Loch Duart’s new pens ‘performing well’

SCOTTISH salmon farmer Loch Duart has praised the pens delivered to its site in north-west Sutherland earlier this year.
The Fusion Marine Oceanflex pens, installed at the company’s Oldany farm near Drumbeg, are performing well according to the Scourie based company.
The ten 80m circumference Oceanflex pens were manufactured from tough polyethylene, and are part of Loch Duart’s strategy to ensure its sites are equipped with the strongest possible containment systems.
The Fusion Marine pens replace steel pens that were previously used on the site and come equipped with bird net support wheels.
The three-flotation ring Oceanflex pen was developed by Fusion Marine to meet the harsh and demanding sea conditions found in exposed farming locations.
In an order worth more than £200,000, the pens were towed to the Oldany site from Fusion Marine’s manufacturing base at Barcaldine, Argyll, and were stocked with smolts in April this year.
Mark Warrington, operations manager for Loch Duart, said: ‘Loch Duart’s traditional approach relies on galvanised steel walkways.
‘However, in this industry one must adapt to particular site and weather conditions.  In the case of Oldany we have a large ‘fetch’ across the bay which our ‘cruives’ had coped with – but we are replacing the cruives with Oceanflex pens.
‘These pens are performing very well for us. They provide a smaller unit which reflects our core company principles of small-scale, welfare driven farming where the close monitoring of stocks can continue while utilising the most up-to-date equipment with a proven track record.
‘Fusion provided a straightforward cost effective solution. This coupled with their reputation for customer service and successfully delivering projects made them our first choice for this completely new set-up. As a small independent Scottish company this order represented a substantial investment on our part.’
Iain Forbes of Fusion Marine said: ‘We are delighted that our Oceanflex pens are performing well for Loch Duart.
‘We utilise cutting edge technology in the construction of our pens, which ensures the highest possible jointing standards.
‘This order also highlights the significant economic downstream benefits salmon farming brings to Scottish companies such as Fusion Marine.’