Lochailort hatch­ery prom­ises ma­jor gains

Fish Farmer - - From The Archive – The Nineties -

THE new Lochailort hatch­ery is the latest chap­ter of a story which be­gan sev­eral years ear­lier. It has long been known that salmon grow faster in warmer wa­ter. In 1989, a wa­ter heat­ing plant was in­stalled at Inch­more hatch­ery to pro­vide around a third of the tanks with wa­ter up to 7oC warmer than the am­bi­ent wa­ter tem­per­a­ture.

That wasn’t much of an in­crease, but it al­lowed Marine Harvest to pro­duce big­ger fry, which were 25 per cent larger as smolts when they went to sea af­ter be­ing first fed. In turn, these larger smolts pro­duced more tonnes for harvest and made a use­ful con­tri­bu­tion to the over­all im­prove­ment in the com­pany’s per­for­mance. But it soon be­came ap­par­ent that more was needed.

Marine Harvest con­cluded that de­vel­op­ment within a sep­a­rate build­ing would be prefer­able and, to save valu­able cap­i­tal, de­cided to use the re­dun­dant fish pro­cess­ing build­ing at Lochailort. They de­cided to use IAT of Hum­ber­side’s Blue­wa­ter re­cir­cu­la­tion equip­ment, al­low­ing them to re­use over 95 per cent of their wa­ter – which would be ster­ilised on en­ter­ing the fa­cil­ity, with tem­per­a­ture and light be­ing con­trolled to grow fish to a pre­dictably large size in the best pos­si­ble dis­ease-free con­di­tions.

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