SCOTLAND’S newest salmon farmer, Organic Sea Harvest, has signed a deal with feed giant Cargill to supply its two Skye sites.
The farms at Invertote and Clunacnoc, which won planning approval in 2018, are due to be stocked with smolts this year. The consents are for two 12 x 400ft pen sites producing a total of 5,000 tonnes of organic salmon.
The company had hoped to double that capacity, but last week its proposals for another two locations – at Flodigarry in north-east Skye – were rejected by Highland council, following local opposition.
The feed contract with Cargill, announced today, is based on shared knowledge, experience, innovation and connection to the local community, said the feed company.
‘At Cargill, we are passionate about the sustainable development of Scottish salmon farming,’ said James Deverill, commercial director at Cargill Aqua Nutrition in Scotland.
‘Through our EWOS Harmony feeds, we are one of the world’s largest suppliers of feed for organically farmed salmon.
‘We are extremely excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Organic Sea Harvest to support the production of high quality, high welfare, organically farmed salmon from the Isle of Skye.’
Alex MacInnes, director of Organic Sea Harvest (OSH), said: ‘Throughout our discussions with the team from Cargill, whom we have known for many years, it has been very clear how much they value the importance of working with Organic Sea Harvest and contributing to the local community.
‘For our employees and the local communities in which we are present this is terrific news because the Cargill team will bring a wealth of knowledge and understanding with them.
‘It means a huge amount to us that we have been able to source the highest quality fish feed diets and the competence that goes with this critical element of the life cycle.
‘Cargill has shown the enthusiasm and motivation to grow with us and help Organic Sea Harvest in our objective to support the local communities of Staffin.’
There has been support in Staffin on Skye for Organic Sea Harvest’s plans, with the Staffin Community Trust welcoming the ‘significant employment opportunities and much needed infrastructure investment’.
However, in Flodigarry, hotel owner Bette Temming said the unique selling point of her business, the pristine land and seascape, would be destroyed by the fish farm.
MacInnes said he set up Organic Sea Harvest because he wanted to deliver a world class product from a small scale independent fish farming operation, a vision shared by his colleagues and founding shareholders, Robert Gray, Alister Mackinnon and Villa UK.
‘Organic Sea Harvest’s creation was undertaken with a genuine desire to work with the local communities and the local opportunities that could be created, as there have been very few opportunities for significant projects to be developed in north-east Skye, an area classed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise as fragile,’ the company said.
‘Organic Sea Harvest’s vision and strategy plan has always been to establish four new sites dedicated to growing high quality, high welfare organically farmed salmon from the Isle of Skye.’
Last August, OSH signed a £4 million contract with Gael Force to equip its two approved Skye sites. The deal includes SeaMate 350-tonne capacity feed barges and SeaFeed feeding systems, SeaQurePen fish pens, SeaQureMoor moorings, and underwater technology