Latest phase of Scottish Sea Farms fish farm upgrade programme progressing well
The latest phase of a major modernisation of fish farm sites belonging to Scottish Sea Farms is now well underway in a partnership agreement with Fusion Marine, which has seen more than £4m invested since the rolling upgrade programme began four years ago.
This latest round of investment includes the refurbishment of 24 salmon pens in Shetland, work on which is already well advanced. Scottish Sea Farms also recently earmarked an additional £400,000 investment for new salmon pens and refurbishments for a number of other farm sites, including an order for 16 new Oceanflex 80m circumference salmon pens at Kishorn on the West coast and an upgrade programme at Loch Nevis.
Well over 200 pens have been refurbished or renewed by Fusion Marine since the modernisation programme began in 2007. It has included the supply of a significant number of new three-ring Oceanflex salmon pens complete with safety decking, along with the latest design of heavy-duty bird net support wheels.
The fully integrated enhancement programme using Fusion Marine technology has also seen existing salmon pens on SSF sites on the West coast, Orkney and Shetland totally refurbished to ensure the strongest possible containment, as well as provide safe working conditions for fish farm operatives.
The refurbishments involve upgrading existing pens to Fusion Marine Oceanflex three-ring format systems so as to ensure maximum strength. Steel and other old components have been stripped out and replaced with the latest technology polyethylene fittings. Some pens have also been increased in size to suit specific site and operational conditions and all pens have had safety decking installed.
The project is part of SSF's 'future proofing' strategy to ensure all its farms have the most modern and secure equipment.
Graham Smith, SSF Regional Production Manager for Shetland, said: We have worked with Fusion Marine for a number of years and we have always been impressed by the continually high service levels they provide. We also like the fact that they are a Scottish company with over 20 years experience that has detailed knowledge of the requirements of the Scottish salmon farming industry.
This latest refurbishment programme is part an ongoing programme of improvements to modernise our pens. The removal of steel fittings and the conversion of our pens to a tough all-polyethylene construction will also dramatically reduce the amount of maintenance required.?
Stephen Divers, Managing Director of Fusion Marine, said: Our close working relationship with Scottish Sea Farms is working well and the feedback they offer is invaluable in enabling us to continually improve and develop our product range. Such innovation in aquaculture technology is vital due to the growing trend of moving farms further offshore.
Stock containment is of huge importance and Scottish Sea Farms should be commended for their policy of continually investing in their farm infrastructure to ensure they have the most modern equipment and best standards of husbandry.