Early success at new wave farm

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COOKE Aquaculture’s newest site in Orkney, East Skelwick, lies 2.5km from the nearest landfall or, as farm manager Stewart Rendall puts it, ‘on the edge of the ocean’.
Described as a trial site, it is Scotland’s most exposed high energy farm, and its success could help change the way salmon are farmed in the future.
So far, the signs are very encouraging. The first fish were stocked in November, weighing 2.1kg, after being grown first in an existing site, and are ‘doing exceptionally well’, said Rendall.
They were around 4.3kg when Fish Farmer visited last week and are due to be harvested on April 21.
‘They’re growing like crazy, and there’s no problem with their health,\’ Rendall said. \’The gills are clean and they’re feeding very well, there’s no lice in Orkney, so we’re lucky with that.’
Capacity at the farm is 2,500 tonnes, with eight pens, but there are just four at the moment, with 800 tonnes. The 130m cages, supplied by Aqualine of Norway and KJ of the Faroes, are the largest in Scotland.
The farm will be stocked to full capacity by September this year and the staff of three will be increased to eight.
Wind, wave and hydrographic conditions will be monitored in real-time, alongside routine farm operations, to maximise the data gained from the new site.
Cooke managing director Colin Blair said: ‘This enables the resilience of cages and moorings, site accessibility and salmon performance to be correlated with the prevailing physical conditions, including any extreme weather events.’
Read the full report in the March issue of Fish Farmer https://issuu.com/fishfarmermagazine/docs/fish_farmer_march_2019
And click on the link to watch Fish Farmer photographer Angus Blackburn’s film of his day out with the East Skelwick team.
https://youtu.be/QCLKMzk0VMc

 
Picture: East Skelwick manager Stewart Rendall at the farm (photo: Angus Blackburn)

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