Bakkafrost Scotland takes delivery of country’s largest wellboat

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 November 2022, at 8:00am

The largest wellboat in Scottish aquaculture - the 87 m Ronja Star - has been added to the Bakkafrost Scotland fleet.

two large vessels
The Ronja Star (left) arriving in Stornoway Harbour, on the Isle of Lewis

© Bakkafrost

The hybrid vessel, commissioned by Bakkafrost (formerly The Scottish Salmon Company) from the world’s leading well boat operator Solvtrans in Norway, boasts world-leading technology with a FLS mechanical sea lice removal system and freshwater treatment. It uses a reverse osmosis system for de-salination of water, producing freshwater to improve gill health and remove sea lice.

It has been specifically built to handle fish with care, while increasing biosecurity in line with Bakkafrost Scotland’s sustainability strategy, which will see an increase in the use of freshwater treatments across its marine sites on the west coast of Scotland.

Bakkafrost Scotland senior management, Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, and Alasdair Allan MSP, as well as local government representatives, officially welcomed the vessel at a reception in Stornoway on Friday 18 November.

The vessel has state of the art life support systems, which includes high-capacity oxygen production, a carbon dioxide removal system, and a water cooling system to ensure the fish are kept in optimal condition during treatment. In addition, it has an automatic cleaning system, alongside sensors and cameras to monitor fish and water quality.

The Ronja Star is fitted with diesel electric propulsion and a battery hybrid solution which reduces fuel consumption and emissions, all while generating less noise.

Ian Laister, managing director at Bakkafrost Scotland said: “Our ambition is to become the leading most sustainable salmon producer in Scotland. The proactive management of the health and welfare of our salmon is at the forefront of our sustainability strategy.

“The arrival of the hybrid Ronja Star reflects and enhances those ambitions. The investment in this vessel will allow us to substantially increase the use of freshwater treatments for gill health, and when required, remove sea lice in a single treatment. This will improve fish health and biological performance.”