Pens go full circle


The company’s freshwater smolt units at Loch Shin in Sutherland and Loch Frisa on Mull are being upgraded through the removal of old existing steel pens and replaced with 18 circular 40m circumference polyethylene (PE) Aquaflex pens which have been refurnished by Fusion Marine.


The material to fabricate the pens was sourced from 11 redundant 70m circumference seawater pens that were originally supplied to SSF around 15 years ago.


Fusion Marine initially surveyed the old pens in 2014 and carried out a full fit-for-purpose survey of the equipment to make sure it met requirements for re-use in line with the newly implemented Scottish Technical Standard.


The use of this ‘free-issue’ existing material provides a sustainable and environmentally friendly means of upgrading these sites through the utilisation of redundant marine equipment. For the project, both sites have opted for a complete supply package, including central service pontoon walkways with Aquaflex pens arranged on either side to ensure convenient daily operational use. For Loch Frisa, the arrangement comprises a 66m pontoon with eight pens, whilst at Loch Shin it consists of an 81 m pontoon and 10 pens.


SSF worked closely with Fusion Marine in stripping and cleaning the old pens, as well as aiding in the fabrication process.


Jim Gallagher, Managing Director of SSF, says: “Scottish Sea Farms has a strategy of investing in top quality infrastructure to provide the best welfare, environmental and production results for our business. Recycling of this equipment makes perfect commercial and environmental sense. We value Fusion’s expertise in ensuring this can be done in a way that meets our exacting technical standards.”


Rhuaraidh Edwards of Fusion Marine says: “We are always keen as a company to ensure that redundant pens and material are responsibly disposed or recycled. The pens in question started life out in seawater production 15 years ago and have been modified and upgraded along the way. It is very pleasing that we have been able to refurbish them in new locations for SSF so they can get another 15 years plus from them as part of their freshwater operations.”