New feed barge for Loch Seaforth handed over

Visiting their new feed barge were (left to right) Ben Hadfield, Stewart Davidson, Robbie Mackenzie, James Morrison (all of Marine Harvest) and Douglas Johnson of AKVA. Photo credited to Malcolm MacLeod, Stornoway.
Visiting their new feed barge were (left to right) Ben Hadfield, Stewart Davidson, Robbie Mackenzie, James Morrison (all of Marine Harvest) and Douglas Johnson of AKVA. Photo credited to Malcolm MacLeod, Stornoway.

A new feed barge for Loch Seaforth has been officially handed over as part of a £3m investment by Marine Harvest Scotland in the Western Isles.

The two new barges will be sited at Loch Seaforth and Loch Stulaidghll and are specifically designed for more exposed sites. They will replace older equipment which will then be removed and refurbished for use elsewhere.

The two barges, which will hold 450 and 320 tonnes of feed are manufactured from steel, which provides a lower profile in the water and has a lower carbon footprint as it can be recycled.

Ben Hadfield, Managing Director of Marine Harvest Scotland welcomed the investment, saying: “I’m delighted we are bringing this new equipment as a clear sign of our commitment to this region.

“The Western Isles offer a wonderful environment in which to grow our salmon and we will continue to invest here and ensure our farms are maintained in excellent condition.

“Our aim is to create an industry which is efficient and sustainable for the long term.”

Feed barges have been used routinely in salmon farming for many years and allow the companies to store larger quantities of feed which can be delivered by sea.

This minimises waste and reduces environmental impact. The challenge has been to create barges which can withstand the conditions in the more exposed sites as the industry moves further off-shore.”