Loch Long Salmon will use semi-closed containment systems (SCCS) like this. An SCCS has a floating collar and uses an industrial-strength PVC enclosure with a standard net inside. Water is pumped from below 20 metres to help exclude lice.

Firms offered chance for share of £60m semi-closed fish farm budget

Loch Long Salmon will hold supply chain event next week


Loch Long Salmon, which plans an 8,000-tonne floating semi-closed containment fish farm in Loch Linnhe, is taking early steps to maximise the economic benefits of its plans by organising a supply chain event in Oban next week.

The project at Lurignish, between Appin and Duror, is expected to require a total investment of over £60 million, representing an opportunity for local and regional businesses to get involved in consenting, construction and operational phases.

The event is being organised in partnership with the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce with businesses working within and outside the aquaculture sector invited. It will take place from 2pm – 5pm on Wednesday, 10 May in the WSB Conference Suite at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) at Dunbeg near Oban. Any business interested in attending should email Mark Shotter at mark.shotter@simplybluegroup.com.

Impermeable barrier

From the surface a semi-closed containment site looks like a conventional open net salmon farm, but underneath the water, the net is surrounded and protected by an impermeable PVC barrier, with water drawn up and circulated from deeper in the loch below the layer where sea lice are usually found.

The barrier removes the threat of sea lice and attacks by seals, meaning it won’t use sea lice treatments or acoustic seal scarers, some of which can harm dolphins or other cetaceans. The semi-closed cage also captures the salmon waste so that this can be brought ashore and used in green energy production or as a fertiliser ingredient.

Loch Long Salmon said hundreds of farming cycles using the technology in other countries had proven these facts, as well as showing no escapes.

'Proven commercially'

Stewart Hawthorn, managing director of Loch Long Salmon, said: “The salmon farming industry is already a key part of the economy in rural communities across Scotland. This project and others we are planning will build on that, adding to the fantastic opportunities provided by aquaculture companies already operating across Argyll & Bute.

“The semi-closed containment technology we are proposing for our site at Lurignish on Loch Linnhe has been proven commercially in Norway, Canada and the Faroe Islands. While there are some elements that differ to existing systems in operation there are a lot of technical similarities, and we know businesses here have the right expertise and skills to help.

“I hope we see a range of businesses from the area so they can hear about our plans, and we can better understand the local supply chain, allowing us to maximise the economic benefits of this transformative technology for this region and the rest of Scotland.”

Frazer Coupland, chief executive of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s encouraging to see this investment and technology advancements being at the forefront. I’m looking forward to attending this event and I urge businesses to come along and support this project moving forward.”