STIM sees high welfare standards as key to a strong aquaculture industry

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STIM makes no secret of its commitment to high welfare standards, promoting its SuperSmolt Feed front and centre at the Aquaculture UK event in Aviemore. 

“SuperSmolt is a welfare tool, so we’re really trying to get the message out that smoltification is a very important part of it”, Campbell Morrison, Key Account Manager at STIM UK, told SalmonBusiness.

“You want synchronised, identical, consistent, predictable smoltification when they’re transferred. Eating, feeding very quickly after transfer, the same day, to give them the best chance of performing, but also withstanding the challenges in the sea”.

Helping companies to ride out challenges
As the aquaculture industry suffers from rising costs, with raw materials and fish feed increasing in price, companies look for any assistance that can help to alleviate the pressure the current global instability has caused.

“We are trying to help the customers reduce their cost of production per kilogram by using an innovative products, like SuperSmolt,” Morrison said. “It’s increased the efficiency of production but also, very importantly, welfare.”

“In terms of sourcing ingredients, we’re obviously very ethical in how we source them and that’s going to be continued. In terms of the carbon footprint, we’re very focused on that as well,” he noted, highlighting the importance of sustainability within aquaculture.

Shaking off the anti-salmon resistance in Scotland
While the salmon industry has to combat resistance to fish farms in multiple different regions, Scotland now has to contend with resistance from its own government.

The Green Party, which is in a governing cooperation agreement with the SNP, has pledged to phase out open net pen salmon farming and toughen conditions on licences to farm in coastal waters.

Despite this political situation, Morrison wasn’t phased, dismissing the risk of any real political threat to the industry due to the high welfare standards in the sector. “The Scottish salmon farmers are definitely focused on welfare and they’re putting in lots of things in place, lots of measures that actually prioritise welfare,” Morrison stated.

“They’re definitely improving welfare and focusing more on it and that’s going to be key to the public relations aspects of it. It’s got to be sustainable and welfare based,” he added.

Looking forward in Scotland
With the Scottish government’s announcement that it will directly oversee the next phase of the review into the aquaculture industry, focus is on the Griggs report again.

Read also: Scottish government to directly oversee next phase of aquaculture industry review

Morrison welcomed the Griggs report’s recommendations and the announcement from the Scottish government, noting how he believes they are “committed to helping and to streamlining the regulation process” to help reduce the burden on companies in the region.

“If we can get a streamlined situation that meets the needs of the environment, sustainability, welfare, then it can only be good for Scottish farmers,” Morrison said.