An illustration of Mowi Scotland's proposed broodstock and ova facility at Ardessie, Little Loch Broom, which will be part-funded by the taxpayer.

Top two salmon farmers each granted £5m from UK Seafood Fund

Mowi and Scottish Sea Farms given money towards broodstock and post-smolt projects

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Scotland’s two biggest salmon farmers, Mowi Scotland and Scottish Sea Farms, have each been awarded £5 million from the £100m UK Seafood Fund to help meet the cost of new projects.

Mowi Scotland has been awarded its grant for a planned broodstock and ova facility at Ardessie, on the shores of Little Loch Broom, in Wester Ross.

The salmon farmer currently gets most of its ova from Mowi Ireland, and others from suppliers in Scotland and Iceland, but wants to develop its own strain of fish best suited to local conditions.

Smolts chosen as potential broodstock candidates were put to sea in late 2021 and will be brought into the new broodstock facility in the spring of 2024.


Scottish Sea Farms is being given help to build a post-smolt facility at its £58m recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) hatchery at Barcaldine, Oban.

With an anticipated footprint of 9,500m², the proposed post-smolt unit would be located between the existing hatchery and the shoreline. This will enable fish to be transferred from the hatchery to the new unit via a fixed pipeline. Post-smolts will be transferred smoothly on to wellboats from the new facility when they are ready to be stocked in marine sites.

Barcaldine is currently producing smolts with an average weight of around 150 grams or above, reducing the time they spend at sea by two months compared to smaller smolts traditionally stocked in Scottish salmon farms. The proposed post-smolt unit will build on this gain by reducing time at sea by another three months.

£18.7m handout

The grants are among 10 worth a total of £18.7m announced for projects in Scotland by the UK government today as part of the second round of its UK Seafood Fund Infrastructure Scheme.

The other big recipient is Northbay Pelagic Ltd, of Peterhead, which is upgrading its current processing facility and buying new equipment to increase processing capacity by up to 35,000 tonnes a year, and also receives £5m.

One another aquaculture producer, Mull-based mussel farmer Inverlussa Shellfish Company Ltd, has received £200,000 for mussel farm and shore-based hub upgrades with renewable energy supply.

More than £74m in match funding from alternative private or public contributions is supporting these projects.

Levelling up

UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said he was delighted that funding was being shared among Scottish projects.

“The fund is a crucial part of our commitment to help level up coastal communities,” added Lamont, Conservative MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.

The grant announced for Mowi Scotland today is the second the Norwegian-owned company has received from the UK Seafood Fund. In the first round in November, Mowi was granted just over £2m towards the £15m cost of extending its Blar Mhor primary processing plant in Fort William.