The winners celebrate their awards in Inverness last night.

Double delight for Organic Sea Harvest at Aquaculture Awards

Skye salmon farmer named best company and community prize winner as sector's achievements are celebrated

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Skye salmon farmer Organic Sea Harvest has scored a double win in this year’s Aquaculture Awards, which were awarded last night in a presentation dinner in Inverness.

Organic Sea Harvest, which has organic farms at Culnacnoc and Invertote off the northeast coast of Skye, was named Best Aquaculture Company by the judging panel for its commitment to producing organic salmon, growing the business and for making an impact in the communities in which it operates.

The company also won the Community award, along its aquafeed supplier Cargill, for their joint From the Sea to the Land community initiative, which has brought tangible benefits to local causes on Skye since its launch two years ago.

A total of 13 prizes were awarded at the event, which was held at the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel and hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield.

Farmer of the Year

Cameron Jones of Mowi beat off tough competition to scoop this year’s Farmer of the Year award. The judges decided he stood out as Mowi’s youngest ever manager and now its youngest area manager, showing leadership beyond his years, turning around some of Mowi’s most challenging farms and supporting his team in difficult times.

Eleanor Lawrie pictured on the Ailsa Craig, where she works as a deckhand. Lawrie won the Rising Star award.

The Rising Star award went to Mowi’s Eleanor Lawrie, who has blazed a trail as the salmon farmer’s first female deckhand and hopes to inspire others into roles that aren’t traditionally for women.

In an interview with Women in Scottish Aquaculture, Lawrie explained that she was sent to cover as a deckhand on workboats when the fish farm was fallow, and realised that was what she wanted to continue doing.


The Collaboration prize was awarded to Rare Earth Global and the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling for their trial validating hemp seeds as a viable novel ingredient in the diets of farmed salmon.

At an aquaculture sustainability summit in Glasgow last month, Rare Earth Global co-founder and director Suneet Shivaprasad said hemp seed protein could be a 1:1 replacement for soy, and the crop could be grown in Scotland.

“Growing locally will reduce CO₂ content by 41%,” he told the summit.

The Innovation award was given to Australia’s Aqua Clean Tas for its Tassie Devil Tracker 4000, the world’s first hydraulically powered mechanical remotely operated vehicle (ROV) net cleaning machine.

Selcoth Fisheries

Winner of the Sustainability award was Selcoth Fisheries, a small family run rainbow trout farmer located near Moffat has implemented a hydro-electric supply network, invested in humane stunning technology and a water filtration system, and delivered biodiversity and habitat improvement projects across its sites.

The Animal Welfare prize was awarded to steelhead trout producer Kames Fish Farming for introducing a brood stock programme with genetics experts Xelect and cryopreservation specialists Cyrogenetics, resulting in a strain of trout tailored to its specific environment.

Tom Morrow Tarpaulins of Inverness was named Supplier of the Year. Serving the aquaculture sector industry for more than 25 years, the Tom Morrow team has provided sustainable and humane products to solve and manage the challenges faced by the sector, never missing a deadline and working round the clock to deliver for clients.

WellFish Diagnostics

The inaugural Best New Start Up award was won by WellFish Diagnostics, which has developed a potentially transformational service using blood biomarkers to monitor fish health, incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and achieving early commercial success.

Dr Lesley McEvoy of UHI Shetland, described by colleagues as a quiet but active champion of aquaculture, was winner of the Unsung Hero award. As she retires, she is credited with inspiring many up and coming scientists, school pupils and husbandry staff in her role as an instructor, teacher, lecturer and supervisor of aquaculture and fisheries vocational, undergraduate, postgraduate and research students.

Scottish Sea Farms' head of veterinary services Ronnie Soutar received the Outstanding Contribution award.

Another tireless advocate for aquaculture, Ronnie Soutar, head of veterinary services at Scottish Sea Farms, won the Outstanding Contribution award, having earned the respect of his peers across the sector for the range and depth of his work.

The Judges’ Special Recognition Award, created to acknowledge the efforts of a particular company or individual, went to World Feeds, which has made a significant difference to cleaner fish welfare and survival rates with its innovative feed blocks.

Incredible talent

Aquaculture Awards organiser Diversified Communications paid tribute to all the award entries, and to the sponsors, including SAIC, Fish Farmer, MSD Animal Health, Ocean Kinetics, M&S Food, DSM, BioMar, Poseidon, Hendrix Genetics, Solvtrans, Cargill, Stingray, the Institute of Aquaculture, Skills Development Scotland, Crown Estate Scotland and Marine Scotland.

Event director Cheri Arvonio said: “The Aquaculture Awards celebrate the incredible talent, initiative and sheer hard work that make the sector so successful and we are proud, once again, to be able to honour the achievements of those who have made such a difference this year.

“The judges’ decisions were difficult, given the select line-up, and congratulations must go to all those who were nominated, the high calibre shortlists and to the amazing award winners.”

Read more about the winners and see who was shortlisted in each category here.