Inverlussa: From shellfish farming to service boats

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Scotland has not experienced such sharp growth in the service boat segment as we have seen in Norway.

“There are small and tidy boats like this, with a lot of equipment, close to small anchor handlers.”

Sales Manager Lars Conradi Andersen climbs the steep leader leading to the roof of ‘Kiera Fiona’. The Havyard flag will be replaced by the flag of Scottish Inverlussa Marine Services.

The management of Inverlussa has come to Leirvik, western Norway, to take over the ‘Kiera Fiona’, a 25.5-meter long workboat. It will join the fleet of 11 vessels owned and operated from the Isle of Mull on the Scottish west coast.

‘Kiera Fiona’ is the second boat Havyard has supplied to Inverlussa Marine Services. It is robust and spacious, but not the largest in the Inverlussa fleet.

“25-27 meters is the largest we have. Most of them are over 20 meters,” said Inverlussa Director, Douglas Wilson.

The former fisherman has developed a shellfish farming company and has in the past few years, together with his family, developed Inverlussa Marine Services to one of the leading service boat companies in Scotland.

The service boat segment in the Norwegian aquaculture industry has been through an extreme growth phase in the last five to six years – with high profitability. So far, this has not been replicated on the other side of the North Sea.

“There has not been the same growth in Scotland. We have shorter contracts, and not the same profitability.” said Wilson.

“We work with lice and AGD – general site work. We have versatile boats that can be easily moved from one site to another,” added Ben Wilson, CEO of the shipping company.

He also does not see the same future for the service boat segment in Scotland.

“I do not think so. I do not believe in the same growth,” he said, adding that Scottish farming licenses have lower production levels than the Norwegian ones, and that in Scotland – like in Norway – there is no growth in underlying salmon production. “The rules are also more rigid as to which cranes we can use,” Ben Wilson said.

On the customer list are names like Marine Harvest, The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) and Cooke Aquaculture.

“We transport fish feed for SSC. We have a separate boat design for feed deliveries. It’s not so specialized as in Norway,” Ben Wilson added.