Grimsby RAS farm will be a world beater, says company

The proposed new RAS salmon farm in Grimsby, on England’s North Sea coast, will be one of the most technically advanced of its type, the company behind the project said yesterday.

Neil Jamieson, director and founder of Aquacultured Seafood told Fish Farmer that there would be extensive use of artificial intelligence (AI) in its operation.

The company is engaging the Israeli company AquaMaof to handle the RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) technology. AquaMaof is being engaged by a number of such projects around the world.

The company was in Grimsby yesterday to outline its plan, meet local residents living near the site and attempt to allay any fears they may have.

The event was held at the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, the town’s award winning museum depicting the history of the fishing industry.

Up to about 50 people are thought to have shown up for the consultation which turned out to be a friendly encounter, although there were one or two “stop salmon farming” placards outside the building.

Canadian born Jamieson said the company spent three years looking at potential sites around the UK and visiting other RAS farms abroad.

It will be the UK’s first major salmon farm outside Scotland and the first to use RAS technology for grow-out production. Jamieson said he believed RAS to be the way forward and was now being adopted across the world

Why Grimsby? “Because of its access to fresh water and because of ABP’s (Associated British Ports) belief in using renewable energy,” he said to Fish Farmer.

“We were also enthused by the history of Grimsby and the fact that it has excellent support services in refrigeration, logistics and other important matters.”

He also thanked Young’s Seafood, which has its main production sites close to the site, for its “great support”.

The £75m project will create around 100 full time jobs plus many others from businesses supplying support services.

He said the expected timeline to the first harvest was broadly three to four years. A formal planning application will be submitted in the next few weeks and (if approved) this will be followed by six months to finalise the plans, 18 month for construction and a final 18 months to the first harvest.

Aquacultured Seafood’s market will be in the UK, Jamieson said: “We will be producing 5,000 tonnes of salmon a year against total UK consumption of 160,000 tonnes which is really a drop in the ocean.”

Describing it as a game changer for the town’s seafood sector, another director, Mike Berthet, assured members of public attending the meeting that there will be practically no noise and no smells from the site and waste products would leave in sealed containers.

Peter Dalton, co-founder and director of the Grimsby Seafood Village project told Fish Farmer he thought the facility will be “absolutely brilliant” for the town’s economy.

“Some of the arguments being used by opponents were the same as those being used against us when we wanted to build our seafood business park.

“Today, the seafood village is full and we have a waiting list,” he added.

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