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Scottish Sea Farms to open new $2.5M incubation unit at Barcaldine hatchery

August 31, 2023  By Hatchery International staff

(Photo: Scottish Sea Farms)

Salmon producer, Scottish Sea Farms, said it’s taking “ova control” with its new incubation unit this fall.

The £2 million (US$2.5 million) addition to its Barcaldine hatchery will be located in its own dedicated building to help the salmon producer with post-stripping and fertilise eggs on-site. The new unit is expected to create four new jobs at the facility.

“What we’re doing is creating a bespoke facility that will allow us to have greater control of the eggs even earlier in the production cycle,” said Scottish Sea Farms Head of Freshwater, Rory Conn, in a company newsletter. “We’ll be able to take our time through these most critical initial stages, incubating the eggs for longer and at lower temperatures as we deem appropriate.”

Scottish Sea Farms Head of Freshwater Rory Conn (Photo: Scottish Sea Farms)

Conn added that the team will be looking to incubate as low a temperature as possible, likely within 2-3 C, to encourage slow and steady development of the ova. Receiving the eggs from immediately after post-stripping also gives the team greater control over water quality.


The Barcaldine hatchery is equipped with a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) that draws freshwater from the nearby Gleann Dubh reservoir. The new incubation unit will have three similar RAS setups that will supply water to the racks where the new eggs are housed.

“Any one of the racks can be supplied by an individual RAS setup so we can supply them all at different temperatures should we choose to – the importance being that it gives us control over how quickly or otherwise the ova develops. And because the water is so clean, it’s as safe as it can possibly be for the ova,” said Conn.

The company said the investment in the new incubation unit is a step towards future-proofing its egg supply and fish health. Norwegian breeding company, AquaGen, has been supplying the farm’s eggs for almost five years.

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