Nick Bradbury, who died last week, loved his career.

Tributes to man who shaped the evolution of salmon diets

Nick Bradbury remembered for his energy, knowledge and passion for the industry, his love of life and his infectious laugh


Tributes have been paid to Nick Bradbury, a well-known and well-liked figure in the Scottish fish farming sector who passed away last week at the age of 64.

Bradbury was commercial director of feed supplier BioMar from October 1999 until his retirement in April 2021, and was credited by customer Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) with shaping the evolution of fish diets. He is survived by his wife Dee, and sons Magnus and Fergus.

Paddy Campbell, vice president salmon division for BioMar, said: “Nick joined BioMar in October 1999 and throughout his time with us we all had huge admiration and affection for him. We remember his energy, knowledge and passion for the industry, his love of life and his infectious laugh. We all miss him greatly. Our thoughts and condolences are with Dee, Magnus, and Fergus.”

In a post on LinkedIn, BioMar UK stated that Bradbury had retired to fulfil a long list of retirement activities that were sadly interrupted by illness.

Made the most of life

“Between treatments he and his wife Dee, made the most of their time together, travelling to watch his eldest son Magnus playing rugby and visiting his youngest son Fergus in exotic locations across the world.

“Nick was a stalwart of the Scottish aquaculture industry and for those of us lucky enough to work with Nick, I think we will remember that he loved his career in aquaculture, he loved life, made the most of it and he made us all laugh!”

In a comment beneath the post, former Mowi Ireland chief executive Jan Feenstra said: “Nick was the ultimate gentleman whom we trusted and depended on for insights in feed and raw material supplies.”

And former BioMar employee Gitte Christensen wrote: “Nick was the best colleague you could wish for.”

Nick Bradbury pictured on site with SSF head of freshwater Rory Conn.

Deep understanding

Bradbury was nominated by BioMar and Scottish Sea Farms for the Unsung Hero Award in the 2022 Aquaculture Awards.

“[Nick’s] insight into feed raw materials and their relative attributes has shaped the evolution of diets into something producers could only have dreamt of 10 years ago,” SSF’s head of freshwater Rory Conn wrote in the nomination.

SSF head of fish health Ralph Bickerdike added that Bradbury’s passion and drive had helped earn Scottish farmed salmon its premium reputation within the global marketplace, while his wealth of experience and deep understanding had earned him the respect of the full supply chain: from raw materials, feed producers, farmers and processors, right through to retailers and external stakeholders.

Fish husbandry

Bradbury’s belief in the need for aquaculture led him to undertake an MSc in Aquaculture at the University of Stirling, followed by fish husbandry roles on marine farms along Scotland’s west coast.

He made the move to fish feed in 1992 with Fulmar, later to become BOCM.

Travelling extensively to provide technical support to customers, Bradbury quickly amassed an unrivalled understanding of fish, feed and raw materials.

Moving to BioMar in 1999 cemented this pioneering role, with Bradbury’s expertise, natural curiosity and enthusiasm for all things aquaculture put to good use across the business: from fish nutrition to flesh quality.

He also played an instrumental role in the research, development and adoption of a host of novel feed ingredients that have helped the sector to minimise its use of marine ingredients in fish diets and maximise the nutritional benefit to farmed fish.