..and so does SSF’s sal­mon ‘godfather’

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

SCOT­TISH Sea Farms’ long­est serv­ing em­ployee, Ge­off Kidd, has cel­e­brated 40 years with the com­pany and says his love of work­ing with sal­mon is as strong as ever.

Newly re­tired Kidd, nick­named ‘the Godfather’ by man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jim Gal­lagher, joined col­leagues past and pre­sent for a spe­cial din­ner at the Ar­gyll­shire Gath­er­ing Halls in Oban to re­flect on a ca­reer that has seen the sec­tor evolve from sev­eral smaller farms to fewer, larger pro­duc­ers.

Kidd joined the com­pany as a zool­ogy grad­u­ate in 1978 when com­mer­cial sal­mon farm­ing was still in its in­fancy, and pro­gressed from farm as­sis­tant at Loch Striven, then Loch Cr­eran, to farm man­ager of Loch Spelve on Mull – a po­si­tion he held for over three decades.

Dur­ing that time, he led his team at Loch Spelve to win ‘Best Fin­fish Farm’ at the Crown Es­tate Awards 2010, and was short­listed for ‘Aqua­cul­ture Am­bas­sador’ in 2011.And it was Kidd who pi­o­neered the first full crop of M&S Lochmuir sal­mon.

He said:‘Changes in op­er­a­tional scale have led to tremen­dous ad­vances in pro­duc­tion.The big­gest ad­vances, with­out doubt, have been in fish wel­fare and staff health and safety.

‘The ar­rival of vac­cines si­mul­ta­ne­ously im­proved fish health and re­duced use of medic­i­nal treat­ments, while the ar­rival of in­no­va­tive new tech­nolo­gies, such as work boats, well­boats and net clean­ing sys­tems, has made the farmer’s role much more about brain than brawn.’

His love of sal­mon,‘rais­ing them, putting them to sea and rear­ing them skil­fully and sen­si­tively to be both healthy and tasty, is ev­ery bit as strong to­day as it was when I first started out,’ he said.

Above: Jim Gal­lagher, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Scot­tish Sea Farms, with newly re­tired Ge­off Kidd and John Rea, pro­duc­tion man­ager

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