Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. (Wikipedia)
Mowi buys Welsh lumpfish farmer
Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 00:00 (GMT + 9)
Mowi Scotland announced the purchase of lumpfish farmer Ocean Matters, which is located in Anglesey, North Wales.
According to Mowi, the aquaculture facility will be an important addition to its “cleanerfish” program – fish that aid in managing levels of naturally occurring sea lice on farm-raised Atlantic salmon by picking and eating the tiny crustacean off their skin.
Since its inception, Ocean Matters has acted with focus and urgency to combat this issue through the production of quality lumpfish and the continued development of effective co-habitation approaches.
The Ocean Matters hatchery currently produces lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus), one of two fish species that have proven to be effective cleanerfish. The company also cultures Ballan wrasse at other facilities.
“We entered the cleanerfish space a bit late however thanks to our commited staff, loyal customers and supportive investors Ocean Matters became the largest in the UK and one of the largest world-wide,” said founder/MD Werner Forster.
Founder/MD Werner Forster. (Photo: Mowi)
“Our ability to design and build RAS systems combined with prior RAS operating experience played a factor as well,” Forster added.
“Mowi has been Ocean Matters' largest customer and collaborator since inception. We’re quite pleased to know Ocean Matters has graduated on to the Mowi family where it will certainly receive all the support required to continue on it’s current path.
Lumpfish or lumpsuckers (Cyclopterus lumpus) are mostly small marine fish of the family Cyclopteridae. They are found in the cold waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans.
Dougie Hunter, Head of cleanerfish and technical services at Mowi Scotland, said this purchase provides the company “ increased capacity for cleanerfish production with great potential for future development as well.”
The use of cleanerfish is now a major part of the Mowi’s successful sea lice control strategy and part of a larger integrated pest management program at its marine salmon farms that includes other non-medicinal sea lice management solutions such as freshwater baths and mechanical removal.
Ocean Matters provides a sustainable solution for a problem that is putting great strains on both the environment and salmon stocks alike.
“We will continue to develop our cleanerfish program, and assess our future requirements to ensure we are making best use of our production facilities,” Dougie added.
Mowi will continue to operate the new purchase under the Ocean Matters name.
Mowi is the world’s largest producer of salmon, providing one-fifth of the world’s supply. Employing 1300 people in Scotland, the company operates three salmon hatcheries, five freshwater loch sites, 49 sea farms, two processing plants and a feed mill.