A graphic of the potential tunnel salmon farm on Shetland. The blue area indicates the site of a quay.

Tunnel salmon farmer reveals location of Shetland site

Norwegian Mountain Salmon would produce 40-45,000 tonnes in south west of Mainland

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Norwegian Mountain Salmon (NMS), which wants to grow thousands of tonnes of fish in tanks within tunnels hollowed into hillsides in Scotland, has revealed the location of a potential site in Shetland.

The company is looking at producing between 40,000 and 45,000 tonnes of fish annually in the southwest of Mainland. The site is at at Fora Ness, a promontory near Spiggie, west of Scoursburgh Sands.

In a document presented to Shetland Islands Council today and shared with Fish Farming Expert, NMS states that the site has several advantages: optimal water temperature and water conditions, with no nearby farms; high quality rock with the possibility to construct tunnels; and Shetland’s marine industry competence.

Other advantages are the site’s distance to Marine Protected Areas, sufficient depth for water intake- and outlet within reach of the site, and the high degree of water replacement in the area.

The nearest marine salmon farm is said to be 11.44 kms from the site.


In February, it was revealed that NMS was looking at tunnelling into a hillside in at Mealista in the Uig area of Lewis, which has the potential to accommodate a fish farm that could produce up to 90,000 tonnes of salmon per year.

NMS chief executive Bård Hjelmen later told FFE that the Shetland site would have a smaller capacity because it has less suitable rock.

The company is first planning to develop a farm in tunnels it will make on the island of Utsira, Norway, but wants to expand beyond its own country’s borders. It expects to make a decision about which Scottish site it would pursue later this year.

The location of the NMS site.