A Bakkafrost Scotland salmon farm. A feed barge has sunk at one of the company's sites in Loch Fyne.

Bakkafrost feed barge sinks in Loch Fyne

Feed and fuel have been removed and recovery plans are being developed, says salmon farmer

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A feed barge belonging to salmon farmer Bakkafrost Scotland has sunk in Loch Fyne. The barge sank at the Gob a Bharra site, north of Auchalik Bay at the southern end of the loch. It is a relatively small site with a maximum allowed biomass of 1,072 tonnes.

A Bakkafrost Scotland spokesperson said: “Bakkafrost Scotland can confirm that during a period of poor weather, one of our small feed barges in Loch Fyne sank on Wednesday, 22 November.

“Since then, we have completed the removal of all materials from the vessel to minimise any potential impact.

“Recovery plans are currently being developed to arrange for the barge to be lifted.

“There were no staff on the barge at the time of the incident, and there has been no impact on the salmon on site which were quickly relocated.”

£7m recovery operation

Faroese-owned Bakkafrost has racked up a bill of more than £7 million to raise and move a feed barge that sank at its Portree site off Skye during Storm Arwen in November 2021. That vessel was made by a different manufacturer to the barge that sank in Loch Fyne.

Initial work to raise the barge was halted when it was discovered that decomposition of feed had generated hydrogen sulphide, the “rotten egg” smelling gas that can explode when heated and is toxic if inhaled in high concentrations.

The barge was finally raised towards the end of last year and was being transported to a salvage site on Scotland’s west coast by the crane barge Matador 3 just before Christmas when that vessel’s skipper decided to seek shelter from bad weather and beach his cargo in Reraig Bay, Loch Carron.

The barge stayed there for two months until conditions were suitable for it to be towed to Loch Striven for assessment.