Three salmon farming sites off Scalloway are to be restocked with 1.2 million smolts as Scottish Seafarms (SSF) invests £1.6 million in local aquaculture.
The new money will secure 12 jobs and represents and escalation of activity in the area after many cages were emptied last year following the outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA), either because they were directly affected or in the infection zone.
Scottish Sea Farms managing director Jim Gallagher said: “The Scalloway restocking project demonstrates our continued investment in responsible farming in Shetland and we look forward to seeing sustainable growth in the local economy over the next couple of years. The volume of smolts will also secure jobs in our processing activity.
“We know from experience that taking a highly responsible, risk-based, single generation approach will generate a long term return both for the local community and the farmers operating in the area.
“The restocking of Scalloway also gives the opportunity of additional volumes of Shetland salmon at a time when there is significant shortage of supply in all markets. These volumes will help Scottish Sea Farms support the market demand from our valued UK customers as well as to develop growth in export markets.”
Stephen Divers, managing director of Fusion Marine, which along with W&J Knox has secured more than £1m of the investment, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue to support Scottish Sea Farms with their requirements; this business brings valued activity for us and helps us to sustain a return and employment in Scotland.”
SSF has worked closely with the other companies operating in Shetland to secure an “area management agreement” for the Scalloway area.
The investment follows a fallow period for salmon farming in Shetland brought on by the outbreak of ISA.
Salmon farms in the area between Scalloway and Skeld were gradually cleared of farmed salmon, the last one, Skelda Salmon, being in December.
However re-stocking of the area began in March when Hjaltland Sea Farms Ltd sites reintroduced smolts to six sites.