Wester Ross, the oldest independently owned salmon farmer in Scotland, experienced an exceptionally high salmon mortality at the Ardessie Farm in Little Loch Broom in August 2018 caused by a severe plankton challenge.
“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,” said Gilpin Bradley, Managing Director of the Wester Ross Fisheries in a press release by the SSPO on behalf of the company.
“Wester Ross Salmon located at the Ardessie Farm were affected by a severe plankton challenge which caused an irreparable damage to the gills in a very short period as the seawater temperatures reached their summer peak causing catastrophic mortality rates of 52.8% at Ardessie Farm Site A and 41.9% at the Ardessie Farm Site B.”
“This event was soul-destroying for all our farmers and staff who had been caring of these salmon for over 10 months at the time of the event. Fortunately, the remaining salmon have now been fully recovered and are growing well.”
“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,” added Bradley.