Scot­tish in­vest­ment pays off for Marine Har­vest

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

SUB­STAN­TIAL in­vest­ment has started to pay off for Marine Har­vest Scot­land, with sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in sur­vival rates for salmon, as well as bet­ter growth.

The news came as Marine Har­vest Group posted record prof­its in its Q2 re­sults and fol­lows a chal­leng­ing pe­riod for the salmon farm­ing in­dus­try as a re­sult of sea lice and amoe­bic gill dis­ease (AGD).

Marine Har­vest achieved an op­er­a­tional EBIT of EUR 198 mil­lion in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2017, com­pared to EUR 149 mil­lion in the cor­re­spond­ing quar­ter of 2016.

This per­for­mance, the high­est ever for half year re­sults, is largely due to big­ger fish and a healthy mar­ket thanks to strong de­mand for salmon.

To­tal op­er­a­tional EBIT per kg for Nor­way was 2.50 eu­ros and for Scot­land it was 3.10 eu­ros. Chile was 1.45 eu­ros, Canada 2.35 and Ire­land 3.40.

Ben Had­field, Marine Har­vest Scot­land manag­ing direc­tor, con­grat­u­lated his staff on their achieve­ment in re­duc­ing the im­pact of sea lice and AGD.

‘We were de­ter­mined to tackle these is­sues and have un­der­taken a mas­sive in­vest­ment pro­gramme, which in­cludes the in­tro­duc­tion of new tech­nol­ogy, along with im­prove­ments in the de­sign of ex­ist­ing equip­ment.

‘But, most of all, we have a ded­i­cated work­force who were de­ter­mined to suc­ceed.

‘These re­sults have been achieved due to a lot of hard work fo­cused on spe­cific tar­gets, such as re­duced sea lice num­bers, more ef­fi­cient growth and lower mor­tal­ity lev­els.’

The in­tro­duc­tion of wrasse and lump­suck­ers has helped re­duce sea lice lev­els.This will now be fol­lowed by a scal­ing up of the com­pany’s pro­duc­tion, with plans to in­vest £3.5mil­lion in farm­ing cleaner fish.

Other mea­sures in­clude the use of a ther­mo­licer, skirts around the salmon farm nets, and hy­dro­licers.

To­tal in­vest­ment in sea lice con­trol has amounted to £12 mil­lion in the last year alone.

An­other factor in the fi­nan­cial out­come so far this year has been the qual­ity of the fish grown by the com­pany. More than 97 per cent of the salmon pro­duced has been rated as su­pe­rior qual­ity, which at­tracts higher prices.

The ap­petite for salmon con­tin­ues to grow world­wide and the com­pany con­tin­ues to in­vest in new farms to meet de­mand.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for salmon farms off the coast of Rum and at Sconser quarry have re­cently been submitted. New sites have also been opened off the Isles of Colon­say and Muck.

A £93 mil­lion feed plant is cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion at Kyleakin quarry on Skye and a £26 mil­lion salmon hatch­ery is nearly com­plete at Inch­more in Glen­moris­ton.

‘We pro­vide much needed jobs in some of the most frag­ile economies in Scot­land and these two projects alone will pro­vide al­most 70 well paid per­ma­nent jobs,’ said Had­field.

‘Our work­force is now close to 700, with a fur­ther 500 jobs in the salmon pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity in Rosyth.

‘Salmon farm­ing is a thriv­ing in­dus­try and a huge suc­cess story for Scot­land and we will con­tinue to in­vest to grow.’

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