Blow for West Highlands as Marine Harvest confirm 80 job losses

Salmon farming is a significant Highland employer

Fish farming company Marine Harvest Scotland has confirmed that it is to shed 80 jobs.

The bulk of the job losses will be Lochaber – where the firm have processing and harvesting plants. But Skye and Lochalsh, and the Western Isles will also be affected.

In Lochaber 44 jobs will go, along with a further 11 in Skye and Lochalsh. There will also be 12 job losses in Mallaig, four in Wester Ross, three in Lewis, two in South Uist, two in Argyll and two in Rosyth.

Earlier in the year, the company issued a 30-day notice and entered a formal period of consultation with staff representatives about which posts would be affected.

Ben Hadfield, Managing Director of Marine Harvest Scotland and global feed director said: ”We are sorry to be losing some highly qualified and skilled people, but we have to restructure the business to make it more efficient and sustainable. By taking this action now we can be more certain of maintaining jobs in the future.”

Marine Harvest operates four hatcheries, five freshwater loch sites and 48 sea farms. Their farm operations are situated across the Highlands, Argyll and the Western Isles. Live fish are harvested at Mallaig and processed at the Blar Mhor processing plant in Fort William. The company has offices at Fort William and Rosyth.

As part of their restructuring Marine Harvest plan to create a feed plant in Scotland. An announcement on a preferred site is expected within the next month.