New high-energy Scottish salmon farm secures political approval
With high-energy sites expected to become an important part of the Scottish aquaculture industry’s growth, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing visited Cooke Aquaculture’s Orkney headquarters last week to hear about progress being made at the company’s new salmon farming site at East Skelwick, Westray.
“Cooke are championing innovative approaches to sustainably growing the Scottish aquaculture industry, and are a fantastic example of what can be achieved in Scotland when there is a combination of vision and wider support. It was great to see yet another example of how the aquaculture sector is adapting and being innovative when thinking about sustainable growth, and I wish them all the best moving forward,” Ewing said.
The new site consists of eight pens measuring 130 meters in circumference, the largest currently used in Scotland.
Compared to existing farms, it is in a more exposed location – 2.5 kilometers from the nearest landfall – and is equipped with durable technology that can withstand sustained exposure to high wind and wave loads.
With assistance from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), it has been equipped with a wave measurement buoy, a weather station incorporating hydrographic sensors, and real-time environmental sensors.
The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) will liaise with Cooke to help ensure that data from these instruments is interpreted fully, allowing an accurate assessment of site performance.