New workboat to combat gill health issues
As part of a £750,000 investment in gill health research projects, Scottish Sea Farms is set to take delivery of a new purpose-built workboat to increase response times.
Costing £1.9m and due to begin operation in early 2020, the Fair Isle will service Scottish Sea Farms’ more northerly regions delivering proactive, preventative veterinary treatment for gill health issues as they emerge. This new acquisition will enable existing workboat, the Sally Ann, to dedicate itself to the company’s mainland farms.
Head of fish welfare for Scottish Sea Farms, Dr Ralph Bickerdike, said, “Recent years have seen significant investment in the surveillance of fish health and the farming environment. Having a second dedicated workboat takes this ‘prevention over cure’ approach a key step further, enabling us to administer the best veterinary care at the earliest opportunity.”
Built by Dutch-based Nauplius Workboats, the 21.2m x 9.3m Fair Isle has a service speed of eight knots. Key features include two low fuel consumption, low noise 480 Hp Doosan main engines, 120m2 working deck capable of carrying up to 60 tonnes of equipment and a large HS Marine deck crane.
Other advances in gill health by Scottish Sea Farms include installing environmental monitoring equipment and underwater cameras at all farms, contributing £750,000 to two gill health research projects in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen, BioMar and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre and partnering a new PhD with MOWI, the University of Glasgow and SAIC to develop new technologies for identifying potentially harmful organisms within the marine environment.
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