Kames Fish Farm Managing Director Neil Manchester passes away

Neil Manchester.

Kames Fish Farm Managing Director Neil Manchester died suddenly on Sunday, 28 May at age 59.

A family-owned company, Kames Fish Farming produces steelhead trout and operates its own fish-smoking operation at its facility in Kimelford, Scotland. Manchester was hired as its managing director in June 2021, following a six-year term as managing director of the aquaculture business unit of Hendrix Genetics. Before that, he worked for 16 years at Landcatch Natural Selection, working his was up from area production manager to production director, operations director, general manager, and managing director.

“Many of you will have heard that our managing director, Neil Manchester, died very suddenly at his home on Sunday. Our hearts go out to his wife and two children, we offer them all our thoughts and condolences at such a difficult time,” Kames Fish Farm said in a statement. “It is a huge shock to everyone at Kames, as we’re sure it is to all of you who have known and worked with Neil. He was a much-loved leader, colleague, and friend, who has added so much to our business. He has brilliantly driven Kames forward in strategy, communication, team empowerment, marketing nous, and industry expertise over the past two years, helping us to thrive and shaping our future. Most of all he had an absolute passion for our values, our community, and our staff. We will carry on his vision and honor his great investment and commitment to us all.”

Manchester began his career in aquaculture at Kames Fish Farm in 1985 as a student intern and worked for the company between 1987 and 1998, rising to become hatchery manager.

“He was the outstanding choice to run Kames when our founder Stuart Cannon was ready to step back, and he was delighted to come back to the area he loved so much,” Kames Fish Farm said. “In the workplace, Neil was without fail calm, approachable, often chuckling, full of exuberance, always encouraging, swift to praise, unafraid to stick to his guns, and always passionately bringing it back to our ethos, to having the right priorities. Outside of work he relished no longer having to travel, settling his family in the West Coast countryside he enjoyed so much. He was a big fan of what he jokingly called ‘Jomo’ – the ‘joy of missing out’, or in other words, enjoying the simple pleasures of fishing, shooting, boating, camping and spending all the time he could with his beloved wife and kids – time that now has been so cruelly cut short.”

In a statement, Salmon Scotland paid tribute to Manchester’s work and life.

“The entire Scottish salmon sector is united in mourning [his] loss,” it said. “[Neil] was a pioneer of Scottish aquaculture and made a huge contribution to the development of our sector over a successful 35-year career tragically cut short. All our thoughts are with his wife and children and Kames’ colleagues at this incredibly sad time.”

Photo courtesy of Kames Fish Farm


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