Independent fish farming start-up Organic Sea Harvest (OSH) has had its credentials confirmed by the Soil Association, the UK’s leading organic farming certification body.
The Soil Association confirmed that the Skye-based company meets the standards to be considered an “organic” producer.
OSH Fish Health and Welfare Technical Manager, Adam Rainsden, said: “This certification is confirmation of the effort the team at Organic Sea Harvest puts into ensuring the welfare of our livestock is maximised.
“We follow a strict set of rules and regulations that go above and beyond statutory requirements. Audits are carried out by third party organisations. You cannot simply bang a drum and claim to use organic methods – it must be proven.”
OSH operates with a reduced stocking density, ensuring the density of fish is significantly lower than conventional or non-organic farms. At any point during OSH’s production cycle, the stocking densities equate to 99-99.9% water and only 0.1-1% fish, the company said.
It also stressed that the sites it operates in are chosen to minimise the impact on the environment and ensure a good flow of oxygen-rich seawater.
OSH has two fish farm sites on Skye and has a planning application for a third, Balmaqueen at the north end of Skye. A previous planning application for a site near Flodigarry was rejected in November by the Scottish Government’s planning appeals reporter.
OSH Founding Director, Alex MacInnes, said: “We are in an area where sustainable jobs are greatly needed and, if our site plans get the go-ahead, this will create full-time employment within an area which is already fragile. Nine jobs [created by the proposed site at Balmaqueen] would be a significant number for the region and much-needed during this unique and difficult time.”