Marine Harvest launches new 13,500-sq.m. hatchery in Scotland
Marine Harvest's newly opened £26.5 million (US$35.4 million) hatchery in Inchmore, Scotland, which uses "one of the most technically advanced water recirculating systems," is expected to produce up to 12 million Scottish-farmed salmon a year, a statement from the company said.
By Mari-Len De Guzman
The new facility replaces Marine Harvest Scotland’s 38-year-old, smaller hatchery and increases its workers from five to 18. The team will grow salmon from eyed eggs into smolts, fry and parr, then transfer them to the company’s 49 seawater fish farms and five freshwater loch site for maturation.
“The opening of this new hatchery at Inchmore is excellent news for Marine Harvest, as it will allow the company to expand its operations and create new jobs in the Highlands,” said Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing during the official opening of the new 13,500-sq.m. hatchery.
“With farmed salmon continuing to be the UK’s number one food export, this expansion shows the confidence within Scotland’s aquaculture sector as companies like Marine Harvest look at innovative ways of working to ensure sustainable growth.”
Equivalent to two Olympic-sized swimming pools, the total fish tank volume for the new Inchmore Hatchery is 4.6 million litres. The total water volume contained in the entire system, however, is 17.7 million litres, Marine Harvest said.
The new hatchery will enable Scotland’s largest salmon producer to supply the expanding number of sea farms across the country and meet increasing global demand for Scottish salmon, said Ben Hadfield, managing director of Marine Harvest Scotland.
“It is part of our plans to deliver an efficient and sustainable business with a long term future and we are delighted the Cabinet Secretary was able to join us today to declare it officially open,” Hadfield said at the launch event.
The new hatchery is the latest stage in Marine Harvest’s expansion plans, which includes the creation of new open sea fish farms in various locations in the Minch. Farms have already opened off Barra, Uist and Muck with a new site off the Isle of Rum receiving planning permission earlier this year, the company said.