Chilean suppliers believe the Scottish salmon farming sector offers them opportunities for expansion.

Chilean innovators set sights on Scottish aquaculture market

UK trade ministry funds teaching and trip to Aviemore for salmon farming suppliers

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Seven innovative Chilean fish farming suppliers have been selected to participate in an initiative to help them establish themselves in the UK.

The Blue Bridge programme is organised by the UK’s Department for Business and Trade and the British Embassy in Santiago and offers the companies a six-month “soft landing” during which they will be taught all they need to know to set up a presence in the UK.

The companies will then participate in a five-day trade mission to Scotland, which includes the opportunity to showcase their innovations in a presentation at the Aquaculture UK trade show in Aviemore in May.

The British Government is covering the cost of a round-trip flight ticket for one person in each company, plus internal travel in the UK, and tickets for the Aquaculture Awards dinner at Aviemore.

Embracing technology

“As the aquaculture industry continues its rapid global expansion, embracing cutting-edge technology has become pivotal for sustainable growth,” the UK government says on a web page about the initiative.

“With the UK aquaculture industry poised for remarkable growth and the Chilean supply chain demonstrating remarkable strength, we are introducing the Blue Bridge initiative, a programme designed for Chilean companies looking at expanding their operations and ground-breaking innovations to the UK.”

Applications for places opened in September and the successful applicants were chosen in October, with the “soft landing” now under way.

The companies selected to participate in the Blue Bridge programme are Innovex, Kura Biotech, Kran, Bioled, Lago Sofía, Lythium and Bioelements.

Monitoring systems

Innovex supplies real-time monitoring systems, oxygen monitoring and injection systems, and oceanographic buoys.

“Our greatest expectation is to be able to carry out tests of our equipment in Scottish companies,” said the company’s operations manager and founding partner Gonzalo Santamarina.

Innovex system operating in a Chilean salmon farm.

Kura Biotech supplies the RESIST Food detection kit which can detect pathogens such as salmonella and listeria in products and food processing plants easily, quickly and at a competitive price.

“Through the Blue Bridge program, we seek to enhance this product, offering effective and advanced solutions to guarantee food security at an international level,” said business development manager Esteban Riquelme.

“We aim to offer our pathogen detection products as reliable solutions for the specific needs of the aquaculture industry in Scotland. We intend not only to sell our existing products, but also to identify opportunities for new developments that can meet the particular demands of this constantly evolving market.”


Kran specialises in nanobubbles, which Chilean fish farmer Salmones Camanchaca is using to cut disinfectant use in one of its processing plants.

“The Blue Bridge program is an opportunity to bring our solutions for more sustainable aquaculture production and efficient water management to the UK,” said Kran aquaculture division manager Mauricio Bueno.

“The similarity in the challenges that aquaculture faces in the UK, in relation to building resilience and competitiveness through a transition towards sustainable practices, represents an excellent opportunity for the solutions provided by Kran nanobubble applications, focused on efficient management of water resources and the improvement of water quality without the use of chemicals.”


Bioled is an expert in photoperiod and is already present in 14 countries, providing lighting for different species of finfish, and shrimp.

“17 years of experience in photoperiod have positioned us at an international level, managing the technique and integrating our knowledge to help our clients globally when carrying out each stage of their production cycle,” said Ximena Navarro, founding partner and R&D manager.

“Just as we did in Chile 17 years ago, we are going to show the UK market all the productive performance they can obtain by manipulating photoperiod.”

The Lago Sofia RAS facility at Chinquihue, 12 kilometres from Chile’s salmon farming 'capital', Puerto Montt.

Lago Sofía (Sofia Lake) produces around 15 million smolts a year with average weights of between 130g and 250g.

“We have always been interested in the Scottish market. We believe that we can come up with a product that allows greater flexibility when growing in freshwater facilities,” said chief executive Miguel Portus.

He added that modular recirculation systems had considerable advantages in terms of biosafety and modular production and were “undoubtedly interesting for this market”.

“Having a product with these characteristics would allow Scottish salmon farmers to increase the size of their smolts, improve the standard of animal welfare and have safety in grow-out,” said Portus.

Image analysis

Lythium offers artificial intelligence and image analysis solutions for fish farmers.

“Our experience includes services implemented in salmon processing plants in Chile, such as salmon quality evaluation and product counting to measure flows and productivity,” said general manager Fernanda Clément.

“By collaborating with local partners in the UK, we will tailor these solutions to the specificities of their processing plants.”

Bioelements provides ecological alternatives to conventional plastic packaging. Its bags, films, and rigid products are biodegradable in the environment, including landfills, composting facilities, and aquatic environments.

It has a presence in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, and the US.