Scottish Sea Farms – Scotland’s second largest salmon producer – today revealed it has received planning permission to build a state-of-the-art RAS smolt hatchery at Barcaldine in Argyll.
The company says it is investing £35 million in this major facility as part of a total £70 million spend anticipated over the next few years. The new hatchery will create up to 25 permanent high-value skilled jobs.
The new land-based Recirculating Aquaculture System freshwater facility will be used for rearing smolts in bio-secure and environmentally friendly conditions.
Planning consent from Argyll and Bute council followed a period of consultation with the local community and the company has adapted plans to ensure that the site is developed in a way that also benefits the community and supports sustainable growth in the area.
Jim Gallagher, Scottish Sea Farms managing director, said: “I am delighted by the positive decision from the local authority and the support from the local community. We are pleased that this decision has been taken so quickly and because of this investment, Argyll will benefit from high-quality jobs and training opportunities which will include disciplines such as fish husbandry, bio-chemistry and engineering.”
“This will be transformational for Scottish Sea Farms, raising our production of smolts from five million to 11 million annually, and helping us to meet the rising global demand for our premium Scottish salmon and to grow our harvest volumes and revenues sustainably. It will also further increase our contribution to Scotland’s economic prosperity and the development of our coastal communities.”
In designing and developing the new hatchery, Scottish Sea Farms says it will deploy best practice in fish health and husbandry, production and environmental impact. The planned facility will use 90 per cent less water than traditional freshwater sites, and will deliver significantly improved energy efficiency. Smolts will be reared there until they are ready to transfer to sea farms.
Demolition has been underway at the site and construction is expected to start in the next few weeks with the first fish reared in the new facility entering the water in 2019.
Scottish Sea Farms was established in 1968 and has more than 440 employees. It sites include hatcheries, freshwater and marine locations on the west coast of Scotland, Orkney and Shetland. Processing and freshwater locations include South Shian, Argyll, Scalloway and Shetland.
The company is jointly owned by Leroy Seafood Group and SalMar ASA. Its main markets are the UK, France and the US and it exports salmon to more than 20 countries.
Published: 16/03/2017 at 10:22 am