Lochaber businesses to hear opportunities of semi-closed containment aquaculture project 

Stewart Hawthorn

A COMPANY seeking to bring a proven aquaculture technology to Scotland for the first time is taking early steps to maximise the economic benefits of their plans by organising a Supply Chain event in Oban in May.  

Loch Long Salmon is in the early stages of planning and engagement for their project at Lurignish, between Appin and Duror, which would bring semi-closed containment salmon farming to Scotland for the first time.

The project is expected to require a total investment of over £60m, representing an exciting opportunity for local and regional businesses to get involved in consenting, construction and operational phases.

The event is being organised in partnership with the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce with businesses invited both who currently work within the aquaculture sector as well as possible new entrants to the sector.

The event will take place from 2pm – 5pm on Wednesday 10 May in the WSB Conference Suite at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) at Dunbeg.  Any business interested in attending should email Mark Shotter a tmark.shotter@simplybluegroup.com

From the surface a semi-closed containment site looks like a conventional open net salmon farm, but underneath the water, the net is surrounded and protected by an impermeable barrier, with water drawn up and circulated from deeper in the Loch.   

This barrier removes the threat of sea lice and attacks by seals, meaning it won’t ever use sea lice treatments or acoustic devices that can harm dolphins or other cetaceans.  It also captures the salmon waste so that this can be brought ashore and used in green energy production or as a fertiliser ingredient.  Hundreds of cycles of this technology in other countries have proven these facts, as well as showing no escapes.

Stewart Hawthorn, Managing Director of Loch Long Salmon, said:

“The salmon farming industry is already a key part of the economy in rural communities across Scotland.  This project and others we are planning will build on that, adding to the fantastic opportunities provided by aquaculture companies already operating across Argyll & Bute.”

“The semi-closed containment technology we are proposing for our site at Lurignish on Loch Linnhe has been proven commercially in Norway, Canada and the Faroe Islands.  While there are some elements that differ to existing systems in operation there are a lot of technical similarities and we know businesses here have the right expertise and skills to help.”

“I hope we see a range of businesses from the area so they can hear about our plans and we can better understand the local supply chain, allowing us to maximise the economic benefits of this transformative technology for this region and the rest of Scotland.”

Frazer Coupland, CEO at Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, commented:

“It’s encouraging to see this investment and technology advancements being at the forefront. I’m looking forward to attending this event and I urge businesses to come along and support this project moving forward”.

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