Organic Sea Harvest Skye Case Study
“It means a huge amount to us that we have been able to source the highest quality of equipment and competence at competitive prices locally, and also, that we will be partnering with a Highlands and Islands based supplier who has shown the enthusiasm and motivation to grow with us and help us in our objective to support the local community of Staffin.”
Alex MacInnes, Director of Organic Sea Harvest.
With a desire to utilise local suppliers wherever possible, Scotland’s newest farmer of Atlantic salmon, Organic Sea Harvest, chose Gael Force as their partner for the design and provision of the robust aquaculture equipment, technology, and services required for their new sites near Skye – Culnacnoc and Invertote. Both sea sites are officially certified as organic by the UK Soil Association. Installation of equipment took place in 2020 and a close, strong partnership between customer and supplier continues…
Organic Sea Harvest
Culnacnoc and Invertote, Isle of Skye, Scotland.
- Principal Supply Partner: Gael Force Group.
Design and specification
In the months leading up to supply and installation, colleagues from both Gael Force and Organic Sea Harvest worked together to carefully understand the equipment requirements specific to the sites.
Following this, the team at Gael Force specified a range of products, including the hard-wearing, low-maintenance SeaQureMoor grids, renowned for rapid deployment and designed to hold firm the 120-metre circumference SeaQurePen500 and Triton450 pens, and SeaMate 350T feeding barges on both sites.
Farm Manager Roddy Campbell expressed his delight after taking delivery of the SeaMate 350T feed barge at Culnacnoc.
“The barge is going to be so important to us in relation to feeding and monitoring our stock and being able to see fish activity”, said Roddy. He added, “The barge also has its own laboratory fitted for health checking of the stock and its own air compressor should we ever need to supply pens with extra oxygen through the summer months."
In keeping with the marine environment, our engineering team ensured that the SeaMate 350T was painted with a suitable colour, enabling it to fit in with its surroundings.
Targeted feed technology
Included onboard the barge is SeaFeed technology with remote monitoring systems and user-friendly fish feeding software. “Without it, target feeding could be challenging to achieve given the site’s location, especially as we are into the winter months now”, Roddy explained in December 2020. The barge was finished to an excellent standard and includes internal staff accommodation, which Roddy described as “immaculate”.
Mounted on the barge is the SeaSight Dome Camera, operating on the 4G network and offering wide views across the site from a remote location. This is particularly useful when operatives are unable to access pens during poor weather days.
“We have introduced 7 new members of staff to the company since the barge arrived. Although some are new to the industry, they are overwhelmed by the technology the barge can provide us with. Not to mention a very warm tea-room to come into for lunch on a cold wintery day!" Roddy said.
90mm feed pipe was also supplied for gentle delivery of feed pellets to the SeaFeed Spreaders at the centre of the pens. The spreaders have an adjustable outlet nozzle that can be customised in its alignment by site operatives to suit different feed types and pen sizes thus offering a variable spread to suit individual farm feeding styles. Its’ tough float is a sleek fabricated hex design meaning the spreader is destined to provide stability in the water, ensuring an even distribution of feed.
Addressing containment challenges
Roddy and the team also took delivery of the SeaQurePen500 at Culnacnoc - an evolutionary, tough pen system with wide walkways and strong HDPE bases and stanchions. During the development of the Triton450 pen system for their Invertote site, the system had some similarities between the multiple net, sinker tube suspension and waterline connections.
Our Product Development Engineer, Rhuaraidh Edwards, explained how they tackled this challenge.
“It became apparent during design discussions that we needed to help clearly define these critical connection points on the pens to aid staff onsite during operations, and sometimes during poor weather days. We proposed to do this with visual aids and added simple coloured pipe rings to the stanchion uprights at Invertote on the Triton450s and it worked well during the initial net install and fish transfers. In tandem with this, we moulded the coloured base unit grid covers on the SeaQurePen500 for Culnacnoc and replicated the colour coding used at Invertote to standardise the procedure across both sites, thus making it easier for staff. Mooring points were left black as there are only 12 of them on the pen with all others coloured.”