) reached RUB 2.1 billion. The operating profit was RUB 568 million compared with just one million


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Above: Russian Aquaculture’s Arne Geirulv (centre) with Kristian Lillerud of Flatsetsund Engineering (left) and Endre Brekstad of FSV Group

rubles in the first half of last year, while the net profit came out at RUB 1,008 million (RUB 154 million in 2018). The company’s deputy director,Yuriy Kitashin, told a seminar at Aqua Nor that Russia’s salmon farming sector is small and heavily dependent on Norway. ‘We don’t invent anything new in salmon aquaculutre in Murmansk.We mostly conduct Norwegian methods of aquaculture and most of the equipment that we use comes from Norway,’ he said. The company has two well boats bought from Norway, cargo ships to deliver Norwegian feed, and has Norwegian cages, mooring systems and feed barges. Norway also educates Russian farm staff, said Kitashin - ‘we send our guys regularly to Norwegian colleges to upgrade their knowledge’. ‘We have to admit that our aquaculture sector is a follower. Russian business doesn’t like to be a pioneer in any areas, let alone aquaculture. ‘We tend to invest in businesses that are proven, that already work somewhere else, and aquaculture is no exception.’ He said ambitions in the country to produce 700,000 tonnes were a ‘big challenge’ and although Russia was big, sites suitable for fish production were sparse.There are many lakes and seas but the temperatures are not right to grow fish.

05/09/2019 10:04:37

Northern powerhouse

We tend to invest “ in businesses that are

already proven, that work somewhere else, and aquaculture is no exception

Russian Aquaculture also buys smolt from Norway and currently has two wholly owned subsidiary smolt plants in Norway, although it plans to build up its own smolt production in Russia. The company’s Arne Geirulv said they had been involved in dialogue with various de-licing system suppliers for a couple of years. ‘We have assessed this thoroughly based on both customer requirements and fish welfare.We decided against thermal debugging early on, so Flatsetsund Engineering and their FLS de-licer was the obvious option. ‘Then we looked at de-licing vessels for sale and ended up purchasing Enabler One, our first investment in mechanical de-licing. ‘For us, investing in Norwegian technology is a natural choice. In Russia, the industry is still in an early phase of development.This also means that there are no service companies or other local suppliers to call. ‘That is why we have built up our own infrastructure and a competent workforce, allowing us to deal with everything in-house.

‘We have both well boats for slaughtering and our own slaughterhouse. Now we will also have good capacity for mechanical de-licing, where fish welfare is the top priority.’ For FSV Group’s services company, selling equipment – not least abroad – is a new experience. FSV Group has been responsible for the overall project management. ‘This has been an exciting project for us, featuring excellent cooperation with Russian Aquaculture, Flatsetsund Engineering and Båt-og Oppdrettservice,’ said Endre Brekstad, technical manager at FSV Group. ‘It’s good that Norway can supply technology and not just raw materials.’ Kristian Lillerud of Flatsetsund Engineering said:‘We’re very excited to be exporting our de-licing technology for the first time. ‘It’s also exciting that our first export will be to Russia, and we firmly believe that this is not the last time our de-licing technology will be sold abroad.’ FF

Exporting the knowledge supply chain THE CEO of Aqua Optima (now part of Scale AQ), Borge Sorass, told the Russian seminar that there are other aeas in Russia which have potential for big growth – for instance, the Japan Sea. But many regions are too cold for rapid growth, and producing fish on land to a bigger size is one way of addressing this challenge, wih grow-out in the Barents Sea. But many places in Russia are not suitable for a combined strategy of land based hatchery prodcution and cage culture.

Complete grow-out on land using recirculaiton is probably going to become a good method for increasing capacity in Russia, he suggested, as there are many areas which have a lot of water. Land based systems also provide huge potential to grow many species (such as sturgeon and catfish) that may be winners in volume in the future. He said marketing, location and financing were not big issues in increasing land based production in Russia. And, thanks to Norway, the

the relevant technology and knowledge transfer are also already in place. His main message, he said, is the importance of training staff and putting in the right management. Much Russian aquaculture hasn’t seen big success because of the lack of knowledge and this was again something Norway could help with. ‘This is something that technology suppliers from Norway and also knowledge suppliers are ready to go in and assist to build capacity in your fish farms.’

Impressive growth based on integration The company also has a strategy for further growth, the key eleINCREASED sales and a favourable pricing environment enabled Russian Aquaculture to achieve an impressive first six months of ments of which are an increase in its capacity for rearing juveniles the year, with revenue, profits and fish stocks all well up. and the acquisition of cages, new vessels, and additional hatcheries. Russian Aquaculture said in a statement: ‘As a result of annual The volume of capital investments between January and June stocking in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the company had three generathis year amounted to RUB 1.4 billion (around £49 million).The tions of fish in the water during the latest reporting period: company is funding further investments of more than RUB 2.5 juveniles from the current year, as well as commercial fish billion by the end of this year. Russian Aquaculture CEO Ilya Sosnov said: ‘The first half from the two preceding years. of 2019 was an important milestone for our company. ‘The transition to annual stocking, monitoring of As we wrap up this reporting period, we have, in effect, the full rearing cycle, the well-functioning organisathree generations of fish in the water, that is, the full tion of feed supplies, and the successful develcycle. opment of our own sales system resulted in a ‘Following our SPO (second public offering) in considerable increase in sales to 9,600 tonnes 2017, we attracted investments in order to carry out in H1 2019, compared with 800 tonnes a year an extensive capital investment programme focused earlier.’ on transforming Russian Aquaculture into a vertically Russian Aquaculture’s core business areas include integrated business that controls every aspect of value the commercial farming of Atlantic salmon and creation: from raising our own juvenile fish, through the sea trout in the Murmansk region of the Baroperation of cages and our own fleet, to direct sales. ents Sea and the commercial farming of trout ‘Stable cash flow has enabled the company to invest and the production of red caviar in lakes of the Above: Russian Aquaculture deputy director in expanding its capacity to 30–35,000 tonnes of fish Republic of Karelia. Yuriy Kitashin at the Aqua Nor seminar production per year by 2025.’ The half year report says this record perforHe added: ‘Moreover, the company already has the necessary hatcheries mance results from the implementation of development plans announced to achieve these plans. Globally, we see growing interest on the part of in 2017. investors in aquaculture companies, which is accompanied by an increase These involved the transformation into a vertically integrated company with full control of all stages of the production, processing, and sale of fish. in the market capitalisation of major players around the world.’

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05/09/2019 10:05:00

Aqua Nor 2019 – Electrification

Ruling the


New generation cables can bring greener power to fish farms could fulfil the requirements took new technology.’ The resulting NKT cable is both very strong and flexible. A semi-dynamic cable can be attached to a ‘hub system’, which is anchored to the seabed and ‘absolutely still’. From the hub, a dynamic cable is also attached, which is connected to the feed barge. Made from three strands of Kevlar rope, the cable is the same strength as steel armour, said Lindelof. ‘It means it can be used at depths of 300m, although it is hanging.’ Safety is another concern when supplying high voltage electricity to fish farms – ‘the way you design the system is very different from when you go land to land. If you don’t do it correctly, people will die’. ‘You have to know what you’re doing – it’s not very common to have electricity from land to floating object.’ The system eliminates the need for diesel, except perhaps as a backup, and the capacity in the cables is one megawatt, whereas a typical Norwegian fish farm would use no more than 250kW.

Left: Ulf Lindelof with the tough cable Below: How the Sub Connected system works Opposite: The company’s stand at Aqua Nor


ROUND 50 per cent of Norway’s inshore salmon farms are electrified but in Scotland the industry relies almost exclusively on diesel power. Now a Swedish based company is spearheading a drive to introduce electric power, not just for traditional farming operations, but for the growing number of offshore or higher energy sites. Ulf Lindelof, chairman of Sub Connected, exhibiting at Aqua Nor for the first time, said he had held discussions with several Scottish salmon farmers at his stand, after questioning the sector’s energy sources during the Scottish supply chain seminar on the first day of the show. Lindelof used to be the managing director of a company called Waves4Power and he and his team realised that the greatest challenge in providing greener energy was transporting electricity to shore. Together with another firm, NKT Cables, they came up with a completely new electrical system and a range of cables that are designed for extreme conditions and adapted for electrification from land to floating objects (including sea pens), or vice versa. ‘Most of the cables you have today for sea are land to land cables, they are not moving,’ Lindelof told Fish Farmer. ‘To find cables that


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05/09/2019 10:06:02

Ruling the waves

It’s not very “common to

have electricity from land to floating objects

‘This is made for wave power so it is perfect for offshore sites – it can handle waves of up to 25m,’ said Lindelof. In long-term trials in Norway, which began in 2016, the cables comfortably withstood a hurricane with 15m waves. Sub Connected is a system integrator rather than a production company. It can specify and lead projects, using partner companies for specialist services. It works with Siemens, which provides components for the electrical installation; Selöy, which does all the operations around the installation; NKT Cables; and Astorplast, which supplies the hub, and barge fixture system for the cables. ‘We have so much confidence in the functionality and longevity of the system that we offer a rental solution,’ said Lindelof. ‘So, instead of making an investment, you rent the system for a first period of 10 years. During that time, we handle inspections, service and repairs of the system against a monthly fee. This gives a trouble free and risk free installation.’ But the system is very price competitive for fish farms installations, said Lindelof, especially in the long-term. Sub Connected describes its solution as ‘future proof’, capable of connecting fish farms to green electricity and to the internet. ‘In the next generation of cables we are developing for fish farms, they will contain fibre-optic as well,’ said Lindelof. ‘The purpose of that is to have built-in telecommunications.’ The future, then, is a cable that can deliver power and at the same time connect the cages to the shore base, so feeding and other farming operations can be controlled. ‘The next step is you connect it to green energy, like wave power or floating wind. To do that you must must be grid connected because wave power and wind power generate most electricity in the winter, and less during the summer, and production fluctuates. ‘But the fish farms need the most electricity during the summer. If you connect the energy to land like this, you can export your over-capacity during winter and take it from the grid in summer.’ The green energy (wind or wave) could be connected to the same hub, so the hub is really the key, together with the super dynamic cable. Lindelof said they are now looking for companies to partner with in Scotland and he is planning a trip to the UK in the autumn.He is encouraged, following his conversations at Aqua Nor with some of the biggest salmon producers, that there is a ready market in Scotland. Stewart Graham, managing director of Gael Force and co-chair of the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group that drives growth in the sector, said during the supply chain seminar at Aqua Nor that Scotland generally used diesel across the whole industry. ‘In some ways, it’s a blank canvas for this kind of thinking.’ Scotland’s Rural Economy minister, Fergus Ewing, also at the seminar, agreed: ‘One of the big challenges in the industry is to find a way to move away from fossil fuels to green energy. If you can crack that… that’s an enormous further fillip and boost to the whole sector.’ FF

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Your partner in aquaculture 47

05/09/2019 10:06:22

Aqua Nor 2019 – Saudi Arabia

Salmon farming in the desert Norwegians plan land based production with Danish technology


DREAM team of Norwegian salmon farming expertise and Danish RAS technology is well advanced in its plans to farm salmon in the Saudi desert. Vikings Label initially looked to develop a land based operation in UAE but settled on Saudi Arabia because of the favourable financing and the country’s ‘drive’. Lukas Havn,Vikings Label CEO, said: ‘We could have set up the farm anywhere in the region but decided on Saudi. ‘We noticed that when the Saudis say they are going to do something they really do it and they do it fast. ‘The project has been very well received in Saudi, with a lot of interest from investors, and a few weeks ago we signed with our first Saudi partner,’ said Havn at a Saudi aquaculture seminar held during Aqua Nor. He later told Fish Farmer that the company will cost $90 million to set up, and was currently looking at likely sites in the desert, north of Jeddah, close to the main markets. 190x130mm_Naup_aquanor.pdf 24-06-19 16:27 With Danish1 RAS expert Graakjaer, Vikings Label plans to build a

If they do want to develop this industry I am the man to fix it!

40,000 sq m facility, with construction starting early next year. Havn said the eggs will be imported from Norway and the initial target is for 5,000 tonnes production, with the first 5kg Saudi salmon brought to market in three years. Together with the Danes,Vikings Label has spent three years adapting everything to the Middle East climate, the hot weather and the ocean salinity – but the water will not necessarily be desalinated. ‘We found a way to actually keep the high salinity and grow the salmon – we’ve been doing testing on that and so far so good,’ said Havn. ‘But we have everything ready to desalinate the water, if necessary, with the same Danish company supplying the technology.









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Salmon farming in the desert

Above: Lukas Havn, CEO of Vikings Label, with Mosleh Alzobidi, vice CEO of the Saudi NFDP Right: Danish RAS technology

do want to develop this industry, I am the man to fix it!’ Representatives from the SIDF (Saudi Industrial Development Fund) and NFDP (National Fisheries Development Programme), also taking part in the Aqua Nor seminar, said a campaign was underway to boost consumption of seafood in the Kingdom. This follows Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030, an ambition to increase aquaculture production from 77,000 tonnes a year to 600,000 tonnes by the year 2030. The goal includes almost doubling per capita fish consumption to 13kg by the end of next year and then to 22kg, the global average, by 2030. The fisheries department has started a certification scheme that brands fish from local aquaculture farms and sells the ‘trusted’ product. ‘We need to change the dietary habits of the Saudi people for various reasons,’ said Mosleh Alzobidi, vice CEO of the Saudi NFDP. ‘There will be a market deficit of seafood in Saudi Arabia of 800,000 tonnes in 12 years. So we need to fill that gap.’ The Saudis already farm some species successfully in the region, especially shrimp, with companies such as the National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA) operating on a grand scale, so there is technical knowhow, plus plenty of land and an expanding market. ‘We already a see a big difference in the market from consumers, who trust the locally produced products and pay a premium for that,’ said the SIDF. ‘We work with inspectors, auditors and with retailers to try to educate and change the way the market works. We try to create trust and confidence as far as seafood consumption is concerned.’ Fish, let alone salmon, is not a traditional part of the Saudi diet. The Saudis said they are focusing on salmon now because of efforts by the Norwegian Seafood Council. Norway started looking at Saudi Arabia four years ago and made inroads after a group of executives from salmon companies attended a food expo in Riyadh in November, according to a recent report by Bloomberg. ‘The whole concept is recreating the natural There, they heard from Saudi officials about the focus on healthy living. environment, even the amount of fish per cubic As a result, seafood exports to Saudi Arabia, mainly salmon, grew by 74 metre is the same as in the rivers in Norway. We are replicating the Norwegian environment per cent in value and 60 per cent in volume in the first four months of this year compared with the same period in 2018, said the Norwegian indoors.’ Havn said they have not yet produced a whole Seafood Council. Some 50 Norwegian companies now sell to Saudi Arabia and, as cycle but he has confidence in the Danish techBloomberg reported, Scotland is now moving into the market too. nology and in his own Norwegian team. Mowi Scotland is about to become an approved supplier, sending at Graakjaer, which has experience with salmon least one order per week of premium Scottish farmed salmon. FF RAS and has been building farms in Denmark, Norway and Switzerland, collects the best technology from around the world. ‘That’s what we like about them, they can collect the best from all the suppliers and we can adapt it to function the way we want it to.’ Havn’s father, Tore, is also involved, bringing more than 30 years’ aquaculture experience – as a financial rather than a farming pioneer in the Norwegian industry, and in Shetland and the rest of Scotland too. Havn himself began working in salmon farming when he was 14 or 15 and has been importing salmon into Dubai for three years. He believes the Middle East market is ‘absolutely ready’ to produce its own salmon, a more sustainable alternative to flying it in from far away. ‘We want to develop sustainable aquaculture. We have a long term plan. Part of the facility will be an R&D centre because we are studying other species as well. We want all fish farming to be sustainable and are doing research into land based farming of sea bass, sea bream, grouper and remora,’ said Havn. ‘I think we have an advantage because we are salmon people, the team grew up in the Norwegian salmon industry. If they [the Saudis]

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05/09/2019 10:08:49

Aqua Nor 2019 - Exhibition round-up

Change is name of the game

First timers and veterans report brisk business at busy show BY SCOTT BINNIE AND MAREE DOUGLAS


HERE was nervous tension in the air on the opening day of Aqua Nor as everyone on the Moren�t stand awaited the visit of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway. The Crown Prince was shown Morenot’s NetRobot X2, which was one of the three shortlisted products nominated for the Innovation Award. The NetRobot is an autonomous underwater robot which, by continuous low intensity brushing, prevents fouling growth on the net. Over from Shetland was David Goodlad from Morenot Scotland. Earlier this year saw the completion of the name change process from Net Services, which Goodlad said he is pleased with – ‘everyone knows us now simply as Morenot’. Champagne corks were popping on the first day of the show on the Ecomerden stand when they signed a significant new contract with Osland Havbruk, Norway’s oldest fish farm, which opened in 1962. Osland Havbruk has bought two of Ecomerden’s R30r semi-closed cage systems incorporating a flexible bag. The company also has the option of four more, with the initial two planned for installation in spring 2020. The R30r has a capacity of 30,000 cubic metres of water and the net pen 28,000m3. It has a diameter of 45m and can hold 800 tonnes of fish, and the

company believes it has the potential to develop a cage with a capacity of up to 50,000m3, holding 1,400 tonnes. This has been based on the success that Ecomerden has experienced with its Ecocage, holding 140,000 smolts with a 70g average weight. This has resulted in fish which are more robust, have less disease and lower mortality and show exceptionally low sea lice levels. Unlike at the Seaworld and Skipper Expo shows in Southampton and Aberdeen, the Damen Shipyards stand wasn’t the largest at this show. ‘This is the first time we have exhibited at Aqua Nor,’ said Mike Besijn of Damen. ‘It’s to let people in aquaculture see what we can do for the industry and that ships and boats are always evolving and improving.’ Someone else very happy with how the show Left - (from left): Erik Osland and Johan Mageroy from Osland Havbruck, Jan Eric Kyrkjebo, Jens Christian Holst & Fredrik Kyrkjebo from Ecomerden Opposite (clockwise): On board the Smir Hydro Pioneer at Skansen; Henri Parviainen from Blueye; best stand award goes to Plany; the Bravo stand; the Morenot stand; the FiiZK stand; the Plany stand (Photos: Scott Binnie)


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05/09/2019 10:10:26

Change is name of the game

went was Mads Winkler of Hydrotech. ‘We couldn’t have had a better start to the show,’ he said. Hydrotech signed a big contract with Chinese firm Fujian, the world’s largest eel farm, and it sees the potential in this market as huge. ‘There is lots of interest and business growth for everyone.’ Mergers and re-names were a theme of the show. FiiZK is the new company name after the merger of Botngaard and Infront-X. Jan Borge Harsvik, newly promoted to sales manager of aquaculture tarpaulins at FiiZK, describes what they do now as ‘the industrial internet’. Continuing to work with tarpaulins, plus open and closed systems, whichever is most appropriate to the customer, they now add the gathering of data from software products. This offers one interface plus analysis for the client, including results on lice shields. A contract for a closed cage system has just been signed with Sinkaberg Hansen. Another site, another change of name. At Skansen harbour, Smir (the new name for Hydrolicer) had the ‘Hydro Pioneer’ on display. A converted supply boat now fitted with four hydrolicer lines, the Hydro Pioneer will be sailing to Scotland in September having been leased by the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC). The boat will work with a crew of six, using the people and experience of both Smir and SSC, working a pen in two to three hours, at a rate of 100-250 tonnes per hour. The name Smir (which means ‘forge’ in Norwegian)

Aqua Nor - Scott's Feature.indd 51

now reflects that the company is not just involved with hydrolicing but also deals with filters, pumps and fish pens. Blueye was also based at Skansen this year so it could give in-situ demonstrations in the harbour waters of its Blueye Pioneer ROV. This allowed potential buyers to use the control panel and connected screen to see how easy the underwater drone is to operate. Newly promoted marketing director, Henri Parviainen, said aquaculture is now the company’s biggest sector, and with 150 units placed in Norway, the team is looking to expand its international market through agents, particularly in the UK. The award for best stand at the show went to Plany of Norway, which focused its exhibit on the Oxyshield. New CEO Jan Eric Klepp said: ‘We were thrilled just to be nominated in the final shortlist of three but it’s an honour to have won. It’s great that a smaller stand has been recognised and can compete and win against the big companies.’ Bravo to Bravo Marine, which showed its new C-Ray ROV. With seven discs on individually flexible arms, the C-Ray sucks dirt away without disturbing the fish. It can ‘fly’ on pipes and, once a fitted plate is clicked on, also on nets. It comes with five cameras and is manoeuvred by a hand held unit. Spare parts and discs are easy to change and inexpensive, so can be kept onboard at all times. It was Nina Grieg from Grieg Aquaculture who in front of 160 guests ‘smashed the champagne’ at the naming ceremony for the new FishGLOBE closed cage unit. The ceremony, which took place in Lysefjorden the day before Aqua Nor started, was just one highlight of the week for the company. The FishGLOBE stand was also visited by Norwegian fisheries minister Harald T. Nesvik, who was interested in seeing how the company was further

We’re “ here to let

people in aquaculture see what we can do for the industry Damen Shipyards


05/09/2019 10:11:47

Aqua Nor 2019 - Exhibition round-up

Here, it has found fewer farms have air supplied, compared to their Norwegian counterparts. Aquality offers a central feeder for a hatchery covering 50 tanks, with all feeds monitored so that the following day’s feed is calculated. It also provides hide washers, hydraulic feeds and a sorting machine that can sort 20,000 fish in 20 minutes. Aquality CEO Thomas Hilt is very positive: ‘Business is such that we need more people.’ Clewer Aquaculture from Finland was exhibiting at Aqua Nor for the first time. The company provides RAS systems and says that at the heart of every solution is its Rotating Bed Biofilm Reactor (RBBR). This can be used in a wide range of water treatment systems, as well as aquaculture. Clewer is just finishing a new Artic chard fish farm in Riga, Latvia, which is due to open towards the end of this year. Another company attending Aqua Nor for the first time was Framo. The Bergen based pump company has more than 80 years’ experience, mostly in the oil and gas industries. In the past 18 months, since moving into closed cage systems, it has found an increasing share of its business is now aquaculture based. At the show,

From top: The Linde stand; a cleaner fish hide washer on the Aquality stand; Nil Llanch Llussa of Clewer Aquaculture; Arne Berge and Tor Hellestol of FishGLOBE

developing its system. Aubert Faivre, sales manager of French equipment supplier, Faivre, is also exhibiting at the EAS Conference in Berlin in October but says Aqua Nor is the busiest show for the company. ‘Only at Aqua Nor are you sure to see everyone in aquaculture,’ he said. Cleaner fish equipment supplier Aquality has most of its business in its home country of Norway but is also now testing the market in Scotland.


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05/09/2019 10:14:56

Change is name of the game

It’s great that a “ smaller stand has been

recognised and can compete and win against the big companies Plany

Framo exhibited its new seawater and flow generator pumps. The merger of Linde/AGA and Praxair took place earlier this year, and from January 2020 the new company will trade as Linde AS, fully merging data technologies. ‘Every industry needs gas,’ said company spokesman Stefan Dullstein. ‘But particularly aquaculture is rising with the demand from on-land and open sea cages for oxidised water. We are working with Morenot and Plany and also developing a new market in Central America.’ Norway’s Greenshore was exhibiting its new fish mort dryer. Normally, this process involves using a knife cutter and adding acid to the fish, but the Greenshore development uses a heat drying system, which means no acid is required. The equipment on display on the stand has a capacity of 100kg of fish in 10 hours, but larger machinery can go up to a 1,500kg capacity. The end product can be used as fertiliser, and has the advantage of being easier and cheaper to move further off-shore or on to land for disposal. Trondheim’s Ecotone was another company delighted with how busy the show had been – and with its product being one of three shortlisted for the Innovation Award. Director of business development Ivar Erdal said: ‘The nomination we received for the Aqua Nor Innovation Award for our SpectraLice automatic lice counter has brought a lot of new people to the Ecotone stand.

Aqua Nor - Scott's Feature.indd 53

Aqua Nor is the place to be and we are also considering attending Aquaculture UK in Aviemore next year.’ Based in Norway and the US, Aquabyte was another innovation company finding the show exceptionally busy. Visitors were keen to learn more about the young firm’s holistic software platform for farm monitoring products. Aquabyte now has several employment opportunities across the group. KSK Aqua from Denmark has had a busy year, already exhibiting at the Rastech Conference in Washington in May. It is also looking forward to attending the EAS Conference in Berlin. The company’s Saddle Chips biofilter method for water purification attracted both interest and orders at Aqua Nor. Another Danish company, the RAS expert Billund Aquaculture, has seen rapid recent growth, with new companies formed in Australia and Norway, in addition to its US company established 18 months ago, plus an operation in Chile going back to 2000. This was Billund’s first time at Aqua Nor and managing director Bjarne Olsen described it as ‘busier than we could have imagined’. The company deals with 25 species but 95 per cent of business is salmon

From top: Ivar Erdal of Ecotone; Bryton Shang & Mons-Ove Hauge of Aquabyte; The Framo stand; Kristian Knudsen & Robert Knudsen of KSK Aqua..


05/09/2019 10:15:26

Aqua Nor 2019 - Exhibition round-up

From top: The Billund stand; the Searis rooftop party; Neil, Brian and Brendan Leslie of SeaQuest

related. It is are now working on a ‘whole life cycle’ RAS system in Florida with Atlantic Sapphire, which is already in talks about building another facility. Olsen added: ‘We are never complacent and always accurate with the price, time to grow and quality of fish achieved. Our latest eight projects are all re-buying from previous customers. We are very proud of that.’ The brothers Leslie from SeaQuest in Ireland had an amazing show. However, transportation of its live sea pump was not without complication. Having been transported by road from Ireland, the impressive 4,700kg pump proved too heavy a challenge for organisers to allow inside the Trondheim Spektrum. But the brothers set up stall outside instead, at one of the main entrances to the exhibition, and managed to attract plenty of attention. Brendan Leslie said: ‘We had a successful show, especially it being the first time exhibiting there under our own name. One of the best things about the show was hearing from end users of the pump and how much they love it and the quality of the fish pumped.’ Showcasing its exciting new technology, Trondheim start-up Searis, in collaboration with Onboard Norway, hosted a roof top evening in the oldest part of town. Booze, blues and a barbecue kept attendees merry and a live band delivered some classic tunes, giving revellers a chance to mingle and get to know each other better. Since 2012, Searis has worked with companies to transform their use of data and how they share insights through collaboration platforms. The company recently unveiled ‘Clarify’, which promises to build bridges between people and data in one real-time collaborative platform. Searis created the novel solution using its team’s experience within marine and heavy industries. Among the more unusual promotional items handed out at Aqua Nor were a pair of socks…made from a blend of organic cotton and a bi-product of aquaculture non-organic waste (nets, plastic and so on), called econyl. Norwegian company NoFir collects and rescues discarded equipment from the fishing and fish farming industries in Europe, before recycling the items in factories in Lithuania or Turkey. The company estimates that in the last 11 years, it has recovered more than 38,483 tonnes of equipment, the equivalent of 5,600 African elephants and 213 blue whales. In July, award winning NoFir worked alongside Ghost Fishing UK and Healthy Seas to recover an 80kg net and 28 pots in the small Scottish fishing town of Eyemouth. Waste is sorted and begins its radical regeneration and purification process to turn the discarded equipment back to its original purity, effectively, virgin nylon. Econyl is produced by Italian company Aquafil. Econyl has gone on to be used by designer brands including Burberry, Prada, and Stella McCartney, as well as high street favourites such as H&M and Adidas. Econyl can also be used in the manufacture of carpet yarn. FF


Aqua Nor - Scott's Feature.indd 54

Only at Aqua Nor are you sure to see everyone in aquaculture Faivre

05/09/2019 10:16:01

The future of aquaculture support has landed.


The Damen Landing Utility Vessel 1608 is the product of shared industrial expertise. Designed by Damen, engineered by OSD-IMT and built by Coastal Workboats Scotland, this is a vessel versatile in its aquacultural support functionality. It features landing craft capabilities for go-anywhere geographic suitability and a crane offering between 14 tonnes (3.5 metres) and 3 tonnes (13 metres) lifting capacity. Feeding tomorrow, together.


Damen.indd 55 ADV-4-007-1907-Landing Utility Vessel 1608 210x297 v02.indd 1

04/09/2019 16:32:12 05.08.2019 17:19:44

Aqua Nor 2019 – Smir Advertorial



New name and profile as Hydrolicer becomes Smir


HE word Smir could not be more appropriate for the new group name for the company, formerly known as Hydrolicer. In Norwegian Smir means forge - as in the work of a blacksmith creating something new from what some could call the white heat of technology. The name Smir also reflects the blacksmith’s proud, honest and hard working mentality to develop and create solutions for their customers.


Smir - PED.indd 56

In its short but creative history, Hydrolicer expanded and widened its range of products and services, but the company now thinks the time is right to create a group name which is not just related to a specific product but to include the operations and services offered by the company as a whole. And so Smir was forged. The Smir Group now contains the companies Smir AS, Hydrolicer Drift, Hydromerd and Hydro Shipping. Oyvind Nymark, the CEO of the Group summed it up: ‘It was a natural thing for us to change our name.’ Earlier this year, Smir entered into a long term contract with the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) to lease the ‘Hydro Pioneer’ to work on the compnay’s farms on Scotland’s west coast. This is Smir’s first boat to be leased to a Scottish farm. The two companies will be working closely together with the Hydro Pioneer, which is sailing from Norway to Scotland this month and will be in operation this autumn. First and foremost the job will be that of carrying out delousing treatments by hydrolicer, but the vessel is also equipped to perform other services and tasks for SSC. Smir can’t wait to get to work in Scotland. The Hydro Pioneer is a converted supply boat used to working in tough conditions, with a low freeboard and excellent manoeuvrability, which makes the vessel ideal for fish farming operations.

Optimal “ fish welfare, 100% dedication to our customers, and the mission that we will perform

05/09/2019 10:17:24

Forging ahead

It has now been fitted with four hydrolicer lines, with the option in the future of expanding to six lines. A crew of six will work the boat using staff from Smir and SSC in order to maximise the experience, expertise and strengths of both companies. Smir has personnel who are specialists in their field with experience as process operators,

Smir - PED.indd 57

including the monitoring of fish welfare, plus deck personnel, sailors and engineers. Knowing that the life of each system will be improved by proper use and good maintenance, Smir always offers thorough training from highly qualified employees intimate with how their systems deliver. Nymark said: ‘Using four lines the Hydro Pioneer has a capacity of 160 tonnes per hour with the number of lines adjusted according to any customer’s needs and demands. ‘We should be closely involved in consulting and leadership during the design phase, follow up and quality assurance during the installation phase, and be present and available when the system enters the operational phase.’ He summed up the company’s philosophy: ‘Optimal fish welfare, 100 per cent dedication to our customers, and the mission that we will perform. Be open, be honest, and keep what we promise. A well delivered project is the start of a long term good relationship.’ Also part of the new group is Hydromerd. Hydromerd is a system which has multiple applications. Primarily developed for use as a semi-closed holding pen, the Hydromerd also has a wide range of uses as a production unit. The pen is made from GRP (glass reinforced plastic), a composite material comprised of multiaxial fibreglass and hardened plastic. It is fitted with ballast tanks which means that the entire pen can be raised above the surface of the water. This results in a pen which can be air dried and is simple, quick and easy to clean. Hydromerd reduces or eliminates the need for direct delivery by welboat and the associated costs. The pen can be installed as a stand alone unit or be integrated and anchored in an existing steel facility. Nymark concludes: ‘At Smir we are always ready for a challenge. Through improvement, development and adaptation, we believe that farmers’ everyday lives will be both safer and better in the future. At the same time, we will never develop a product that does not put fish welfare first. ‘That is our most important principle.’ FF

Above: Martin Grøntvedt, service manager on the Hydro Pioneer. Inset: Oyvind Nymark Left: Hydrolicer system Below left: Hydromerd Opposite: The Hydro Pioneer


05/09/2019 10:17:57

From the archive – September/October 1999

Flashback to the Trondheim of 20 years ago - with tales of remote monitoring of sites, humane stunners, land-based farm systems, robots and market access to the EU. Not much change then!


Archive - Sep 19.indd 58

05/09/2019 10:19:24

From the archive – September/October 1999

Archive - Sep 19.indd 59


05/09/2019 10:19:46

International focus

Slow growth

stateside Aquaculture production in the US is falling, says report BY VINCE MCDONAGH


UMOFA, the European Marketing Organisation for Fisheries and Aquaculture, has recently published case studies on the state of fish farming in the United States and Ireland, two countries differing hugely in size and the type of fish they produce. In the case of Ireland, the report shows that the country is beginning to recover from a dire period just a few years ago. But in the United States, growth remains sluggish, although proposed new legislation not mentioned in the EUMOFA study could soon start to change that situation. US aquaculture With more than 327 million people, the US is the world’s third most populous country, after China and India, and it has a voracious appetite for seafood of all kinds. But despite a vast coastline and a large fishing fleet, it still needs to import 80 per cent of the seafood it consumes, much of it farmed fish. The EUMOFA report says that in 2017, the last year for which up-to-date statistics are available, aquaculture production in the US fell by 5,000 tonnes to 440,000 tonnes and was worth $1.5 billion. This is small change when put against Norway, a country with a population of only 5.3 million, which produced 1,284,000 tonnes of salmon and trout that same year, carrying a value of almost $7.5 billion. Nevertheless, the US still ranks 16th in the world aquaculture league. While Americans cannot get enough salmon or farmed prawns, EUMOFA says that catfish remains the largest cultured species in both volume and value, with most of the production centred in the southern states of Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. The report explains: ‘The species is raised in earthen ponds filled with well water and fed a floating, grain based diet. ‘Since the beginning of the (21st) century,


Vince's Feature.indd 60

US catfish producers have faced increased competition from imported catfish and pangasius from Vietnam. ‘But since 2003, the US has imposed several measures limiting imports of low priced pangasius to the US market.’ Shellfish are also important. Combined, production of American cupped oyster, Pacific cupped oyster and northern quahog (a species of clam) accounted for 37 per cent of US aquaculture production in 2017 in volume and 21 per cent in value. Production of Atlantic salmon has decreased in recent years, reaching 14,685 tonnes in 2017, some 4,000 tonnes less than two years earlier. The report suggests that one of the reasons behind this decline could be the efforts of the anti-aquaculture lobby. To meet rising domestic demand, EUMOFA says the US imports large volumes of salmon from producing countries such as Canada, Chile, Norway and the UK (Scotland). The report adds: ‘In recent years, an increasing negative focus on traditional in-sea aquaculture production of salmon has been observed.

An increasing negative focus on “ traditional in-sea aquaculture production of salmon has been observed ”

Above: Sea farm Left: Salmon fillets

05/09/2019 10:24:03

Slow growth stateside

Ireland’s salmon roller coaster ride

‘This has led to the development of new technology for land based salmon aquaculture and several facilities are either under construction or being planned.’ The EUMOFA case study has come too late to mention that the current US government is looking at opening up its vast federal controlled waters to offshore fish farming - and it has the fishing industry in Alaska worried. While Alaska, a major producer of wild salmon, does allow some types of shellfish cultivation, it has so far successfully resisted any form of finfish farming around its shores. It is set to fight proposed new federal moves in this direction, which would mandate every state to open federal controlled waters to aquaculture. The Trump administration has made it clear that it plans a hard push to increase aquaculture output in order to reduce the country’s huge seafood trade deficit. There is also a threat to Alaska’s fishing sector from outside the state. The Alaska Journal of Commerce says that with several new planning applications for salmon farms along the east coast, the competition is only going to get tougher. But back to the report. It might surprise many people that the US is an exporter of aquaculture and wild fish products to 161 different countries, with China, its current trade war adversary, the most important destination. However, what EUMOFA or anyone else can’t predict is how this trade war will eventually play out and how it will impact on future exports. FF

Vince's Feature.indd 61

FIGURES from the EUMOFA case study of fishing and aquaculture in the Republic of Ireland show that salmon farming, in particular, is now recovering from the lean years between 2011 and 2015. In 2017, the Irish aquaculture industry produced approximately 47,000 tonnes of seafood of all types, a 14 per cent increase, while the value reached 208 million euros, a rise of 35 per cent on the previous year. Salmon has gone through something of a roller coaster ride. In 2010, salmon production reached almost 16,700 tonnes, but that figure dropped down to just 9,300 tonnes in the ensuing four years. However, thanks to rising prices, revenue from the sector took less of a hit. The recovery in salmon began three years ago when it moved up to 16,300 tonnes, with a value of €104 million. A year later, volumes had increased by 23 per cent and the value was up by 41 per cent, to €146 million. EUMOFA says the increase was driven by strong demand and production stabilising elsewhere in the EU. Salmon now accounts for more than 42 per cent Ireland’s total aquaculture production in volume and 71 per cent in value. The country’s other big farmed seafood species are oysters and mussels. The report says that oyster production has held up fairly well in the past few years, but mussels went into decline in the same years salmon was having problems, due to low prices on global markets. Mussel recovery is slow, but sustained. But oysters are showing signs of positive and sustained growth. In 2017, oyster volumes increased by 21 per cent and values by 19 per cent, to €41.6 million, over the previous year. Irish aquaculture employs around 2,000 people. A further 3,500 work in conventional fishing and 4,000 in seafood processing. In a separate report last year, An Taisce, Ireland’s National Trust organisation, said the country was operating a disjointed ‘project-by-project, permit-by-permit’ approach to marine, aquaculture and coastal development. The report added: ‘Following a recent government consultation on the subject, we are presented with an important opportunity to better integrate marine planning and development management into other sectoral policy areas, including terrestrial spatial planning, river basin management, biodiversity protection and heritage conservation. ‘With this in mind, An Taisce believes the time is right for Ireland to develop – similar to many European countries – a strategic and integrated statutory Marine Spatial Planning system.’

Above: Salmon farm, Lough Swilly, Ireland


05/09/2019 10:24:26

Aqua UK.indd 62

04/09/2019 16:33:02

Processing News

Young’s paid Pinneys staff £7.7 million Young’s Seafood spent more than £7 million on redundancy payments to the 450 staff who worked at its Pinneys salmon site in Annan, the company’s annual report has revealed.

Above: Pinneys processing plant in Annan

THE factory closed amid controversy last year after the company decided to move salmon production to Grimsby and abandon the manufacture of some loss making items. The report shows that closing the site cost Young’s just over £11 million, of which £7.7 million were redundancy pay-outs. This represents an average of around £17,000 per employee, but as payments are calculated on length of service and seniority it means individual settlements will vary

considerably. The remaining £2.7 million relates to the cost of transferring production to Grimsby, disruption to production during the move and expenses associated with stock write-downs. Young’s, which continues to employ 2,500 people across seven core sites in Grimsby and Scotland, has just reported an impressive increase in turnover and operating profits in the financial year to the end of September 2018. But it has also warned that signifi-

cant risks lie ahead, not least from intense competition and the impact of Brexit, especially if the UK leaves without a deal this autumn. Young’s strategic report said: ‘The company is heavily dependent on the availability of seafood, which can be affected by natural and other factors. ‘Young’s is mitigating this risk by selling a broad range of products using many species from several countries.’

On Brexit, the report said: ‘Young’s (will be) exposed to a number of risks if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. ‘These include labour supply, import processing at the ports and duties and tariffs. Should the UK move to WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms, this would impact on the amount of duties paid by Young’s and other seafood companies, causing inflationary pressures. ‘Young’s is working closely with the Seafood Industry Authority (Seafish) to make the government aware of the impact on seafood processing and fishing. ‘If there is a deal, the impact on the company should be limited to movements in foreign exchange rates.’ Around three quarters of Young’s 2,500 strong workforce are

Labour supply

Young’s will be exposed to a number of risks if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

UK citizens, with the remainder mainly EU nationals. The company said it was working closely with its EU staff to explain the situation and to support their settlement in the UK. A breakdown of the company’s sales shows that almost £536 million came from UK consumers (£519 million in 2017), while sales to the United States totalled just over £4 million. Sales to the rest of Europe came to nearly £5.8 million.

Star studded awards for salmon supplier JCS Fish, the family owned Grimsby salmon and trout business, has picked up star studded praise and honours at this year’s Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste award. The company’s BigFish Traditional Oak Smoked Salmon and Traditional Oak Smoked Sea Trout were each rewarded with two stars, with BigFish Lemon & Pepper Breaded Salmon Bites receiving one star. The Guild of Fine Foods awards are an acknowledged benchmark for quality; the feedback from the judges praised the ‘crisp and golden’ BigFish Lemon & Pepper Bites, adding they were ‘very moreish’. Judging comments for the smoked products included for BigFish Smoked Salmon: ‘Wonderful texture, we could eat a lot of this. A skilled hand at work.’ And BigFish Smoked Trout was described as: ‘The smoke aroma is very well balanced, smooth and rounded… sensational.’ Andrew Coulbeck, who runs JCS Fish with his wife Louise, said: ‘We are over the moon to get such a fantastic endorsement from the Guild of Fine Food. ‘It is testament to the hard work of our small team here in Grimsby, plus the benefit of our long family experience and heritage in fish smoking.’ All the products are listed by Ocado and also sold direct

Processing News.indd 63

Loch Fyne chain sold to Hong Kong

from the BigFish website. They are also stocked at many independent retailers around the UK. The couple started JCS Fish 19 years ago, building on Andrew Coulbeck’s long experience in the salmon business. The company has grown rapidly and supplies a comprehensive range of salmon and sea trout products to food service, catering and wholesale customers. The company has won a clutch of awards in recent years and last month became only one of a handful of UK salmon suppliers accredited to handle and sell certified organic salmon. JCS has a BRC AA grade factory in Grimsby.

THE Greene King pub and brewing company, which owns the Loch Fyne seafood restaurant chain, has been sold to a Hong Kong based conglomerate in a deal worth a total of £4.6 billion. CK Asset Holdings, founded by Hong Kong‘s richest man, Li Ka-shing, will pay £2.7 billion for the 220-year-old business and take on its debt, worth an additional £1.9 billion. Greene King, based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was founded in 1799 and operates nearly 3,000 pubs, restaurants and hotels. Loch Fyne, which takes its name from a sea loch on the west coast of Scotland, was started in the 1970s by seafood enthusiasts, Johnny Noble and Andy Lane. But it grew rapidly, with the first restaurants opening in Scotland, before expanding across the border into England. Loch Fyne Oysters continues to trade as a separate high quality seafood operation. Greene King bought the Loch Fyne restaurants in 2006 for £68 million. The chain now has 22 outlets. There have been persistent reports that Greene King was planning to sell up. It has been a tough year for the restaurant business in the UK, with a number of high profile closures.


05/09/2019 10:27:41

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ment Ltd

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Demonstrate your Commitment to  Sustainability • Partner Bureau Specialise in thewith manufacture andVeritas supply of: Certification to prove Aeration Equipment - Fishyour Feeders commitment to sustainability. - Oxygen Monitoring Systems We offer a large range of Round PE Rearing Tanks certification i.a. Bespoke Fabricated Tanks ASC • MSC • Global Gap - Depuration Equipment - Lobster Holding Systems - Oyster Baskets Please contact us for further Aquaculture Equipment Ltd information. 36, Foxdenton Lane, Middleton, Bureau Veritas Certification Denmark Manchester M24 1QG + 45 77311000 Tel: +44(0)161 6835869 Mobile: 07715 007964 E: W:


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Storvik LTD Lochgilphead, Scotland Tel: +44 (0) 1546603989


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• Road Haulage • Shipping • Port Facilities • Storage & Warehousing • Craneage • • Road Haulage • Shipping • Port Facilities • Storage & Warehousing • Craneage •


Aggershusvej 77 Aggershusvej DK-5450 Otterup Otterup DK-5450 Denmark Denmark

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18/02/2015 11:57



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distribution services by road, rail and sea, covering the whole of the distribution services by road, rail and sea, covering the whole of the UK for established general haulage, plant and machinery movements. A long family-run business with industry experienced UK for general haulage, plant and machinery movements. and competent staff throughout all divisions of the company, working A long established with industry experienced hours a day andfamily-run 365 days abusiness year to provide long-term, short-term A24long established family-run business with industry experienced and competent staff throughout divisions of the company, working and adall hoc solutions. and competent staff throughout all divisions of the company, working 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to provide long-term, short-term 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to provide long-term, short-term Corpach Intermodal Services – Road / Rail / Sea and adFreight hoc solutions. ad hoc solutions.& Logistic Services Kishorn Port Seaand Freight, Warehousing Mallaig Port Sea Freight, Warehousing Logistic Services Corpach Intermodal Freight Services – & Road / Rail / Sea Corpach Intermodal Freight Services – Road / Rail / Sea Kishorn Port Sea Freight, Warehousing & Logistic Services Kishorn Port Sea Freight, Warehousing & Logistic Services Mallaig Port Sea Freight, Warehousing & Logistic Services Mallaig Port Sea Freight, Warehousing & Logistic Services



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04/09/2019 16:34:43

Opinion – Inside track

What it’s like to be us BY NICK JOY


SUFFER from a strong belief that I am bad at managing money. It’s not that I can’t make enough, but that I can’t be bothered to look after it well. I don’t suppose I am alone in this feeling but my pension and savings are managed by ignoring them as much as I possibly can. This feeling was to the fore when I was sitting having lunch in one of those second hand book stores and I saw a book called ‘Play Money’ by Julian Dibbell. I thought to myself, maybe I can stimulate myself into action by making money into a game. Like all the off-the-cuff moments of my life, this did not go entirely to plan as the author of the book and I had different ideas of what the book was about. It transpired that ‘Play Money’ was about how to make money trading items in virtual worlds and it required a supreme effort to get through it as, you may be surprised to hear, this is not really my area of interest. However, having re-read the same chapter about 12 times I read on and hit a piece which resonates incredibly well with our industry. ‘It was a supply chain, in short, and there was nothing unusual about that except for this one very unusual thing: I was right in the middle of it, where I could see it whole from end to end. ‘You business people, who live your days in this same, central region of the economy, do you realise what a foreign place it is to the rest of us? ‘I don’t think I realised it. But I could see now just how incomplete the consumer’s perspective on economic existence is - how infantile it is, really, to go through life expecting products always magically to arrive on shelves, never seeing and therefore never acknowledging the enormous social machinery that connects the jobs we do to the things we buy.’ I think it is a brilliant piece of writing because it encapsulates what we feel when our customers don’t understand how hard it is to get a seafood product from the sea to their chiller. It is also why the government underestimates the need for food producers and the complexity of the supply chain. Margaret Beckett’s famous quote about being able to buy what we need and thus food producers are not that important is put so neatly into context by these words. However much we feel hard done by - and in my previous role I managed to feel very much so - we have to take some of the onus on to ourselves to explain to our customers what we do and why sometimes it doesn’t work. This is relevant from mortality figures right the way through to failing to harvest in gales. We need to put the logistics and the achievements in front of people so that they can see what it is like to be us. It is infantile to expect products just to arrive magically, but it is also infantile to expect people, to whom one never explains, to understand. There are so many simple things that can be done, like


Nick Joy.indd 66

We have to “explain to our

customers what we do and why sometimes it doesn’t work

having live public cams on some of our sea sites to show what we put up with in terms of weather. How about putting on your packs ‘from the sea to your seafood outlet in two days’, or whatever time it takes. I was always amazed that we could get our fish to San Francisco in a shorter time than it took to get it to Cornwall. The more we explain and demystify what we do, the less our opponents can use myth and smoke to detract from what we do. The more our consumers can see who we are and what we contend with, the more they will identify with us, and the wonderful people who work in our industry. I suppose the last point I should make is, it is sometimes useful to read books you didn’t intend to read! FF

05/09/2019 10:31:56



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Profile for Fish Farmer Magazine

Fish Farmer Magazine September 2019  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine September 2019  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977