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The aquaculture company which won a planning battle to site a wrasse hatchery at Machrihanish has announced 34 job losses.
Last week Marine Harvest won a planning battle to build a hatchery on a greenfield site at Lossit Point, to produce millions of wrasse, the so-called cleaner fish, which eat sea lice plaguing farmed salmon.
A few days later the redundancies were announced.
Marine Harvest business support manager, Steve Bracken, who retires in April, said: ‘We have indicated to staff representatives that we will unfortunately make 34 people redundant.
‘We’re sorry to have to take this action, but we need to ensure the business is sustainable for the future.
‘We are working with the various agencies and will do everything we can to find alternative employment for those who will be losing their jobs.
Mr Bracken added that, to put the job losses in context, the firm employs 1,200 people in Scotland including 500 at its added value processing plant in Rosyth.
There are other opportunities available, and Mr Bracken said: ‘We still have on-going recruiment for the recently built fish feed plant at Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye.’
He added: ‘Almost half the jobs are in processing which reflects the seasonal nature of work in this particular part of the business.
‘In addition, there will be some redundancies in farming, largely because we will be harvesting fewer fish this year than last.
‘Salmon farming has always involved some fluctuation in employment numbers due to the harvesting cycles, but we will do everything we can to help those who will be leaving the business.
‘I’m sure you’ll appreciate that until we’ve spoken to our colleagues concerned it would be inappropriate to say anything further at this time.’
The existing wrasse hatchery. 25_c05wrasse01_existing_hatchery