News & Views
Scottish Sea Farms welcomes record number for visitors
September 7, 2022 By Hatchery International staff
Scottish Sea Farms has hosted 270 visitors across its farming estate this year to date, including at its RAS freshwater hatchery in Barcaldine.
The company said this new drive for visitors is to help increase awareness and understanding of the aquaculture sector in Scotland. Many of the visitors have approached Scottish Sea Farms directly while others were introduced to the sector through Salmon Scotland, the press release said.
“The beauty of people coming out to the farm is that they get to see what we do and speak to the team in person,” said Scallastle Farm Manager Michael Keenan. “No question is off-limits. In fact, we encourage open, honest, constructive discussion.”
Keenan added that with most of his team living locally, the visits have also been an opportunity to share why salmon farming is important to remote Scottish communities. Every department in the company has been involved in this “cross-company effort.” Though the company noted that these visits are a significant investment in time, the team deems them as well worth it.
Donald Buchanan, head of processing at Scottish Sea Farm’s facility in Scalloway, said providing an authentic experience is crucial.
“We don’t do anything differently on the day of a visit, other than take time out of our normal day to show guests around,” he said. “When your facilities and farms run as they should do every day, there’s no need… It’s further affirmation that we are doing the right thing as a business.”
The company has been hosting visits for years but, more recently, there has been a conscious decision to invite as many interested parties as possible (halted temporarily by the pandemic).
“Visiting Scottish Sea Farms has been a great experience for our students,” said Daniel Merryfield, programme lead for MSc Sustainable Aquaculture at Plymouth University, who also visited Barcaldine Hatchery. “The staff that hosted us have shown a genuine desire to practise and promote ethical fish farming – minimising the environmental footprint and maintaining welfare.’
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