Scottish Sea Farms consolidates four farms into one larger farm farther offshore

A map highlighting where Scottish Sea Farms' new Billy Baa farm will be located
A map highlighting where Scottish Sea Farms' new Billy Baa farm will be located | Image courtesy of Scottish Sea Farms
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Scottish Sea Farms has received approval from the Shetland Islands Council to consolidate four of its existing salmon farms off the Shetland Islands into one farm that is farther offshore.

Scottish Sea Farms said its Sandsound Voe – Brei Geo Inshore farm, which is allowed to farm 1,209 metric tons (MT); its Brei Geo Offshore facility, which is allowed to farm 2,635 MT; its Sandsound Voe farm, which is allowed to farm 100 MT; and its Sandsound Bixter farm, which is allowed to farm 1,000 MT; will all be surrendered. In return, the company has been granted rights to a new farm dubbed Billy Baa, which will farm 4,091 MT.

The new farm, the company said, will be located “slightly farther offshore,” where the growing conditions for salmon are slightly better. 

“By combining four smaller consents into one location, equipped with fewer but larger pens, we’re seeking to maximize water exchange and oxygen levels – two key factors supporting fish growth – in and around the farm,” Scottish Sea Farms Head of Sustainability and Development Anne Anderson said. “It will also be a more efficient approach to farming this stretch of Scalloway’s waters, enabling the team to concentrate their time, skills, and resources in one location, further boosting fish health, welfare and survival.”

According to Scottish Sea Farms, the company’s new farm will not increase the environmental load on the surrounding environment above the level seen at the previous four farms, but the approval from the Shetland Islands Council is just the first step in the process toward finalizing the new farm. 

“The next step is to secure the SEPA [Scottish Environment Protection Agency] CAR license, which, if awarded, will set permitted levels on fish volumes and veterinary medicines in order to minimize any environmental impact from the farm,” Anderson said. “These levels will be informed by the capacity of the marine environment to disperse materials and any local sensitivities.”

Anderson said if that process goes as planned, the company expects to be able to stock salmon in the new Billy Baa location by 2026. 

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