Fish Farmer September 2022

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Fish Farmer SEPTEMBER 2022

OFFSHORE How Forever Oceans is farming kanpachi

Boats and barges THE COST OF WAR Sanctions and the seafood sector


Building an industry

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Editor’s Welcome Welcome


ierra sdel Fuego, southernmost Argen� hasofa good claimIn tothe the �tle this issue the goes to press, theprovince UK findsofitself in ana, time transition. “Thespace end ofof the world.” less than a week, the country had a new Prime Minister and was Earlier this month the regional of the province voted to ban open net mourning the passing of itslegislature long-serving and well-loved sovereign. salmonWhat farming. Coming top ofIIIthe last autumn to the reign of on Charles willDanish bring government’s is something decision we can only speculate on at growth this stage, in this issue shares of histhe thoughts curtail any further of fibut sh farming at sea,Hamish and theMacdonell ongoing struggle industryon in the newtoPM, Lizthe Truss, and of what herinpremiership might mean this industry. Canada resist closure farms the Discovery Islands, it isfor clearer than ever that the Also in thisindustry issue, we looktoatmake aquaculture beyond these Forever Oceans is a fish farming needs its case in order just to shores. stay in business. US-based using technology developed byForum industrial giant Lockheed Martin It’s not allfinfish gloom,farmer, however. At the North Atlan� c Seafood – held online this year to build resilient cages for yellowtail – otherwise known as kanpachi – farming in offshore – Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg reiterated her belief that investment in the blue locations isfrom Indonesia to the Panama and Brazil. locations challenging, economy a route to saving environment, notThose harming it. Also are at the NASF, chiefbut also offer the prospect of fish farming with minimal impact as our report finds. execu�ves and analysts alike were in agreement that the industry’s biggest challenge is Meanwhile inmeet Nigeria, government aims to for close theproduct gap between fish that’s production finding ways to the the world’s growing demand their – arguably, a good and consumption by growing its freshwater fish farming industry. A new report from the problem to have. University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture shows how that could succeed – and why it In this issue we report on the NASF and also present the first part of a preview of Aqua Nor might not. 2021, one of the industry’s biggest trade shows. The September magazine also includes special features on Boats and Barges; Cages, What’s happening in aq The July issue featuresand a profi le of Norcod, currently thewith frontan runner in the raceimpact to Pens, Nets andalso Moorings; Careers. Sandy Neil reports update on the in the UK and around th revive farmingon industry. Find out why Norcod’s Chief explains Execu�ve,how Chris� an Riber, What’s happening in aquacu of warthe andcod sanctions our industry, and Nicki Holmyard a new technique believes this mussel �me they have a model that w in the UK and around the wo for freezing spat may be able to works. help Europe’s shellfish farmers. Wealso alsofeature focus onthe two aquaculture projects in Guatemala and The Bahamas being JENNY HJUL ––between EDITOR JENNY HJUL EDITOR We growing tension in Chile salmon farmers andthat theare new supported by Norway’s Kvarøy c,children and on the projectinwhich is se� to – government, and a study thatArc� finds and“Øymerd” young people Norway – ofngallout places JENNY HJUL JENNY HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR create a fishless farm based on a floa�ng concrete island. are eating fish. Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions Nicki Holmyard looksisattransforming the shellfish the farmers’ ba�leofagainst tubeworm andupcoming this issue also Finally, technology business aquaculture and an webinar,special which industry Fish Farmer is hosting with communications tech specialist Krucial, features reports on Breeding and Gene�cs, Transport and Logis� cs andwill Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions salmon farming sector in Scotland, when it was to he focus this month istopictures on Europe, where the internati T HE is coincidence that and videos of unhealthy Sno Fish went press, there was lltold no offi cialonal address the issue of “the connected farm” on 2 Farmer November. Please see page 9 ofsti this Li� ing and Cranes. be thewere subject ofScotti a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced the industry willsent soon gathering the (European salmon to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti sh news from the shScotland, parliamentary inquiry into issue for more details. salmon farming sector in when itEAS was tosalmon 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 opportunity this would provide to explain how it operated. Aquaculture and WAS Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at (World the start of month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by thethis Rural Economy Best wishes, be the subject of aSociety) parliamentary inquiry, embraced industry willsent soon be gathering the EASinto (European salmon were to news outletsfor just asjoint the Scotti shthe news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry salmon Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had nothing to hide and, if given fair hearing, Meet thehealth new chief exe Best wishes conference, to be staged over five days in theait southern images had this litt le to doprovide with theto current state of Scotland’s ficould sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five Robert Outram opportunity would explain how operated. Aquaculture Society) and WAS Aquaculture Society) parliament back to work at (World the start of month. These farming, went conducted earlier this year by thethis Rural Economy address much of the criti cism levelled against it. Robert Outram city of Montpellier. As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms where sea lice levels are in decline and, in fact, at a fi vemeeti ngs, in private, to consider their report and we must be Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The had to hide and, if given fair hearing, Meet thehealth new chief executiv conference, to benothing staged over days in theaof southern images had litt le to do with thefive current state Scotland’s ficould sh and industry Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five Fish Farmer supported this but at times salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsohas feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, their recommendati ons been address much of the criti cism levelled against it. city ofngs, Astolevels well asare highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice in decline and, inwe fact, at abe fivemeeti in private, consider their report and must farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions on emerging markets and look atinvolves the role ofthe fishusual This latest propaganda campaign, all made harder by leaks from within to anti -salmon Fish Farmer supported this atthe times salmon advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018felt willthat alsohas feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng forview, theirbut recommendati ons been angling lobby, which had called foras the investi gatiRural on. But asngs the farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti anti -aquaculture suspects, came Holyrood’s Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4) farmers were being drowned out bywhich theREC noisier elements offarming the sessions onpropaganda emerging markets and look atinvolves the role fishusual This campaign, allofthe madelatest harder by leaks from within the to anti -salmon sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat thethe social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the summer recess we to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom itgati suggests committ ee angling lobby, which had called for the investi on. But as farming inThe alleviati ngof poverty. Increasingly, industry ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy activists. latest these (see our news story onmeeti page 4) became more opti misti c.into Weand now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture the contributi on it makes to global consider its draft report the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat the committ social and Connecti vity committ ee returned the summer recess we to makes grim reading for the industry asfrom it suggests ee Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977 food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that is toanti welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens cahoots with -farming Those who want toWe shut down thein asbe shut down this sector, rather than to those who operate became more misti c. now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability ofopti aquaculture and the contributi on ithave, makes toexpected, global consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to Also investi gati ngacti initi aties, veswhich inregard thenow developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry in a Dr favourable stepped their viti involve the within it.up food security and saving the planet, a45 move that is tobreaching welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens cahoots with anti -farming Those who want to shut down thein industry asbe expected, shut down this sector, rather than tohave, those who operate Meet the the team Fish Farmer: Volume Number 09 Meet team Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al inthe Fish Farmer: Volume 44 Number 07 light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental biosecure environments of farm sitesindustry to snatch photographs in Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, in any case, Also investi gati ng initi ati ves in the developing world, Dr Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, regard the in a favourable stepped acti vitiish es,and which nowculti involve breaching the within it.up their Editorial Advisory Advisory Board: Editorial Board: Nigeria, both in catf ti lapia vati on. Contact us responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Contact us Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Steve Bracken, Bracken, Hervé Hervé Migaud, Migaud, Jim Jim Treasurer, Treasurer, biosecure environments of131 farm sites tosomething snatch ingame Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and,photographs inofany case,ngthe Steve In Scotland, the summer has been aofwaiti Tel: +44(0) 551 1000 What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 campaigner fi lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always been fortunate to have the support their minister, Nigeria, both catfish and tilapia culti vati on.against responsibiliti seriously and will only ever invest Chris Mitchell, Mitchell, Jason Jason Cleaversmith Cleaversmith the hope of fies nding incriminati ng businesses evidence farmers. Onein committ ee’s fiin ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fish farmers Fax:ee +44(0) 131 551 7901 Chris while the parliament is inthat recess and thethose members of Holyrood’s Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 If the committ members, especially who have yet to of Phil fi sh at a Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. In Scotland, the summer has been something of a waiti ng game What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Thomas growth that isfibeen sustainable. and Hamish Hamish Macdonell Macdonell Email: editor@fi campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, forto dead haveRural always fortunate have the support of their minister, and Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue weigh up Email: visit aparliament farm, like tothe learn more about theagainst of infested salmon in awould pen, but we only have his word that But itsalmon should not go unchallenged that some MSPs onsubject the REC while the isroutram@fi in recess and members of Holyrood’s If the committ ee members, especially those who have yet to Editor: Robert Outram fi sh at a Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. the evidence in their inquiry into salmon farming. We don’t expect Editor: RobertRural Outram Head Offi ce: Special Publica� ons, Fe� esto Park, their we have plenty of good stories in our May Even and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue weigh up Head Offi ce: Special Publica� ons, Fe� es Park, of theinquiry, professional vets and biologists who manage theissue. welfare of committ ee, with their own agendas against the growth of a Economy farm, like to learn more about the ofthetime infested salmon in go awould but we only have his word against that Buttheir itsalmon should not unchallenged that some MSPs onsubject the REC report unti l pen, the autumn but hope the MSPs are using the Designer: Andrewvisit Balahura 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DL bett er,farms they could head to Highlands later this month, where 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DL We the evidence in their inquiry into salmon farming. don’t expect Designer: Andrew their Balahura these on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they wefully have plenty of good stories in ourgrowth May toinquiry, become acquainted with the facts about fithe shissue. farming. of the professional vets andagendas biologists who manage welfare of committ ee, with their own against the of theEven Commercial Manager: Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s theirthey report unti l the autumn but hope the MSPs areas using theittiis, meit Ifthey the is proud of its high standards, itsalmon says are inwill aindustry positi on to inflthe uence the future course of farming, Commercial Subscriptions bett er, could head to Highlands later this month, where This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest JaniceManager: Johnston these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Subscriptions to become fully acquainted with the facts about fi sh farming. biggest fi sh farming show. must mount aaquaculture much more robustWe defence oftrouble itself, through its and of businesses vital Scotland’s economy, we have a right Janice Johnston Subscrip� onsto Address: Fish Farmer Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod they will meet the industry en masse Scotland’s serving employee, Steve Bracken. had no Subscrip� ons Address: Fish Farmer If the isto proud of its high standards, as itsalmon says itcollecti is, it ng are in aindustry positi on inflthe uence the future course ofat farming, This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inindustry, Aviemore and look jjohnston@fiCommercial representati ve body, the SSPO, than it has done to date. The to know who they are, and we hope the through its Magazine Subscrip� ons, Warners Group warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the biggest fi sh farming show. Assistant: Magazine Subscrip� ons,economy, Warners Group must a much more robustWe defence itself, through its and ofmount businesses vital toBracken. Scotland’s we have a right serving employee, Steve had noof trouble collecti ng forward toand, seeing many of you there too. campaigners, we now see, willrest stop at nothing, representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gate before Publica� ons plc, The Mal� ngs, Publisher: Alister Benne� milestone along with of the industry, thefarmers team Richard Ellio� We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore and look Publica� ons plc, The Mal� ngs, representati vethey body, the SSPO, than itthe has done tothrough date. The to know who are, and wethe hope industry, its at Fish warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the should be prepared toyou fiBourne ght back. the to REC report isStreet, published. West Street, Bourne Farmer wish him all the very best for the future. West Publisher: Alisterforward Benne� seeing many of there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at representati ves, will pressure the parliament toand investi gateatbefore Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet milestone and, along with the rest of thenothing, industry, thefarmers team Fish Lincolnshire PE10 9PH Lincolnshire PE10 9PH should prepared to fivery ght back. the RECbe report published. Farmer wish himisall the best for the future.

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

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


16-21 16-17 16-22 Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary in 16-21 16-17 16-22 Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquir 22-23 18-19 24-27 Salmon SSPO 22-23 18-19 market 24-27 Salmon SSPO market

Robert Outram

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

Cover: Forever Oceans farm site,Fish Panama Cover: farm maintenance ship in Skanevik�orden, Norway Photo: Shu�erstock

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

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26 22-23 30 BTA Shellfi sh Comment 26 22-23 30 Shellfi sh Comment BTA 28-31 24-25 32-33 SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Far 28-31 24-25 32-33 SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Shellfi shfiSea Cleaner sh Far Scottish Comment 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit Shellfi shfiSea Cleaner sh Farms Scottish Comment 13


Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit Advisory Board: Steve Contact Tel: +44(0) us 131 551 1000 MeetEditorial the team Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 33 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 Migaud, PatrickJim Smith and Jim Hervé Patrick Smith, PatrickMigaud, Smith, Treasurer and Fax: email: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott HervéLandsburgh, Migaud, jhjul@fi Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowdsemail: William Dowds Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New player Dawn new Migaud, PatrickJim Smith and Jim Hervé Patrick Smith, PatrickMigaud, Smith, Treasurer and Editor: Jenny Hjul jhjul@fi 12/09/2022 15:52:30 Treasurer, Wiliam 12/07/2021 Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds Head Office: Special Publications, Dawn Marti nofJaff a15:32:14 Vaccines New player new era

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


Fish F armer

In the September issue... News

What’s happening in the UK and around the world

Processing News


Update from the processing sector



Martin Jaffa

Salmon Scotland


Hamish Macdonell



Nicki Holmyard

Russia and Sanctions


Sandy Neil

Book Review


The Salt Roads, by John Goodlad



Vince McDonagh



Robert Outram

Careers in Aquaculture


Learning and job opportunities

Offshore Farming Robert Outram

Cages, Pens, Nets & Moorings Market Research Vince McDonagh

Boats & Barges Industry Diary

All the latest aquaculture events, conferences and courses

What’s New

Monthly update on industry innovations and solutions

Aqua Source Directory

46-49 50-51 52-53 54-61 62 63 64-65

Find all you need for the industry



Nick Joy

32 4




ff09 Contents.indd 4

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12/09/2022 09:20:33


United Kingdom News

Salmon protection zones to inc


UK News.indd 6

framework to ensure that it also takes account of migratory routes for young trout heading out to sea. Previously, the plan had been to incorporate sea trout routes only once more information had been gathered. Other changes to the original consultation include extending the time period over which protection is provided, alterations to wild salmon protection zones and a commitment from SEPA to carry out an assessment of the social and economic implications of the framework.

Risk assessment SEPA said: “All proposals for new marine finfish farms or increases in fish numbers at existing finfish farms will be subject to an assessment of the risk posed to wild salmonids. Where we identify a risk, SEPA will protect wild salmonids by set permit conditions to limit sea lice losses from the farm. We will also take action to reduce the loss of sea lice from existing farms where we identify that losses contribute to the harm caused to salmon and sea trout.” SEPA has committed to working with the industry, interest groups, and others to ensure that the controls introduced are proportionate to the given risk. A further consultation, which will include an assessment of the social and economic implications of the framework, will run in early 2023. The intention is to implement the controls in the second half of 2023, which will initially cover the release of lice from new and expanded farms to prevent additional impacts Above: Proposed Wild Salmon Protection Zones (SEPA, December 2021) upon the 2024 smolt run. Below: Mairi Gougeon. Opposite: Trout During the consultation, some lobby groups had argued strongly for the imposition of controls on existing fish farms, as well as new or NEW measures to protect wild salmon in Scotland will be expanded operations. SEPA has now said it is considering extended to include sea trout, according to the Scottish “phasing in” the new regime, starting with imposing permit Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), which has outlined a revised plan and published details of responses to the initial proposals. The new plan will allow for the imposition of tighter restrictions on existing fish farms, if the evidence suggests that is necessary to reduce the threat of sea lice proliferating in and around farms. The outline for a risk-based spatial framework to manage interactions between wild salmon and marine finfish farms was published in December last year. Its key element was a plan for designated zones where sea lice are deemed to present the greatest risk to juvenile salmonids. In these “wild salmon protection zones” (WSPZs) any proposals for new fish farms, or expansion of existing farms, would need to show that they would not breach acceptable thresholds for sea lice numbers. While sea lice are endemic in the wild salmon population, the large numbers of fish at farm sites can lead to heavy lice concentrations at and around the farms. The proposed WSPZs were drawn up jointly by SEPA and Marine Scotland. The revised proposals include extending the protection

12/09/2022 15:33:56

o include sea trout

conditions on new or expanded farms, but also gathering additional data to review the accuracy of modelling the risks from sea lice at existing farms. Permit conditions for those farms could be adjusted to reduce potential sea lice numbers, if the evidence suggests there is an impact on wild salmonids, SEPA said. SEPA has also committed to tackle other pressures on wild salmon, which have declined in numbers rapidly from 8-10 million worldwide in the 1970s to an estimated three million. Other measures include improving river habitats and removing barriers to salmon migration such as dams and weirs, where possible. Protecting an iconic fish Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, said: “Populations of Atlantic salmon are at a crisis point and we have to act urgently to protect one of our most famous species. The pressures on stocks are truly international, with the impact of climate change being felt across the entire North Atlantic region. However, there is much that we can do in our rivers, lochs and coastal waters to help build resilience and protect biodiversity. The measures set out in this consultation will help ensure the protection and recovery of Scotland’s wild Atlantic salmon.” Peter Pollard, SEPA’s Head of Ecology, commented: “The decline in wild salmon is a global issue, but is keenly felt in Scotland, famed for this iconic species. We have a responsibility to mitigate the problems that face our fish populations to improve their chances of survival and reproduction. The measures we put in place in our rivers, lochs and coastal waters to slow the decline, and enable wild salmon to become more resilient to threats like climate change, are vitally important. “Our new framework is an important addition to our work, creating a world-leading approach that will allow Scotland to protect the full lifecycle of salmon from breeding grounds to their journey out to sea. SEPA is clear that our job is to make sure environmental standards protect the water environment for the people of Scotland - and we make sure that all industries meet those. That’s unequivocally our focus. “Our ambition is to give operators and communities confidence that environmental considerations are addressed early in the development process of new farms and to drive improvements at existing farms to improve the condition of Scotland’s salmon stocks.”

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UK News.indd 7


12/09/2022 15:34:25



Mowi role for Wester Ross founder

GILPIN Bradley, founder and Managing Director at Wester Ross Fisheries, has joined Mowi Scotland as Business Development Director – Farming, Scotland. The move follows Mowi’s acquisition of Wester Ross at the end of June this year, which was revealed in a document posted on the Companies House website, dated 30 June, which stated that

Mowi Scotland now owns a “controlling interest” (75% or more of the company’s equity) in Wester Ross. Wester Ross was one of the last independent salmon farmers in Scotland, operating three seawater sites in the north-west of the country and a processing facility in Dingwall.

Innovation excellence body in aquaculture seed funding call

Above: Gilpin Bradley

WellFish hires Mitchell for development role FISH health specialist WellFish Diagnostics has recruited Chris Mitchell to the new role of Business Development Manager. He was formerly National Sales Manager with the Fish Vet Group, part of Pharmaq. Mitchell, who took up the new post in early August, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to join a young, dynamic and fast-moving company dedicated to helping aquaculture health specialists to track the health and welfare of the fish Above: Chris Mitchell under their care.”

Ace Aquatec hires Skotidas for EMEA sales role AQUACULTURE technology specialist, Ace Aquatec, has appointed Costa Skotidas to the role of Sales & Partnerships Manager for its EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) operations. Following recent growth in countries including Greece and Denmark, Skotidas will be responsible for overseeing the firm’s expansion into further European markets as well as opening up new markets in the Middle East and Africa. Skotidas previously worked as EMEA Advertising Account Manager for IntraFish.

Above: Costa Skotidas


UK News.indd 8

Above: Algae

BIDS are being invited for a share of £100,000 in seed funding for new ideas in aquaculture. The call comes from CIEL, the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock, which has this year added aquaculture innovation to its remit. The seed funding is aimed at supporting research into new processes, products or services in aquaculture. The current round will focus on two themes: • Seaweed mariculture and possible applications for seaweed-based products in agriculture (arable and livestock), as well as nutrient analysis and supply chain “mapping” for seaweed processing in the UK; and • Life cycle assessment and “blue carbon” research to assess the carbon footprint (and ways to reduce it) of different branches of aquaculture, including open sea pen finfish farming, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), and shellfish cultivation. Martin Sutcliffe, Aquaculture Specialist with CIEL, said: “With pressures

to increase production, reduce environmental footprints and provide resilient food systems, both the agriculture and aquaculture sectors face challenging times. Additionally, funding landscapes are complex and difficult to navigate. As CIEL moves into working with the aquaculture sector, we hope that this Seed Funding will provide some much needed, targeted funding to help industry meet some of these challenges.” The period for applications closes on Monday 3 October 2022 and CIEL will announce successful proposals at the end of October. To apply or for more details go online to CIEL, described as “the front door to innovation for the livestock centre” is one of four Agri-Tech Centres in the UK, which were set up to facilitate collaboration between government, the academic sector and industry, to drive innovation and greater efficiency, resilience and wealth in UK agriculture.

12/09/2022 15:36:06

Minister opens Inverkerry organic smolt unit

supply of high quality smolts we need SCOTLAND’S Rural Affairs for today´s production at Organic Sea Secretary Mairi Gougeon has Harvest. officially unveiled a salmon hatchery “There is also some room for which has been upgraded to meet further investments to support our strict organic standards. ambitions to grow.” The Inverkerry Hatchery and Smolt Jarl van den Berg, general manager Unit, operated by breeding and of Hendrix Genetics, commented: selection business Hendrix Genetics, “We are proud to operate under is located at Gairloch in Wester Ross, Soil Association certification, and and will produce around 1.2 million by the time it comes to eat the salmon smolts each year. nutritious salmon we produce A key customer will be Organic Sea together with Organic Sea Harvest, Harvest, the independent salmon Above: (From left) Jarl van den Berg, general manager, all the consumers can do so with farmer based on Skye, which is certified to Soil Association standards Hendrix Genetics, Mairi Gougeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary the knowledge that our fish have for Rural Affairs and Islands and Ove Thu, chief executive, been raised and lived their lives to the as an organic producer. Ocean Sea Harvest highest standards.” The upgrade of the Hendrix Industry body Salmon Scotland has Genetics site directly supports five industry, and its supply chain, continues welcomed the hatchery upgrade as a local jobs and ensures the hatchery will to invest in research, development and positive move for the sector. have a long-term future supplying its innovation, to support the sector’s long Chief Executive Tavish Scott partner Organic Sea Harvest with quality term sustainability.” commented: “The successful partnership smolts, the company said. Ove Thu, chief executive of Organic between Organic Sea Harvest and Mairi Gougeon said: “This significant Sea Harvest, said: “With the opening Hendrix Genetics is helping to deliver on investment in the new facilities at of the upgraded Gairloch hatchery, the our sustainability pledge to be worldInverkerry is another example of how production cycle of the fine organic leading in the provision of nutritious Scotland’s aquaculture industry is salmon from Isle of Skye is complete. food produced in the most responsible championing and driving innovation. “Thanks to our friends at Hendrix, we way.” “It is imperative the aquaculture have established the safe and steady

Connectivity for Good: take part in our webinar potentially dangerous for fish. Better data can also cut feed FISH farmers will have the opportunity to find out how waste. better connectivity can lead directly to better fish The free online event will feature an expert panel welfare – and more profitable operations – at a including Kevin Quillien, Chief Technology Officer webinar jointly hosted by Fish Farmer magazine and and co-founder at Krucial, and Dr Lynne Falconer, technology experts Krucial (formerly known as UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at the University of R3-IoT) with the theme “Connectivity for Good”. Stirling. The webinar, taking place on 2 November 2022, Connectivity for good: why better connected will explore ways in which resilient connectivity fish farms will lead to and timely data can help farm operators achieve a healthier fish takes place clearer view of their operations. on Wednesday 2 November Improving connectivity for fish farm sites, including those in remote, offshore locations, can lead to more Above: Kevin Quillien 2022, 2pm-3pm (UK time). For free registration or to data being available, offering better insights and more find out more, go online informed decision making. Information such as feed to data and environmental metrics can help farmers to manage connectivity-for-healthier-fish-webinarthe welfare of their stock, and monitoring environmental sign-up or scan the QR code, right. parameters can allow quicker action when conditions become

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Connectivity for good: How better connected fish farms lead to healthier fish Wednesday 2nd November, 2PM (GMT)

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UK News.indd 9


12/09/2022 15:39:18


Study to assess hemp seeds as aquafeed RESEARCHERS in the UK are looking into hemp – otherwise known as the cannabis plant – as a potential source of protein in aquafeed. Salmon lovers hoping that this might add an extra mood-altering kick to their favourite fish are set for disappointment, however. Rare Earth Global, a grower of industrial hemp for a range of sustainable products, has received £50,000 in funding from the UK Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) to explore how hemp seeds could be integrated into the diets of farmed salmon in Scotland. With support from the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) and the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, the project team has begun an initial feasibility trial to assess the impact of hemp protein on fish health and wellbeing, looking at factors such as digestibility and nutritional value. Researchers from the Institute of Aquaculture will be conducting trials at the University of Stirling’s facilities to assess how salmon react to different varieties of the hemp plant and any impact that the ingredient has on gut bacteria and the digestive system. Hemp-based protein is already sold for human consumption as a plant-based nutritional supplement as well as being used in cattle and poultry farming. However, the results of this study could see locally grown hemp being introduced as a core feed ingredient in

Above: Hemp seeds

aquaculture for the first time. Initial indications suggest that a protein content of up to 50% could be achieved from the plants grown on UK soil, exceeding producers’ minimum requirements of 35%, as well as reducing the sector’s reliance on imported ingredients such as soy and fish meal. Hemp and cannabis are biologically the same species of flowering plant, but “hemp” is legally defined (in the US) as a variety that has less than 0.3% of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical in cannabis that gives users a “high”.The plant’s seeds do not contain significant amounts of THC, which is found mainly in the flowers, leaves and stalks. Rare Earth Global started exploring the idea of using hemp seeds in aquafeed as part of its “zero waste” commitment, ensuring that every part of the plant is used for maximum value. Suneet Shivaprasad, managing director and

co-founder of Rare Earth Global, said: “There are lots of novel feed ingredients coming into the aquaculture sector, but the hemp seed trial is about making the best use of local ingredients. Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants, using minimal water and capturing up to eight times more carbon than most trees, which makes it a highly sustainable choice for so many different products. “Our aim is to ensure that every part of the plant delivers maximum impact, which is why we are focusing on aquaculture. Our studies show that protein conversion rates in salmon are much higher than for cattle or poultry, highlighting significant potential for the sector to introduce it as a new, sustainable feed ingredient.The process could be scaled up very quickly and we could see an entirely new UK-based supply chain for fish feed emerging in the near future.” Monica Betancor, lecturer at the Institute of Aquaculture, said: “We already know that hemp protein is suitable for human consumption, which is highly promising, but this trial will help us better understand its impact on fish diets including gut health and digestibility. There may also be additional nutritional benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties, and our aim is to gather appropriate data that can be used to inform future decisions about the suitability of this new feed ingredient.”

Planners approve Cooke's new Orkney farm site THE Orkney Islands Council has approved an application by Cooke Aquaculture for a new salmon farm site in the north of the islands. The six-cage site will be based at East Moclett, off the island of Papa Westray in Orkney’s North Sound, with permission for up to 3,850 tonnes of biomass. The proposal had seen no objection from statutory bodies including the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), NatureScot and Scottish Water, but a group of campaigners under the banner of the No East Moclett group voiced opposition to the plan. The group says more than 100 objections had been sent to Orkney Islands Council from residents and others, and a petition organised by the Scottish Greens reportedly attracted 138 signatures. Joel Richardson, Vice President of Public Relations for Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, said: “We appreciate that the Planning Committee was guided by and accepted the thorough technical and scientific reviews of all the statutory consultation bodies which filed no objections. "Farm-raised Scottish salmon has one of the lowest carbon footprints of all animal proteins, and Cooke Aquaculture Scotland is committed to science-led research to set the highest standards for responsible harvesting and sustainable processes across all aspects of our business.” He added: “We have heard very valid points raised by the Papa Westray Community Council and Papa Westray residents, and we will


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continue dialogue with them and ensure that this new farm site is compliant with all appropriate regulations and best practices. As one of the largest employers in Orkney and Northern Isles, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland will maximise economic and social benefits.” The fish farm was also assessed against all relevant policies of the Orkney Local Development Plan and other relevant material planning considerations. The Orkney Islands Council agreed with their planning staff, who concluded that on balance the objections raised by various parties were not of sufficient weight to merit refusal. Cooke plans to start hiring and training six new local employees to service the East Moclett site, working out of the company’s Westray shorebase, in 2023. Meanwhile an economic study commissioned by Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, and published in August ahead of the planning decision, argues that fish farming has a positive social impact on employment and communities in Orkney and the Northern Isles. The report argues that a new fish farm can be transformational in tackling local depopulation. Including bonus and overtime payments during 2020-21, it highlights that Cooke’s skilled and permanent jobs are paying an average of £35,112, which is 24.8% more than the Orkney average and 8.6% above the figure for Scotland. The company's processing centre in Kirkwall also employs a staff of more than 41.

12/09/2022 15:41:16

SAIC bolsters team with new appointments and promotions

immunology and vaccine development and has more THE Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) than 20 years of experience as a scientist and has appointed Jillian Couto-Phoenix as its new head consultant. of skills and talent, to lead its range of career The new appointments follow the recent development programmes and help attract the promotion of Daniel Carcajona and Lynsey Muir next generation of talent into the sector. to senior aquaculture innovation officer and Couto-Phoenix joins SAIC from the National aquaculture innovation officer, respectively. Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), where Jillian Couto-Phoenix said: “I’m excited to she was a programme manager for the National join SAIC and apply my experience to the Transition Training Fund (NTTF) focusing on innovation centre’s training and skills programmes. upskilling and training to meet the industry’s Aquaculture offers so many fantastic career digital transformation, net zero and sustainability opportunities and I hope to support this further. skills requirements. Above: Jillian Couto-Phoenix With sustainability becoming ever more important Since 2019, she has also been an innovation to the aquaculture sector, I’m keen to share my knowledge and consultant, helping academics bridge the gap between research help develop and deliver support for the current aquaculture and innovation as well as delivering workshops for MSc and workforce as well as the next generation of talent coming PhD researchers. through.” In her new role with SAIC, Couto-Phoenix will oversee the Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, added: “Jillian is an excellent innovation centre’s training, leadership and sector engagement addition to our team, bringing a wealth of experience in programmes. She will work closely with aquaculture terms of sustainable skills development.This role is crucial professionals, colleges and universities on skills initiatives as to matching the needs of the sector with new talent starting well as the development of SAIC’s support for internships, careers in aquaculture. Jillian’s knowledge will be particularly graduates and master’s students. invaluable in meeting the needs of both the sector and our Also joining SAIC is Janina Costa, a postdoctoral scientist academic institutions. She will also hold an important role in from the Aquaculture Research Group (ARG) at the Moredun supporting integration of skills across projects and knowledge Research Institute, who has been appointed to the role of exchange activities within SAIC.” aquaculture innovation officer. Costa specialises in fish health,

Figures reveal Scottish salmon is UK’s biggest fresh food export on the sector.With the nutritional value of Scottish salmon increasingly recognised, along with its low carbon footprint and sustainability measures, there is potential for further growth in the sector. But farmers and producers have faced a number of challenges in recent months, including bad weather at the start of the year affecting harvests, post-Brexit and pandemic-induced labour shortages, cross-Channel delays and a cumbersome regulation system in Scotland that needs urgent reform and streamlining. Salmon Scotland has called on the Scottish and UK governments to take action to support the sector, ensuring it can continue to grow and provide more local jobs in Scotland and more revenue for the UK economy. This includes: • A streamlined regulatory system in Scotland along the lines of the Norwegian model. • Measures to address planning hold-ups for new salmon farms. NEW HMRC figures have shown that Scottish salmon is the • A change to key worker definitions to tackle the post-Brexit UK’s biggest fresh food export but the sector is facing continued labour shortage. challenges following Covid and Brexit. • A solution to cross-Channel delays and avoidance of any trade International sales of Scottish salmon were valued at £280m in war with Europe. the first half of 2022, with France accounting for more than half of Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said:“There the total. However, this was down by around 8% compared to 2021, is strong international demand for our unrivalled farm-raised across both EU sales and non-EU sales. Scottish salmon, making it the UK’s biggest and most Trade body Salmon Scotland said this has been offset important food export. by increased demand at home, with the impact of “These export sales deliver a massive economic the pandemic resulting in a shift with some salmon benefit for rural and coastal communities in destined for international markets instead sent to Scotland, supporting thousands of highly-skilled, UK retailers. well-paid jobs, and helping local areas to thrive. Separate data estimates that sales of salmon “But, like many sectors, we face continued in UK shops soared to £1.1bn in 2021 as British challenges following Covid and Brexit. consumers increased their consumption of the “With Scottish Government reform of the protein-rich product, making it the country’s most cluttered regulatory landscape, and UK Government popular fish. reform of labour rules and the cross-Channel set-up, The farm-raised salmon sector delivers 2,500 direct we will be able to deliver further sustainable growth to jobs in Scotland, supporting more than 3,600 domestic support our most isolated communities.” suppliers, and a total of more than 12,000 jobs dependent Above: Tavish Scott

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12/09/2022 15:42:31


Bakkafrost plans a second hatchery in Scotland

Above: Bakkafrost's hatchery at Applecross is set for an upgrade

BAKKAFROST has secured land to build a large new hatchery in Scotland, in addition to its site at Applecross which is being upgraded. CEO Regin Jacobsen announced the project when he presented his second quarter report, showing a group-wide operating profit of £66m. He said the company had acquired the land during the first quarter of this year. Depending on the final survey, the construction of the hatchery will begin before the end of this year. CEO Jacobsen said there had been some

challenges in one farming area, although they were not as severe as in previous quarterly periods. “This demonstrates that the biological risks are still high. Bakkafrost’s strategy to implement large smolt in Scotland is key to reduce the biological risk and to improve biological performance. “Building hatchery capacity in Scotland is therefore the topmost priority for Bakkafrost. The ongoing expansion of the Applecross hatchery is progressing well and will reach an important milestone by the end of this year when the fourth expansion

phase is expected to be completed. “This enables Bakkafrost to significantly improve the quality and increase the size of the smolt.” During 2023, Bakkafrost’s hatchery at Applecross, Wester Ross (currently being expanded) will ramp up production to around 8 million smolts at 250g. It is intended to reach full capacity, with an increase of 40%, in mid-2024. Jacobsen declared: “In Q2 2022 the average weight of released smolt in Scotland was 101g, which is 32% higher than in Q2 2021. “New hatcheries in Scotland will increase the total production capacity up to around 18 million smolts of around 500g in 2026.” During Q1 2022, he said, Bakkafrost secured the land for the construction of a second large hatchery in Scotland. Depending on the final surveys, the construction of the next large hatchery is expected to commence in H2 2022. Supplying larger smolt for the farm sites is seen as vital in order to reduce the biological risks facing salmon farming in Scotland. During Q2 this year, Bakkafrost upscaled its freshwater treatment capacity in Scotland with the introduction of a second wellboat. “This more than doubled Bakkafrost's freshwater treatment capacity in Scotland, which is an important measure to mitigating biological risk and reduce mortality,” Jacobsen concluded.

Kames partners with Xelect for broodstock programme INDEPENDENT producer Kames Fish Farming has announced a new strategic partnership with breeding and genetics specialist Xelect. Kames will be working with Xelect to develop an improved strain of steelhead trout. Kames, a long-established name in Scottish aquaculture, farms trout in marine pens on the west coast. The new programme will focus on faster growth, improved survival rates and fish that are even better placed to survive in the sea. In the wild, rainbow trout often migrate to the sea – which is when they are known as “steelhead” – but some individuals fare better in sea water than others. Genetic selection should help to ensure that Kames has a strain well suited to growing and thriving in sea lochs. The project started with an initial genetic evaluation of Kames’ broodstock to ensure that the selective breeding programme would be based on a highly diverse population, with strong potential for future gains. Xelect Programme Manager, Lidia de los Rios Perez, said: “In the next stage, Xelect will combine genetic analysis of the fish (“genotypes”) with real world performance data (“phenotypes”). By using the latest breeding programme management techniques and our highly sophisticated software, OptiMate, Xelect can then identify the optimal crosses to provide Kames with major trait improvements every generation”. Kames is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, and in May it was named as Company of the Year at the Aquaculture UK awards. Xelect’s CEO, Ian Johnston, commented: “We’re really delighted


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to be working with Kames. They are an institution in Scottish aquaculture, and whilst our customers are spread all over the world, we’ve always been committed to developing aquaculture in Scotland too.” Kames’ Managing Director, Neil Manchester, commented: “This is an exciting stage of development for Kames as we launch into the next fifty years with fully integrated production. Partnering with Xelect is an obvious choice as it not only preserves our Scottish provenance but offers access to a great team of specialists dedicated to enhancing our own unique strain of steelhead trout.”

12/09/2022 15:43:05

Scottish Sea Farms profit is up by nearly £7m for Q2 kilo.This compared SCOTTISH Sea to NOK 661m Farms generated an (£58m) 12 operational profit months earlier. or EBIT of almost The figure £17m (NOK excludes 190m) during the costs of NOK April to June 2022 164m (£14m) second quarter related to the period. settlement of This compared with an EBIT of Above: Linda Litlekalsøy Aase a lawsuit in the USA, in which £10.4m (NOK 119m) SalMar and other major in the same period last year. Norwegian companies were The figures are included accused of price collusion.The in the Q2 report by SalMar, companies strongly deny the which, along with Lerøy allegations. Seafood, owns a half share in Linda Litlekalsøy Aase, the business. who took over as CEO Called Norskott Havbruk in from Gustav Witzøe in Norway, the company earned May, said: “In the second £77.5m (NOK 884m) during quarter, our dedicated the quarter against £69.5m (NOK 793m) thanks to higher employees continued to deliver impressive results and salmon prices. products of excellent quality. SalMar’s share of the profits “Our consistent and after tax was £10.7m (NOK meticulous effort to operate 122m) against £4.47m (NOK on the salmon's terms and 51m) last year. with a focus on sustainability Scottish Sea Farms in everything we do, has once harvested 9,500 tonnes in again proven to be a recipe the quarter, compared with for success.” 11,400 tonnes in Q2 2021. She added: “Our results The EBIT per kg gutted were of course also supported weight came to NOK 20.01 by high salmon prices in (£1.76) in the period, up from the market, although this NOK 10.46 (£0.92) per kg in fortunate market situation the same period last year. weakens the financial results A significant increase in the in Sales and Industry due to volume harvested to around our fixed price contracts.” 46,000 tonnes is expected in Farming in mid and 2022 as a result of the Grieg northern Norway achieved Shetland acquisition. strong biological and At a group level SalMar, operational results, which which acquired the NTS resulted in a record high group at the end of April, operational EBIT per kilo of produced an operational NOK 58.64 (£5) and NOK EBIT of NOK 1,048m (£92m) 69.12 (£5.90) respectively. or NOK 32.35 (£2.85) per

Above: Scottish Sea Farms, Shetland

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12/09/2022 15:43:48


European News

Bakkafrost air freight service gets ready for take-off


Above: The FarCargo Bakkafrost livery

BAKKAFROST has unveiled the white and blue livery of the Boeing 757200 which will carry its salmon to the United States and other overseas markets. The company decided 18 months ago to launch its own air service capable of bypassing expensive and time-consuming transit hubs such as Heathrow. Bakkafrost, which also has extensive salmon farming operations in Scotland,

has established a subsidiary called FarCargo and is about to purchase the Boeing 757, which has a range of about 7,000 miles. FarCargo said the plane’s maiden trip is planned to take place in two to three months, with the first scheduled flight route set to take fish from the Faroe Islands to New York. The subsidiary admitted that there had been a number of challenges in preparing the new transport facility,

including finding the right aircraft and obtaining all the necessary permits. FarCargo Managing Director Birgir Nielsen said: “This is a great day for us. We are pleased that we have reached this stage and we are now looking forward to starting actual operations.” FarCargo chairman and Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen called the launch of the new air freight business “a new chapter in Faroese trade history”. “The aim is to deliver fresh salmon of the best quality to the US, Israel, and other far-away markets, a mere day after the fish was swimming in our fjords,” Jacobsen added, stressing the importance of the new venture to Bakkafrost’s further development. “Buyers such as Israel and the American sushi market are looking for fresh products, and with this much shorter transportation route, we can provide our customers with the freshest products on the market.”

Kvarøy Arctic names scholarship winners in an industry that lacks gender inclusion, TWO young aquaculturalists, from Greece by eliminating boundaries and opening and Ghana, have been named as the the door to women for a career in recipients of Kvarøy Arctic’s Women in aquaculture. Aquaculture Scholarship for 2022. Abigail Ebachi Tarichie from Ghana Abigail Ebachi Tarchie from Ghana is a PhD student at Kwame Nkrumah and Eliza Syropoulou from Greece were University of Science and Technology. the winners following a process that She centres her studies on fish nutrition involved assessing applications from 85 and welfare with a focus on sustainable countries. resources research. Tarichie comes from The scholarships, now in their third the coastal area of western Ghana where year, means a grant of $10,000 (£8,256) for fishing is the main livelihood for locals. each of the two successful candidates. One of She said: “It is in this vein that I developed the scholarships is dedicated to applicants an interest to study aquaculture in order from all around the world and the other is to acquire knowledge and insight so designated for applicants from countries that I can help these farmers through in Africa only. training and sensitisation. My aim is to This year, Kvaroy Arctic received educate more people about aquaculture double the number of applications. to increase fish production and thereby Jennifer Bushman, Chief Marketing improve livelihoods and enhance Officer, said: “We’re beyond thrilled nutrition security, especially for the most by the recognition our scholarship is nutritionally vulnerable.” receiving as achieving gender equality and Top: Abigail Ebachi Tarchie The scholarship was also awarded to empowerment for women in aquaculture is Above: Eliza Syropoulou Eliza Syropoulou, from Greece. She is a something we at Kvarøy Arctic are deeply PhD student at Wageningen University in passionate about.” the Netherlands, focusing her studies on fish welfare Kvarøy worked with Imani Black, from Minorities and nutrition as it relates to RAS and microbiology, in Aquaculture, and Julie Kuchepatov, from Seafood ultimately optimising water treatment methods in and Gender Equality, as the judges. The scholarship recirculating aquaculture systems. aims to not only support women but to act as a leader

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12/09/2022 15:01:56

Contract ties, low volumes hit NRS profits for Q2 NORWAY Royal Salmon has paid a heavy price for its dependence on contract sales, the company’s second quarter results show. NRS, now part of the SalMar group, today reported an operational EBIT or profit of NOK 32m Above: Norway Royal Salmon farm (£2.7m) against NOK the Norwegian volume on 94m (£8.1m) for the fixed price contracts. same period last year. “The price achievement The April-June period in relation to the spot this year was marked by price has thus been low exceptionally high salmon and this significantly prices which resulted affects the result in this in several companies quarter.” reporting record profits, On the plus side, NRS but NRS was unable to has reported a solid gain much advantage financial position with from that situation. NOK 1,694 (£147m) in CEO Charles Høstlund unutilised credit facilities said: “NRS has harvested and NOK 80m (almost a low volume and, as announced in the previous £7m) in bank deposits. Farming Norway posted quarterly presentation, an operational EBIT of we therefore have an NOK 34.8m (£3m) in the unusually high share of

quarter, compared with MNOK 96.3 (£8.4m) last year.The operational EBIT per kg gutted weight was almost four times higher at NOK 48.16 compared with NOK 12.49 in Q2 2021. However, the Norway harvest, which was hit earlier by winter sore issues, was 56% lower at 3,442 tonnes. Farming Iceland fared better, posting an operational EBIT of NOK 37.9m (£3.2m) in the quarter, compared with NOK 17.6m (£1.5m) 12 months ago. Commenting on the SalMar deal, CEO Høstlund, said: “The foundation is therefore in place and the merger provides an even stronger basis for value creation and employment in the areas where NRS operates.”

Norcod still not in profit despite increased revenues NORCOD is finding that profits remain elusive despite improving revenues, according to its second quarter results. Turnover for the Norwegian cod farmer emerged at NOK 28m, (£2.3m) up from NOK 2.4m (£200k) a year earlier. The loss before tax was NOK 49m (£4.1m), compared to a pre-tax loss of NOK 27m (£2.25m) for the same period last year. Norcod said productivity both at sea and on land has been high throughout the quarter with the company achieving a yield of approximately 90% of finished product, which was sold through the partner company and shareholder Sirena AS. Earlier this year, Norcod was granted permission to establish a new production location in Nesna municipality, with a total maximum allowed biomass (MAB) of 3,600 tonnes.

Above: Norcod farm

Norway brings in new regulations to stop escapes NORWAY is tightening the rules around the escape of farmed fish, with important new requirements coming into force next year. Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said: “We have laid down a revised set of regulations that increases protection against fish escapes at the farms, while at the same time giving the industry more flexibility.” Escapes were a major problem three years ago. The situation has improved considerably since then, although they still occur from time to time. Known as the “NYTEK 23 regulation”, the rules replace the last NYTEK regulation from 10 years ago. The new regulation is designed to ensure there are proper technical standards in place at the farms along the coast. The Minister explained: “NYTEK 23 is a technology-neutral set of regulations. It facilitates freedom of choice, development and innovation better than the current regulations. I believe that it will benefit both the industry and the wild salmon.” The regulations now contain new and overarching requirements on how planning, use and maintenance must ensure escape safety. “In recent years, escapes have mainly occurred in connection with work operations and the operation itself. That is why we are also tightening the requirements for equipment used in contexts where fish have escaped,” Skjæran added. “Technology neutral” means that the requirements are formulated in such a way that breeders have more freedom to choose which technology they use to implement them. The minister said: “The industry is constantly developing. It is absolutely crucial that the regulations do not stand in the way of developing new and better solutions. Better conditions for innovation and further development can contribute to even better

escape safety in the long term.” Several of those involved in the work of designing and operating aquaculture facilities have been given more responsibility in the new regulations. Industry players must be able to document that they are meeting the requirements of the regulations. The consequences of not following the regulations have also become greater. The new regulations will allow for fines to be imposed for breaches of the regulations in more cases than before. “The best thing would of course be if there was never a need to impose a fee, but if serious breaches of the regulations are first uncovered that could lead to fish escaping, it is important that the administration has the opportunity to react,” Skjæran said.

Above: Bjørnar Skjæran

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12/09/2022 15:05:20



Lerøy hires Seafood Norway’s Valland as PR chief LERØY Seafood Group has hired Aina Valland as Communications Manager, with a brief to build up a new department for external communications, community and government contacts in the company. She was previously Director of Public Relations at Seafood Norway (Sjømat Norge). She has held various roles over the past 21 years and has a degree in environmental and resource engineering from NTNU in Trondheim.Valland has also previously worked in environmental consultancy and certification. She takes up her new role from 15 October. CEO Henning Beltestad

Above: Aina Valland

said: “We are very pleased to have such a competent and capable resource with extensive experience in the development of the future of Lerøy.”

Landeldi picks Kristófersson as CEO LAND-based salmon farmer Landeldi has appointed Eggert Þór Kristófersson as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. The Iceland-based business operates a farm and hatchery in the country’s Ölfus region, with the main farm in Þorlákshöfn. Kristófersson has a background in finance, having worked from 1995 to 2008 at Íslandsbanki and Glitnir Bank. He served as the managing director of Glitnir Bank’s asset management in Iceland and Finland. He was a finance manager with N1 (now the listed retail company, Festi hf.) in 2011 and later CEO in February 2015. He held the chairman position with N1, Krónan, ELKO, Festi Real Estate, Bakkinn Supply Hotel, Malik Supply A/S and Nordic Marine Oil in Denmark.

Salmon Evolution ‘delighted’ with quality in first batch LAND-based fish farmer Salmon Evolution has successfully carried out its initial test slaughter and says it is well on its way to the company’s first commercial harvest before the end of the year. Presenting its second quarter update, the company said the fish is of good fillet quality, firm meat texture and excellent taste. Following a 100,000 smolt release in March, fish had reached an average weight of around 1.5 kg by the end of June, significantly exceeding expectations. The strong performance has continued into the third quarter and the fish now have an average weight of around 2.3 kg, confirming that Salmon Evolution is on track for its debut harvest in Q4 this year. The facility, in Indre Harøy, Norway, operates a hybrid flow-through system. Last month Salmon Evolution released its second smolt batch at Indre Harøy consisting of around 230,000 smolt with an average weight of 125 grams. As of 15 August, the second batch had an average weight of around 235 grams. The company reported that all buildings and structural facilities at Indre Harøy are now completed. The remaining construction works are mainly related to the installation of equipment and piping, along with system integration. “We are now holding fish in two of the fish tanks. Over the coming months we will gradually put the remaining tanks into operation following the stocking of new smolt batches and transfer of existing batches into new tanks.” Salmon Evolution has an agreement for slaughter services with Vikenco, one of the leading salmon processors in Norway, located only 10 km from Indre Harøy. The statement continued: “Following the first smolt release in late March, Salmon Evolution has now been operating the Indre Harøy facility for almost five months. “Taking a facility of this magnitude into operation is a highly complex process involving a lot of tuning and adjustments in the beginning. Nevertheless, we have been able to maintain stable conditions and provide a good environment for our salmon not only to live, but also to thrive.”

Left: Eggert Þór Kristófersson

Ex SalMar chief joins new offshore project A former top SalMar executive has been recruited by Lovundlaks, a medium sized Norwegian salmon company to help expand its offshore farming plans. With a licence to produce up to 8,000 tonnes of biomass a year, Lovundlaks is a relatively modest salmon industry player. But it set up a new business last year known


as Utror to develop this ambitious project. Offshore aquaculture is widely thought to be the next big leap forward in salmon breeding. Only last month the Norwegian government named three areas of coastline where development can take place. Now Utror has brought in 46-year-old Olav-Andreas Ervik (pictured) who was at one time managing director of SalMar and more recently managing director of its new joint venture, SalMar Aker Ocean, which has huge global offshore plans of its own. He resigned that post last November, citing family reasons for the decision.

Above: Salmon Evolution smolts



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European News.indd 16

12/09/2022 15:06:11

Grieg announces best quarter yet GRIEG Seafood has reported its best quarter to date with an operating EBIT or operating profit of NOK 986 million (about £85m). This compares with just NOK 44m (£3.8m) for the same period last year. The performance was driven by exceptionally high salmon prices which were a major feature during the April to June period, but also a strong biological performance. The company said there was good seawater production in all regions, with a stable supply rate and a high survival rate for the company’s first fish in Newfoundland. The harvest during this period was 5,900 tonnes higher at 23,700 tonnes, producing an operating EBIT or profit per kg of NOK 41.6 (£3.61). The equivalent for the same period last year was NOK 2.4 (£0.21). Grieg sold its Shetland and Scotland business to Scottish Sea Farms last year for £164m, deciding instead to concentrate on Norway and Canada. CEO Andreas Kvame said: “I would like to sincerely thank all my dedicated and hard-working colleagues in both agriculture and sales for their efforts and achievements during the quarter. In line with the strategy of our integrated sales organization, we have successfully accelerated some of the harvests to take advantage of the high prices in the market. ” The company said Norway delivered record results for the

Traffic light farmers denied Supreme Court appeal A group of 25 salmon and trout farmers from south west Norway have lost their fight against the Oslo government’s controversial “traffic light” scheme. They had planned to take their case to Norway’s Supreme Court following an Appeal Court rejection in May, but were told in August by the Supreme Court’s appeals committee, which examines whether appeals have a reasonable chance of success, that there were insufficient grounds for them to take their case further. This means the Appeal Court’s decision stands and the group of 25 have now come to the end of the road in a protracted legal battle stretching back more than two years. The farmers involved in the case are located between Nordhordland and Stadt, most of which has been classified as a “red” area. This means they

Above: Andreas Kvame

quarter, fuelled by high prices and good biological results. Both Rogaland and Finnmark were positively influenced by the high price performance due to the high average harvest weight and the positive development of costs. The results in British Columbia were solid, driven by good price performance thanks to high-quality VAP (value added production) products, as well as stable harvest costs from sites with good biological yield. Grieg also said the fish transferred to the sea in Newfoundland are doing well, have a high survival rate and no sea lice problems. Currently, two million smolts have been transferred to the sea, and the harvest began in late 2023.

must cut aquaculture production by 6%. The traffic light scheme was brought in by the previous Conservative administration, but it had the support of Labour which is now in government. It divided the country’s coastline into three colour coded production zones, consisting of green, where aquaculture expansion can take place virtually unhindered, amber or orange, where limited expansion is permitted and red where fish farming activity must be reduced. The government argue that the scheme is necessary to reduce salmon lice and protect wild fish stocks. However, the affected companies claimed the decision to designate their location as a red area was an abuse of power and lacked proper legal authority, despite the government ruling being upheld by two of the country’s courts. The group has yet to comment on the setback.

European News.indd 17


12/09/2022 15:15:13


Lerøy reports 58% profits boost for Q2

Above: Henning Beltestad

NORWEGIAN seafood group Lerøy has joined its peers in reporting record second quarter results. The company, which is an integrated fish farming, conventional whitefish trawling and fish processing business, announced a 58% increase in its operational EBIT or profit of NOK 923 million (£77m). Lerøy also owns a half share in Scottish Sea Farms, but performance data for the subsidiary is not detailed in Lerøy’s report. Group turnover totalled NOK 6.567bn (£570m), an increase from NOK 5.304bn (£461m) in Q2 2021. The company said strong demand for seafood, including a substantial increase in prices realised for the group’s main products, was the key factor in the year-on-year earnings improvement. The farming segment delivered improved results in the quarter. Salmon prices were high again in the second quarter, based on continued high demand and low supply. The harvest volume was slightly lower than in the same period of 2021 but the company expects it to improve in the second half of the year. Lerøy has joined Grieg in warning that inflationary pressure in the economy and low harvest volumes are affecting costs. The group’s total salmon and trout harvest volume for full-year 2022 is estimated at 203,000


tonnes (including Lerøy’s share in Scottish Sea Farms). Lerøy supplies a large share of its products on a contract basis to strategic customers in the end markets, and it takes time for higher prices and cost inflation for input factors, such as transport costs, to be fully reflected in the markets. The report pointed out: “Results for the wild catch segment (mainly cod, haddock and saithe) improved significantly compared with Q2 2021, driven by high prices and higher catch volumes. Higher bunker [fuel] costs are affecting cost developments.” CEO Henning Beltestad said: “The harvest volume of salmon and trout will increase in the second half of the year. As usual, there will be a seasonal reduction in prices in the second half, but the underlying market is robust, and we expect earnings in the Farming segment to remain good. “Lerøy has developed longterm relationships with a number of strategic customers, which ensures stability and is a premise for building the world’s most efficient and sustainable value chain for seafood. However, it will take time for the recent cost inflation to be fully reflected in the value chain. “This has a negative impact on earnings in VAP [value added products], Sales & Distribution, but the long-term picture is unchanged, and we expect to see a gradual improvement through the second half of the year.”

Mowi reports Q2 record, but problems continue for Scotland MOWI announce a “best yet” second quarter performance in its Q2 financial results anouncement on 24 August. Once again, however, biological and related issues continued to affect its Scottish operations. Driven by exceptionally high salmon prices and good operations during the April to June period, the world’s largest salmon farmer produced a record high operational profit or EBIT of €320m (£271m) on record high revenues of €1.232bn (£1.044bn) CEO Ivan Vindheim said: “I am very pleased with our operational performance in the quarter and the way we have been able to capitalise on the high prices. I would like to thank the organisation for this achievement.” Salmon prices reached new record levels in all markets during the quarter on strong demand and low supply. Mowi’s financial results were also driven by good harvest volumes of which 65% were sold into the spot market. “We have never before experienced spot prices at the levels seen in the second quarter, and this shows the potential to continue to increase the value of the salmon category over time given continued supply growth,” Vindheim added. Mowi is distributing NOK 1.2 billion in dividends to shareholders. Mowi Scotland delivered an operational EBIT of €20.7m (£17.5m) against €29.9m (£25m) for the same period last year on lower harvests. The harvest volume totalled 12,954 tonnes against 19,162 tonnes a year ago. The operational EBIT per kilo, however, was slightly higher at €1.60 (€1.56 in Q2 2021). Mowi said: “Poor production on stocks grown from externally sourced eggs negatively impacted volumes and costs compared with the second quarter of 2021. “These eggs were introduced in the absence of other options following the EU imposed export ban on Norwegian eggs in 2019. The negative effects above were partly offset by improved prices. “As a result of the record-high spot prices, contribution from contracts relative to the reference price was negative in the second quarter of 2022 compared with a positive effect in 2021.” The contract share for Mowi Scotland was 69% in the quarter (51%), negatively impacted by the low harvest volumes. Low production on stocks based on externally sourced eggs, in addition to lower biomass going into the quarter compared with last year, had a negative impact on volumes. The Mowi Scotland report added that the full cost per kg harvested increased from the comparable quarter “due to the biological issues… as well as negative scale effects from lower harvest volumes and increased feed cost.” It went on: “Incident based mortality losses in the quarter amounted to €2.8m (€1.5m) mainly related to gill issues, treatment mortality and predators. In addition to the issues related to stocks grown from externally sourced eggs, the biological situation has been negatively impacted by gill issues, including AGD [amoebic gill disease], algae and jelly fish. “These issues have continued into the third quarter. CMS also remains at a relatively high rate of detection. Although somewhat later than originally planned, the stocks based on external eggs were harvested in the third quarter.” The report anticipates “increased harvest weights and better cost Above: Ivan Vindheim performance in the fourth quarter.”

European News.indd 18

12/09/2022 15:23:38

Capital fund backs clam consolidation PRIVATE equity fund Ocean 14 Capital has backed a deal that has brought about major consolidation in the European clam sector. The Ocean 14 Capital Fund (O14C) has invested in MITO, a company created by bringing together three leading clam hatchery and nursery operators: Societá Agricola Ecotapes Italia SrL, Delta Futuro Societá Agricola SrL in Italy, and Ecotapes Zeeland BV in the Netherlands. The combined company produces more than 300 million clam seed juveniles for the Italian market. MITO integrates bio-secure hatchery operations in the Netherlands with local nursery centres in the core Italian market and has an ambitious growth plan to increase its operational capacity to two billion seeds annually over the next few years. The Fund plans to invest an additional €5m (£4.23m) to scale and grow the business further, as part of its European bivalves strategy. Francisco Saraiva Gomes Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer of the Fund’s investment advisor, said: “With a total aquaculture production of more than 30,000 tonnes, the clam industry in Europe is one of the best opportunities for the Fund to invest in. It shows well who the Fund is as O14C, and its purpose.” Ocean 14 takes its name from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14: Life Below Water) and aims to make investments with a positive impact.

Benchmark reports continued growth for Q3


• Land based Farming • Waste Management & the Circular Economy • EAS Rimini REVIEW For more information on opportunities for advertising with editorial content around these subjects please contact: Janice Johnston 0044 (0) 131 551 7925 Copy deadline - Friday 30 September

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AQUACULTURE biotechnology group Benchmark Holdings has seen a fifth consecutive quarter of growth in revenue and earnings, thanks partly to the successful roll-out of its CleanTreat sea lice solution. Benchmark has also underlined its intention to float on the Euronext Growth Oslo stock market in Q4 of the current calendar year, and to uplist to the Oslo Børs in the first half of 2023. The group has reported revenues of £36.3m for the third quarter of its 2022 financial year, up 28% on Q3 of the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA, excluding fair value movements from biological assets, was up 26%

year-on-year, to £5.1m. For the first three quarters of the financial year 2022, Benchmark has recorded revenue up 32% to £115.5m and adjusted EBITDA, excluding fair value movements from biological assets, of £20m, up 99% year-onyear. The group’s CEO Trond Williksen commented: “Q3 represents a continuation of the operational and financial progress reported consistently by Benchmark over the quarters following the 2020 restructuring. We continue our dedicated work to realise the potential of the well invested and well positioned platform that Benchmark has become.”

Post your vacancy on for only £225 (+vat) per job posting. Contact Janice Johnston 0044 (0) 131 551 7925

Fish Farmer

European News.indd 19


12/09/2022 15:24:08


World News

ASC consults on new Farm Standard THE Aquaculture Stewardship Council is consulting on changes to its upcoming Farm Standard, focusing on the key areas of fish health and welfare, and benthic impact. The ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation co-founded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe. Its new Farm Standard is intended to apply across all species of farmed finfish, crustaceans and molluscs. The consultation specifically aims to collect feedback on the practical impact and auditability of the suggested requirements. The proposed fish health and welfare elements would require staff training and the use of operational welfare indicators (OWIs) as routine, to spot emerging problems and check whether stocking density is too high. Fish handling requirements for finfish are included, which address operations that involve direct physical contact with the fish, including crowding and taking them out of their normal rearing environment. The fish health and welfare criterion will look at slaughter practices, with the aim of assuring that no fish suffers unnecessarily. Best practices in fish slaughter include the implementation of both stunning (preferably mechanical or electrical) and responsible killing methods.The Standard will require farms to eliminate the use of killing methods proven to be highly aversive to fish, such as asphyxia, CO2, salt baths, ammonia baths and evisceration. It will also make stunning compulsory, but this will be introduced in a phased

approach to account for current practices for different species. Also in the new Standard, ASC has laid out a series of requirements to guarantee that stunning and slaughter are effective, that backup systems are in place, and that staff are properly trained in welfare and slaughter practices. To ensure the ecosystem surrounding the farm maintains its structure and function, farmers must regularly monitor the benthos (the seabed, for marine farms, but the standard will also apply to cages in freshwater lakes and brackish habitats). With the support of a technical working group, ASC has developed a proposal which will ensure that benthic habitats are monitored and farms develop a thorough understanding of their impacts. The new rules will impose a more

stringent monitoring regime where initial analysis suggests that acceptable limits for impact have been exceeded. The consultation runs from 1 September to 31 October 2022. For details, see www. aligned-standard/ Following the public consultation,ASC will collate all the feedback and prepare a synopsis for publication on the ASC website. Pilot testing of the ASC Farm Standard will begin in late 2022.The full ASC Farm Standard will undergo a final round of public consultation in September 2023. Required changes, based on this consultation, will be made prior to presentation of the full standard to the Technical Advisory Group in January 2024. After approval by the ASC Board, the standard will be launched in April 2024.

Barramundi looks at sale of its Australian operations SINGAPORE-based Barramundi Group has said it is considering selling its loss-making Australian business, because it requires more investment than the company can commit to. Barramundi operates fish farms in Singapore, Brunei and Australia. It has applied for 13 licences in Western Australia in an ambitious move to ramp up its production in that country from around 1,600 tonnes annually to 30,000 tonnes. The required investment was estimated earlier this year as approximately AU$350m (around £200m). The group has previously announced its intention to find a “strategic partner” in Australia, but in an announcement on 2 September it said: “Following discussions with various potential investors, Barramundi Group has now decided to also consider a complete divestment of the business.” The Australian business is currently not profitable, but Barramundi said its management “…is actively working on pricing adjustments and cost saving measures which are expected to result in improved margins that will bring the business closer to profitability.”


The company plans to report further when its Q3 business update is published, on 29 November. Barramundi Group is the first Australasian aquaculture group to be listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Above: Barramundi Group farm

World News.indd 20

12/09/2022 14:46:14

Inflation forces AquaBounty into slowdown AquABounty, the American company that has developed the first genetically modified salmon, is slowing down part of its growth plans due to inflation and rising interest rates. AquaBounty recently announced 2022 second quarter sales of US$1.1m (£950,000) and a slightly higher net loss of $5.5m (£4.75m). The company said the delay mainly affects its second plant under construction in Pioneer, ohio. The expansion of its first site in Indiana is currently well underway and that will continue. Chief executive Sylvia Wulf said: “Our genetically engineered Atlantic salmon saw continued market validation from seafood distributors in the quarter, with strong demand continuing for the entire output of our Indiana farm. “This robust demand, combined with improvements in our sales yields and higher market prices, drove an 11% sequential increase in second quarter revenues to

$1.1m. As we ramp production at our Indiana facility, we will continue to utilise the farm as an opportunity to refine our production and harvest methods through the application of technology and process improvements – a critical learning experience ahead of our Ohio farm.” She continued: “Construction progress on our next-generation farm in Pioneer, Ohio is advancing. After the ground-breaking ceremony in late April, work commenced on initial pre-construction activities including the construction of roadways, on-site energy infrastructure and land preparation. “With that work largely complete, we are now focused on excavating the ground site and laying the piping that will provide fresh water to our fish tanks. “On the bond financing front, we have decided to slow the process down temporarily in order to evaluate the current economic forces that are driving both inflation and interest rates higher.” Wulf added: “Since our estimate for

construction of the farm currently exceeds our previous range of $290m - $320m, we will review all options for reducing cost, including potentially phasing the construction of the 10,000 metric ton farm with an initial production output level that would demonstrate our competitive advantage and ability to operate at commercial scale. “We believe this is a prudent move and it will allow us to re-estimate remaining construction costs and thus avoid locking in contracts, commodity pricing for materials or interest rates at what may be their peak.”

Top left: Sylvia Wulf Above: AquaBounty fish

Israeli start-up aims to produce cell-cultured scallops

SEAFOOD grown in a lab, not the sea, could be coming to a supermarket near you in the foreseeable future. That’s the claim made by Israeli tech business Mermade, which has just raised US$3.3m (£2.8m) in a seed funding round.The company says it has developed a technology to make cell-cultured seafood affordable, and plans to start with scallops (those pictured, above, are not cell-cultured). Mermade was founded in July 2021 by Daniel Einhorn (CEO), Dr. Rotem Kadir (CTO) and Dr.Tomer Halevy (COO). Investors in the seed round include the investment platform OurCrowd, Israel’s most active venture firm; Fall Line, an American VC fund specializing in AgTech; prominent Dutch investor Sake Bosch; and others. The company intends to develop a product and reach laboratory-scale production by 2023. Mermade will use the funds to employ more stem cell and algae researchers, accelerating the company towards this goal. Scallop is just the first product the company will develop out of a diverse portfolio of seafood that will gradually arrive on the market. Today, between 55% and 90% of the marginal cost of cultivated cell manufacturing is due to the growth media, making cultivated meat hard to

scale. Mermade plans to introduce a “circular” method of production by recycling the growth media using micro-algae and then upcycling those algae back into useful media components. This technology is not limited to seafood, the company says, and could be used in a wide variety of cell-based applications, including pharmaceuticals. Moreover, using algae as part of the seafood growth process provides better nutritional value and taste to the product. This cellular interpretation of traditional aquaponics was termed by the company “Cytoponics”. Mermade has filed several patent applications related to this circular production method. Daniel Einhorn, Co-Founder and CEO of Mermade Seafoods said:“We decided to focus on scallop as our first product, since it’s a popular dish all over the world, but one that suffers from high prices and shortages due to serious supply chain problems. It’s easier to produce in comparison with other more complex meat products, and we can bring it to market relatively quickly.The global scallop market is worth $8bn a year [£6.8bn], over $600m [£511m] of which is in the US alone. Our production method will make it possible to reduce the cost of each scallop dish and to expand the market’s volume by orders of magnitude because supply will finally adjust itself to the high demand.” According to Einhorn:“In the next few years, consumers around the world will be able to buy cultivated scallops (Coquilles Saint Jacques) made by Mermade in a supermarket or restaurant, at an affordable price and with the same quality and taste as the original food. Using Cytoponics as our production platform, we could also produce a variety of other cultivated seafood products such as calamari, shrimp, crab meat and more.The opportunity in this field along with our unique technologies will establish us as market leaders in the coming decade.” Eric O’Brien, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Fall Line Capital added, “Mermade is not only pioneering new technologies to improve sustainability in aquaculture, but we believe they are building a circular technology platform that could unlock scalable commercial production for the entire cultivated meat industry.”

World News.indd 21


12/09/2022 16:16:49

Cooke captures Australian target Tassal

THE Cooke aquaculture group has acquired the large Tasmanian salmon farming company Tassal, which had been resisting Cooke’s offer for several weeks. Cooke announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which (via a wholly-owned Australian subsidiary) it has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Tassal for AU$5.23 (£3.04) per share in cash. The transaction price represents a premium of 49% to Tassal’s undisturbed closing share price on June 22, 2022. Financial analysts said at the outset that Cooke would have to offer at least $5 per share (£2.91) if it was to succeed. Tassal is the largest vertically integrated seafood producer and blue agri-tech business in Australia. With over 36 years’ experience, it employs over 1,700 people in Tasmania and Australia who farmed 40,000 metric tonnes of Atlantic salmon and 5,500 metric tonnes of black tiger prawns for domestic and export markets including Asia, New Zealand and USA. Tassal distributes salmon and prawns through its De Costi Seafood business in Lidcombe, New South Wales,Australia, where it also sources and processes a wide range of seafood. Salmon is offered as fresh deli-grade, fresh packaged

and smoked for supermarkets. Prawns are distributed through supermarkets, delicatessens, and fish markets under the Tropic Co trademark. Tassal’s salmon farms span five marine zones, four freshwater hatcheries and four processing facilities in Tasmania, while prawn farming, processing and seafood processing is undertaken in New South Wales and Queensland. CEO Glenn Cooke said:“Tassal is an excellent fit with Cooke, as we see many similarities between our two companies. Our people and communities are very comparable as well, with agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, and forestry prominently supporting export-driven economies. “Our family-owned company is keen to have the opportunity to continue to grow Tassal from the strong base the employees, management and board have created. “We have demonstrated acquisition history where Cooke has left operations management in place for continuity.We are highly impressed with the quality of Tassal’s infrastructure, people and culture.” He added:“We understand completely that the Tasmanian fish farming industry is Australia’s most valuable seafood production sector, and our top priority will be to work with other producers and government regulators on continuous environmental improvement plans as well as strengthening supply chain and local community relationships.” The CEO said that Cooke intends to make strategic investments in engineering, science and technology to further enhance Tassal’s capabilities, in addition to growing their sales reach through leveraging their worldwide seafood distribution channels, and reiterated Cooke’s commitment to sustainability in production. Mark Ryan, Managing Director and CEO of Tassal said:“Combining our two companies’ people-first cultures and our shared passion for producing top quality seafood, is a natural fit. A future acquisition by Cooke enables Tassal to fast-track our goal to be one of the world’s most transparent and sustainable protein producers.”

Atlantic Sapphire looks forward to profitable production average for salmon of $8.80/kg (£7.53). LAND-based salmon producer Atlantic It also recorded 17 months without any Sapphire is set to deliver profitability when “extraordinary mortality events”. its phase 1 facility in Florida reaches full The company said the second half of this production, the company says. year will see a focus on pre-cooling water The pledge was made as Atlantic Sapphire intake to create greater temperature stability, reported its financial results for the first additional tank lighting, improvements to half of this year. Its operational EBITDA the feed formula, fine-tuning processing (earnings before interest, taxation, and cutting costs across all aspects of the depreciation and amortisation) saw losses for business. H1 2022 cut to US$5.7m (£4.9m) from $42.2m When fully stocked, Atlantic Sapphire (£36.1m). Adjusted EBITDA, including Above: Atlantic Sapphire’s Florida facility expects biomass in the phase 1 RAS the write-off from assets destroyed in the (recirculating aquaculture systems) farm in Florida to reach 8,500 catastrophic fire at the company’s Danish facility, was a loss of $32.9m tonnes HOG (head on gutted weight). (£28.2m) compared with a loss of $47.2m (£40.4m) in H1 2021. Phase 2 at the Florida site is expected to be completed in the first half The company said that it has been successful in achieving a premium of 2024. price for its Bluehouse salmon, at $12.10/kg (£10.35) compared with US

Canada spells out salmon transition plan

future of aquaculture in the state. THE Canadian government has taken the The First Nations communities first steps towards transitioning away will play a major role along with from open-net pen fish farming along conservation groups and she has the British Columbia coastline over promised to take into account the the next two years. diverse views on aquaculture. Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray The aim, says the government, is to: said the move will require a strong • Create a pathway for existing plan that will minimise or eliminate aquaculture operations to adopt the risk to wild salmon and also take Above: Joyce Murray alternative production methods that into account local social, cultural minimise or eliminate interactions between farmed and economic factors. In August, she released a and wild salmon; discussion framework to that end and launched • Improve transparency on how the government the next round of stakeholder engagement on the


assesses and responds to new scientific information to build confidence and trust in how aquaculture is managed; • Provide greater opportunities for collaborative planning and decision-making with First Nations partners; and, • Advance innovation and attract investment to support the adoption of alternative production technologies in British Columbia. Feedback from these engagement sessions will be instrumental in the development and implementation of the open-net pen transition plan, expected to be finalised in Spring 2023.

World News.indd 22

12/09/2022 14:51:46


Salmones Camanchaca lifts profits, cuts costs in Q2

What are R&D tax credits?

R CHILE’S largest salmon farming company, Salmones Camanchaca, has unveiled a double second quarter boost in higher earnings and lower costs. Like most other global salmon producers, it has benefitted from higher market prices, but the big plus was its achievement in managing to cut costs in what has been a period of rising inflation. Salmones Camanchaca reported a net profit of US$16.9m (£14.51) for the quarter, up from $8.4m ($7.22m) a year ago. Operating revenue almost doubled to $97.4m (£83.7m). Harvest volumes also nearly doubled, to 12,446 tonnes. Company vice chairman Ricardo García said: “During this second quarter, the profitability of the business returned to normal as a result of the Atlantic salmon price increase, due to a high demand and a decrease in world supply. “Added to the foregoing was the

improvement in costs and the recovery of harvest volume, both affected in 2021 by algae blooms and oxygen challenges.” He warned, however: “Inflationary and feed cost pressures continue and will be reflected in higher costs compared to our long-term trends estimates.” The company was hit by an algal bloom attack in two areas during the first part of 2021 which resulted in a drop in harvest output and revenues. The incidents also had an adverse effect on ex-cage costs. During Q2 this year the company managed to bring its costs per kilo down by 17.6% to $4.05 (£3.48). Salmones Camanchaca said it plans to harvest up to 9,000 tonnes of antibiotic-free salmon a year by 2024 to cater for “more discerning markets”, notably the United States.

Cermaq finance chief returns

esearch and Development (R&D) tax relief is awarded to businesses that invest in innovation. This innovation can be in the form of developing new systems, processes, products, materials, devices, or any changes to the way your business works. Claims submitted under the R&D regimes stem from activity undertaken where the aim has been to achieve an advance in either science or technology through the development of new and/or significant improvement of products, devices, materials and systems. As R&D tax credit experts, we specialise in securing claims that are above the national average. It’s thanks to a refreshingly different approach which we believe is unique among tax consultancies. Our team is led by highly skilled engineers and accountants who all share forensic attention to detail and an eye for the opportunity for the client to save money. This means we can quickly identify those projects eligible for tax relief, including investments in new products, services, software and processes.

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Above: Gunnar Aasbø-Skinderhaug

FINANCE professional Gunnar Aasbø-Skinderhaug has returned to multinational salmon producer Cermaq after less than two years with land-based farmer Aquacon. Previously Finance Director with Cermaq Norway, he has come back to head the group’s global finance operation. Prior to joining Cermaq, he was CFO with Norwegian manufacturer Norsk Titanium. Aasbø-Skinderhaug joined Aquacon in December 2020. The company is developing four RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) facilities in Maryland, USA. Cermaq is a global salmon farmer operating in Norway, Chile and Canada, and is part of the Japanese-owned Mitsubishi Corporation.

Our specialist expertise means we achieve a significant boost to the value of all our claims. Due to our specialists’ tactical approach, our success rate is above the national average. Understanding and identifying qualifying projects is what we do. And most importantly, we find the supporting evidence for a successful HMRC claim. Integrity in business is key and that’s why we are diligent in ensuring only the most robust

Stephen McCallion Founder & CEO, ZLX Business Solutions of processes are followed. There’s the added reassurance of a stringent and fully tested checking process before claims are approved for submission to HMRC. Indemnity is also included for all our clients for additional peace of mind – although it’s never been needed. People are what makes us special. At ZLX you’ll find a handpicked team of experienced and approachable high-calibre specialists. Within the skillset is front line R&D and innovation project leadership for global brands, senior-level taxation planning, chartered accountants plus an efficient and proactive support team. Founder Stephen McCallion has over 30 years of experience at the leading edge of engineering innovation and business growth. To check whether you are eligible for an R&D claim, please call us on 0141 739 3377

“Our combination of technical and accounting expertise enables us to maximise your claim”

World News.indd 23


12/09/2022 14:55:46

Processing News


Aquascot signs up to Young Person’s Guarantee Highland salmon and trout processing company Aquascot has become the latest to pledge to support an initiative aimed at welcoming young people to the world of work. other industries – we were able to secure permanent employment for one Kickstart participant as a junior food technologist.” Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland is part of a national framework of regional employer-led boards across Scotland. Formed as part of the Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy, and hosted by Inverness Chamber of Commerce, the group’s aim is to develop sustainable links between schools, colleges and employers. Working in partnership with employers, DYWICH is shaping the workforce of the future and helping to better prepare young people for the world of work. Above: Production line at Aquascot Right: Joanne Brogan

THE Alness-based Aquascot – which supplies high quality seafood to retailer Waitrose – has signed up to Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland (DYWICH), affirming its commitment to providing employment and training for young people in the region. Aquascot employs over 200 staff in the Highlands and is a Real Living Wage employer. Joanne Brogan, HR advisor at Aquascot, said: “Signing the Young Person’s Guarantee with DYWICH has validated the work we carried out in 2021 and early 2022 to engage young people with our company and our industry as a whole – and gives us focus to continue that work. “It is important that we support the next generation of workers and future

leaders, as they are key to our future economic success – providing a new perspective, and helping companies with resource shortages and skills gaps.” In 2021, Aquascot recruited two undergraduate interns through Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Saltire Scholars scheme. Each completed a 10-week project, one focused on reduction of single-use plastics while the other carried out vital data analysis work for the company. “We have also had great success with the Government Kickstart programme, creating roles for three young people who were at risk of unemployment,” said Brogan. “As well as providing training in a range of skills that are transferable to a wide variety of food production roles – and

is important that “weIt support the next generation of workers ”

BAADER hires Jón Birgir Gunnarsson as CSO

JÓN Birgir Gunnarsson has joined BAADER as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer (CSO), for Skaginn 3X and BAADER Ísland. He will be based in Reykjavík, Iceland. Gunnarsson is well acquainted with Skaginn 3X as he led


the successful development of its new brand identity and image when he led sales and marketing from 2016 to 2019. “With the appointment of Jón Birgir Gunnarsson, we are further strengthening our position in the Icelandic market and our expertise on superior pelagic processing solutions to the benefit of our customers”, said Robert Focke, Managing Director BAADER Fish. “I am convinced that he will be as dedicated in adhering to our customer’s needs as he is to Skaginn 3X and the BAADER multi-brand product portfolio; this is what brought him back”. Above: Jón Birgir Gunnarsson

Processing News - Sep 22.indd 24

12/09/2022 14:28:24

Salmon prices hit first half results for Iceland Seafood ICELAND Seafood (ISI), the panEuropean salmon and general seafood company, has announced a half-year net loss of €2.9m (£2.5m), compared to a net profit of €3.4m (£2.9m) for H1 last year. The company has pinpointed soaring fish prices, particularly relating to salmon for the change in its financial performance. The Reykjavik-based company went into salmon in a big way in the past two years, acquiring a major stake in the Spanish processor Ahumados Dominguez. Before that, ISI took over the specialist Irish smoked salmon company Carr & Sons in a deal worth around £6m. The group also has major UK seafood interests, based in Grimsby. ISI said fish price increases continued to impact on results during the period with cod up by 25% and salmon reaching historically high levels in May when, in euro terms, it shot up by 90% from the beginning of the year. But it believes the situation is improving. “Group operations

in Ireland and at Ahumados Domínguez were especially impacted by these increases. “Salmon prices have now levelled off, at the same time as price increases have been passed on to customers. “Profitability in Ireland and at Ahumados Domínguez is therefore expected to be back to normal levels from Q3, which will help drive Group results in H2 2022.” ISI also said the UK operation made a loss during the period, with external challenges continuing to impact the business. Group CEO Bjarni Ármannsson said: “The first half of the year has been a disappointment for Iceland Seafood. During Covid, we emphasised rebalancing the business, with more retail exposure. “Now in times of extreme increase in input cost, it’s hard to put the additional cost items forward to our retail customers while at the same time the cost increases. It is like chasing your own tail.” He added: “This has left us

with a higher cost base which then results in a negative bottom line. We are now experiencing slower demand, as prices have increased, which then is reflected in lower raw material prices as demand side softens. “We are more optimistic for the

second half, as we see input prices of raw material stabilising or on a downward trend. We firmly believe that we have a strong position in our markets, and that we will be able to make the most of that position [over] the upcoming months.”

Above: Bjarni Ármannsson

Cooke swoops for major European Young’s looks to the company’s shrimp processor past with brand relaunch THE Cooke Seafood group, one of the world’s largest salmon farming companies, has acquired Morubel NV, the leading shrimp and prawn processor in Western Europe. Belgium-based Morubel cultivates, processes, packs and distributes shrimp and other seafood products. It also distributes its marketleading organic and frozen products to retail, foodservice and food industry customers across Europe in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, and France. Morubel’s wild catch product range includes shrimp, Vannamei prawns, crayfish, and squid. Its 14,000 square metre plant in Ostend, Belgium has a production capacity of 18,000 metric tonnes for frozen seafood, retail, and bulk packaging. Founded in 1954, Morubel was acquired in 2014 by Bencis Capital Partners.

Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc said: “Morubel’s focus on developing sustainable, new added value products and continuously focusing on innovation was an attractive complement to our European seafood offerings. “We’re very excited to welcome Morubel’s 100 employees to Cooke. The plant staff, sales and management are exceptional, and they have formed longstanding customer relationships by being a flexible and reliable supplier with consistently high quality and short delivery times.” Dirk De Pandelaere, CEO of Morubel, said: “The Morubel team welcomes the sale to Cooke – we’ve found an ideal alignment to enable our future growth. We see a lot of opportunities to expand our product line to sell additional Cooke products in European countries where Cooke is building its presence.”

YOUNG’S Seafood, the UK’s leading fish and seafood company, has announced its biggest brand refresh in over 20 years, including a new logo featuring its founder, Elizabeth Young. Focusing on the company’s 200 year-plus history, the new look brings to life the true story of the East End girl and her family, who first started selling whitebait on the banks of the River Thames near Greenwich in 1805. To mark the occasion, Young’s, whose products are bought by one in three UK households, will be launching a brand-new, “best-ever” fish finger featuring 100% fillet, en�rely made in the UK. Built around her inspira�onal story as an entrepreneur, the new branding and packaging will feature an illustra�on of Elizabeth Young, to create a fresh and contemporary look while retaining the instantly recognisable blue and red brand colours associated with Young’s.

Above: Young’s fish finger pack, with the new branding

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12/09/2022 14:29:46


SIFTing the facts The line between campaigning and science is becoming dangerously blurred. By Dr Martin Jaffa


here is a new worrying trend beginning to appear in the world of science and especially in the science relating to salmon farming. The Sunday Post recently highlighted a new scientific paper detailing carbon emissions produced by the salmon farming sector in Scotland. The research was undertaken at the School of Geosciences at Edinburgh University. The paper is co-authored by a master’s degree student and her academic supervisor. What is of concern is that a third author is the Chief Executive of an NGO (non-governmental organisation), the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust (SIFT). What a paper on carbon emissions from salmon farming has to do with SIFT is unclear, nor why the Chief Executive is listed as the second author of the paper. This paper follows closely after the publication of another study from Cambridge University about fish feed that was co-authored by the campaigning NGO Feedback which has regularly attacked the salmon farming industry for incorporating wild caught fish into aquafeed. This new NGO involvement in seemingly academic scientific research would appear to represent a way for NGOs to gain increased credibility for their campaigns, as well as more widespread publicity. The Cambridge University paper did receive extensive coverage in the mainstream press despite dubious findings. However, this latest paper has not been so successful, probably because the findings were not particularly newsworthy. In fact, it might be that the only reason the Sunday Post took the story is because the way it was written included somewhat stretched facts. I don’t normally delve too deeply into the backstory of any paper, but I was intrigued to understand the relationship between SIFT, salmon farming and the Geosciences department of Edinburgh University so I contacted the academic coauthor, who was kind enough to explain. Although his specialisation is coral bleaching, he is a supervisor on a Marine Systems and Policies MSc course that attracts students with a very diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines, from law to biology, the environment to engineering,


and consequently, students can choose a topic that matches their interests. The students are helped through networking events to match their interests with marine professionals from different areas including NGOs, government, charities, and academics. If they choose, the students can work with these external partners on a dissertation project. Working with their internal supervisor, they can turn their dissertation into a paper. The external partner, in this case the Chief Executive of SIFT, is expected to hold three to four discussions with the student and their academic supervisor about their project. If the student wishes to produce a paper, then the external and internal supervisors help clarify the edited versions of the dissertation. Attending a couple of meetings and reading through a draft paper and making suggestions seems a small contribution for a named author on the paper. It would seem that SIFT would have the most to gain from this collaboration to give credibility to their campaigns. The fact that I am now writing about a master’s student’s dissertation demonstrates the benefit that SIFT might achieve from this involvement, even though the paper states that the authors have no competing interests. In fact, SIFT campaigns against poor management of the inshore waters, which it says has harmed coastal economies and ecosystems. This of course includes salmon farming, even though any evidence is extremely thin on the ground. SIFT’s previous activities against

Opposite: The paper was

a critique of salmon farming’s carbon footprint Left: Academic publications are increasingly seen as a way to get a message to the wider media, such as newspapers

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salmon farming includes a collaboration with Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland (now known as WildFish) that commissioned a report that questioned the economic benefit to Scotland of salmon farming. The inevitable conclusion was that the Scottish Government should consider suspending its support for any expansion of salmon farming in Scotland. The authors argued that the economic data was partial, unreliable, and incomplete, but I suspect that it is much more reliable than any data produced by the wild fish sector, including the annual catch data. Although SIFT also commissioned a peer

The findings of the latest study are not unexpected, given its co-authorship

review of the study, no-one seemed to pick up that this review of the economics of salmon farming repeated a table based on Marine Scotland data showing the value generated by every person working in salmon farming. However, although supposedly the same data, the values shown in both versions were different. It certainly brings the accuracy of the whole report into question. Interestingly, the only time that I have seen this economic review quoted, other than by the organisation that commissioned it, is in this latest paper, which given that SIFT has been involved in the work is not surprising. Of course, the findings of the latest study are not unexpected, given its co-authorship. The salmon farming industry is criticised for its carbon emissions mainly due to the use of imported feed ingredients, but ignores the fact that such ingredients are also widely used in terrestrial farming. The paper also makes recommendations for policy makers and NGOs including the need to continue raising consumer awareness of environmental issues to help make more sustainable choices. An email contact for SIFT’s Chief Executive is given in the paper, and I wrote to enquire about his contribution to the research. He has not replied, which speaks loudly about SIFT’s involvement and intentions. It certainly brings into question how much of the content of such papers is science and how much is NGO campaigning.


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12/09/2022 14:25:54


In Liz we trust? The UK’s new Prime Minister is no stranger to aquaculture and its issues. By Hamish Macdonell


s a lobbyist, it is always worth taking victories – however small – where you can get them. So, with all the turmoil that is to come in her Premiership, it is worth remembering that we now have a Prime Minister who knows about salmon farming. Liz Truss not only visited the main processing plant of one of our members last year, but she also engaged with the export issues our members were facing. The UK’s new Prime Minister is going to face a torrid autumn and winter. She will be assailed from all sides over the cost of living crisis and will have to face down mounting union anger and strikes. But she knows about salmon farming, she knows how important Scottish salmon is to UK exports, and she has shown a willingness to help us overcome the barriers we face in generating further overseas sales. Ms Truss came to Mowi’s Rosyth plant when she was Secretary of State for International Trade. We would have liked to have showed her more, to have got her out to a farm but, as ever when dealing with civil servants, getting a venue close to the central belt was their main concern. In the end, we were just grateful to secure an hour of her time to talk through what we do and the issues we face on the international scene. But even then, the meeting wasn’t an especially easy one. The International Trade Secretary flipped from subject to subject, from issue to issue, skating over ones she didn’t think were important to focus instead on the ones she really wanted to get her teeth into. She seemed either to have a loathing for slide deck presentations (which is entirely possible) or was determined purely to focus on the issues which she felt were important, regardless of the views of those who were hosting her. As it was, it was almost impossible for us to stick to the prepared agenda and, if that is an indication of how she is going to govern, then her civil servants will be in for a challenging time. But for us in the Scottish salmon sector, that determination to set the agenda may be no bad thing. She is aware of what we do and how important we are. If she thinks there is a shortcut – through civil service stodginess – to get what she wants, she will take it. And she is a passionate advocate for growing UK exports. And, despite her refusal to stick to our agenda, during that meeting


she remained focused and totally engaged. Some politicians find it difficult to hide their boredom and go into autopilot mode when presented with yet another factory or yet another slide deck. Ms Truss was not like that. Yes, she hopped around from issue to issue but she kept her eyes and ears focused sharply on what she was being told and listened to the answers to all her questions. What should also help us through her premiership is the wider realisation within government that it would really help if the UK was self-sufficient: self-sufficient in energy certainly, but also in food. Our farmers produce enough to keep the whole of the UK in salmon and while half of that is exported, the fact that we are able to produce enough to satisfy UK demand is definitely a plus as far as the government is concerned. However, our job as a trade body is made more difficult whenever there is tension, distrust and animosity between the UK and Scottish governments and, at the moment, there is little evidence that Prime Minister Truss is going to improve matters on this score. Any goodwill that was engendered by the Cameron administration’s respect agenda towards the Scottish Government was tossed to the ground and smashed like an empty wine glass by the Johnson leadership. And Ms Truss’s campaign pledge to “ignore” Nicola Sturgeon has hardly helped get relations between the new Number 10 team and Bute House off to a good start. It can only be hoped that the shared nature of the cost of living crises forces a willingness to work together that has not been there to

Above: New United Kingdom Prime Minister Liz Truss Opposite: Tavish Sco� with Liz Truss

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It was almost impossible for us to stick to the prepared agenda

date. But that may be a forlorn hope. As has happened so often in the past, when things go wrong, the Scottish Government will blame Westminster and vice versa. Our farmers and supply chain partners face the same problems as the rest of the food and drink sector: steepling energy prices driving up costs, rocketing prices for raw materials for feed and consumers cutting back at home. But what is crucial – and this is the one message I hope Ms Truss took from her meeting with us last year – is that we can also be part of the solution. We produce a protein with a tiny carbon footprint compared with other main livestock and we use less water. Our product is also home grown so it does not need to be imported at a time when there are huge

questions around self-sufficiency. Also, and probably most importantly, we generate substantial foreign export earnings at a time when the pound is struggling against the dollar and the Government is having to borrow more and more, getting itself into even deeper debt on the international markets. Prime Minister Truss is unlikely to thaw relations with the Scottish Government. She is going to have to navigate the country through the biggest domestic crisis for a century and there are certainly some of her colleagues at Westminster who question her ability to juggle such a big and daunting brief. But she has shown, in the brief time we have had with her, to be focused and engaged. And, most importantly of all, we now have an incumbent in Number 10 who knows about salmon farming, has visited the biggest salmon processing plant in the country, and has engaged positively and constructively with key figures in our sector. A small victory? Yes. But it is certainly one that I, as a lobbyist, would take at this stage of the political cycle.

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Frozen assets Researchers have produced viable Mediterranean mussels from cryopreserved larvae. By Nicki Holmyard


experiment worked with the subsequent second (F2) generation, which were cryopreserved using the same optimised protocol. Trials found that spat developed into adult mussels and reached marketable size at the same growth rate as control individuals. Fertility and offspring quality of the new adults was unaffected by the cryopreservation process and were This page from top: Jesus Image 1: Jesus Troncoso checking the mussels growing to adults in ropes after comparable to those from control mussels. Troncoso and Estefania cryopreservation of the larvae. © Jesus Troncoso. Paredes on mussel Natural spat collection is the norm in ra�; Jesus Troncoso many countries, but its timing and quality can be unreliable. The researchers pointed checking the mussels growing to adults in out that where shellfish aquaculture relies ropes a�er on hatchery-produced spat, the practice is cryopreserva�on of the also highly dependent on catches of wild larvae; Pablo Heres on seed. a mussel ra�. Lead researcher Dr Estefania Paredes, Opposite: Juvenile mussels from the University of Vigo, said: “Shellfish Image 2: Juvenile mussels cryopreserved larvae) settled in ropes with (from(from cryopreserved © Pablo Heres and Estefania Paredes aquaculture needs the developmenttheir growth being checked. larvae) se�led in ropes with their growth being of new tools such as this to reduce its Notes for Editors checked. reliance on natural spat collection, whilst © Jesus Troncoso.

n important discovery for mussel hatchery production was announced in August, with the publishing in Nature of results from a long-term study funded by the ASSEMBLE Plus project. The report, Long-term study on survival and development of successive generations of Mytilus galloprovincialis cryopreserved larvae, by P Heres, J Troncoso and E Paredes, showed that adult mussels can be grown from cryopreserved larvae without compromising the quality of the next generation’s offspring. The aim of the research was to optimise an established cryopreservation protocol for blue mussel larvae, to evaluate whether adult mussels could be successfully produced from cryopreserved 72 hour-old D-larvae, and to look at the potential long-term effects of cryopreservation on future generations. The researchers achieved a “first” in producing spat (baby mussels) from cryopreserved larvae of M. galloprovincialis, which is one of the most farmed mollusc species in the world. To achieve their aims and update the protocol, the researchers undertook short-term experiments using different larval stages, cooling and thawing rates, along with a range of different cryoprotecting agent combinations and variations in the removal step for that agent. Longer-term experiments were used to show that the optimised protocol allowed the production of mussel spat from cryopreserved mussel larvae. Further work was also undertaken to monitor the resulting mussel juveniles as they were ongrown using traditional rafts in a marine environment. A final long-term

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Mussels are an important indicator species of environment quality

© Pablo Heres and Estefania Paredes

improving good practices and efficiently increasing production. The results signify strong evidence for the suitability of this cryopreservation method for use in mussel aquaculture and in research, where animals must be in optimal health.” In the wild, adult M. galloprovincialis mussels release gametes into the natural environment, where external fertilization occurs. The fertilised eggs first develop into ciliated trochophore larvae, then after 24 hours, metamorphose into D-larvae. Around 20–24 days post-fertilisation, the larvae develop into pediveligers, grow an eye spot and a foot organ. Within another few days, they metamorphose into juveniles and are ready to settle on a suitable substrate. In Europe, wild mussels are generally collected from hard substrates for hatchery spat production, and the juveniles settled onto culture ropes which are placed in the water, to allow the shellfish to grow to marketable size. However, seed collection has become imperilled by an increasing number of issues in the past decade, including changes in seasonal spawning patterns, pollution and environmental degradation, the occurrence of pathogens, predation, high density of marine traffic, agriculture runoff, and the presence of intensive residential or industrial facilities along the coast. Climate change is another factor to consider, with rising sea temperatures, acidification which can affect shell thickness, deoxygenation of the ocean, collapse of the marine food chain, and an increase in algal blooms. Efforts have been made in France, for example, to boost protection at local, national, and European levels. Through

the introduction of coastal zone management in some areas, changes to coastal law, water law, bird directives and regulations concerning the preservation of natural habitats, wild flora and fauna, the researchers hope that the situation will improve for the shellfish industry. This is especially important as a number of mass mortality events have been noted in the mussel and oyster population in France over the past decade, which has significantly impacted European blue mussel (M. edulis) production. According to researchers, the main cause appears to be “genomic abnormalities related to stock origin but could be also associated with environmental contaminations or a sign of disseminated neoplasia disorder.” Mussels are an important indicator species of environment quality and are often used in ecotoxicological bioassays and monitoring programmes, so the ability to produce consistent and reliable quantities of seed for research is equally important to this sector. The paper points out that historical research has focused on developing methodologies to produce spat efficiently under optimal hatchery conditions, and selective breeding programmes are being used to improve certain characteristics, such as colour or increasing growth rates. Use of cryopreservation tools is beneficial to selective breeding programmes, by offering the possibility of storing biological samples at high densities without the need to maintain live brood stocks. The research was the first time that a cryopreservation protocol for M. galloprovincialis larvae has been investigated in depth from fertilisation to juvenile, to adult, and on to production of a second generation. Its success provides evidence of the suitability of the cryopreservation method for aquaculture or research purposes. Further research is now recommended to investigate factors involved in the cryopreservation process, such as membrane permeability. The aim would be to improve post-thaw success, diminish cell injury and result in overall higher survival rates. The occurrence of high mortality rates and the delay in development of cryopreserved larvae in the first hours after thawing also needs to be investigated. However, the work shows the high potential of cryopreservation to benefit the mussel industry, and the suitability of the technique for selective breeding programmes, which – the researchers conclude – is one of the most promising ways to increase global production. Long-term study on survival and development of successive generations of Mytilus galloprovincialis cryopreserved larvae (Heres, P., Troncoso, J. & Paredes, E.) is available to view or download at

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Collateral damage The war grinds on in Ukraine, with continuing ramifications for European producers and consumers. By Sandy Neil


ix months on, what impact is the Ukrainian war and sanctions having on aquaculture in Russia and the West? What are the implications for the seafood industry and food security? “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a tragedy, and no part of the Scottish aquaculture sector wants to do business with Russia,”according to the sector’s trade body, Salmon Scotland. This once unthinkable war in Europe, still raging with no peace in sight, is helping to drive UK inflation to its highest level in decades. Six months on, what are the impacts on aquaculture in the UK and Russia? When we last looked at the Russo-Ukrainian War through the eyes of fish farmers, in the weeks after it began in February, they faced a legion of challenges: the loss of Russian, Belarussian and Ukrainian markets; international sanctions and counter-sanctions; the rise in feed and fuel prices; and risks to food security. Now, in September, some of these problems may be better, some may be worse, and a few new ones may have surfaced. It is important to say, first, that no Scottish salmon exports go directly to Russia. Exports to Russia were banned in 2014, in retaliation against EU sanctions after Russia annexed Crimea. Small amounts were exported to Russia’s ally Belarus (but that stopped) and to Ukraine. So the impact, in export terms, is minimal. It’s a similar story in Norway, says Norwegian Seafood Council analyst Paul Aandahl: “The war has primarily reduced exports to the countries involved, such as Belarus (zero exports) and Ukraine.” After the outbreak of war, the EU and other countries closed


their airspace to Russian aircraft. Russia retaliated by closing its airspace to 36 countries, including Norway and the UK. The ban forces European exporters to fly fish around the world’s largest country, leading to longer journeys and higher air freight costs. This has reduced exports to Asia, Aandahl told us. “The closure of Russian airspace... has affected capacity and price for airfreight of fish from Europe to countries such as South Korea and Japan. This, together with a general increase in the price of salmon, has led to a decrease in export volume to these countries. So far this year, the export volume to Japan has fallen by 12%, converted into round weight, while the drop [in exports] to South Korea is 17%.” When the war began, the Faroe Islands government quickly came under pressure to halt seafood exports to Russia. Moscow imposed a ban on food imports, including seafood, from the United States, Britain, Norway, Iceland and the European Union in the summer of 2014, in retaliation for general sanctions imposed by the West after Russian troops went into Crimea.

From the top:

Ukrainian soldier, Irpin near Kyiv; Russian aquaculture Murmansk; Russian tanks, Moscow

Opposite from top: Pro-Ukraine

demonstra�on in Madrid; Carlos Diaz

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Faroe has a unique political position: although part of the kingdom of Denmark, it is not a member of the European Union, meaning it was not bound by previous export bans to Russia. It is thought between five and 10% of sales found their way to Russia last year. We asked the Government of the Faroe Islands, its agency Faroese Seafood, and the Faroe Fish Farmers Association, if seafood, in particular salmon smolts and feed, was being supplied to Russia via the Faroes, but we received no answers. What impacts are the feed and smolt sanctions having on Russian aquaculture for its domestic market? In order to become less dependent on imports, Russia has for many years taken major steps to increase its own salmon production. The industry reached a milestone in September 2021, with the overall output of salmonid species at the level of presanction imports in 2014, prior to the country closing its borders to seafood from many countries. Overall salmon and trout production volumes through September 2021 reached 120,000 metric tons, up 29% over the first nine months of the year in 2020, according to the country’s fishery agency, Rosrybolovstvo. The company Russian Aquaculture, currently being rebranded as “Inarctica”, is by far the largest producer of red fish, such as Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout, in Russia, primarily in the lakes in Karelia and in the Barents and White seas. Since we last checked in March, the Moscow-based company has increased its number of sites for commercial cultivation of salmon and trout from 25 to 40. “The total potential production volume for these sites is around 50,000 tonnes of salmonids,” it says on its website. “The company’s long-term development strategy involves the creation of the largest vertically integrated player in the aquaculture market, including the production of feed and stocking material, primary processing, and distribution of the company’s own products.” Neither Inarctica nor the Russian Government responded to our questions asking how the war was impacting the country’s aquaculture industry. In April, Rosrybolovstvo rolled out plans to establish new Atlantic salmon feed production capacities to replace imports from Denmark and Norway. Several projects involving mills designed to produce feed for Atlantic salmon are slated to become operational in late 2022 or early 2023, Rosrybolovstvo said in a statement distributed to the Russian press. It is believed that Russia depends on imported fish feed for close to 80% of demand. In 2021, for instance, Russia imported 170,000 tonnes of salmon feed compared to 20,000 tonnes produced domestically. To fill the gap in the domestic market, Rosrybolovstvo used its statement to call for focus on ramping up capacities at already existing facilities since building new plants

would take from 16 months up to two to three years. In the West, feed companies are at odds on whether a total boycott or just a scaling down of operations is the best approach. SHV, the Dutch conglomerate that owns feed businesses Nutreco and Skretting joined the economic war against President Putin’s Russia. SHV said: “For now, no new investments, no new projects and no new exports to Russia will be undertaken. “Simultaneously we assess our current and future obligations on a continuous basis as the situation evolves. We fully adhere to the sanctions, both in spirit and in law and make sure we stay compliant in what we do.” In March, multinational aquafeed producer BioMar Group halted trading with Russia in protest. The decision meant BioMar will not sell its feed to Russian producers, or source raw materials from the country. Carlos Diaz, CEO of BioMar Group, said: “We will not collaborate with Russia while they are violating the sovereignty of Ukraine and causing a humanitarian crisis. “Unfortunately, our decision will have a significant impact on our customers in Russia, and it might impact our formulation costs going forward, but we needed to draw a line in the sand. We do not hold the Russian people responsible, and we will do what we can to find solutions for our customers and employees. Despite the impact this will have, we believe it is the right thing to do.” Notwithstanding its firm stand on suspending trade with Russia, feed group BioMar has reported record revenue and earnings for Q2 of this year. Volume sales for the Danish-based company were up by 9% year-on-year to 352,000 tonnes, while total revenue was DKK 4.048bn (£458.04m). EBIT was DKK 261m (£29.41m) compared with DKK 211m (£23.87m) for Q2 of 2021, an increase of 24%. BioMar said the significant increase in revenue in Q2 was driven by higher sales volumes, raw material prices, and to some extent currency rate movements. Just after the war started, food and agriculture giant Cargill announced they were scaling back business activities in Russia, but would continue to operate “essential” food and feed facilities there. “Food is a basic human right and should never be used as a weapon,” Cargill said. “This region plays a significant role in our global food system and is a critical source for key ingredients in basic staples like bread, infant formula and cereal.” In Cargill’s annual report, the commodities giant said its annual revenues soared 23% to a record US $165 bn in a fiscal year marked by “extreme events.” In August, a row intensified in Scandinavia over the continued export of feed and smolts to Russia. The row came to a head when Carlos

We fully adhere to the sanctions, both in spirit and in law

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RUSSIA Diaz, CEO of the Danish BioMar feed group, announced strong second quarter increases in sales and profits, and at the same time attacked unnamed rivals for continuing to trade with Russia. According to Statistics Norway 1,125 tonnes of smolt worth NOK 148m (£12.3m) were sent from Norway to Russia during April, May and June this year, against NOK 195m (£16m) for the whole of 2021 when there was no war. Statistics Norway also says that fish feed worth NOK 380m (£1m) has also been exported to Russia since the outbreak of war. Venstre and the left-leaning SV, two parties in Norway’s parliament, have called for shipments of both feed and smolts to stop. However, in the Ministry of Trade and Fisheries, State Secretary Kristina Sigurdsdottir Hansen says that Norwegian companies are very careful about trading with Russia, and that much of the imports in the second quarter relate to contracts entered into before the invasion. In the UK, fish prices were driven up by spiralling fuel costs. The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) Chief Executive Richard Harrow said: “All food producers are having to cope with increasing energy prices and many are being forced to pass price increases onto customers. This is one of the factors driving inflation. Those businesses that are unable to pass on price increases will be forced to make some tough decisions.” Donna Fordyce, chief executive of Seafood Scotland, said: “The situation for fish processors is alarming. Some of them have been seeking to buy gas in advance at a fixed price, but this is no longer an option because gas suppliers will no longer cost for this, given the uncertainties. “Fish processors use high amounts of energy because of the need for chilling, freezing, and heating (cooking) which varies depending on what is being processed and what the end product is. “They have no options to reduce energy use if they want to continue production. Unlike domestic energy users, they cannot simply turn the controls up or down because optimum temperature conditions are, quite rightly, governed by health and safety regulations. “I am aware that work is ongoing to assess the specific impact on processors and Seafood Scotland will be supporting them to highlight these findings to governments.” Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat while Ukraine is the third largest. Wheat is an important part of salmon feed. Russia and Ukraine are also major producers of fertilizers. Flour and vegetable oils are essential ingredients in fish feed for farmed salmon. Now farmers are paying significantly more for the feed. A spokesperson for Salmon Scotland said: “The war is undoubtedly having an impact on the cost of doing business crisis – fuel and feed have risen substantially and the lions share of responsibility for this can be attributed to the conflict. But Scottish salmon farmers are resilient and will get through this period. “What all this has shown is the need to accelerate the shift to renewables and low carbon technologies. Through their commitment to the sustainability charter salmon farmers are already investing in hybrid electric boats and barges and [the] roll-out of renewables.


“In the long term, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will lead to a reduction in the west’s reliance on hydrocarbons for commercial and business resilience reasons, as well as for the environment.” Scottish Sea Farms (SSF), with operations in Oban, Orkney, Shetland, Mull and Stirling, is no exception to facing the inflationary challenges, with costs rising to a rate and level “never seen before”. Ewan Mackintosh, head of operations, SSF, said: “As with many businesses, we are seeing a steep rise in costs, stemming from a range of factors. “At a global level, the Covid pandemic, Brexit and war in Ukraine have all contributed to uncertainty and higher prices, while closer to home we’re seeing energy prices and inflation soar. “The result is higher prices across almost every area of doing business from fish feed to processing and packaging, through to transportation and logistics.” Just how fast and dramatic the cost increases have been can be gauged by SSF managing director Jim Gallagher’s observations on the first four months of this year. Gallagher cited one of the company’s largest overheads – fish feed – rising 29%, with further increases expected during the rest of this year. Even steeper growth in input costs have come in the shape of oxygen (+32%), oil and diesel (+48%) and electricity (+53%). “In terms of challenges specific to food producers, animal feed is one of the largest overheads for any livestock farmer,” SSF’s Mackintosh says. “Recent years, however, have seen the situation intensify, with the US and Canada – two key producers of cereals

From the top: Inarc�ca

poster; Russian airspace was closeed to a number of countries in retalia�on for sanc�ons; Donna Fordyce; Ukraine wheat harvest, before the war Opposite: Grain loading, Odessa, 2021

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– suffering prolonged droughts, leading to higher global cereal prices and, in turn, higher animal feed costs. “Transportation, be it by road or air is another key factor, with producers of perishable goods like ourselves hit particularly hard by rising costs and ongoing disruption as shelf-life is of the essence. “Every business is trying to predict where the ‘new normal’ lies,” he says, adding: “How long the war in Ukraine lasts will have a huge bearing, undoubtedly, not least in terms of the availability and price of oil and wheat, among other essential items. “And the ongoing impact of the pandemic and Brexit shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated, giving rise not just to increased costs but longer lead times.” In response to the crisis, the Scottish Government set up a short-life Food Security and Supply Taskforce with key food and drink industry leaders, to monitor, identify and respond to any potential disruption to the food and drink supply chain resulting

Russia has for many years taken major steps to increase its own salmon production

from the impact of the war in Ukraine. It also seeks to recommend any short, medium and longer term actions that can be taken to mitigate impacts, resolve supply issues and strengthen food security and supply in Scotland. The Scottish Government gave this update: “The Taskforce’s report was published on 23 June 2022 and includes a series of recommendations, including the creation of a dedicated Food Security Unit within the Scottish Government. We are now looking at the delivery of those recommendations, some of which will take more time. The Taskforce is set to meet again twice more this year in a monitoring capacity. This will be to test in more detail – as necessary – issues that arise and also to monitor the delivery of the agreed recommendations. More information about the delivery of the recommendations will become available as that process moves forward.” There is little doubt there’ll be plenty of challenges for the Taskforce to consider over the coming months.

The Salt Roads


By John Goodlad BIRLINN LTD £17.99


ohn Goodlad is a Shetlander who is steeped in the fishing tradition of those islands. For many years he was the voice of the industry, as leader of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association. He is now an adviser to the Sustainable Oceans Fund and a board member of the University of the Highlands and Islands, Shetland. With his depth of knowledge, it’s not surprising Goodlad’s latest book, The Salt Roads, contains a well-informed account how salt fish from the Shetland fisheries became one of the staple food commodities for much of Europe. Just as importantly, Goodlad is also a great storyteller and his narrative is not only fact-filled but compelling. Nor does it gloss over the very real danger that has always been a part of the fishing industry, with accounts of devastating storms like those of 1832 and 1881, which amply lived up to the description of the North Atlantic as “the old grey widowmaker”. The story begins not with the Shetlanders themselves but with the Dutch and the Basques,

who developed the technique of salting herring, and cod, respectively. By the early 16th century, salt fish was being used by households from Portugal to the Baltic, as a source of protein that could be stored. For the Shetlanders, once they had mastered the art of preserving the fish, this was a lucrative industry. Starting with the open boats called “sixerns”, all the way through to today’s modern vessels, the Shetland fishing fleet became a force to be reckoned with. Although catch fishing is the chief focus of this book, it does touch on aquaculture, for example in Goodlad’s discussion of two issues facing today’s industry: sustainability of fish stocks, and climate change. And while Goodlad rejects the argument that catch fishing is inherently unsustainable, he puts the case for aquaculture to help meet demand for protein for a growing world population. This very readable account will leave the reader better informed, not just about the history of fishing but about its future.

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Cold climate Chile’s new president has displayed a distinctly frosty attitude to fish farming. By Vince McDonagh


HILE’S salmon farmers are facing uncertain times, following the election of Gabriel Boric, the country’s radical left-wing president, nine months ago. The situation has parallels to that in British Columbia, where the industry has been battling against curbs imposed by Justin Trudeau’s federal government. More than 14 hours flying time from London, Chile is a country few Europeans give much thought to unless they have personal connections. Yet in aquaculture terms, it is second to Norway as the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon. President Boric wants to radically change the way salmon farming is carried out, arguing – not without reason – that the industry has a poor record when it comes to taking care of the environment. The former student activist is also being encouraged by various radical environmentalist groups who want to see an end to fish farming altogether. He is currently considering a moratorium on future aquaculture expansion. During the election campaign last year, Boric said there were parts of the country which did not meet important environmental requirements, citing marine protected areas and parts of the country which are home to the indigenous population. “We have to aim for development that does not destroy us, because destroying the environment is


destroying ourselves. What I am clear about is that there cannot be mariculture in marine protected areas,” Boric said, emphatically. Chile produces around 25% of the world’s Atlantic salmon supply, against Norway at 55% and third placed Scotland at 8%. The industry exports largely to the US, Mexico and the Far East, contributing some US$5bn (£4.21bn) each year to the national economy. So whatever happens in this Pacific-facing country will eventually have reverberations in the rest of the salmon-producing world. Some of the measures he wants to implement include evaluating the environmental impact of aquaculture, particularly in the southern half of the country, increasing funding for Sernapesca, Chile’s fisheries and aquaculture agency, to ensure salmon farms are doing the right thing environmentally and promoting dialogue between

Above: Salmon farms,


Left: Gabriel Boric Opposite: Punta Arenas

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There cannot be mariculture in marine protected areas

companies and its workers. Boric grew up in Punta Arenas, the capital of the Magallanes region in the south of Chile. He is causing consternation in the industry with his demands that companies should pack up and leave some parts of the country. He said during a visit to the Magallanes region: “The salmon farming industry must move out of protected areas.” His political popularity has eroded somewhat since the election victory. The industry senses that and is fighting back. Tore Valderhaug, a director of Salmones Camanchaca, Chile’s largest company, has accused the authorities of bowing to “radical environmentalists” by introducing tougher regulations. He described it as the greatest threat to the industry. Valderhaug said in a recent speech: “Salmon farming uses a small portion of the sea but there are certain extreme environmentalists at work putting limitations on its development.” There were marine protected areas in 40% of Chile’s exclusive economic environmental zone, yet only 0.00l% of that area was used for salmon farming. “This attempt to criminalise organisations that fight in Chile for the defence of the environment, public health and human rights of local communities, seeks to justify future actions of intimidation by employers’ associations against the socioenvironmental movement,” Valderhaug maintained. The president of the Magallanes salmon industry trade association, Carlos Odebret, said recently: “The industry is undergoing a consolidation process; last year in the Magallanes region some 140,000 tons of salmon were harvested and this year we estimate a higher volume, which means full-time direct employment for four thousand families, from Punta Arenas,

Puerto Natales and Porvernir.” He also pointed out that that salmon farming activity was contributing strongly to the regional economy accounting for more than a quarter of its GDP and 40% of its exports. But some of the industry’s problems are of its own making. The farming company Nova Austral was heavily fined for various production and environmental offences (which it hotly disputes) by the environmental body known as SMA. Odebret said the company, which is not a member of his organisation, would have to answer for itself. Nova Austral, based in Punta Arenas, has been accused of overproduction at three centres between 2015 and 2017. It faces fines of almost US$1m (£840,000) and the prospect of the three farming licences being revoked. The business has warned that it may be forced to close altogether if the penalties and sanctions go ahead. It is appealing against the verdict and penalties. Nova Austral also claimed there was not enough environmental damage done for SMA to justify applying its most-severe sanctions, and it questioned the agency’s methodology. But SMA Acting Director Emanuel Ibarra said the decision was both warranted and necessary. The confrontation between industry and political leaders continues, with observers thinking it could end badly for salmon farmers. Company chiefs are wise enough to know there will have to be compromise. The question is: “Who will be forced to compromise the most?”

CUTTING WATER USAGE DESPITE criticism in some quarters, Chile’s salmon companies are working on various projects designed to improve their environmental footprint. Salmones Camanchaca has already reduced its water usage at one site by 25% - the equivalent of 350,000 litres a day - and is planning to take that up to 40% over the coming months. Jorge Vergara, the company Process Manager, in an interview with Diario Sustentable said the company had set itself a very challenging goal, but it was working on a series of initiatives to achieve its target. The company aims to tackle the sea lice issue following

a contract with Naviera Orca Chile, owner of the 79-metre vessel Orca, which is equipped to deliver two antiparasitic treatments with fresh water and a mechanical system developed by Sea Farms Innovations (SFI).

Salmones Camanchaca is also strengthening its Pier33 brand in the United States and Mexico by incorporating new products and recruiting teams to raise its profile. Juan Carlos Ferrer, Camanchaca’s Corporate Business Manager, who oversees the company’s commercial strategy, is reported to have moved to the US to work with customer in retail and catering. He said that they aim to strengthen their product range, in order to supply everything related to seafood to supermarkets and restaurants. Their greatest demand emanates from the East Coast of North America.

Left Salmones Camanchaca farm

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Nigerian aquaculture could be a booming sector, but only if the right steps are taken to encourage it


ith a population of around 211 million, Nigeria is Africa’s biggest country by far. Nigerians eat a lot of fish but don’t produce as much as they consume, and international not-for-profit organisation WorldFish estimates that filling that gap with exports costs the Nigerian government around US$1bn (£853m) in valuable foreign exchange. Nigeria’s ambition is to close that gap by taking production to 2.5 million tonnes. This would represent a big step forward from the current annual production of farmed fish in the country, which is just 300,000 tonnes. Researchers from the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) believe that this degree of growth is feasible – but only if key constraints can be overcome. Suleiman Yakubu, PhD researcher at the Institute of Aquaculture, said: “Nigeria is the second largest producer of farmed fish in Africa after Egypt, yet we still have some way to go before we can achieve the 2.5m tonnes aquaculture potential estimated by the government. We wanted to answer the question, is this achievable by 2035? And if so, how can it be done in a sustainable way?” Nigeria fish futures, a report published by WorldFish in 2021, notes that aquatic food systems are contributing an increasing proportion of Nigeria’s GDP, from 0.5% in 2013 to 4.5% in 2021.


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Above: Suleiman Yakubu. Below: Victoria Island fish market. Opposite from top: Preparing fish for breeding (hypophysa�on) in hatchery; Tilapia; Feeding fish in a pond

The industry’s rate of growth is slowing, however. Annual growth was 11% for 20102015 but it is predicted to fall to 7% for 2015-2025, then 5% (2025-2035) and then 2% (2035-2050). The IoA team, for their study Scenario analysis and land use change modelling reveal opportunities and challenges for sustainable expansion of aquaculture in Nigeria, identified four priority constraints: • Improving farmers’ access to quality fish feed from local sources; • Changing the land use classification to help promote aquaculture, so that it can be included in zoning plans and, especially, so that larger aquaculture developments can be designated; • “Policy intersection” – in other words, “joined-up thinking” to link aquaculture strategy with import policies, land and water use and campaigns to alleviate poverty; and • Investment in research.

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Photo: Funke Kechicha

They applied the “Delphi” method – a structured process in which views of relevant individuals are collated via a series of questionnaires – to get input from producers, policymakers and academics, and came up with four scenarios, defined by how the four key constraints are addressed over the next few years. The bad news is that only one of these four is predicted to achieve the level of production required to make Nigeria selfsufficient in fish.

areas; improved road and rail networks and research; supported programmes for tilapia, shellfish and catfish; and identification of suitable land areas for large scale aquaculture, away from urban zones. 4. “Autopilot” – with no plan set out for expanding aquaculture and no restraints on land conversion, fish farming remains a “peri-urban” sector (based around the edges of towns and cities). Small scale farmers cut costs by increasingly sourcing feed from slaughterhouse waste products – leading to greater health risks for humans and the fish themselves. Only one of these scenarios – the third – would result in a steadily increasing upward trend for aquaculture, the IoA report concludes. Reaching the goal of 2.5 million tonnes implies achieving production of 8kg for each member of Nigeria’s population. This might look ambitious set against the current baseline of 1.2kg/ person, but China currently manages around 15kg, nearly twice as much per head. The WorldFish report stresses that aquaculture in Nigeria is profitable – smallholder catfish farmers enjoy a higher income per hectare than their agricultural equivalents, for example. WorldFish’s study suggests that, as a secondary employment, small-scale catfish farming could increase household income by as much as 26%. It also argues that investment in value chains for the fish sector would significantly help to empower women and young people. Promoting fish would also help to improve the diet of many Nigerians. The study warns, however, that the sector is being held back by limited access to investment, knowledge and key inputs such as high quality feed. Nigeria also needs to see improvements in transport infrastructure, particularly in “cold chain” technology to extend the availability of fresh fish to the dry north of the country. The two key species for Nigerian aquaculture are both freshwater fish: tilapia – mostly grown in larger, corporate farms and seen as a comparatively high end product – and catfish. For tilapia, the WorldFish report says, “the lack of affordable feed… constrains smallholders from entering tilapia farming.” It also warns that “health management and disease control in Nigerian aquaculture, especially among smallholders and small to medium farming practices, is minimal.”

The four scenarios are: 1. “A familiar route” – past social and economic trends continue; costs rise faster than fish prices, putting many small-medium sized farmers out of business. 2. “Vicious cycle” – population numbers grow and imports grow along with them; climate change affects the availability of water; but while the rate of expansion in aquaculture slows, low-interest loan packages encourage some development. 3. “Nipped in the bud” – in this scenario government is more proactive, with investment in industry for rural Photo: Funke Kechicha

More than half of fish feed is imported, which is prohibitively expensive and inefficient

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Health management and disease control… is minimal From the top: Sor�ng exercise; Ca�ish; Managing water in a grow-out tank


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Nigeria is a large country, but there is increasing pressure on available arable land – and, by implication, the land available for fish farming. A study by the World Bank, quoted in the Institute of Aquaculture paper, shows that between 1990 and 2018, arable land per person in the country fell from three to 1.7 hectares. The IoA study addressed the issue of available land and likely changes in land use in the four scenarios set out above, taking into account likely population change and the capacity to develop a bigger aquaculture sector. The IoA’s Suleiman Yakubu says: “Only one of the wide range of scenarios tested [in the IoA study] allowed Nigeria to achieve its potential in relation to the critical factors. “Firstly, improving farmers’ access to quality fish feed through the development of local feed resources is necessary. At the moment, more than half of fish feed is imported, which is prohibitively expensive and inefficient. “Secondly, promoting aquaculture to be part of land use classification in Nigeria would allow the activity to be included in land use zoning plans, and [allow designated] expansion areas for larger production systems. Currently, around 80% of fish farming in Nigeria is in small-scale ponds in urban and peri-urban areas, with no room for expansion, and no way of monitoring it.” “Thirdly, the aquaculture sector interacts with several other policy areas – such as import policy, land use, water use and poverty alleviation – so those intersections must be incorporated into planning. “Lastly, investment in research is essential to better link researchers with the aquaculture industry, in order to increase productivity and yield, while improving our understanding of the impacts of climate change. All of these would eventually reduce aquaculture production costs in the country.” Scenario analysis has been used to explore the potential of aquaculture on global and regional scales, but not yet on a national

level in Africa, which the researchers say is more useful to understand and plan for the changes that need to happen. “Our modelling shows that if things continue as they are, Nigeria will see only marginal development of its aquaculture sector in comparison to where it aspires to be,” says Yakubu. The more positive third scenario depends not only on government’s commitment to growing the aquaculture sector – the first scenario also takes this as read, but assumes that policymaking to that end is ineffective – but also on strategy being evidence-based and regulation being effective. In the third scenario, government takes an active role in promoting research and knowledge sharing, helping to develop a thriving domestic aquafeed industry and supporting the development of state-owned and private sector hatcheries. The IoA report concludes: “The Nigerian aquaculture sector is unlikely to realize its estimated potential of 2.5 million tonnes annual production by 2035, if the current trends of change in price of fish feed, land use change and research investment continue. For this estimate to be reached, aquaculture must grow by at least 21% from 2025 to 2035.” Professor Trevor Telfer, PhD supervisor on the research, said: “Aquaculture is expanding rapidly, as is the world’s population, and can offer a sustainable, low-input way of feeding people. Using data in this way to model scenarios offers an innovative method for governments and industry to plan collaboratively for the sustainable expansion of complex sectors such as aquaculture.” The IoA research was funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. The paper, Scenario analysis and land use change modelling reveal opportunities and challenges for sustainable expansion of aquaculture in Nigeria, is published in Aquaculture Reports and can be viewed at

Photo: Funke Kechicha

Photo: Funke Kechicha


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The future is blue

The transition from full-time education to the world of work and careers can be an uncertain time, perhaps never more so than now. A career in aquaculture, helping to supply the world’s growing demand for nutritious food, is one that offers huge opportunities – as well as a chance to work in an environment that is as beautiful as it is challenging. Over the next few pages you can find more information about those career prospects, as well as ways to continue learning within the industry.

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We want to hear from people who are as passionate about the planet and our products as we are. Whether you are just leaving school, or are finishing college or university. Whether you are looking for your first job or have experience behind you. Whether you want to work in an office, on a farm, in a processing site or on a boat. Whether you want to commit full-time or prefer part-time hours. When you take your first step with Mowi Scotland, you’re taking a step in your right direction.

Scan to discover your next career opportunity

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Scholarships announced for Europe’s top-rated aquaculture master’s degree


he Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) and Erasmus Mundus are funding scholarships on the 2023-2025 Aquaculture, Environment and Society (ACES) Joint Master Degree programme. Students on this two-year programme study at three centres of European excellence in aquaculture research: Nantes Université, University of Crete and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), a partner of UHI. Graduates are taught by top experts in the field and gain practical and theoretical skills needed for a successful career in aquaculture through industry-led research programmes, internships and fieldwork. Above left: ACES 2020 alumni Aaliyah Malla holding salmon during an ACES salmon The three successful recipients of the SAIC scholarship must farm field trip in Scotland. Above right: ACES leader Professor Elizabeth Co�er-Cook have Scottish residency and undertake their dissertation project (furthest right) takes students on a field trip to Caledonian Oysters, Argyll, during with one of SAIC’s consortium partners. The Erasmus Mundus semester one at the Sco�sh Associa�on for Marine Science (SAMS), partner of UHI scholarships are limited to three students per nationality. To date, the programme has recruited students from over 45 countries, ACES 2020 alumni Aaliyah Malla, who now works in fish health, giving graduates the opportunity to build their international said of her time on the course: “Being able to research and explore networks. shellfish and finfish aquaculture in various countries in Europe The ACES (Aquaculture, Environment and Society) programme through the ACES programme [was] an unforgettable experience. particularly prepares graduates for work in senior management roles The knowledge shared between fellow classmates and also the in a wide range of settings, including fish farms, environmental and experts in academia and industry allowed me to continue to grow regulatory organisations, international trade organisations, and also my networks and friendships. I’m so grateful for being accepted onto non-governmental organisations. the ACES+ programme, as it helped springboard my career in fish Former students have gained PhD positions, had papers published, health.” become lecturers in universities and marine institutes, or are working To find out more and to apply for September 2023 intake visit in industry. or email

Study a Masters in Sustainable Aquaculture and be the future of the industry Get trained from specialists whose 100% of research in Aquaculture is classed as having outstanding impact Learn through our marine and freshwater research facilities for a successful career in aquaculture SAMS- PED.indd 1

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Find out more at

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Yes, we kanpachi! It’s not rocket science, but aerospace expertise has created a new venture in deep-water aquaculture. By Robert Outram


ny connection between aerospace engineering and ocean fish farming may not be an obvious one, but the results of a crossover between the two will soon be evident on the plates of upmarket sushi restaurants. Forever Oceans is an aquaculture company farming kanpachi (Seriola rivoliana), also known as longfin yellowtail or almaco jack, in offshore pens in deep water. This summer has seen its first ever commercial harvest. The company is a spin-off from Lockheed Martin, better known for its aerospace, helicopters, air defence systems and, recently, for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Lockheed set up a Mobile Fish Pens arm to apply its expertise in aerospace engineering to the problem of food security, by building pens that can function in offshore, high energy locations. That business, backed by venture capital, is now Forever Oceans. Lockheed business leader Jason Heckathorn, who started the Mobile Pens business, led the spin-off from Lockheed and is now Forever Oceans’ Chief Sustainability Officer – his Lockheed colleague Mathew Goldsborough is Chief Technology Officer. The company’s Chief Executive Officer is Bill Bien, former CEO at the Agricultural Lighting Division of Signify, formerly the lighting business of Philips. Prior to that, he was Signify’s Chief


Top: Forever Oceans Panama offshore encloser Above: Bill Bien

Opposite from top:

Kanpachi in enclosure; Jason Heckathorn; Kanpachi

Strategy Officer, where he sponsored the company’s successful path to 100% carbon-neutrality. Bien says Forever’s kanpachi is already going down well: “So far, customers have loved it! It works as a ‘centre of plate’ fish as well as for sushi and sashimi, and demand for this type of fish is increasing worldwide.” The first harvest comes from the company’s site off Puerto Armuelles, Panama. The scale is small – the company expects it will be over 3,000 tonnes during the next 18 months, but Bien says he expects overall global capacity to reach at least 50,000 tonnes over the next five years. Forever Oceans is also developing farm sites in Lukapang, Indonesia, and runs a research centre at Kona, in Hawaii. In January this year, Forever Oceans signed a 20-year deal with the Brazilian government, granting permission to

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watering recipes like pan-fired yellowtail with noodles and bok choy (pak choi), or olive oil poached yellowtail with blistered tomato and fennel salad. Kanpachi has a light, buttery flavour and the fish is high in nutrients such as Omega-3. Farming kanpachi is not new in itself. Most commercially available kanpachi is farmed in Hawaii and Mexico. It’s a premium fish, with a very efficient feed conversion ratio. The related species yellowtail kingfish ((Seriola lalandi) is farmed in a RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) facility in the

ocean-raise fish within automated enclosures in two zones, located 7-15km (4.3-9.3 miles) off the Brazilian coast of the state of Bahia. Together, the two locations represent the largest offshore concession ever given for sustainable marine aquaculture, totalling 64,200 hectares.

What is kanpachi? Seriola rivoliana gets its name “kanpachi” because the bands over the eyes of young fish of the species resemble the Japanese symbol for “eight”, “kan” (“kan pachi” is “centre eight”). In Hawaii and elsewhere in the US it can also be pronounced “kampachi”. Wild kanpachi or longfin yellowtail can be found as far around the world as Japan, the Philippines, Peru, Spain and the Azores. It is a pelagic species, typically found at depths between 16 and 115 feet. The fish is popular as a sushi ingredient as well as in high-end restaurant cuisine. Forever Oceans has been working with 50 high profile chefs to promote the product, and has developed a range of mouth-

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Demand for this type of fish is increasing worldwide


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Netherlands by The Kingfish Company – which hopes to open another RAS site in Maine soon. Bill Bien says: “I respect them [The Kingfish Company] and what they’ve done, but a range of solutions are needed. Offshore has some fundamental advantages.” Compared with inshore farm sites, he says, farming further out at sea has less impact on the environment and produces fish of premium quality. The offshore approach entails less capital cost than a land-based farm, and has a smaller carbon footprint. Of course, locating a fish farm further out to sea carries its own challenges. Bien says: “The locations are high-energy, but that’s the first challenge the company addressed. The founders were engineers, and the pens have been designed to withstand a category four hurricane. “Our systems can be configured in different ways to adapt to the local environmental conditions. They can also be easily moved or completely submerged as additional risk mitigation steps to avoid severe weather events.” The pens use a single-point mooring system, developed by Forever Oceans as part of its holistic approach, to make it easier to move them to a new location. Because they are offshore, it is also important that the farms can be managed remotely. Each vessel has a command and control transceiver which can work up to 20 miles offshore, with cameras and monitoring equipment to ensure that managers are aware of what’s happening at all times. Here too, the system was developed by the company itself. Forever Oceans’ fish are based on the company’s own broodstock, originating with individuals captured from the wild. The company runs its own breeding programme and its own processing operations. Feed developed for the stock – kanpachi are naturally carnivores – is made up of sustainably sourced marine ingredients (just over


a third) while around two-thirds is plantbased. The company is aiming to reduce the proportion of marine ingredients over time, potentially with increased use of algal-based components. Bien adds that the company is now investing in its new sites in Indonesia and Brazil: “We are expanding our farming capabilities in both locations by growing out our broodstock, running offshore pilots and building onshore infrastructure.” Forever Oceans is backed by a group of

Above: left Forever

Oceans offshore farm

Above: right Forever Oceans enclosure

Below: Forever Oceans

Kanpachi fillets and dish with Pilaf and Asparagus

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The pens have been designed to withstand a category four hurricane venture capital investors, led by Bessemer Venture Partners – which has previously invested in Pinterest, LinkedIn and Shopify – and also including Australia’s sovereign wealth fund and State of Michigan Retirement Systems, among others. Longfin yellowtail could just be the start of the company’s journey. Bien stresses: “We’re creating a platform, not just a single product. Yellowtail came first – but there will be others shortly. “Our goal is to develop the most delicious, fat-intensive fish – that ‘pops’ in the mouth!”

Purchased from Norway, the cage cleaner offers the latest in eco-friendly cleaning for salmon cages. Seen here in operation with our 22-metre landing craft ‘Toplander’. Cleans fast and efficiently, with the ability to simplify and speed up a variety of cage maintenance tasks.

AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE HIRE For more information contact: Gordon Williamson on Tel: 07881827636 | Fax: 01595 840 630

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Cages, Nets, Pens & All the latest news and updates on Cages, Nets, Pens & Moorings from around the world BK Marine offers cage cleaning solution

Aquaculture technology is constantly evolving and BK Marine collaborates with its customers to keep up with new developments, so that the quality of product and safety of production conditions continue to improve. BK Marine’s cage cleaner has proved its efficiency for four different companies across a range of sites. The company believes that it has huge potential in speeding up and improving maintenance. The workboat BK Marjorie (pictured) is still working hard around Scotland, with the crews proving her worth, over and over again. To arrange a date for hire, contact BK Marine on 01595 840208 or 07881827636.

Robust mooring solutions from Vónin

Without proper moorings, fish farms are vulnerable to the vigorous and unpredictable force of the ocean. Over the past decades, Vónin has specialised in supplying high quality mooring equipment to high-energy exposed sites. Vónin’s mooring solutions are designed and built to withstand the harsh weather conditions of the North Atlantic. All components are carefully chosen and crafted for strength and durability. The moorings are tailored to the exact conditions of the planned site. Vónin’s experts run thorough calculations and mooring analysis on Aquasim to design the solution accordingly.

Report forecasts increasing demand for aquaculture cages

The market for aquaculture cages is expected to grow by $70m (£60.8m) from 2021 to 2026, with the market’s growth momentum accelerating at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5.09%, according to the latest market research report by Technavio. The growing inclination toward HDPE aquaculture cages will have a positive impact on the market and contribute to its growth significantly over the forecast period. The research report also analyses other significant trends and market drivers that will influence market growth over 2021-2026, with the Asia-Pacific region predicted to account for 72% of market growth.


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s & Moorings Knox acquires Scotland’s largest netwasher

W & J Knox, part of the Selstad Group, has made further significant investment in its Kilbirnie plant with the arrival of a new supersized netwasher with an internal capacity of 70 cubic metres and the ability to handle nets up to 200m in circumference. The netwasher is the largest in Scotland and one of only a few of this size in the world. This new purchase is a key part of strategic development at Knox, which also includes a main 16-tonne crane, with the ability to scale up to 20 tonnes, and the commissioning of a closed loop water treatment plant in 2021. For further details, contact the Knox team on 01505 682511.

Garware Technical Fibres records 25% growth in Q1 2022 sales Garware Technical Fibres, India, a leading netting and ropes manufacturer for the Indian and global markets, has announced its financial results for the quarter ended 30 June 2022. Net sales of the company increased by 25% to Rs 304.5 crore (£32.9m) in the first quarter of FY23, compared to Rs 243.1 crore (£26.3m) in the same period last year. Vayu Garware, Chairman and Managing Director, Garware Technical Fibres, commented: “The company logged robust top line growth during Q1 FY23. Meanwhile, the quarter also saw a further increase in raw material and input costs, which have been passed through with a lag.”

Positive results from Aquatraz development project in Eiterfjorden

In February 2021, salmon with an average weight of 1.65kg were moved into an Aquatraz cage with a 13-metre lice skirt at SalmoNor’s location in Eiterfjorden. Production in the Aquatraz cage was compared with that in a conventional control cage with a lice skirt and a Midtnorsk Ring at the same location. The salmon were slaughtered in September 2021. The results show that, compared to the control cage, the Aquatraz cage achieved lower total production cost (including depreciations), higher sales price, larger margin of profit, no delousing (compared to five in the control cage), and lowered mortality rate.

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Picky eaters

Young people won’t eat fish, but can the industry persuade them otherwise? By Vince McDonagh


hether it is cod, salmon or shellfish, Norway can boast some of the world’s finest seafood. But the country’s youngsters simply don’t want to know about it, it seems. A recent survey by the Norwegian Seafood Council has found that they are keener on hamburgers, pizzas and anything else that is not so good for their health. Of course, Nordic kids are not alone in turning up their noses at fish. Similar problems exist in Britain, the United States and other affluent societies, including sushi-loving Japan. The Seafood Council, which believes it is time to try to change habits, has taken a closer look at the situation. The survey found that 35% of children and teenagers eat fish less than once a week, yet they are happy to pop sweets and snacks into their mouths, sometimes several times a day. This is in spite of repeated health authority edicts that, whatever our age, we all should eat fish at least three times a week. Only 7% go along with that recommendation while some eat fish only rarely or not at all. There are 772,000 Norwegians aged between eight and 18. This represents roughly a seventh of the population, making up quite an important consumer group. The survey found that: • The 6% who rarely or never eat fish for dinner amounts to over 46,000 children and young people. • If we add those who eat fish between only three to 11 times a year, the proportion becomes 9%, or almost 70,000 children and young people.


• In total, the percentage of the group of children and young people who eat fish for dinner less often than once a week is 35%, or approximately 270,000 children. • 7% eat fish for dinner at least three times a week – this amounts to approximately 54,000 children. • 23% eat snacks and sweets three times a week or more often, representing close to 178,000 children. There are also quite sharp regional differences – and not from the places you would expect. Oslo youngsters are best in class while those in northern Norway, where many of the country’s largest fish farms and fishing ports are located, come bottom of the table. The Seafood Council said that in the capital 68% replied that fish is on the dinner menu at least once or twice a week. But head north and that figure drops to 54%. However, all is not lost as there are a small group of northern households – 10% – where fish appears on the dinner tables up to five times a week. The survey also found

Nordic kids are not alone in turning up their noses at fish Above: Only 7% of young Norwegians eat fish three or more �mes a week Below: Sushi is popular with children and young people

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modest gender differences with 61% of girls against 54% of boys regularly consuming seafood. It seems that the problem becomes more acute as they get older, when they can probably choose for themselves. The survey also shows that, amongst children and young people regularly consuming seafood, the largest group is those between the ages of 8 and 11 (61%), and the smallest is the 16-19 age range (53%). The Seafood Council says: “Despite the fact that many Norwegian children and young people eat too little fish, six out of 10 think that they eat fish in suitable quantities. “As many as seven out of 10 say, at the same time, that they would like to eat more fish if they could choose the fish dishes they like. “The participants were therefore asked the following question: ‘If you were to have fish for dinner, which of these dinner dishes would you most like?’” Fried salmon turns out to be the clear favourite, and was chosen by more than half of those surveyed. Then, in descending order, comes fish gratin, fish sticks, sushi and fish cakes. Fried salmon and sushi are particularly high on the list for young people aged 16-19. Sushi also comes high on the list among children and young people living in Oslo. The participants could choose between several of 18 selected fish dishes. The Norwegian seafood sector has been aware of the problems for some time. Shortly before the pandemic struck two and a half years ago, Seafood Norway, the employers’ organisation which represents both aquaculture and fishing interests, gave its backing to an official Health Directorate campaign, #Merav (“#Moreof”) to encourage kids to eat more fish, fruit and vegetables and whole grain breads. One of the most enthusiastic supporters was Lerøy Seafood, which actively promoted and financed multi-sports participation along with healthier eating. Then along came coronavirus which put an end to sports participation and other such social gatherings.

ARE BRITS MOVING AWAY FROM FISH & CHIPS? BRITONS and fish and chips are almost inseparable, we are constantly being told. Well, think again. A YouGov poll for Times Radio found that the majority of under 25s were more likely to pick Chinese food rather than our national dish, which came in second. Indian food came a close third. However, it remains the top choice among the older generation, becoming less popular the further down the age scale. Most young people in the 18-24 age range went for either Chinese food or pizzas. The roaring price of cod (much of which comes from Norway) means that the cost of a fish and chip meal has risen by more than £3 to around £11.50 and that may be a factor.

HOLY COW! SALMON BURGERS AND HOT DOGS LOOK out McDonald’s and Burger King, the Vikings are coming for you! The North Norwegian salmon company Kvarøy Arctic, located above the Arctic Circle, has launched the salmon hot dog, the Jarlsberg salmon cheeseburger and Kimchi Slaw Salmon Burger to its impressive recipe range. In fact the salmon hot dog is a

finalist in the “Best New Frozen Product” category for the NEXTY Awards. “A salmon hot dog?” you may well ask. This new staple is made with the American Heart Associationcertified Atlantic salmon with the hot dog-like texture making it easy to grill or fry. It also has the recommended weekly allowance of Omega-3 and the product is gluten free.

Norwegian-built workboats produced in aluminium with short delivery time. Catamaran and Trimaran up to 15 metre. Practical and good quality boats.

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+47 95 13 11 32

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Boats & Barges Fish Farmer brings you all the latest Boats & Barges news and updates

Cox presents powerful diesel alternative

The CXO300 is a new generation of diesel marine technology, offering a high-powered 300hp diesel outboard to the aquaculture market. Delivering 650 Nm (newton-metres) torque at 22503000rpm, the CXO300 allows vessels to move through the water in a much more controlled and smooth manner, whilst also meeting the demands for a high performing outboard engine and ensuring safety and convenience. Designed with sustainable innovation in mind, the CXO300 is a fuel-efficient, eco-friendly diesel outboard engine designed for maximum speed, using about 25% less fuel than an equivalent output petrol engine. Additionally, with the diesel-powered CXO300’s longer maintenance cycles, running times are maximised, and downtime minimised. Call 01590 647448 or email

OXE Marine makes sustainable boats a reality

Steeling the limelight

Outboard manufacturer OXE Marine is setting boat operators up for easy access to a sustainable option with its highperformance diesel outboard OXE Diesel. All OXE outboards are compatible with HVO100, a safe, easily accessible and biodegradable biofuel. This means that, on top of the significantly reduced emissions OXE Marine products already offer, when you fuel an OXE Diesel with HVO100 you will reduce your net carbon dioxide emissions by up to 94.2% (when comparing an OXE200 to a 200hp gasoline outboard). To truly create change you need to put sustainability into practice with an OXE Diesel, that’s already possible today.

Gael Force has many years of experience in building more than 100 barges at its own engineering facilities based in Scotland. The company has now revealed an updated range of SeaFeed™ Steel Feed Barges with 400 and 500 tonne feed capacities. They have been designed with a rounded Lextor Marin AS, a shipyard based in Fosnavaag in Norway, builds bow, good safe, secure operation, all in a quality boats upseakeeping, to 15 metresand in length. The boats are mostly low-cost aluminum andpackage. are built with catamaran and trimaran hull designs. The bargesworkboats are designed and built in accordance Lextor Marin’s are practical, versatile, and with stable, and can NS9415. Theira capacity allows for a high to volume of customer’s be fitted out with wide range of equipment suit the additional functional dry storage and a modular design particular needs. means there is flexibility volumes of feed storage. The boats have a short deliveryintime and everything is produced Toin learn more,meaning visit: locally Norway, that full control is maintained over all elements of production. It also allows the shipyard to respond to client requests during the construction period. For further information, contact Aasmund Torvik on 004795131132.

Lextor Marin offers practical and versatile workboats


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THE FIRST CHOICE FOR SPECIALIST PLANT HIRE Survey vessels, workboats, pontoons and barges available for hire across the UK E: T: 01595 696777 - Shetland T: 01224 871776 – Aberdeen

OXE Diesel Outboards are built with demanding users in mind, for those who require reliability, power and control. Ranging from 150hp (607Nm (447 ft-lb) to 300hp (945Nm (696ft-lb), the OXE Diesel provides fuel savings and emission reductions previously unheard of, impacting the journey towards a more sustainable marine environment. Make the switch today at

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Frøy selects ABB’s power system for new hybrid live fish carrier

In a repeat order, Norwegian wellboat and aquaculture services company Frøy has selected ABB as a system integrator for the specially designed DC power distribution solution onboard its new live fish carrier (pictured). ABB’s Onboard DC Grid™ and Power and Energy Management System (PEMS™) will optimise energy use onboard, whether drawing on the vessel’s main engine power, energy storage, or a combination of both. The vessel will become the second in the world to feature the innovative distribution solution specifically designed for live fish carriers, after its sister ship Gåsø Odin.

Moen Marin electrifying the aquaculture workboat industry

The Norwegian Seafood Federation has said that the country’s aquaculture industry should become fully electric by 2030. Moen Marin, the world’s largest supplier of electric and hybrid workboats to the aquaculture industry, is doing its part towards meeting that goal. The company predicts that close to 80% of the newbuilds it delivers this year will be vessels with either hybrid electric or fully electric propulsion systems. Moen Marin’s most popular aquaculture workboat NabCat 1480 (pictured) can reduce CO2 emissions by 200 tonnes a year if powered by electricity instead of fossil fuels. To read about the other advantages of hybrid/electric workboats, see pages 60-61.

Ocean Kinetics invests heavily in marine plant hire service Fast-growing marine engineering and fabrication specialist Ocean Kinetics – based in Shetland, Aberdeen, and Oban – has continued its business development and stepped up its range of services through a significant investment in marine plant and equipment, which it is now offering to customers on short, medium and long-term hire deals. The company has built up an extensive stock of plant, equipment, and specialist tooling – ranging from survey vessels, workboats, pontoons and barges – to support a range of sectors throughout the UK. For further information, contact:

Coastal Workboats Scotland announces Landing Utility Vessel availability Coastal Workboats Scotland is due to complete its next stock LUV2208 in collaboration with Damen Shipyards during December this year. This latest incarnation of the now proven Damen Landing Utility Vessel design comes on the back of successful deliveries into the Scottish aquaculture sector, with the most recent LUV2208 (Tiffany II ) having now been in operation since April. The December delivery remains available for sale. For further information, contact Coastal Workboats Scotland at, or via Damen Shipyards UK representatives at Further sister vessels will also be available through 2023 and 2024.


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Steeling the limelight

Gael Force has many years of experience in building more than 100 barges at its own engineering facilities based in Scotland. The company has now revealed an updated range of SeaFeed™ Steel Feed Barges with 400 and 500 tonne feed capacities. They have been designed with a rounded bow, good seakeeping, and safe, secure operation, all in a low-cost package. The barges are designed and built in accordance with NS9415. Their capacity allows for a high volume of additional functional dry storage and a modular design means there is flexibility in volumes of feed storage. To learn more, visit:

£190k HIE investment in Moray shipyard expansion

Neander’s unique 50hp diesel outboard engine

A £1.9m project that will create 10 new jobs in Moray over the next three years has secured up to £190,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Macduff Shipyard Limited (MSL) is to double the berthing capacity of its facility in Buckie. Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “Scotland has long had a rich shipbuilding heritage and it is exciting to see MSL build on that legacy with this project. I wholeheartedly welcome this announcement, which will safeguard jobs in and around Buckie and contribute to the economic growth and prosperity of the local community.” Pictured below: L-R: Stuart Mack (MSL), Ivan McKee, John Watt (MSL), Rory McCann (MSL) and Steve Richards (HIE)

The Neander Dtorque 50 is the only 50hp diesel outboard on the market. Delivering 111 Nm (newton-metres) of torque, the Dtorque 50 delivers uninterrupted power, reduced downtime and lower costs for commercial customers worldwide. The idea behind the Dtorque 50 is to offer the power, reliability, convenience and lower running costs of a diesel inboard, whilst matching the weight, manoeuvrability and serviceability of a petrol outboard. Diesel outboards are now accepted in the commercial market and diesel more freely available on the waterfront around the UK and Ireland. Plus, diesel outboards use less fuel, have wider service intervals, and last longer than petrol outboards. Call 01590 647448 or email

Monitoring your workboat’s performance and health Reygar is the leading provider of digitised remote monitoring systems for small commercial vessels. The company’s BareFLEET system continuously monitors vessel fuel consumption, emissions, machinery health/alarms, and navigation activity. The company’s digital logbook option integrates crew log information with vessel measurements to provide a breakdown of performance by activity and even by crew. Customers benefit from live alarms, concise daily fuel and engine health reports, and an interactive web portal for viewing all measurement data. Adopted by more than 200 vessels worldwide, BareFLEET can be used by Crew Transfer, Aquaculture, Towage, Pilot and general workboats.


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Sundolitt Ltd Purchases UK EPS Packaging Business, FoamExtra Ltd


undolitt Ltd, the UK division of Sunde AS, is delighted to announce the acquisition of FoamExtra Ltd, based in Glasgow. Sunde AS is a 103-year-old family-owned, vertically integrated business. Sunde AS is one of the leading European manufacturers in the production and conversion of EPS and XPS based products. The Sunde Group employs 480 staff across 21 sites, fully supporting each with technical and R&D resources. The FoamExtra Ltd operation will add to the current Sundolitt packaging locations of Fort William and Montrose, giving Sundolitt Ltd an enhanced ability to supply the complete Scottish packaging industry, particularly the fish sector. Colin Morrow, Sundolitt Ltd General Manager commented: “Sundolitt Ltd is delighted with the addition of the FoamExtra Ltd business to our portfolio of sites, servicing the whole Scottish packaging sector”. He added: “FoamExtra Ltd has developed a name for service and quality of product

supplying key producers in the Scottish fish industry and we are delighted to add this excellently located Glasgow factory to our portfolio”. Bertil Sunde, the Group CEO said: “we are committed to the long-term strategic development of Sundolitt Ltd in the UK market. The FoamExtra Ltd acquisition adds to the recent announcement of significant investment in our new Corby facility. Both these investments will enhance our

position as a leading European Expanded Polystyrene supplier while strengthening our position in the UK market.” The acquisition opportunity arose as the FoamExtra Ltd majority shareholder, David Bruce, decided to take a step back from the business and retire. David said: “FoamExtra Ltd is a great fit for the Sundolitt Ltd business and I am confident that they will secure the future for the site and, importantly, the jobs. I wish them every success in the future”. Finally, Colin Morrow stated: “This is a significant investment in the future of the UK fish sector and as we move forward we shall continue with the Sunde AS development of a sustainable second-life EPS, where EPS boxes are recycled into Sundolitt construction products. Sundolitt Ltd is now the largest supplier of EPS boxes to the Scottish fish industry. We are also delighted to secure the valued service of all the current FoamExtra Ltd staff with their many years of experience in quality manufacturing.” For any enquiries about the above, please call Colin Morrow on 01786 471586.

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Look Out for the Green Vessels

The transition to a greener fleet with electric power propulsion is well underway in fish farming, according to Moen Marin, the world’s largest supplier of electric and hybrid workboats to the aquaculture industry. The Norwegian company’s market forecast for 2022 predicts that close to 80% of the newbuilds they deliver this year will be vessels with either hybrid electric or fully electric propulsion systems. For deliveries in 2023, the share of hybrids and fully electric vessels will be even higher “The market has shifted very rapidly. Moen Marin sold its first vessel with hybrid electric propulsion in 2019, and just three years later, we see that the demand for these vessels is catching up with conventional vessels”, says General Manager Terje Andreassen. Moen Marin believes that sentiment among seafood consumers is one of the key drivers behind this market shift: “Consumers expect and demand more climate-friendly food, as well as more sustainable and responsible food production. “The fish farmers have obviously spotted this market trend, and now they want to adapt their business to it. All over the aquaculture industry, leaders are looking for every possible way to reduce emissions and run operations more sustainably”, says Terje Andreassen. Mr Andreassen and Moen Marin also expect new laws and

Moen Marin has calculated that its most popular aquaculture workboat NabCat 1480 can reduce CO2 emissions by 200 tonnes a year if powered by electricity instead of fossil fuels. Another advantage is better working conditions for the crew; less exhaust gas, noise and vibrations. Less noise is also good for fish welfare. From 2022 all Moen Marin boats can be delivered with electric and hybrid operation. In addition, Moen Marin has introduced the mobile power banks eCont and eBox to improve the power charging infrastructure. The Norwegian Seafood Federation has announced that the country’s aquaculture industry should become fully electric by 2030. This can cut climate gas emissions by 360,000 tonnes annually, which is comparable to emissions from 180,000 cars. However, the green transition is not just a matter of reducing CO2 emissions. We are convinced that electrification will also help businesses cut costs and save money.

regulations from governments, consumer demands and requirements related to necessary certifications, will contribute to reduced emissions and enhance sustainability in the aquaculture industry.

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Cut consumption, cut emissions, cut costs

Effective sea lice control the gentle way!

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The SkaMik mechanical delousing system provides effective sea lice control while maintaining good fish welfare, a peer-reviewed article published in the Norwegian Veterinary Journal finds. The SkaMik 1.5 delousing system uses a combination of soft rotating brushes and low-pressure water nozzles to remove sea lice, without use of temperate water, chemicals or medication. In the latest issue of the peer-reviewed journal published by The Norwegian Veterinary Association researchers Aoife K. Maloney Westgaard, Silje Stroem Stensby, Fredrik Staven and Marianne Kraugerud has examined fish welfare, behavior and effect when treating salmon with SkaMik1,5. Their findings document very low impact on fish stress levels , no gill damage and low mortality rate for salmon treated with the SkaMik 1.5 delousing system. The fish commence feeding immediately after delousing and suffer minimal growth loss.

NabCat 1480 HYBRID

The system removes salmon lice regardless of its life cycle stage, thereby reducing infection pressure on farmed and wild fish. The mechanical delousing system can be used on fish of all sizes. The system is scalable and is customized to deliver the desired capacity pr hour. The largest system delivered so far, treat up to 600 metric tons pr hour. Each fish spends in average 1.5 seconds in the delousing system.


• Palfi nger 50002 SkaMik 1.5 has an average effect on 95% onPK all sea lice stages, Electric does not use or emit chemicals,•and it has acapstans 100% collection and 1x3t 1x5t destruction rate for lice. • 333kWh battery In Norway the market demand forpackage SkaMik ́s solutions soared in

2021. For the producer, Norwegian technology company SkaMik AS, sales increased by a fourfold. In January 2022 the SkaMik Well documented tests and more than 1 million tonnes of made its debut in Canada, for Grieg treated salmon, also shows that SkaMik 1.5 is very effective. NabCat 1480 Hybrid represent the new delousing age ofsystem fishalso farming vessels. Seafood BC Ltd.

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Industry DIARY The latest aquaculture events, conferences and courses SEPTEMBER 22 AQUACULTURE EUROPE 2022 The European Aquaculture Society’s annual conference focuses on “Innovative Solutions in a Changing World”.


Panama City, Panama April 18-21, 2023


Vienna, Austria September 18-21, 2023

Rimini, Italy September 27-30, 2022


Singapore November 29-December 2, 2022


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

JUNE 23 SEAWORK Seawork is a ‘one stop shop’ providing access to the commercial marine and workboat business.


San Antonio,Texas, USA February 18-21, 2024


Southampton, United Kingdom June 13-15, 2023


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


Trondheim, Norway August 22-25, 2023

Aviemore will once again be the venue for this biennial trade fair and conference. It is undoubtedly the most important aquaculture exhibition held in the British Isles. The show has a tremendous following and with increased investment for 2024 it promises to reach even further across the broader aquaculture markets in both the UK and Europe.

Aviemore, United Kingdom May 14-15, 2024

JUNE 24 AQUA 2024 -

Stavanger, Norway June 24-28, 2024


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What’s NEW Monthly update on industry innovations and solutions from around the world Probotic reveals findings from new underwater drone test PROBOTIC, an aquaculture technology company, has revealed its initial findings from pilot testing on its innovative Probot underwater drone. The drone automates the inspection and cleaning of fish pen nets, one of the fish farming industry’s most significant pain points. The company claims this automation results in cleaner food production, increased animal welfare, decreased operational costs, and reduced climate emissions. The testing of the drone at Ballangen Sjøfarm’s sites began this summer. Now, after a month of testing, Probotic says the mechanical aspects of the drone are proven. The next testing phase will be related to optimising the algorithms for steering and detection.

Professional hatching jar for fish eggs

THE profibreed EggJar PRO by FIAP, specially shaped for hatching, mimics the conditions under which eggs are hatched in the wild. Manufactured from real glass with natural flow conditions, it allows for optimal production, with a high hatching rate. The container comes with a 1,000 micron lid strainer that prevents egg loss. When the eggs hatch, the lid strainer is removed to allow the fish to swim. The EggJar is suitable for trout, salmon, rock perch, catfish, tilapia and many other types of fish. It has capacity for approximately 100,000 trout eggs.

Tech business R3-IoT rebrands as Krucial

COMMUNICATIONS technology business R3-IoT has a new name – Krucial. The company, which focuses on telecoms and sensor expertise, is also launching a Connected Seafarm Trial Package which it says can be deployed in just six hours. The package has been designed as a full end-to-end data services solution. It contains specific sensors and a weather station ready for deployment in just one day, meaning no technical expertise, and minimal maintenance, is required from the user. It easily automates data collection across multiple pens, farms and infrastructure to spot trends and enable operators to make more informed decisions to improve efficiency, increase sustainability and better understand conditions.

Watbots orders new M16 modems from Water Linked

WATBOTS, an aquaculture tech startup, has appointed Water Linked as its supplier of underwater communication technology. This newly developed iteration of the M64 modem, called the M16, will enable the Watbot, a fish cage cleaning robot, to communicate remotely with the base station without signal interference. Håvard Lillebo, CEO of Watbots, commented: “A robust communication is critical to our solution and working closely with a proven technology innovator such as Water Linked provides the reassurance required for this key part of our unique solution. We feel this partnership will benefit both companies and reaffirm Norway as a leader in bringing exciting new technology to the underwater industry.”

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12/09/2022 09:42:19


Accountability By Nick Joy


n last month’s edition of Fish Farmer, you will have seen a report on the serious decline of wild salmon in Scotland, not just on the West Coast as it was previously mooted. I describe it that way because there are too many statistics challenging the notion that the coasts are fundamentally different. There never was a clear case for that theory. I have spent many fruitless hours over the years arguing with a good number of the leading lights of the wild salmonid crowd. Having never believed the sea lice theory, I would ask them so many questions that they simply couldn’t answer, such as: • How come the declines on each coast match? • Why does the River Polla on the North coast not fit the pattern if the salmon travel up the West coast as suggested? • Why is the decline so patchy on the West coast and often where salmon farming does not occur? • If the problem is so severe why not stop fishing on the West coast for 10 years and give the fish a chance? • How will you ever recover these rivers if you refuse to use their own wild stock in a restocking program like the Carron? In every single way, any response or positive action was blocked. The argument was always that it was someone else’s fault. Whatever was suggested was ignored because the blinkers which blamed salmon farming were on. We were to blame and no piece of science which conflicted with that view was allowed. Genetic studies were ignored, statistical analysis rejected, and any anomalies dismissed, unless they supported the theory that salmon farming was to blame. In truth, at the end of a number of these arguments I lost my cool and pointed out that the whole response was emotional, not logical. I used to point out that these people had a romantic conception about salmon as “the king of fish” and could not bear the idea of it being farmed. Few argued I was wrong. There were a few other culprits, they admitted, that might have had a small effect. The netting was removed from many rivers, allowing huge colonies of seals to build up in the estuaries. Some discussion occurred about the impact of forestry and nitrification. Occasionally more abstruse things like road salt cropped up, but generally the decline was the fish farmers’ fault. Now these loud-mouthed critics have to answer a much more basic question: why has the decline on the East coast been so terrible? They cannot blame this on us however hard they try. So come on guys, let’s see your mettle. After being wrong for so long, with no answers as to why the decline has occurred, maybe some of you could actually do the decent thing and resign, to allow people with differing views and a willingness for dialogue to step in. In any other industry, having got it wrong consistently for decades, the people responsible for policy would either fall on


The argument was always that it was someone else’s fault

their swords or an Ides of March would occur. How can the wild salmonid industry defend its appalling record in protecting the species they make so much so much noise about caring for? Will they now change tack before it’s too late? How about an even riskier strategy of talking with people who know how to look after salmon and grow them? They might even find that our industry is willing or even keen to help them return their fisheries to their heyday. What might surprise the wild lobby is that a lot of us who came into this industry so long ago have a deep love of, and interest in, fish. I know personally that I would love to see the salmon and sea trout returning as they used to, but for that to happen there has to be serious change at the top of the wild salmonid lobby. Don’t hold your breath!

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