Minister Alex Salmond with Alan Sutherland, Ole Eirik Leroy and Jane Owen. (Photo: Scottish Government)
Marine Harvest to invest EUR 100m in Scottish salmon
Thursday, May 17, 2012, 03:40 (GMT + 9)
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has welcomed Marine Harvest’s plan to invest around GBP 80 million (EUR 100.3 million) between 2012-16 to grow its business and create around 100 jobs.
Scotland is currently the largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the European Union (EU) and third largest globally.
“I was pleased to hear firsthand about Marine Harvest’s plans for their operations in Scotland and delighted by their latest investment commitment that will benefit local communities,” Salmond said. “Clearly they are set to play a key role in our ambitions for growth in the industry, including our aim of increasing production by 50 per cent on 2009 levels to 210,000 tonnes by 2020.”
He stated that the Scottish Government is determined to provide support to its sustainable salmon farming industry, which already employs more than 2,100 people in Scotland directly in rural communities in the West Highlands, Western and Northern Isles and other regions.
Ole-Eirik Leroy, chairman of the Marine Harvest Board, said the company is committed to farming in Scotland as it increases its production of salmon to meet global demand.
“By 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the planet and farming the sea is the best way to provide additional protein. Scotland is uniquely well placed to be the salmon farming leader in the EU as its salmon farming industry is truly world-class,” Leroy commented.
Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International (SDI), also welcomed Marine Harvest’s news.
“The decision by Marine Harvest to commit to a five-year investment plan in Scottish rural communities is testament to the international reputation Scotland currently has in the sustainable salmon farming industry. We look forward to continuing to work with the company both in Scotland and in Norway in the future, helping to increase our overall production of salmon and in doing so, drive growth back into the Scottish economy,” she said.
In 2009, Marine Harvest announced its intent to boost annual production from 40,000 to 60,000 tonnes by 2016. It is now investing in new sea farms and a new hatchery to achieve this.
The firm recently launched two new sites in the Western Isles on Barra and South Uist, employing 11 staff. It recently started work on a new GBP 15 million (EUR 18.8 million) re-circulation hatchery at Lochailort set to open in spring 2013; this hatchery will produce 5 million salmon smolts.
In April, the Scottish Government announced a GBP 240,000 (EUR 300,865) grant to buttress a host of initiatives to target new markets. Together with funds from SDI, Seafood Scotland, Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO), Scottish Quality Salmon and Seafish, that funding will see a total of GBP 480,000 (EUR 601,730) invested to promote Scottish salmon across the globe.
By Natalia Real