Scottish RAS project gets funding boost

Hatchery International staff
November 15, 2018
By Hatchery International staff
Scottish Sea Farms' new RAS hatchery project in Barcaldine, Argyll in Scotland – scheduled to open in 2019 – just got a funding boost as part of a £1.28 million (US$1.6 million) research and development support from Scottish Enterprise.

An announcement from Scottish Sea Farms website said the funding will be go toward the company's "pioneering work to further enhance fish welfare and go beyond compliance with regards to protecting the environment."

The funds will assist Scottish Sea Farms in its latest R&D drive – worth a total of £18.3 million (US$23 million) – helping to accelerate both the innovative work itself and the anticipated benefits, the announcement said.

"Ensuring that the sector grows in a sustainable way remains a priority for us. It is great to see an ambitious and respected company like Scottish Sea Farms investing in innovation to improve environmental control, health issues and production efficiencies," Kirsteen Binnie of Scottish Enterprise said in the statement.

Part of the R&D funding will be used to help develop and establish conditions for optimal fish health and welfare at Scottish Sea Farm's £48 million (US$61 million) RAS hatchery at Barcaldine.

"Researching and developing new approaches and technologies is key to ensuring that we continue raising the healthiest fish in the most responsible but also the most environmentally sustainable way, and this latest £18.3 million investment aims to advance our work in both areas," Scottish Sea Farms' managing director, Jim Gallagher.

In addition to establishing conditions for optimizing fish health, Scottish Sea Farms' R&D initiatives also include: developing humane slaughter processes at the company's processing facilities in Oban and at Scalloway on Shetland; harvesting wind and wave energy at more exposed farms to reduce reliance on fuel; recycling a greater proportion of by-products to minimise waste; and capturing and analysing data in the ongoing drive to increase knowledge and understanding.

"The £1.28 million support from Scottish Enterprise means that we will be able to do more of this planned R&D even sooner, accelerating both the innovation and the anticipated benefits for fish health and welfare and for the environment," Gallagher said.

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