FishFrom Ltd is planning a small demonstrator farm to attract investment for a 3,600-tonne RAS at its 18-acre site at Tayinloan on the Kintyre peninsula.

We'll prove land-based salmon farming can work in Scotland

Company plans two-tank demonstrator RAS to convince investors to back Kintyre plan


A company that has spent 10 years trying to raise funding for a 3,600-tonne recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) salmon farm on the Kintyre Peninsula on Scotland’s west coast hopes to get enough money for a two-tank demonstrator that can prove its proposal is viable and worth backing.

Dunkeld-based FishFrom Ltd was twice close to securing backing for its full-scale farm, only to fall at the final hurdle each time.

Its directors have now changed tack and plan to raise a smaller sum to build a proof-of-concept RAS facility that will grow 50 tonnes of fish from smolts to harvest size in 10 months.

FishFrom’s site at Tayinloan was the location of a former flow-through fish farm and still has water abstraction and discharge consents. FishFrom also has planning consent.

£4.2 million

Chief executive Andrew Robertson told Fish Farming Expert that the company is looking to raise £4.2 million for the demonstrator project, which will be housed in an existing building on the site.

Andrew Robertson: seeking equity for demonstrator project.

The RAS will have two tanks, each of which can accommodate up to 25 tonnes of fish. FishFrom will also use a proprietary technology developed by Trento University in Italy that removes the need for fish to be depurated in a separate flow-through tank for around 12 days before harvest to remove the muddy taste that can occur in RAS-grown fish.

The technology uses a combination of photocatalysis and ozonation to prevent the build-up of the geosmin and 2-methylisobomeol (MIB) molecules that are absorbed into the gills and tissues of the fish and cause the off-flavour.

“We’re looking to raise £4.2 million for the total amount, half being equity and the other half in grants and loans. It’s the equity portion that we’re seeking at the moment,” said Robertson.

“We have about £400,000 to £500,000 in pledged money from existing shareholders and contacts. There is quite a big syndicate that’s looking to come in behind a lead investor and they are in the £200,000-£300,000 region. We have about £700,000, maybe £800,000, in funds that would materialise if we found an investor with about £1 million or £1.5 m.”

Smolts in by mid-2024

He hopes the money can be raised in the next three to six months, and that a rapid refit will follow at the building at Tayinloan. Fish could be stocked by the middle of 2024.

Robertson is confident that more investment will follow for a commercial-size RAS once FishFrom has proved it can grow salmon at a production rate that makes it commercially viable.

“There isn’t a land-based salmon farming programme going on at the moment that is telling everybody that they’ve cracked it,” he said.

“There are lots of different issues that some of our forebears are going through at the moment, but it’s an evolving industry and I do believe that it can be a commercially viable process, and I believe it’s going to be us who do it.”

Read about FishFrom’s plans in more detail in the current issue of Fish Farming Expert online magazine.

FishFrom will house its demonstrator RAS in this building on site.