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Liam McArthur (right) with Orkney packing station manager Michael Lewington at the processing plant. Photo: Cooke
Liam McArthur (right) with Orkney packing station manager Michael Lewington at the processing plant. Photo: Cooke

Salmon farming is key to Orkney’s island economy, said Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur during a tour of Cooke Aquaculture’s operations in the region yesterday.

The MSP for Orkney visited Cooke’s Cava and Fara organic Scottish salmon farms in Scapa Flow and the company’s packing station in Kirkwall.

Cooke is the largest producer of organic certified Scottish salmon, which is farmed exclusively in Orkney.

‘It was great to be able to see first-hand Cooke Aquaculture's operations in Orkney,’ he said.

‘The aquaculture sector has been key to our local island economy and the sustainable production of high-quality salmon will continue to be important in the years ahead. 

Encouraged

‘I was particularly encouraged to hear about the creatinon of more jobs in Orkney and it was good to have the chance to speak to local staff about what they feel the future holds.’

Colin Blair, Cooke’s managing director, who hosted the visit along with Orkney area manager Robert Peterson, said: ‘We were pleased to welcome Liam McArthur to our seawater sites in Scapa Flow.

‘Liam got his feet wet and saw some beautiful organic salmon at Cava and Fara, and met with the seawater teams who explained how new developments can help to retain existing or attract new people to live and work on these islands.

‘We also took the opportunity to explain our approach to supporting people in the areas we operate through our voluntary community benefit fund, which supports local organisations and events and helps to contribute to island life.

‘Earlier in the day we saw Scottish salmon from one of our Kirkwall sea farms going through our packing station destined for dinner tables in more than 16 countries worldwide.’