Mowi confirms closure of Loch Ewe

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One site relocated after Mowi Scotland MD said that he will aim to “close contentious locations” back in July.

In a press release on Wednesday, Mowi writes that it has confirmed the closure of its site in Loch Ewe. And its new Scalpay farm is set to start production in spring 2020.

In July, SalmonBusiness reported on the salmon farmer’s relocation plan for inshore farm sites in a bid to improve relations with the wild fish sector.

Loch Ewe and Loch Duich were two sites Mowi identified as candidates for relocation due to the enclosed nature of the sea lochs where the farms are situated and the sites’ proximity to sensitive wild salmonid habitats.

“Employees currently working at Loch Ewe have been consulted with and may continue their employment at other new or expanded locations. The Loch Ewe location is set to retire at the end of the current fish cycle, at the end of 2020,” it wrote.

“The farm will be unique to Scotland – forming part of an integrated multi-trophic growing project involving multiple species of sea life which will examine ways to improve the productivity and environmental sustainability of marine aquaculture practices. There are plans to also link the farm location to the proposed visitor experience centre at Kyleakin, providing a first-hand view of an operating farm for interested tourists and Skye locals,” the release added.

“This relocation initiative aligns our growth plans with the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee’s (RECC) recent recommendations to sustainably grow our fish production levels over the next few years by expanding into new high-energy farming areas in more appropriate open water locations,” stated Stephen MacIntyre, head of environmental management at Mowi Scotland.

Mowi Scotland Managing Director Ben Hadfield said: “Success for this relocation initiative will be a net increase in production, a net increase in export value for Scotland and a net reduction in our environmental footprint at sensitive locations. Scotland’s potential exit from the EU is challenging for us, and as a major and growing employer in the country, we will do our utmost to retain and develop our experienced staff.”

A spokesperson for Mowi Scotland told SalmonBusiness that for Loch Duich, “biomass will be consolidated into Mowi’s other existing farms given permissions for expansions, though there is nothing to confirm yet”.