David Cor­ri­gan

Marine Harvest: 1985-present

Fish Farmer - - Contents -

Cur­rently Man­ager of the re­search site at Ardnish (Lochailort) – a po­si­tion he has held since 2010 – David Cor­ri­gan started his ca­reer with Marine Harvest on 1 April 1985 as a tem­po­rary Farm Tech­ni­cian at the Loch Linnhe sea wa­ter site. He has just com­pleted his thirty-year award.

‘In 1992 I was made Se­nior Tech­ni­cian at Linnhe’, ex­plains Cor­ri­gan, ‘and I was As­sis­tant Man­ager for a num­ber of years be­fore mov­ing to the feed tri­als unit at Ardnish, which was opened in 2007. The unit is used for re­search by Marine Harvest’s fish feed fac­tory in Nor­way – which was es­tab­lished last year – as well as by some of the ma­jor feed com­pa­nies’. With over 500 vis­its to the site last year, Ardnish is the most pop­u­lar site in the UK and, Cor­ri­gan claims, ‘it has one of the top five views from any of­fice in Scot­land.’

Cor­ri­gan’s day to day role at Ardnish is to over­see the run­ning of the feed tri­als, which could be in­ves­ti­gat­ing such things as FCR, pig­men­ta­tion, or omega-3 in­clu­sion. ‘We were re­cently in­volved in a trial in con­junc­tion with Stir­ling Univer­sity’, says Cor­ri­gan, ‘in which 100 vol­un­teers at Aberdeen Royal In­fir­mary ate salmon as part of their diet, to in­ves­ti­gate its health ben­e­fits. Half had a history of coro­nary heart dis­ease in the fam­ily, half did not. The re­sults have not yet been pub­lished but we be­lieve that it’s a good news story.’

Aside from his day job, Cor­ri­gan has worked tire­lessly on be­half of Marine Harvest in rais­ing money for lo­cal char­i­ties. ‘I do all of the Marine Harvest bar­be­cues’, he ex­plains. ‘Over the years, at­ten­dances have var­ied, from as lit­tle as 30-40 to as much as 1,000, which was the num­ber

at the McLean Gath­er­ing at Duart Castle, Mull, in 2012. We also run a bar­be­cue at the shinty fes­ti­val ev­ery year, as well as the shinty/hurl­ing match be­tween Scot­land and Ire­land. What­ever the num­bers, the money is al­ways do­nated to lo­cal char­i­ties in Lochaber and In­ver­ness, such as Raig­more Hos­pi­tal and Belford Hos­pi­tal. And the money we raise is al­ways matched by Marine Harvest (Scot­land) Ltd.’

The bar­be­cues are al­ways great oc­ca­sions, says Cor­ri­gan, and each one brings with it a story or two. ‘There was one year when the shinty fes­ti­val was in Fort Wil­liam, just across from a large su­per­mar­ket’, he re­calls. ‘We’d just re­ceived a brand new bar­be­cue, do­nated by one of the lo­cal busi­nesses. We couldn’t get hold of any salmon fil­lets in time to try it out, so I walked over to the su­per­mar­ket to get some salmon fil­lets. I asked the fish­mon­ger where the salmon had come from, but he wasn’t sure, so he showed me the box – they came from my own farm at Ardnish, which I had to pay for from my own pocket.’

As well as all of his work for char­ity, Cor­ri­gan also pi­o­neered the Marine Harvest schools ed­u­ca­tional pro­gramme in 2000. ‘To date, the pro­gramme has been rolled out to over 10,000 pupils across the High­lands’, he says. ‘The pro­gramme en­cour­ages pupils to try salmon, and we also get schools to visit the farm where they go out on the boats, watch slideshows and play games such as guess the weight of the salmon. I also visit 5th and 6th year pupils to pro­mote aqua­cul­ture as a ca­reer that al­lows them to re­main in their lo­cal com­mu­nity.

‘The last pre­sen­ta­tion I did was to the Glenuig His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’, he con­tin­ues. ‘The youngest at­tendee was about 60 and the old­est was 90. One of the au­di­ence mem­bers, Alan Mac­Don­ald, had worked at Lochailort in the ‘60s – ap­par­ently his nick­name back then was Mack a Lackie.’

Cor­ri­gan be­lieves in the im­por­tance of putting some­thing back into the com­mu­nity. ‘I’m a peo­ple per­son’, he says, ‘which is why I was chair­per­son of the com­mu­nity coun­cil in Ardgour, sub of­fi­cer in the fire brigade at Ardgour and chair­per­son of the Ardgour vil­lage hall. Marine Harvest has pre­vi­ously spon­sored the vil­lage bon­fire and fire­work dis­play.’

Cor­ri­gan also spends time lob­by­ing politi­cians and coun­cil­lors. ‘We re­cently had seven of the Lochaber Ward Fo­rum coun­cil­lors – the first time they have vis­ited as a group. The fact is that if we don’t fit into the com­mu­ni­ties where we have our oper­a­tions it makes life much more dif­fi­cult, so it’s worth the time and ef­fort build­ing re­la­tion­ships.’

Clock­wise from right: Lochy­side school visit. (Back row from left) David Big­gin, Miss Smith, head teacher, Mrs Tait, P7, Jayne MacKay and David Cor­ri­gan; shinty team Fort Wil­liam win Marine Harvest Na­tional League Div 1, 2014; Jayne MacKay and David Cor­ri­gan present a cheque to a High­land Hos­pice rep­re­sen­ta­tive; (l-r) Alan Suther­land, Steve Bracken and David Cor­ri­gan

Clock­wise from top left: Thank you letters from Glen­coe pri­mary school; rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Bean­s4Feed pro­ject at Ardnish; all smiles at the MH bar­be­cue, Muck (l-r) Rosie Ri­ley, David Cor­ri­gan, Arthur Camp­bell, Sean An­der­son and Kim­ber­ley Alexan­der; more smiles at the MH bar­be­cue, Muck. Cor­ri­gan (left) at Ardnish with three of the Lochaber Ward Coun­cil­lors (l-r), Bill Clark, Ben Thom­son and Alan Hen­der­son; Lochy­side pri­mary school visit to Ardnish. (back row l-r) Mrs Cant, p4 and Iona McFadyen, Marine Harvest

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