Salmon farming giant Mowi’s profits halved as disease hits harvests


'Biological challenges' have hit Mowi production as campaigners speak out over proliferation of salmon farms in Scottish waters. Mowi, which operates in more than 50 locations around Scotland reported its harvests were down by 10 per cent and that Mowi Scotland made a 2022 operating profit of £27 million, down from £54 million in 2021.

The report blamed higher mortalities, disease outbreaks and to a lesser extent jellyfish blooms. It states that physical damage is one of the main causes of fish mortality on seawater farms, all of which result in higher mortality, lower biomass growth and downgraded product, which in turn leads to increases in the production cost per kilo and decreased sales prices.

Campaigners have claimed that salmon farming is flawed and unsustainable

It comes amid a growing backlash over the proliferation of fish farms in Scottish waters and claims from campaigners that the industry is inherently flawed, environmentally ruinous and ethically unsustainable.

"Mortalities on salmon farms are rising. In 2022 more than 16.7 million farmed salmon died prematurely in Scotland's cages, almost double that of the previous year" said Rachel Mulrenan, the Scotland director of the campaign group WildFish.
"The Scottish salmon farming industry continues to firefight, with each 'solution' creating yet another problem . . . fundamentally, open-net salmon farming is unsustainable."

Source: The Times, 8 January 2024 (paywalled)