Ferguson award shows potential future path of Scottish innovation
Ferguson Transport and Shipping, one of the largest Highlands & Islands logistics companies, has won a grant to continue developing its new method for the removal of dead fish from salmon farms, it has been learned.
The Corpach-, Scotland based outfit had been awarded GBP 181,000 via a new Accelerated Aquaculture Innovation fund the Scottish supply chain has since March been encouraged to apply to. Ferguson seems to have been the first grant winner.
The company — which, among other things, does bulk feed hauls, general cargo moves and fish-farm maintenance — has devised a new method to efficiently remove mortalities from sea farms. While the amount suggests a “morts-removal” tool deployable from one of the company’s two feed vessels or four multi-purpose boats, the company has grander designs that extend to clean moves to energy-production sites.
SalmonBusiness reached out to Ferguson without immediate result, but in a statement, company operations director, Jack Ferguson, said the cash will help develop the “morts” system into “modular bulk transport tanks, to transport and deliver fish mortalities in a safer and strict bio secure way”.
“Our new method will allow us to collect directly from the pens and thereafter deliver direct for the reprocessing for energy, from waste or processing into liquid fertiliser.”
“If successful, it could significantly reduce the impacts on fish farm operations,” a statement from HIE said. Scotland’s aquaculture industry is forecast to grow substantially in the years ahead, the industry advocacy maintains, and it’s banking on innovation “to underpin sustainable growth”.
Meanwhile, other aquaculture projects of from GBP 25,000 to GBP 1 million are expected to be reviewed for their market impact and feasibility. The AAI programme is envisaged providing up to half of a project’s cost.