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Mowi production director takes on multi-region fish health role

Mowi Scotland production director Meritxell Diez-Padrisa is moving to a broader role as fish health director after overseeing significant biological improvements in Scotland. Photo: Mowi.
Mowi Scotland production director Meritxell Diez-Padrisa is moving to a broader role as fish health director after overseeing significant biological improvements in Scotland. Photo: Mowi.

Mowi Scotland has promoted production director Meritxell Diez-Padrisa to fish health director for Scotland, Ireland and the Faroes, it announced today.

The move allows Diez-Padrisa, a veterinarian and fish health expert, to focus on continued biological improvements in farming.

Since taking over as Scotland farming director in February last year Diez-Padrisa has overseen significant biological improvements in the region, something the company seeks to continue in Scotland and extend to Ireland and the Faroes.

Ben Hadfield, Mowi’s chief operating officer for Scotland, Ireland and the Faroes, said Mowi’s Capital Markets Day last week highlighted the synergies expected from close cooperation between the regions he oversees.

“Those who follow our salmon sector closely will know that fish health and welfare are key to a sustainable and profitable business,” he added.

Roar Paulsen will take over as Mowi Scotland production director in May. Photo: Mowi.
Roar Paulsen will take over as Mowi Scotland production director in May. Photo: Mowi.

Key attributes ands experience

Diez-Padrisa’s role as Scotland production director will be filled by Roar Paulsen from the beginning of May. Paulsen, who will be based in Fort William, has spent 26 years at salmon farmer Lerøy as managing director of Lerøy Hydrotech AS and then production director for Lerøy Midt AS, the company’s central Norway fish farming operation.

“I am very pleased to be able to attract Roar Paulsen to the role as production director beginning in May,” said Hadfield. “With education in aquaculture, food technology and leadership positions in fishing and fish farming over the past 35 years, Roar brings key attributes and experience to the role.”

Paulsen currently holds board positions in several farming companies and related organisations such as OURO, a Norwegian salmon industry-financed organisation tasked with removing escaped farmed fish from bodies of water, and Sjømat Norge (Norwegian Seafood Federation) and will continue to support these organisations from Scotland.

Marine operations

Sean Anderson will continue to deputise for the production director and oversee marine operations, and in addition will also take responsibility for purchasing.

Hadfield said: “We are very pleased with the biological improvements achieved this last year after a challenging period during 2020.

“With these appointments we are well placed to continue down this successful path, while also ensuring we share best practices between farming regions in Scotland, Ireland and the Faroes and support each other’s efforts to deliver on growth, cost control and sustainable farming practices.”

80,000 tonnes per year

Hadfield used last week’s Capital markets Day to outline the company’s ambition to grow annual production in Scotland from 65,000 tonnes head on gutted to 80,000 tonnes over the next few years by adding new sites and making better use of existing farms by growing smolts to a larger size before putting them to sea.

Mowi plans a 3,000 tonnes per annum on-land post-smolt facility next to its feed plant at Kyleakin, Skye, where it intends to grow fish to 800 grams. This would allow the fish to spend just a year in the sea to reach harvest size.

Mowi also plans to grow 800g post-smolts in floating semi-closed containment systems in lochs.