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Loch Duart buys ‘world’s best’ steel cages from Canada

View a promotional video of the Trident cage here. Video: Poseidon / Trimara.

Scottish salmon farmer Loch Duart is to install a state-of-the-art Canadian-built steel cage assembly at its Badcall site, close to the company’s headquarters in Scourie, Sutherland.

The Trident Hybrid Steel Cage is made by British Columbian company Poseidon Ocean Systems, which claims Trident is the world’s most advanced steel cage system.

It uses flexible HDPE pipes to improve safety and stability while lowering overall operational costs. Its design also allows for seamless transition to technologies such as rigid nets and floating closed containment without the need to invest in new structures.

The sale was arranged through Trimara Services, a Scotland-based global distributor of aquaculture systems, services, and products such as the AutoBoss net washer, which it also supplies to Loch Duart.

The cage assembly will comprise 14 pens that are 24m x 24m square.

Mark Warrington:
Mark Warrington: "We trust Trimara's ability to deliver."

‘Best-in-class husbandry’

Loch Duart managing director Mark Warrington said: “We trust Trimara’s ability to deliver. We want to be close to our fish and these cages will let us continue with our commitment to providing best-in-class husbandry while improving the working environment for our team.”   

Poseidon was established by former Mowi Canada West head of engineering Mathew Clarke and his wife Heather in 2016 and now has a team of 14 engineers and a total workforce of 24.

“We looked at existing steel cages and realised that nothing had really changed in more than 25 years. ‘There must be a better way’ was our design philosophy,” said Mathew Clarke.

‘A dramatically improved system’

“What we have developed is a dramatically improved, innovative steel cage system. The system is significantly stronger and performs incredibly well at high energy sites; it is also easier to maintain and the accessories are fully customisable.

“All aspects of modern farm operations can be integrated into the Trident structure. For instance, farmers can recess feed pipes and other supply lines below the walkway – this eliminates trip hazards and keeps the system tidy.  We have deployed a large system in western Canada (for Cermaq) and are making good progress in Chile - but this Scottish sale is our first export order and we are delighted to see this progressing.”

Stewart Hawthorn:
Stewart Hawthorn: "We can’t wait to see the first of these new concept system cages being worked in Scotland."

Stocked in June

The Trident cages will arrive in Scotland next month. Trimara will assemble the units in March and April ready for stocking in June.

“We can’t wait to see the first of these new concept system cages being worked in Scotland and are looking forward to a successful assembly and on-site installation process,” said Hawthorn.

Loch Duart, which produces around 6,000 tonnes of salmon annually. The fish are grown to the French Label Rouge standard.

Hybrid feed barge

The company has been investing following its acquisition by US company Vision Ridge Partners, which invests in sustainable businesses.

As part of its focus on having a low environmental impact, Loch Duart will take delivery of a hybrid feed barge from Scale AQ in the spring. The barge combines batteries and diesel engine power to reduce environmental emissions and to improve the immediate working environment.  

Loch Duart has also bought a disused fish processing factory in Dingwall, which Warrington said would allow the company to be more flexible and responsive to customers’ needs.

The Trident cage pictured before a net is attached. The cage design allows farmers to put everything under the walkway. Photo: Poseidon / Trimara.
The Trident cage pictured before a net is attached. The cage design allows farmers to put everything under the walkway. Photo: Poseidon / Trimara.