Salmon farm firm Grieg Seafood is to close its operations on Skye – with 25 jobs under threat as a result.
The company said its decision had been influenced by heavy losses of fish, with high mortality rates reported at three Skye farms between late July and early-September this year.
The firm blamed abnormal levels of jellyfish for the loss of 627 000 fish (approximately 1500 tonnes).
Grieg operates three farms in the Loch Snizort area, with another two near Dunvegan.
Operations at the impacted sites have been stopped immediately, while work at the two remaining farms will end after harvest in the coming months.
Grieg Seafood said it would now concentrate its focus on its main operations in Shetland.
The company said eight jobs will be lost, while others in the 25-strong Skye workforce will be offered the chance to relocate to Shetland.
Grant Cumming, Managing Director of Grieg Seafood Shetland, said: “As we have had to move supportive equipment and resources for our Skye farms back and forth from the Shetland isles, we have regrettably not been able to maintain the fish welfare and production standards that we have in the rest of the company.
“Therefore, we have decided to end our operations in Skye and will look for alternatives for the farms and the remaining employees outside the company.
“I regret to say that the decision is expected to cause the loss of eight jobs in Skye, and we are in dialogue with our staff about that.
“Grieg Seafood is grateful to our Skye employees for the tremendous job they have done, especially over the last months with uncertainty due to our strategic evaluation and a challenging biology in the sea. I want to thank them for their dedication to our livestock and to Grieg Seafood.”