Seafood Fund backs processing investment


Mowi Scotland is to receive just over £2m from the UK Seafood Fund to buy equipment that will transform its salmon processing operations.

The investment is part of a wider project to expand and modernise Mowi’s fish processing facility. The project aims to increase throughput from 65,000 tonnes to at least 95,000 tonnes per year; reduce the number of single use polystyrene boxes by 40% by 2026, which will reducing the carbon footprint of owi’s salmon; and introduce automation to reduce manual labour, contributing to the health, safety and wellbeing of employees on the site.

The award to Mowi is part of a much larger multi-million pound tranche of funding for a number of seafood and fishing companies, from the UK government’s £100m Seafood Fund.

Included in this is a £2.4m grant for Grimsby salmon processor JCS Fish Ltd to develop a state-of-the-art 2,000 square metre processing factory with integrated smokehouse. Family owned JCS Fish has won several awards for its salmon and trout products in recent years.

The JCS Fish project will:

  • Expand JCS Fish Limited’s salmon and trout processing capability from its current 10 tonnes to 20 tonnes per day.
  • Create an estimated 32 direct jobs and 80 indirect jobs in a deprived region
  • Make energy savings in the region of 30% despite it being a larger site, this equates to a 30-40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reduce UK’s reliance on imported salmon.

UHI (University of the Highlands and Islands) Shetland has been awarded £186,000 to develop new courses supporting innovation and the future sustainability of seafood which will be aimed at those working or entering the aquaculture sector.

Jane Lewis, Principal and Chief Executive of UHI Shetland, said: “We are thrilled to have been successful with our bid to the UK Seafood Fund, which was prepared in close collaboration with UHI West Highland and our partners in the seafood sector.

“This project will be run through our new Centre for Sustainable Seafood and will act as a catalyst to help provide a sustainable workforce for a sustainable seafood sector. We are delighted that we can use this funding to continue to support the seafood sector, which is such a vital part of economy of the Highlands and Islands.

“Through our joint expertise in blended learning, we will also be able to widen access to reach potential students online no matter where they live.”

In another project, the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) has been awarded £250,000 from the UK Seafood Fund to develop a training programme to help finfish farmers tackle harmful algal blooms (HABs).

UK Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said: “Our seafood and fishing sectors are a fundamental part of the UK’s heritage as well as contributing to food security and our economy.

“The UK Government is funding opportunities from the quayside to the sales counter, suitable for young people as well as those changing careers.

“It is absolutely vital we invest in our workforce so these important industries prosper for generations to come.”

Meanwhile, a degree and higher level skills offer for aspiring managers in the seafood industry will be developed by the University of Lincoln.

Professor Val Braybrooks, Dean at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing, University of Lincoln, said: ‘’We are delighted to have been awarded funds to adapt our successful food manufacturing higher and degree apprenticeship offer and develop new provision to meet the skills needs of Seafood Processing businesses. The new programmes will support the development of aspiring leaders in our sustainability led and rapidly changing sector and we look forward to collaborating with businesses and partners across the UK to fuel the talent pipeline.

“We are indebted to members of the Seafood Grimsby and Humber Alliance (SGHA) for their support in informing our plans and we now look forward to working together with the sectors’ employers across the country, along with our educational partner the University of the Highlands and Islands in Shetland, to deliver this flagship skills scheme for the industry and unite our clusters and Seafood Processing communities through it’.”

UHI Shetland, Scalloway Campus


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