The Scottish Salmon Company is building a new harvest station at Arnish, which is set to be up and running by the end of June.
The station represents an investment of £750K by The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), will create 10 new jobs and have the capacity to harvest over 10,000 fish a day.
According to SSC’s General Manager in Stornoway, Alan Brown, it is also a testament to the success of the Marybank processing plant which was reopened with 70 new jobs in the autumn of 2010, and now produces high quality salmon fillets for export all over the world.
Benefiting from a £3m investment for refurbishment and new equipment, SSC’s Marybank facility is one of the few worldwide to produce pre-rigor pin bone out fillets which increase ‘shelf life’ by up to two days.
Alan Brown said: “We are working full steam ahead just now to get the new harvesting station completed. The facility, which will work in tandem with our existing harvest station at Lochinver, will greatly improve efficiency at Marybank by enabling us to start processing earlier.
“In effect, fish will be harvested in the morning and processed the same day ensuring optimum freshness.
“Our fish grown in the islands will be processed in the islands. It’s a great message to take to our customers: high quality, fresh Hebridean salmon, produced in the most sustainable way.”
He added:“Arnish gives us a green, cost-effective operation that will complement Lochinver, and will support harvesting from our major Hebridean farms in Loach Roag.”
In 2011, the first full year since the Marybank processing plant was reopened by the new management team at SSC, the company has injected an additional £8.5m* into the local economy via wages and through its work with local suppliers. This figure is now set to increase as production levels are ramped up with the opening of the harvesting station at Arnish and this year’s harvest from the company’s award-winning Loch Roag.
One of those suppliers is Polybox, a neighbour on the Marybank Industrial Estate. Calum Campbell of Polybox said:
“We are very proud of the success of Marybank and of our operations in the Western Isles. The confidence that breeds is behind the investment in Arnish and our belief that we can build a sustainable salmon farming business that supports jobs and communities for the long term and the economic impact to the local economy of £8.5m is real evidence of our commitment.”
SSC CEO, Stewart McLelland concluded:
“We are very proud of the success of Marybank and of our operations in the Western Isles. The confidence that breeds is behind the plans for Arnish and our belief that we can build a sustainable salmon farming business that supports jobs and communities for the long term.”
The harvest station will include a pump ashore pontoon which will be serviced by a well-boat. Once the harvest station is operational The Scottish Salmon Company will be the only major operator who farms and processes on the island.