Mission accomplished: Pål Tangvik plans a return to Norway after six years in charge of SSF's freshwater operations, which included overseeing the development of the Barcaldine RAS hatchery. Photo: SSF.

Norwegian freshwater expert heading home after SSF hatchery success

Scottish Sea Farms has begun a search for a new head of freshwater farming to replace veteran fish farmer Pål Tangvik.

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Tangvik joined SSF in December 2014 from Norway’s Lerøy Seafood Group, which co-owns SSF with another Norwegian salmon farmer, SalMar. He was tasked with overhauling the company’s freshwater production strategy, including the creation of the new state-of-the-art RAS hatchery.

Full smolt requirement

During his time in Scotland he has overseen the design, location and build of the new hatchery; streamlined the company’s pre-existing freshwater estate in preparation for its opening; and brought together a team that is now delivering the full smolt requirement of SSF’s 42 marine farms.

The first generation of RAS-grown smolts has been transferred to sea at double the average weights achieved via traditional hatchery methods and are showing excellent post-transfer performance, said SSF in a press release.

Meanwhile, the freshwater team are now starting to deliver from the second generation of smolts reared at Barcaldine.

“My whole reason for coming to Scotland was to help Scottish Sea Farms bring Barcaldine hatchery into being and see the finished facility deliver its first generation of smolts,” said Tangvik, who has not yet lined up a new job in his home country.

“With that now achieved, and with five young grandchildren having arrived while I have been here in Scotland, now feels like the right time to return to Norway where I can be closer to my family, young and old, and be part of the day-to-day once again.”

‘Forever thankful’

SSF said Tangvik will continue to lead and manage the freshwater team until a suitable replacement is found.

Managing director Jim Gallagher said: “The difference that Pål has made to our freshwater farming is something we will be forever thankful for and something that I hope that he himself will always be hugely proud of.

“I’m certain that our new Barcaldine hatchery will never be far from his thoughts and that the great friendships made will continue.”