|Next stop is Aqua Nor. The photo shows the enormous pontoon leaving Inverness harbour. The 400-ton auto-feed pontoon will arrive in Trondheim the day before the opening of Aqua Nor, and it will be moored at Skansen harbour during the aquaculture show 14-17 August.|
“We expect to arrive in Trondheim a few days before the opening of the Aqua Nor show, and if we’re lucky, we won’t have to tow the pontoon all the way back to Scotland. Our intention is to sell it while we’re there,” says an optimistic managing director Stewart Graham of Gael Force Marine on the phone in Inverness.
The international aquaculture development clearly indicates larger facilities and companies. “This trend also impacts suppliers. We aim to build several of these pontoons, which function as a working platform for technicians working on extensive sites, “ Mr Graham says.
In 1984 he won the first entrepreneur award in Great Britain, Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur. He won the award for developing a new type of lobster pots. The lobster pots are still an important source of income for Gael Force Marine. Approximately 1,500 pots are produced every week and shipped to customers around the world. The company also manufactures equipment for the leisure boat market in Great Britain, the fishing fleet and the aquaculture industry, where the demand is growing.
The company’s aquaculture department currently employs 25 people. Mr Graham expects the staff to grow to 40 people by the end of the year. Their order books are already full, and this year the company will be building five circular concrete auto-feed pontoons and two square ones, all with a storage capacity of 200 tonnes of fish feed. The Sea-Cap comes with offices and recreation rooms and a fully automated feeding system.
The Aqua Nor exhibition at Skansen harbour includes various kinds of pontoons, special purpose vessels and sea/land based equipment.