Marine Harvest Scotland loses half a million smolts to oxygen fault at new hatchery

News
722

The salmon farmer’s Inchmore hatchery lost around 500,000 fish in August.

The event caused the death of about half-a-million fish at 80 grams weight. Operations director, Gideon Pringle, along with staff had to quickly prioritise which fish to save after an oxygen supply process and equipment failure occurred on site.

The £28 million hatchery was opened by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing in June.

Extremely upset
In an email to SalmonBusiness, Director of Communications, Ian Roberts said:
“Our staff are extremely upset to have witnessed this failure occur, as they work very hard all day to ensure comfortable conditions are provided for their fish.”

While RAS gives complete control of growing environments, as Marine Harvest know all too well, it’s a race against time to save as many fish as possible when something does go wrong.

Moving fish on land
“RAS delivers growing conditions that are a fine line of great benefit and extreme risk, with little room for error. While you have the ability to better control water parameters vital to fish in a closed-loop compared to tidal seawater, if you lose that control you only have minutes to react before fish fatality may occur,” said Ian Roberts.

“Salmon farmers around the globe have led the aquaculture industry in its evolution from flow-through system to recirculation technologies for the past few decades. This most recent failure – occurring at the most state-of-the-art facility managed by the world’s most experienced fish technicians – is another stark reminder of the extreme risks involved,” he added.