Marine Harvest Wins Welfare Award –

Marine Harvest Wins Welfare Award Fish Farming Today Published:  01 October, 2002

SCOTTISH salmon producer, Marine Harvest, has scooped this year’s RSPCA Alastair Mews Award.

RSPCA’s Freedom Food launched the Alastair Mews awards in memory of a former RSPCA head of farm animals department who was the inspiration for the scheme. The awards recognise those making an outstanding contribution to farm-animal welfare.

Marine Harvest won this year’s award for introducing a welfare-friendly stunning system to improve conditions of salmon at slaughter. It is common practice to kill salmon either via a manual blow to the head or by using carbon dioxide. According to the charity, both have welfare implications.

The company, in partnership with an Australian company, Sea Food Innovations, has developed a machine that kills fish quickly, efficiently and accurately, thereby reducing stress on the fish. This is a major improvement over the manual slaughter method as staff can become tired after dealing with thousands of fish, therefore making them less precise.

From left: RSPCA director general, Terry Hudgeton of Co-op and Dr Graham Dear of Marine Harvest

Ian Michie, technical account manager of Marine Harvest, said: “It’s fantastic news. Welfare has always been a priority and we are delighted to have been recognized by Freedom Food for making this important improvement in salmon welfare.”

The stunner has already been introduced across all the company’s Scottish farms, and it is currently being installed into their farms in Chile, Norway and Ireland.