Scottish Sea Farms consolidates three existing farming regions into two

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New role for Regional Manager Richard Darbyshire, now Northern Isles Regional Manager, who will oversee project.

In a press release, Scottish Sea Farms writes that it has promoted long-standing Regional Manager for Orkney, Richard Darbyshire, to the all-new role of Northern Isles Regional Manager with responsibility for the company’s Shetland and Orkney farms, supported by two new Area Manager roles.

The roles are part of a restructure aimed at helping Scottish Sea Farms move three existing farming regions to be consolidated into two: the Northern Isles and mainland Scotland.

Commenting on the move, Scottish Sea Farms’ Managing Director Jim Gallagher said: “We will now have two farming regions of a similar size in terms of number of farms, each one overseen by its own dedicated Regional Manager: Innes Weir who joined us in December 2019 with responsibility for our farms on Scottish mainland, and Richard Darbyshire in his new Northern Isles role.

“Richard has been instrumental in the stand-out results achieved on Orkney: from the exceptional team he has built around him and the superior fish they have reared together, to his work identifying the best growing conditions for possible new farms. Combined, it’s delivered some of the strongest biological performances across our farming estate.

“We’re now looking to Richard to bring this same unwavering focus on fish health and appreciation of the local environment to our Shetland farms, helping identify and make the necessary changes to bring about similar scale improvements as achieved on Orkney.”

Darbyshire, who will divide his time between Orkney where he is based and Shetland, said: “I’m ready and raring to go in terms of helping the Shetland team achieve consistently high standards across all farms and functions: infrastructure, equipment, staffing, health and safety, reporting, training and development.”

“This is a really exciting time for all of our marine farmers – Orkney, Shetland and mainland too – with our new Barcaldine RAS Hatchery producing significantly bigger smolts that require less time at sea. We’ve also got more tools at our disposal than ever before to proactively protect fish health. I’m keen to do whatever I can to help both of our Northern Isles teams maximise this strong start and deliver their best biological performances yet,” he added.

In December 2019, Scottish Sea Farms divided the former Production Manager position into two new roles with separate remits: Regional Manager for Scottish mainland with responsibility for all marine farms in the area – a role taken up by Innes Weir during the same month; and Director of Farming with responsibility for all freshwater and marine activities – a role assumed by Dr Gideon Pringle in March 2020.