What’s hap­pen­ing in aqua­cul­ture in the UK and around the world

Fish Farmer - - Contents -

Mowi Scot­land said sev­eral of its farms had been af­fected by warmer wa­ters, which re­sulted in higher mor­tal­i­ties in the third quar­ter.

The com­pany, which more than dou­bled its op­er­at­ing prof­its and har­vest vol­umes in Q3, had to con­tend with harm­ful al­gal blooms re­lated to the above av­er­age sea tem­per­a­tures.

Mowi CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog said at the Q3 an­nounce­ment in Oslo on Oc­to­ber 30 that ris­ing sea tem­per­a­tures could present se­ri­ous bi­o­log­i­cal chal­lenges ahead for Scot­land.

‘In­ci­dent based mor­tal­ity losses were high in the third quar­ter, and amounted to €8.8 mil­lion re­lated to an al­gal bloom and fish health is­sues (€1.2 mil­lion in Q3 2018).’

Mowi Scot­land said the con­di­tions pro­vided chal­lenges to salmon and lump­fish sur­vival at some of its sites. A re­cent in­spec­tion of Mowi’s Bagh Dail nan Ceann farm by the An­i­mal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) raised con­cerns that lump­fish health and wel­fare was not ad­e­quately man­aged, dur­ing a month that saw the high­est av­er­age sea tem­per­a­tures.

Mowi said its staff have since met with APHA in­spec­tors to dis­cuss the agency’s con­cerns.

‘Un­for­tu­nately, some farm lo­ca­tions have suf­fered higher than nor­mal mor­tal­ity rates over the past few weeks,’ said Gideon Pringle, Mowi Scot­land’s pro­duc­tion di­rec­tor.

‘Our farm­ers are dev­as­tated to have lost fish af­ter spend­ing months rais­ing them at their farms, and are do­ing what they can to pro­tect their fish from this pro­longed change to their en­vi­ron­ment.’

To help al­le­vi­ate fish stress from high wa­ter tem­per­a­tures and as­so­ci­ated re­duced sat­u­rated oxy­gen, Mowi has pro­vided ad­di­tional air bub­bling where fea­si­ble, and are har­vest­ing af­fected crops ear­lier, the com­pany said.

‘De­spite this chal­lenge, the com­pany still plans to har­vest guided vol­umes and re­mains com­mit­ted to its open seas site de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme at lo­ca­tions best suited for our fish and the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment,’ Pringle added.

Mowi’s Scot­tish division de­liv­ered an op­er­a­tional EBIT of 26.2 mil­lion eu­ros, com­pared to €12.3 mil­lion for Q3 2018.

Har­vest vol­ume were up by 27 per cent to a record19,634 tonnes (9.034 tonnes in 2018).

Above: Mowi Scot­land hit by warmer wa­ters

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