A NEW Scottish Sea Farms site went live this autumn at Westerbister in Orkney. This major investment of £3.5 million has created six new jobs locally, with five appointments already in place, and the site has brought positive benefits to several Scottish based suppliers.
Westerbister has resulted in purchases of a new barge and moorings from Inverness based Gael Force Group, cages from Fusion Marine in Argyll, nets from Knox and on site cameras from Steinsvik GMT.
Stewart Graham, managing director of Gael Force, said: ‘We were delighted to build this barge here in the Highlands for Scottish Sea Farms. The contract sustained up to 14 jobs within Gael Force and our local supply chain.’
The Westerbister site consists of 16 x 100m cages, with consent for 1,791 tonnes of salmon production, making it the second largest Scottish Sea Farms site in Orkney.
SSF regional manager Richard Darbyshire said: ‘This will significantly increase production of our quality product farmed in Orkney waters.
‘The smolts that are placed in the water now will be harvested in early 2018. This site will help to support Scotland in delivering growth to meet an unprecedented global and domestic demand, today and into the future.
‘Westerbister is the culmination of four years of consultation and hard work to ensure that we can grow and create brand new jobs in Orkney and sustain the wider local economy.
‘These new full time jobs come with training packages and offer real long-term careers in the aquaculture industry.
‘Farmed salmon has one of the lowest environmental footprints of the major protein producers and we have a responsibility to provide a secure food supply for the increasing global population and salmon will do this in a sustainable way.’
Picture: The Westerbister team (from left to right): Joe Williamson, Benjamin Weis, Ross Stevenson, Mark Rosie and Billy Brown