Wanted: vet for coming cleaner-fish production surge

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Animal-health expert sought, as count of wrasse and lumpsucker fish at sea and on-land about to rise dramatically

Marine Harvest Scotland has begun preparing for ramped up cleaner-fish production in Scotland, and is now seeking to hire a veterinarian “for the health of the entire MHS cleaner fish stock, including both wrasse and lumpsuckers, and across the different production stages (hatchery-grow-out)”.

Cleaner-fish are increasingly in grow-out along with salmon across Scotland. They’re also increasingly in outdoor grow-out alone, and Marine Harvest is building land-based cleaner-fish grow-outs to boot.

“This is a challenging post which involves both field and office work. Candidates should be willing to travel around sites and work under unfavourable weather conditions,” the ad says, adding that the person has to also expect to train and motivate staff looking after the fish.

And there’ll be plenty fish to look after: Marine Harvest in February was given the greenlight by Argyll and Bute Council to build a GBP 6 million facility for 800,000 cleaner fish on the Kintyre peninsula.

For now, the company is understood to gets its cleaner fish from a site in Wales, Otter Ferry Seafish in Argyll and Native Marine Centre in Weymouth.

The Kintyre site is expected to produce 200,000 lice-eating wrasse for what is expected to become a profitable enterprise, judging by cleaner-fish businesses elsewhere.