The hatchery currently produces lumpfish. The company also cultures Ballan wrasse at other facilities.
In a statement, Mowi said the facility would be an important addition to its cleaner fish programme. Last year Ocean Matters was granted £1 million in loans from the Development Bank of Wales and HSBC to double production to four million fish at the site.
“This purchase provides us increased capacity for cleaner fish production with great potential for future development as well,” said Dougie Hunter, head of cleaner fish and technical services at Mowi Scotland. “I would like to welcome the new hatchery staff into the Mowi family.”
Mowi said the use of cleaner fish is now a major part of its successful sea lice control strategy and part of a larger integrated pest management programme at its salmon farms that includes other non-medicinal sea lice management solutions such as freshwater baths and mechanical removal.
Hunter added: “We will continue to develop our cleaner fish programme and assess our future requirements to ensure we are making best use of our production facilities.”
Mowi will continue to operate the new purchase under the Ocean Matters name.
RAS operating experience
Ocean Matters co-founder Werner Forster said: “We entered the cleaner fish space a bit late, however thanks to our committed staff, loyal customers and supportive investors Ocean Matters became the largest in the UK and one of the largest world-wide.
“Our ability to design and build RAS systems combined with prior RAS operating experience played a factor as well.
“Mowi has been Ocean Matters’ largest customer and collaborator since inception. We’re quite pleased to know Ocean Matters has graduated on to the Mowi family where it will certainly receive all the support required to continue on its current path.”
The hatchery is next door to a former on-land farm now being converted into a Ballan wrasse farm by Mowi.