Presentation on theme: "SCALLOP RANCHING`S POTENTIAL FOR SCOTLAND. FURTHER READING TO “SCALLOP RANCHING. A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE”"— Presentation transcript:
SCALLOP RANCHING`S POTENTIAL FOR SCOTLAND. FURTHER READING TO “SCALLOP RANCHING. A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE”
IN 35 YEARS, SALMON FARMING HAS GROWN TO BE SCOTLAND`S BIGGEST FOOD EXPORT In 2011 Scotland produced nearly 160,000 Tonnes of farmed salmon. The “farm gate” value was over £1/2 billion. 2000 people were directly employed in production and many others employed indirectly. Scottish Salmon enjoys the same reputation for quality that all Scottish seafood does.
THE WEST COAST AND ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND ARE IDEAL FOR THE PRODUCTION OF KING SCALLOPS. -Relatively high winter sea temperatures ensure a long growing season. -Sheltered sea lochs are perfect for the intermediate on-growing stage. -Summer sea temperatures do not rise to dangerous levels. (+20oC) - The reputation for the quality of Scottish seafood is worldwide and as such can command a premium price.
SALMON FARMING HAS GROWN INSPITE OF THE MANY PROBLEMS IT HAS FACED AND CONTINUES TO FACE SALMON REQUIRE EXPENSIVE, ARTIFICIAL FEED. SCALLOPS FEED FOR FREE IN THE SEA ON NATURALLY OCCURING ALGAE. SALMON CAN REQUIRE ANTI-BIOTICS TO CONTROL DISEASE. SCALLOPS DO NOT REQUIRE ANTI-BIOTICS EVEN DURING THE HATCHERY STAGE. SALMON CAN BE TREATED WITH CHEMICALS TO REMOVE SEA LICE. SCALLOPS REQUIRE NO CHEMICAL TREATMENT. SCALLOP PRODUCTION IS FAR MORE FRIENDLY TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
PROBLEMS FACING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SCALLOP RANCHING INDUSTRY. A Salmon can be produced in 18-24 months. It takes a minimum of 4 years to grow a Scallop.( 6 years to grow a real quality Scallop) This requires long term investment. A Salmon is kept in a cage where they can be monitored. Scallops, once released to the seabed on a large scale are at the mercy of predators (natural and human). Currently, Scotland does not have a Scallop hatchery and spat has to be sourced from Norway. Large scale development would require a hatchery in Scotland The perceived “them and us” relationship between fisherman and Government needs to change to one of co-operation and support. Scallops have never been ranched on a large scale in Scotland. Fishermen are notorious for not embracing change. Ranching requires the closure of areas to mobile gear whilst the Scallops are growing. There can be no doubt that this will not be taken lightly by certain sectors of the Fishing industry.
What we have achieved so far In 2010 we imported Norwegian Scallop spat into Scotland. But between Customs, the quality of the spat, timing etc. It was a disaster. In 2011 we sent our own Scottish Scallops to Norway where they were successfully spawned and reared to 5-15mm. However, once again we encountered quality, transport and timing problems that resulted in 97% losses from the 320,000 imported. In 2012 we tried again and were successful. +99% survival and growth that we can only describe as amazing. We have spent £50,000 on this project so far and are awaiting a decision from a Norwegian Government body for funding to complete further research into the transport of Scallop spat. We have already selected our Breeding Stock for 2013 and these will be sent to Norway for conditioning and spawning in late winter.
Why a hatchery in Scotland is essential to the future of Scallop Ranching. The collection of natural spat has been pitiful in recent years and has never been reliable enough to ensure large scale production. A hatchery can consistently produce Scallop spat. It can take adult Scallops from specific areas, spawn them and then return the offspring to preserve the genetic integrity of that area. For example, this would allow the Hatchery to supply the Isle of Man or Mulroy Bay in Ireland. Places that have already shown an interest in our project. A hatchery can produce Scallop spat out of season. The importance of this can not be underestimated; it can dramatically reduce the time Scallops spend in the intermediate growing stage. This reduces costs. At present we are able to rely on the Norwegian Hatchery but we could not proceed with large scale production on this basis. A Scallop hatchery could also produce oyster spat. Disease problems in France have seen an increase in the interest in finding healthy oyster stocks in disease free areas such as Scotland.
How Scallop ranching works After the a year in the hatchery and intermediate growing stage the young scallop is ready to be put on the seabed with a shell height of 40mm. The seabed will have been prepared by being dredged heavily to remove/kill as many predators as possible. Scallops are distributed at about 5-10 shells per m2. Each hectare can sustain 50-100,000 Scallops. Globally, survival rates for Ranched Scallops where there is no further intervention, i.e the ground is not regularly creeled, is reported at 25-33%. Our own experience of Ranching but where we dive and creel to remove predators, results in +70% survival. After 4 years on the seabed the Scallops should be 110mm. But if left longer will grow and become even more valuable. The Scallops are harvested by dredge and because of their density on the seabed the effort (time, fuel, wear and tear) is massively reduced when compared to fishing for “wild” Scallops. Dredged Scallops are usually valued on their “yield”. This is the weight of edible Scallop meat recovered from the shell. On average 5Kg of whole shell would “yield” 1 Kg of meat. We know through our experience as Scallop divers that it is possible to engineer better yields. Depth, tidal strength, time of year and type of seabed are all factors that influence yield. Yield can vary by +30% between Scallops from different areas, this means a +30% difference in profit when sold by “yield”.
LEGISLATION Legislation currently exists that gives the Exclusive Right to Fish within a specified area for a named species to an individual or group. Known as a Several Fishery Order this Legislation is essential to future Scallop Ranching. The Several Order does not “close” an area: Creel fisherman can still operate and leisure craft are unaffected. Only fishing methods that interfere with the seabed are prohibited i.e dredging and trawling.
THE VISION In 35years will we be celebrating the King Scallop as Scotland`s biggest food export? It took 40years for the Japanese to grow production from 10,000T to 400,000T. If we had managed the same we would have a £1billion pound ex fishing boat industry, with a retail value of over £2billion. Thousands of jobs in “fragile” areas would have been created. We already have a successful Salmon Industry, but it is at the mercy of global feed prices and is hampered by an anti- salmon farm movement. Scallop food is free and the production can be considered as very “green”. We should be making better use of one of our greatest natural resources, the Sea. We really need to get started.