THE world’s largest salmon farming company has revealed plans to relocate two of its salmon farm sites to locations more appropriate for modern day aquaculture.

Mowi will move Loch Ewe and Loch Duich to new locations off the shores of the Isle of Muck and the Isle of Rum.

This is due to the enclosed nature of the sea lochs where the farms are situated and the sites proximity to sensitive wild salmonid habitats.

“Mowi has strived to improve relations with the wild fish sector and has been clear that it will seek to expand its operations in Scotland, whilst securing reduced impact on the environment and further developing the significant economic contribution that it makes to rural Scotland,” said Ben Hadfield, managing director of Mowi Scotland.

“In absence of a regulatory framework that enables relocation of a farm’s biomass, we are wanting to engage with our government, environmental groups and salmon fishery boards to pursue this opportunity,” Hadfield added. “The sites will be closed permanently conditional to the support from our regulatory system to transfer the biomass to other locations, and to sustainably expand our production in the best possible areas for salmon farming thus protecting the associated jobs.”

Mowi’s head of environmental management, Stephen MacIntyre, said: “We want to align our growth plans with the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy & Connectivity (REC) Committee’s recent recommendations and have plans to sustainably grow our fish production levels over the next few years by expanding into new high-energy farming areas located further offshore.”

The REC Committee report, released in 2018, recommended the Scottish Government discuss with salmon farm companies the potential to minimise risk to wild salmon and grow production in a sustainable way. Mowi is a leader in Scotland for farming in high-energy sites, with the two new locations using the latest technology to raise salmon in challenging sea conditions.

“We welcome Mowi’s recognition that enclosed sea lochs near to sensitive wild salmonid habitat can increase localised impact on wild salmonids,” says Bill Whyte, Convener for Wester Ross Area.Salmon Fishery Board.