State-of-the-art new freshwater salmon hatchery will enhance fish health and welfare

Salmon farming company Scottish Sea Farms announced in 2018 that it was to open a new £48 million freshwater hatchery at Barcaldine near Oban, with the aim of further improving how fish are farmed in Scotland.

The new centre of excellence will create at least 10 new high-value jobs in rural Scotland, as well as enabling company growth for further job creation in future.

The onshore hatchery will supply the company’s 40 farms across Scotland’s west coast, Orkney and Shetland. It will also carry out industry-leading R&D work there to help the company tackle a range of challenges facing the fish farming industry.

To assist with this pioneering work, the company received a £1.28 million R&D grant. In addition to supporting the work at Barcaldine, the funds will help the company develop new, innovative processes and technologies across all its sites. This will include data capture and analysis to drive efficiencies, developing more humane processes, recycling a greater proportion of by-products, as well as harvesting wind and wave energy to reduce reliance on fuel.

Scottish Sea Farms MD Jim Gallagher said: “Researching and developing new approaches and technologies is key to ensuring that we continue raising the healthiest fish in the most responsible but also the most environmentally sustainable way, and this latest £48 million investment aims to advance our work in both areas.

“The £1.28m grant means we will be able to do more of this planned R&D even sooner, accelerating both the innovation and the anticipated benefits for fish health and welfare and for the environment.”