October issue

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We often hear there’s no such thing as a “job for life”, but at Marine Harvest 

we’re proving this theory incorrect. Over 70 different job options are  

available in the company, and long-term careers are being celebrated monthly.


Salmon farming in the Highlands:  

a professional career for life


Ben Hadfield, Managing Director


nvestment in Scotland on a pro-rata tonnage basis is 

far above investments being made in any other salmon 

farming group within Marine Harvest and the  

reason for this is very simple: the Board of Directors and 

the General Management Team of the company see great 

potential in our salmon farming business. This is great  

news for us, as employees and career professionals in  

aquaculture, because it creates opportunity and lifelong 

careers in what is an exceedingly interesting and important 

business that feeds the earth’s growing population in an  

efficient and sustainable way.


Our longest serving employee ever retired recently after 

41 years dedicated to Scottish salmon farming. Beginning 

his career back in the pioneering days of salmon farming 

in 1977 as a fish farm assistant at Lochailort, Steve Bracken 

became one of the industry’s greatest ambassadors. 


Over the decades, Steve has watched careers in Marine  

Harvest develop into highly specialised roles, attracting 

highly qualified professionals in areas such as fish  

husbandry and processing to the Highlands and Islands.


Our operations director for processing and feed in  

Scotland, Ewan MacColl, celebrated 30 years with us  

recently after starting his career at our Blar Mhor  

processing plant in Fort William.  


He joins the illustrious group of 29 colleagues who’ve all 

been with us for more than 30 years.  


Over the summer Joe MacLeod, senior farm technician at 

Laga Bay, marked 25 years with us and we also celebrated 

Marlena Lewczuk’s 15 years working as a canteen assistant 

at our Blar Mhor processing plant. 



These milestones all go to show how significant Marine 

Harvest is in creating varied careers in a rural economy, 

and for those that want it, a job for life. 




At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the  

parliamentary report by the Rural Economy and  

Connectivity (REC) Committee on Scottish salmon  

farming. In our verbal submissions to the committee,  

Marine Harvest has been very open about its farming  

challenges and our rapid response to addressing them. It 

can be disappointing that our massive successes - social,  

environmental and economic - are typically buried behind 

the gloomy headlines. You don’t hear enough of our full 

story in the UK and we are guilty of not communicating it 

well enough - especially to people south of Edinburgh. Our 

business is an economic powerhouse in Scotland and the 

economic foundation of thousands of households.  


Whatever the committee concludes, there is no doubt the  

aquaculture industry, possibly more than any other,  

provides interesting, well paid and varied employment for 

thousands of people across rural Scotland. 


Would I want my children to enter this business, remain in  

the Highlands and build long-lasting careers in salmon  

farming? Absolutely!


Marine Harvest  

in the news



BBC Scotland’s environment  

correspondent, Kevin Keane, interviewed  

our hatchery manager Paul Featherstone, 

alongside Ralph Bickerdyke from Scottish  

Sea Farms about our innovative wrasse  

breeding project.  








The show highlighted a hatchery milestone: 

weaning young wrasse from live  

to dry feed and therefore completing the  

lifecycle in captivity.


The company’s wage bill now exceeds £47 million and 

whilst this is a large and impressive figure, it’s the  

average level of pay that impresses me more. The salmon 

farming sector pays significantly above other sectors in 

Scotland because it is a successful and highly technical 

business. It can be a very tough business, but this  

is farming and farming is tough, especially underwater! 


Salmon farm at the Isle of Muck


hirty-seven members of the fifty-three-strong team 

are now in place with another six due before the 

end of this year. Kyleakin will boast one of the most 

diverse workforces at Marine Harvest Scotland, with seven 

different nationalities represented hailing from India to 

Italy, working alongside staff largely recruited from the 

local area. 


Kevin O’Leary, site manager said: “Ultimately, around 60% 

of the team will have joined us from Skye, Kyleakin and 

across the Highlands. The feed plant offers excellent career  

opportunities for our employees and has even made it  

possible for some to return to the area to raise their  









A £225,000 comprehensive training scheme is underway 

to ensure the team is ready to craft the perfect feed pellet, 

which will be based on the best available and  

sustainably-sourced raw materials that provide optimum 

nutrition for fish. The feed will be shipped direct from 

Kyleakin by boat to aquaculture farms in Scotland, Ireland, 

Norway and the Faroe Islands.


It’s a hive of activity at Kyleakin on Skye as the world’s newest salmon feed plant nears the  

end of construction. 


Construction almost complete at Kyleakin feed plant


he innovation developed by   

seawater manager David  

MacGillivray here in Scotland  

is to be trialled at our farms in Norway.     


David (better known as Bodger!) believes that the 

methods we use to keep the nets on our salmon pens 

clean can play a real role in maintaining good gill 



In 2017, he set about adopting the Enviro net  

concept, a natural approach to keeping pen nets 

clean. The system works with two nets on each pen 

one in the water, the other hanging up out of the 

water where detritus such as weeds, shellfish or  

hydroids accumulated from its time in the sea dies 

off in the fresh air. This avoids using antifouling 

chemicals to keep nets clean which can be harmful 

to the environment. Even more importantly it   

eliminates the need to clean the nets in situ which


Kyleakin Feed Plant, Skye


“The state of the art technology has also proved a real draw 

for staff with specialist skills and knowledge in engineering, 

finance, feed and safety management from across the globe. 

There is a real sense of pride and anticipation now on Skye 

as we gear up to opening in 2019.”




Fish health update


Enviro net for round pens


dislodges and breaks up the hydroids and can 

result in them attacking the gills of the salmon 

in the pen.     


Enviro nets worked very successfully on steel 

pens but no-one had ever worked out how to 

use them on modern circular plastic pens.       


David designed a net suitable for circular 

pens which featured four main lifting points 

instead of the traditional one point so the load 

could be reduced and the net wouldn’t need to 

be lifted so high. He also devised a hydraulic 

system which allowed all four lifting points to 

be lifted at the same time without putting too 

much stress on the pen and lifting posts which 

could be retro-fitted to plastic pens.   


After successful trials at Skipport, Kingairloch 

and Portnalong, the nets will be introduced at  

Greshornish and Poll Na Gille in 2019.   
















Construction almost complete at Kyleakin feed plant


Wildlife on  

our roads


ow we’re in autumn, health and safety manager 

Billy Glen reminds us of the need to take extra 

care when travelling in twilight and the hours 

of darkness.  


He explains: “Obviously, our farms and sites are in some  

of the most remote and rural areas in Scotland.  

October to November is the rutting season for deer so 

you might find the odd wayward stag on the road. Be 

vigilant and stay safe by following some simple advice.”




Billy’s top tips:


Maximise your vision by using your headlights at 

dusk and dawn – don’t rely on daytime running  



  Watch for the reflections of your lights in their eyes   

  – two small points of light ahead could be a deer     

  looking at you.   


  Deer are social animals – if one crosses the road     

  ahead of you, slow right down because the rest of    

  the herd may be close behind and will follow without  

  looking for traffic.  


  If deer stop in the road in front of you, a single     

  blast of the horn will often scare them away, but     

  slow down first. Don’t assume the deer will move    

  and make sure you can stop safely if it doesn’t.


ur Kritsen factory in Brittany, France  

burned to the ground mid-July this year. 

To continue supplying our valuable  

customers on the continent, our Rosyth plant  

stepped in.     


But it wasn’t possible to simply send over any 

of the smoked salmon range already produced 

at Rosyth. We all know that the French have a  

certain “je ne sais quoi” and this also extends to  

their very particular tastes in smoked salmon as  

Robin Brown, head of technical and development  

in our consumer products team explains:   


The Rosyth team set to work. They were audited  

by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)  

and went through an accreditation process from  

the Soil Association for organic status. They   

welcomed some of the team from Kritsen to 

Rosyth and worked closely with them on product  



All this effort resulted in the creation of 18   

different products for seven retailers, ranging in  

weight, number of slices and sourced from our  

sites in Norway, Scotland and Ireland. 


Meanwhile we are set to receive new packaging 

and slicing technology to manage the increased 

volume and a new kiln is also in the pipeline.


Well done or indeed bravo to the team at Rosyth! 


Ooh la la!


For the last few months the team at Rosyth has really  

demonstrated how resilient and adaptable we are at  

Marine Harvest.



Smoked salmon


“We soon learned that the French palate is quite  

different to ours when it comes to smoked  

salmon. They prefer a much milder taste,  

probably because they are used to eating raw  

salmon carpaccio and similar dishes so a lighter  

cure and less smoke is preferred.”


  Graduate training scheme   

  Our Christmas product selection 

  Safe winter driving


In next month’s issue


Photo of the month 


Community news 


The team at Rosyth came along with their   

family and friends to clean up the beach at  

Burntisland. Their hard work was rewarded  

with a lovely picnic arranged by one of the   



Isle of Muck with the Isle of Rum  

in the background. 

Photo sent by Ian Roberts.


More than 45 staff from all areas of our  

business climbed Ben Nevis to raise funds for  

Parkinson’s UK, raising more than £4863.57.  

Marine Harvest pledged £50 for each member  

of staff that took part. 


Recirculation Aquaculture  

System (RAS)


ur newest hatchery at Inchmore in  

Glenmoriston opened in June this year with 

18 staff. It features one of the most technically 

advanced water recirculation systems in the world. Along 

with its sister hatchery in Lochailort, the new facility 

allows Marine Harvest to stock all farms with juvenile fish 

grown from eggs, which will then grow on to maturity at 

our 49 seawater farms and five freshwater loch sites.


Recirculation systems are designed to maximise control  

of growing conditions for fish: minimising water  

consumption, ensuring biosecurity and allowing waste 

streams to be fully managed and treated. Our freshwater 

manager, John Richmond explains: 





Soon after start up, we unfortunately experienced a rare 

fault within the oxygen supply system to the farm,  

resulting in the loss of some fish. We have since repaired 

and adapted our oxygen supply processes and equipment 

to ensure the farm operates smoothly and helps us  

continue to meet an increasing global demand for  

Scottish salmon. Fortunately, we have been able to  

compensate for this fish loss and all seawater farms will  

be fully stocked.



Fort William Scotland  PH33 6RX  

01397 701550   MHS.enquiries@marineharvest.com 



Focus on Claire Lumley-Holmes


What do you do in your spare time?     

I’m passionate about encouraging women in sport  

and set up Fort William Netball Club. The competitive  

side of me used to focus on the game, but I’ve made  

friendships across the Highlands and it’s a great way  

to keep active.   


I am having a baby in October so spare time might  

become a thing of the past! I hope to remain active  

and am planning a trip to Italy next year.   


What is your favourite film?     

I recently watched Men in Black 3 and noticed the 

character “Griffin”. Griffin can see all possible future  

timelines and outcomes. These are ideal attributes for  

a member of the Environmental Team and we’d be  

offering him a job if he were real!   


What is your favourite salmon dish?   

I always enjoy hot smoked salmon on oatcakes with  

various toppings or a nice cheese.      


What do you do at Marine Harvest?   

I  have worked in the Environmental Team for nearly  

10 years. We are responsible for assessing and   

obtaining licenses for new salmon farms and   

modifications to existing sites.  Recently, I led the   

development of new sites off the Isles of Muck and  



What did you do before fish farming?    

I have a degree in Geography, specialising in the   

environment and sustainability. Before this job I was  

based in the Midlands working in planning regulation  

for the local district and county councils.   


What do you like most about your job?  

I’m proud to be in a position which actively  

focuses development in the best feasible locations for 

the environment. It is rewarding to see all the jobs  

created by these projects and I enjoy working closely  

with local communities.       










Blooming marvellous! We were pleased to see  

these beautiful hanging baskets and planters  

brimming with flowers donated to Kyleakin  

and Kylerhea Community Council.  


“By producing the smolts in an environment where we 

can optimise water quality and provide stable conditions 

for growth, our aim is to produce smolts that perform 

well at sea. A healthy smolt will be ready to withstand the 

challenges of  growing to harvest size in the sea with a 

lesser risk of any health issues.” 


Inchmore hatchery


Send us your stories


Email us at: marineharvest@mucklemedia.co.uk

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