Scottish Sea Farms are one of Scotland’s leading salmon producers, and well known for their investment in innovation.
One of their current projects is a collaboration with the the University of Stirling, the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, and other aquaculture companies to develop the use of ‘cleaner-fish’ in farmed salmon production. These co-exist with farmed salmon and eat sea lice. This doesn’t sound earth-shattering, but it could greatly reduce the use of medicines in salmon farming, and have significant environmental benefits.
It will also create new jobs in Scotland in cleaner-fish production, and boost salmon production. So, to cut a long story short, it’s an exciting project. And even for a definite non-biologist like myself, the whole business of raising and deploying the cleaner-fish (which are different species, such as wrasse (as in the picture) and lumpsuckers) is interesting.
But back to the point of the story. Earlier this year, I wrote an award entry on the project for Scottish Sea Farms for the Innovation award in the 2016 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards. The awards are huge in Scotland – there were around 250 entries this year.
The first piece of good news was that SSF’s entry was one of just three entries shortlisted for the Innovation Award.
The second piece of good news was that they won the award, which was announced at the awards dinner on 2 June.
But eclipsing all of that was their victory in the biggest category of all – overall Business of the Year – which they won on the strength of their entry for the Innovation Award.
In a nation where there are so many brilliant food and drink companies and products, that’s some achievement. It’s also good news for the Scottish salmon industry generally to be recognised for its commitment to innovation.