Aquaculture for all

Scottish Sea Farms hosts Young Aquaculture Society visit

Atlantic Salmon Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) Processing +7 more

Nineteen members of the newly formed Young Aquaculture Society (YAS) visited three of Scottish Sea Farms’ salmon facilities this week.

A group photo, beside the sea.
YAS members prepare to visit Scottish Sea Farms' Charlotte Bay salmon site

The YAS members included representatives from Aquascot, Bakkafrost, Cefetra, Moredun, The Roslin Institute, University of Glasgow, University of Stirling and WJ Knox, along with Salmon Scotland and Scottish Sea Farms. © Clara Simpson

The day-long visit, the first of its kind since YAS was officially launched by Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore in May, began with a tour of Scottish Sea Farms’ Barcaldine Hatchery, near Oban where the group learned about the incubation process and how salmon are nurtured from eggs to smolts.

This was followed by a Q&A session with the company’s head of sustainability and development, Anne Anderson, focusing on the synergy between fish health and responsible farming practices.

The group, made up of young professionals from across the supply chain, research institutes, universities, producers, and sector body Salmon Scotland, were then hosted out on nearby grow-out farm, Charlotte’s Bay.

There, under the guidance of long-serving farm manager Stephen Woods, the group were shown the camera-monitored feeding systems, fish welfare measures, and technology used to monitor water quality.

Completing the salmon lifecycle, the final leg of the inaugural tour took in Scottish Sea Farms’ processing and packing facility at South Shian, where head of processing Donald Buchanan took the group through the company’s high-welfare approach to humane harvesting.

Andrew Richardson, founder and president of YAS and technical and standards manager for Salmon Scotland, said the visit offered a valuable insight into the salmon farming sector.

“Because YAS is open to all working in and around the UK’s aquaculture ecosystem, many of our members have not been on a salmon farm before. So, we value any opportunities like this for education, professional development, and networking. Scottish Sea Farms, one of the country’s leading producers, has been very supportive of these values and this milestone visit has embodied them all.”

Scottish Sea Farms head of freshwater, Rory Conn, agreed that a first-hand view was the best way to learn more about the sector.

“To really understand salmon farming, nothing beats talking to the people who care for the fish daily, and witnessing their level of knowledge, experience, skill and passion. At Barcaldine, we have RAS technology at the cutting edge of aquaculture development and the team always take immense pride in sharing their work here with visitors. We want to give people the opportunity to form their own opinions about what they’re seeing, so the more questions they ask and the more inquisitive they are, the better use of time it is for us.”

Create an account now to keep reading

It'll only take a second and we'll take you right back to what you were reading. The best part? It's free.

Already have an account? Sign in here