Scottish Sea Farms’ $12M expansion of existing sites in Orkney approved

Scottish Sea Farms, co-owned by SalMar and the Lerøy Seafood Group of Norway, has received the green light to expand two farms in Orkey Islands off Scotland’s north coast.

The company said the $12-million (£10 million) expansion of the farms is necessary due to increased costs caused by global inflation. It is also essential to safeguard the jobs it provides to the local community, it added.

The first of these farms is in the Scapa Flow waters in Toy Ness and the second is in waters near Bring Head, Hoy.

The local council okayed the addition of two 120m-circumference salmon net pens and the widening of the existing 10 net pens from 80-metres to 120 metres in the Toy Ness site, reported The Press and Journal.

The farm will also be moved 130m to the south-west of the current site. It will have a 420-tonne capacity feed barge, compared to a previous 200-tonne barge, the news outlet said.

The second farm allowed to expand is near Bring Head, Hoy. It will be expanded from 10 cages measuring 80m, to 12 cages measuring 120m. The cages would also be moved 190m to the north east, and the site will have another 420-tonne semi-automated feed barge.

The expansion’s approval didn’t come easy. The Orkey Trout Fishing Association and some local residents objected the plan, citing sea lice numbers at the sites exceeding industry threshold over the last nine months, as per figures provided by the Scottish Government.

In response, Scottish Sea Farms said current levels of sea lice in Scapa Flow are “very low.” It said data show the average is 0.22 sea lice females per fish.

Newsletter