International seafood buyers got an underwater glimpse of salmon farming at this week’s Seafood Expo Global in Brussels.
An aquarium introduced enthralled buyers to some wrasse, the cleaner fish who share salmon farms to keep salmon clear of sea lice.
Visitors at the largest seafood show in the world, which ended yesterday, also got the opportunity to see the wealth of natural life on the seabed around the farms, which includes scallops and prawns.
The aquarium exhibit, alongside fresh salmon products, came from Wester Ross Salmon, whose managing director and chair of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, Gilpin Bradley, said: “Thousands of trade buyers come to meet salmon farmers at the exhibition but very few have the opportunity to see a salmon farm in action in Scotland. So we thought we would bring a tiny part of it to them. In particular, we wanted to highlight the successful introduction of wrasse as a very effective and environmentally friendly way to keep salmon free of lice which occur naturally in the water.
Secret life of seabed
“It’s also fascinating to see the secret life that goes on in the seabed around the farms – like the growth of scallops, prawns, even a baby turbot. A significant variety of marine life thrives around salmon farms, something which is not fully recognised by regulators.”
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, added: “As provenance and sustainable production becomes ever more important to customers, Scottish salmon certainly ticks all the boxes. However, showing people exactly what we do brings that message to life and the wrasse proved a big hit.
“Wrasse and lumpfish are becoming a key part of fish farming and the potential to farm wrasse for the salmon farming sector is an exciting opportunity for further investment and jobs in Scotland.”