Grieg hints at sale of Skye farms

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom | News -

The Grieg Seafood Group may sell its five fish farms on Skye, the com­pany in­di­cated in a sur­prise state­ment last month.

An­nounc­ing a re­view with its sec­ond quar­ter re­sults, CEO An­dreas Kvame said:‘While we still have some chal­lenges re­lated to gill disease and al­gae in Shet­land, the bi­o­log­i­cal con­di­tion is im­prov­ing.

‘We con­tinue to work sys­tem­at­i­cally to in­crease our smolt ro­bust­ness in Shet­land, and sur­vival on smolt stocked to sea so far this year is in­creas­ing.

‘We have ini­ti­ated a strate­gic as­sess­ment for our op­er­a­tions on Skye, as we see that the syn­ergy be­tween our farm­ing ar­eas on Shet­land and Skye are low,’ he added, in­di­cat­ing that distances be­tween the two cen­tres are cre­at­ing prob­lems. But he did not go into fur­ther de­tails.

Kvame later said the jobs in Skye should not be af­fected.‘This is a process of ex­plo­ration and we can­not guar­an­tee that it will re­sult in any spe­cific out­come,’ he ex­plained.

‘We value our 21 tal­ented em­ploy­ees on Skye and un­der­stand that this sit­u­a­tion cre­ates a de­gree of un­cer­tainty for them.

‘We do not en­vis­age that this process will lead to the loss of any jobs.’

Grieg Shet­land, which em­ploys al­most 170 peo­ple on Shet­land, re­ported a Q2 op­er­at­ing loss or EBIT of NOK 19.8 mil­lion com­pared to a profit of NOK 41.5 mil­lion in Q2 last year, even though har­vest vol­umes in­creased from 2,482 tonnes to 3,297 tonnes. It ex­pects to har­vest 3,500 tonnes dur­ing the cur­rent third quar­ter.

The group said that bi­o­log­i­cal con­di­tions due to al­gae blooms and gill re­lated dis­eases re­mained chal­leng­ing.

How­ever, there have been im­prove­ments in smolt qual­ity and costs are ex­pected to fall dur­ing the third trad­ing quar­ter.

And Shet­land sur­vival rates rose by four per cent to 87 per cent. Grieg said it was also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing bi­o­log­i­cal prob­lems in Bri­tish Columbia, Canada.

Above: An­dreas Kvame

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