arah Last was crowned Finfish Farm Manager of the Year in recognition of her stand-out performance at Summer Isles, one of Scottish Sea Farms’ most northerly and remote mainland farms.

The second female ever to win the accolade, local girl Sarah left a career in construction to join Scottish Sea Farms, progressing from trainee husbandry to Farm Manager in three short years.

During her first full crop cycle in the role she has delivered outstanding results, achieving farm record after farm record.

Sarah attributes her success to having a great team and being passionate “to the point of obsession” about fish health and welfare.

Says Sarah: “I don’t ever really switch off. The moment I open my eyes I’m thinking about what I need to do that day and immediately want to be out on the farm, checking on the salmon and speaking to the team.”

The moment I open my eyes I’m thinking about what I need to do that day and immediately want to be out on the farm

Also triumphant at the Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards was Scottish Sea Farms’ freshwater specialist Lynne Frame who was named joint winner of the Rising Star category alongside Scott Mackay from AKVA Group Scotland.

Lynne has spent the last two years immersing herself in the world of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), undertaking secondments with both of Scottish Sea Farms’ parent companies in Norway: the first, a year with Lerøy Midt in Belsvik; the second, a seven-month placement with SalMar ASA to observe its new hatchery at Troms.

Says Lynne: “I feel very lucky to have spent time working at some of the best RAS facilities in the world, and to have worked with such talented people both in Scotland and overseas – all of which is down to Scottish Sea Farms believing in me and giving me the opportunity to grow and develop in my career.”

The insights gleaned from Lynne’s time in Norway are already proving invaluable in the planning and preparation of Scottish Sea Farms’ new £44m state-of-the-art freshwater hatchery at Barcaldine, near Oban.

Commenting on the award wins, Jim Gallagher, Managing Director at Scottish Sea Farms, said: “Scottish salmon farming continues to invest and evolve at pace, with innovative technologies and approaches replacing earlier practices. However these new and improved approaches are only possible thanks to a strong, diverse, dedicated team; people who think differently and are instinctively driven to do better. Sarah and Lynne are shining examples of this, and hopefully both their stories will inspire others to consider a career in this key sector for Scotland.”