Health­i­est fish yet at Scot­tish sal­mon farms

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

SCOT­LAND’S two lead­ing sal­mon farm­ers, Ma­rine Har­vest Scot­land and Scot­tish Sea Farms, have re­ported a sus­tained im­prove­ment in fish health dur­ing the first five months of 2018 with a marked re­duc­tion in dis­ease re­lated mor­tal­i­ties.

Fig­ures for both sal­mon farm­ers show that the num­ber of fish that died as a re­sult of dis­ease fell by more than 50 per cent be­tween Jan­uary and May com­pared with the pre­vi­ous six months.

Dis­ease re­lated mor­tal­ity is also lower year on year, with Ma­rine Har­vest Scot­land and Scot­tish Sea Farms re­port­ing a re­duc­tion of 61 per cent and 27 per cent re­spec­tively com­pared with the first six months of 2017.

The im­prove­ment comes as wel­come news fol­low­ing a chal­leng­ing year for some farms ow­ing to warmer than av­er­age sea sur­face tem­per­a­tures that can en­cour­age ma­rine or­gan­isms to thrive.

Both pro­duc­ers have in­vested in new tech­nolo­gies in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal data mon­i­tor­ing equip­ment; un­der­wa­ter cam­era sys­tems en­abling farm- ers to ob­serve sal­mon within the pens and re­spond quickly to any changes in be­hav­iour; and in­no­va­tive new net­ting which, has helped elim­i­nate gill dis­ease.

Changes have also been made to farm man­age­ment strate­gies.

Both pro­duc­ers are also in­vest­ing in multi-mil­lion pound state-of-the-art hatch­eries which will en­able smolts to be grown to a larger, more ro­bust size, thereby short­en­ing their time at sea and less­en­ing the chance of in­fec­tion.

Ma­rine Har­vest Scot­land and Scot­tish Sea Farms have both seen sig­nif­i­cantly lower lice lev­els from Jan­uary to May 2018.

In the case of Ma­rine Har­vest, sea lice lev­els were 49 per cent lower com­pared with the pre­vi­ous six months, while Scot­tish Sea Farms were 34 per cent lower.

The re­sults are equally en­cour­ag­ing across the sec­tor as a whole, with Scot­tish Sal­mon Pro­duc­ers’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion fig­ures show­ing that sea lice lev­els are at their low­est since July 2013.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.