Cooke’s recipe for off­shore suc­cess

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

SCOT­LAND’S ru­ral econ­omy min­is­ter, Fer­gus Ewing, learnt about ad­vances be­ing made in off­shore salmon farm­ing dur­ing a re­cent trip to Orkney.

The min­is­ter vis­ited Cooke Aqua­cul­ture’s Kirk­wall base to hear about progress at the com­pany’s new, high en­ergy site at East Skel­wick in Westray.

Granted plan­ning per­mis­sion last sum­mer, the farm is 2.5km off­shore, and is equipped with durable tech­nol­ogy that can with­stand sus­tained ex­po­sure to high wind and wave loads.

The new site will con­sist of eight pens mea­sur­ing 130m in cir­cum­fer­ence, the largest cur­rently used in Scot­land.

There will also be a wave mea­sure­ment buoy, a weather sta­tion in­cor­po­rat­ing hy­dro­graphic sen­sors, and real-time en­vi­ron­men­tal sen­sors.

They have been pro­cured with as­sis­tance from the Eu­ro­pean Mar­itime and Fish­eries Fund (EMFF), ne­go­ti­ated by the Scot­tish Aqua­cul­ture In­no­va­tion Cen­tre (SAIC) with Marine Scot­land.

Ewing said: ‘Cooke are cham­pi­oning in­no­va­tive ap­proaches to sus­tain­ably grow­ing the Scot­tish aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try, and are a fan­tas­tic ex­am­ple of what can be achieved in Scot­land when there is a com­bi­na­tion of vi­sion and wider sup­port.’

Colin Blair, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Cooke Aqua­cul­ture Scot­land, said: ‘To max­imise the data gained from the new site, wind, wave and hy­dro­graphic con­di­tions will be mon­i­tored in real-time, along­side rou­tine farm op­er­a­tional ob­ser­va­tions.

‘This en­ables the re­silience of cages and moor­ings, site ac­ces­si­bil­ity and salmon per­for­mance to be cor­re­lated with the pre­vail­ing phys­i­cal con­di­tions, in­clud­ing any ex­treme weather events.’

The ex­pe­ri­ence gained by Cooke at the East Skel­wick site will be shared with the wider fish farm­ing com­mu­nity.

Dr Robin Shields, se­nior aqua­cul­ture in­no­va­tion man­ager at SAIC, said his or­gan­i­sa­tion was ‘de­lighted’ with the progress at Cooke’s high en­ergy site.

‘We will li­aise with Cooke Aqua­cul­ture to help en­sure that the im­por­tant data from these in­stru­ments is in­ter­preted fully, al­low­ing a more ac­cu­rate as­sess­ment of site per­for­mance.’

Above: Fer­gus Ewing (sec­ond right) with Christo­pher Webb, Cooke en­vi­ron­men­tal and de­vel­op­ment man­ager; Vicci Laird, head of HR; Ste­wart Ren­dall, Westray/East Skel­wick man­ager; and Robert Peter­son, Orkney area man­ager.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.