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SSC fish farmer shortlisted in the prestigious Aquaculture Awards

Loch Striven fish farmer Ross Fennell has been named a finalist for the Finfish Farmer of the Year award at this year’s Aquaculture Awards.

Ross, 28 years old from Tarbert, is a Marine Site Manager at The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) and was nominated for the prestigious award because of his unwavering drive to implement positive changes across SSC’s marine sites. Ross’ vast knowledge extends to all areas of marine farming, and he is committed to supporting his colleagues and providing training to new members of staff.

SSC, Scotland’s leading producer of the finest sea loch fresh salmon, has also been shortlisted for the Community Initiative Award and the Economic Sustainability Award for its work with the Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub (OHLEH) project, as well as the Economic Sustainability category for its Freshwater, Broodstock & Marine Competency Frameworks to support staff training and development.

The Aquaculture Awards celebrate the range of talent and cutting-edge advances in technology involved in the global aquaculture sector and are judged by a panel of experts from across the industry.

Created to encourage collaborative solutions to waste management and energy challenges, the OHLEH project is a unique initiative, and the first of its kind in Scotland. The initiative is delivered by SSC in partnership with Pure Energy Centre, Community Energy Scotland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and is funded by the Scottish Government Local Energy Challenge Fund.

SSC’s Freshwater, Broodstock & Marine Competency Frameworks set out comprehensive standards for assessing and developing staff across all levels of its operations and provides a clear, progressive career path aligned with relevant training requirements to support staff in achieving their potential.

Ross Fennell, Marine Site Manager, said: “To be shortlisted in the Aquaculture Awards for Finfish Farmer of the Year is a real honour - I never expected to reach the final! The salmon sector is so important to Scotland, I’m proud to be part of this industry.

“The team I work with at The Scottish Salmon Company are second to none and working with them is a pleasure. Getting up in the morning to go and do a rewarding job that you get a huge amount of satisfaction from is great.”

Iain MacIntyre, Head of Production South at The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “I’m very proud to see Ross Fennell shortlisted for Farmer of the Year in recognition of his work ethic and passion for the job. It was clear at an early stage that Ross had the potential to become a Site Manager, he joined our team on Arran as a Marine Operative in 2013, was promoted to Senior Marine Operative on Gigha in 2018 and is currently Site Manager at our sites at Striven.”

Cheri Arvonio, Event Director at the Aquaculture Awards, said: “The Aquaculture Awards are a fantastic way to recognise the achievements of those stand-out individuals who are making an exceptional contribution to the industry. Once again, the quality of this year’s awards entries has been outstanding. Congratulations and good luck to each of our shortlisted finalists.”

The winners will be announced at a presentation dinner on Wednesday 16 September during the Aquaculture UK exhibition in Aviemore.