The fish farming company Mowi has announced its fourth quarter results for 2019, showing that production fell and sea lice infestation rose in the last part of 2019, by comparison to the same period of the previous year.

The report, presented by the Norwegian-based company yesterday (Wednesday 12 February) said that ‘challenging’ biological conditions in Scotland had contributed to a fall in production. Mowi, formerly Marine Harvest, has salmon-growing pens in waters around the Western Isles, including off Scalpay and in Loch Seaforth and Loch Grimshader.

The report published yesterday said production had been lower because fish had been harvested earlier. In Scotland, it said: “Seawater temperatures declined slower than usual due to the mild weather and sea lice levels were higher compared with the fourth quarter of 2018. “Several farms experienced biological issues. Incident based mortality losses amounted to EUR 10.7 million related to Pasteurella Skyensis, PD and treatment losses (EUR 0.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2018).”

Biological issues included the presence of sea lice, which increased in Scottish fish farms. Mowi aims to use non-medicinal solutions to sea lice, but said: “As per the end of the fourth quarter (compared with 2018 figures), the share of fish having undergone medicinal treatments against sea lice … increased in ...Scotland. Mowi is working to reduce overall dependency on medicinal treatments.”

Picture: Mowi salmon-growing pens.