Smith, who has overseen Scottish Sea Farms’ Shetland farms for 10 of his 16 years with the company, has taken the decision to step down from the regional role in favour of spending more time with family.

“Leaving behind the company, my colleagues and Shetland itself after so many years is incredibly tough,” said Smith. “However, after a decade of travelling back and forth from my home on mainland, the time feels right to embark on a new career chapter involving less travel and allowing more time to spend with family.”

Commenting on Smith’s departure, Scottish Sea Farms’ Managing Director Jim Gallagher said: “Graham and myself have worked together for all of his 16 years with the company, so it’s hard to see him go. That said, it’s a small and supportive sector and I’m confident we’ll see each other again soon once Graham has decided on his next role.

“Before then, I’d like to express my personal thanks for the commitment and loyalty he has shown Scottish Sea Farms, for the many hours spent travelling away from his family, for the knowledge and insights he has brought to the table, and for being a genuinely nice guy to work with.”

Smith’s farming career began back in 1986 with husbandry roles at Otter Ferry Salmon, followed by Seabon Salmon in Loch Fyne. In the early 90s, Smith took on his first Site Manager roles with AquaScot where he was responsible for both freshwater and marine farms.

From there, he progressed to Area Manager for Mainstream Farming before joining Scottish Sea Farms in 2004 as Farm Manager of Loch Kishorn which went on to win Marine Farm of the Year at the Crown Estate Scotland Awards during Smith’s reign.

As work gets underway at Scottish Sea Farms to recruit Smith’s successor, Director of Farming Gideon Pringle will cover his Shetland role with immediate effect, focusing on helping the region’s farm teams deliver the highest standards of fish welfare.