Oldest independent salmon farm in Scotland posts reduced earnings in 2018

News
367

Challenging year for Wester Ross as operating profit down 60 per-cent.

According to its latest results on Companies House, Wester Ross posted a significant drop in revenue for the year ended 21st December 2018.

Operating profit was dropped 60 per-cent from GBP 4 million in 2017 to GBP 1.6 million in 2018. Turnover was down from GBP 16.9 million in 2017 to GBP 15.7 million in 2018.

Though no reason was given in the report, the reduction in proft is likely due to the “catastrophic” mortality caused by a severe plankton challenge last hit it last year.

At the time Gilpin Bradley, Managing Director of the Wester Ross Fisheries wrote: “The year 2018 was a record year for seawater temperatures, causing more plankton issues and reduced oxygen levels at sea. Increasing seawater temperatures during summer months due to global warming will continue to be a major challenge for all sustainable seafood farmers around the world”.

“This has been a catastrophic event for Wester Ross, in over 40 years of salmon farming. Our dedicated farmers have never had to manage such severe mortality in a very short period of time”.

The salmon farm, founded in 1977, is one of the oldest and only independently-run Scottish salmon farms left. The company has a focus on traditional ways of hand-rearing  premium fish and uses no automation or cameras to see how the fish are doing.

Looking ahead in the report Wester Ross, wrote: “Our view is that the future prospects for the company are strong despite the uncertainty in the present economic climate.

“It is the intention of the group to develop current activities (fish farming and processing) and to continue to enhance its products and to seek new opportunities in both the UK and overseas markets.”

SalmonBusiness has contacted Wester Ross for comment.