Uist salmon farmers celebrate top slot

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SALMON farmers in the Uists are celebrating after coming out top in the regional league table for Marine Harvest.

The impressive results have been achieved across the Uists on three different sites – Skipport, Boisdale and Cheese Bay.

Cheese Bay achieved a remarkable feat – harvesting more fish than has ever been produced on any single Marine Harvest site: 7,300 tonnes in one farming cycle.

At the newly re-opened Skipport site, a new team achieved an average harvest of 5.2kg, of which 97per cent was categorised as Superior Quality salmon.

And the Boisdale farm topped the league with outstanding results in growth and FCR (feed conversion ratio), in a result that was particularly impressive as it is one of the roughest sites operated by Marine Harvest.

Marine Harvest Area Manager, David MacGillivary, said: “I’m delighted to confirm that the Uists have triumphed this year for quality, growth and their feed conversion ratio (FCR).

“What’s even more pleasing is that this is a complete turnaround for a region that has had some difficulties in the past.”

Marine Harvest is the largest fish farming company in the world and has sites across the west Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

In recent years the aquaculture company rates the performance of each of their regions and the top place for 2011 has gone to the islands for the first time.

Over the farming cycle, the three Uist sites produced a total of 15,163 tonnes of salmon, 97per cent of which was in the Superior category, and their FCR was 1.18 – well ahead of current levels in the industry.

Mr MacGillivary added: “This is a huge boost for the team in The Uists who have worked exceptionally hard. It’s good to see their efforts paying off.

“As well as great news for the team, it’s great news for the Western Isles and demonstrates that this is an outstanding location for growing salmon.”