Mowi Scotland operations director Gideon Pringle has decided to leave his job. Photo: Mowi.

Operations director Pringle to leave Mowi Scotland

Mowi Scotland operations director Gideon Pringle has decided to leave the company.

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Pringle returned to Mowi in 2016 after five years as farming director of trout farmer Dawnfresh and is credited with turning around the salmon producer’s sea lice challenges.

But it has not all been plain sailing for the production director. At the end of last month Mowi Scotland revealed that biological problems blamed on warmer than average sea temperatures had led to an average survival rate of 76% for nine sites harvested over the last five months, well below the 90% it might otherwise have expected.

At the same time Mowi said an inspection of its Bagh Dail nan Ceann farm by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) raised concern that lumpfish health and welfare was not adequately managed.

Higher mortality

“Unfortunately, some farm locations have suffered higher than normal mortality rates over the past few weeks,” said Pringle in a statement about the issue on the company’s website.

“Our farmers are devastated to have lost fish after spending months raising them at their farms and are doing what they can to protect their fish from this prolonged change to their environment.”

Despite the problems caused by warmer temperatures, which have also affected other Scottish salmon farmers, Mowi Scotland is expected to harvest 62,000 tonnes (gutted weight equivalent) of fish this year and is guiding for 67,000 tonnes next year.

Notice period

A spokesperson for Mowi Scotland said Pringle’s decision to leave was his own and that he would remain in his post during his notice period.

His role has been advertised on social media. Mowi is seeking “an exceptional aquaculture professional with strong leadership and people development skills, as well as technical experience”. Candidates must have several years’ farming or business leadership experience.

Pringle’s decision to move on comes just a week after that of Alf-Helge Aarskog, former chief executive of Mowi Scotland’s parent company, Mowi ASA. Aarskog’s resignation after nearly 10 years in the job was announced last week. He has been replaced by Ivan Vindheim, who was previously Mowi’s chief financial officer.