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Mixed Fortunes Reported by Marine Farms

GLOBAL - Sea lice attacks on the company's salmon farms in Scotland have cost Lakeland an estimated 2 million. Another Marine Farms subsidiary in Belize has successfully produced 200,000 cobia juveniles.

Lakeland, a subsidiary of Marine Farms ASA, has suffered losses at Hoganess Salmon, one of the company's salmon farms on the west coast of Shetland. The losses are due to high mortality and reduced growth caused by salmon lice. The negative financial effect is estimated at £2 million in second half 2009, divided more or less equally between the third (Q3) and fourth (Q4) quarters.

New estimates for harvest volumes in second half of 2009 are 2,500 tonnes gross weight in Q3 and 3,000 tonnes gross weight in Q4. Fish farmers on the west coast of Shetland will work close together to better coordinate the control of salmon lice in the area going forward.

Lakeland has been operating within the salmon farming industry in the UK since 1987, and specialises in vertically integrated production of high quality Atlantic salmon, all the way from the broodfish through egg, fry, parr, smolt and fully grown salmon to the sale of gutted salmon and fresh fillets. The group has over the past many years been among the most profitable salmon producers in the UK. Lakeland has an annual production capacity averaging approximately 12,000 tonnes gross weight of salmon.

One a more positive note, Marine Farms's cobia hatchery in Belize has started production and the first batch of 50,000 cobia juveniles has been stocked in cages. The company is very pleased with that development: in comparison, production of cobia juveniles in 2009 from other hatcheries in the Caribbean totals 80,000 to 100,000 juveniles.

The plan is to produce an additional 200,000 cobia juveniles before the end of the year. The hatchery in Belize will be the biggest producer of cobia juveniles in the Caribbean with an annual production capacity of more than 1 mill juveniles. Marine Farms Belize will be the biggest vertical integrated producer of farmed cobia in the region, with an annual licensed production capacity of around 5,000 tonnes.

the Fish Site Editor

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