Mowi is looking at four potential sites in Scotland for closed tanks to grow post-smolts, following the final harvest from its farm at Loch Ewe.
The Neptune tank technology was developed by Aquafarm Equipment and has already been trialled successfully in Norway. The solid tank enables fish farmers to better control water inputs and outputs, thereby avoiding intake of potentially harmful phytoplankton and sea lice and eliminating interactions of farm-raised and wild fish.
Measuring 40 metres in diameter, the Neptune tanks will grow salmon after their initial freshwater phase – from 120 to 800 grams – before ongrowing at sea pens. Implementation of a Neptune tank is estimated to reduce the duration of a salmon grown in net pens by eight months.
The company says it has approached Wester Ross Area Salmon Fishery Board to discuss the potential for installation of one tank at Loch Ewe, and will soon approach stakeholders at other locations. Mowi will seek permissions for the deployment of four tanks in Scotland.
Mowi’s Loch Ewe site was deemed to be unsuitable for conventional production due to limited production capabilities dictated by the enclosed nature of the sea loch and the site’s proximity to sensitive wild salmonid habitats. With subsequent approval of a farm off the shore of Scalpay, Mowi announced its intention the close the farm in July 2019. Following the final harvest earlier this month Mowi will relinquish the site lease with the Crown Estate.
Staff who were working at the Loch Ewe farm have been provided with other employment opportunities within the company.