Salmon farming company Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) is to open a new £48m freshwater hatchery at Barcaldine near Oban, to improve fish farming in Scotland.

Set to open in 2019 the new facility will be a centre of excellence in its sector, creating jobs in rural Scotland and enabling company growth.

The onshore hatchery will supply smolts – young salmon – to SSF’s 40 farms across Scotland’s west coast, Orkney and Shetland. Its industry-leading R&D work will also help the company tackle a range of challenges affecting fish farming, by enhancing fish health and welfare, improving its environmental credentials, ensuring a more secure and reliable salmon supply and increasing harvest volumes to meet growing global demand.

SSF has received £1.28m from Scottish Enterprise. As well as supporting work at Barcaldine the funds will help develop innovative processes and technologies across all its sites, including more humane methods, recycling more byproducts and harvesting wind and wave energy to reduce reliance on fuel. Visiting the site Kate Forbes MSP, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, said:

“Scotland’s salmon exports grew 35 percent in 2017, recognising our global reputation. Ensuring the sector grows sustainably remains top priority and I’d like to congratulate SSF on raising the bar, and wish them every success.”

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