The veteran Norwegian fish farmer joined the company in December 2014 from Lerøy Seafood Group – which co-owns Scottish Sea Farms with SalMar ASA – tasked with overhauling the company’s freshwater production strategy, including the creation of a new state-of-the-art RAS hatchery.

In six short years, he has overseen the design, location and build of the new hatchery at Barcaldine; streamlined the company’s pre-existing freshwater estate in preparation for its opening; and brought together a sector-leading team that is now delivering the full smolt requirement of Scottish Sea Farms’ 42-strong estate of marine farms.

The first generation of RAS-grown smolts has been transferred to sea at double the average weights achieved via traditional hatchery methods and are showing excellent post-transfer performance. Meanwhile, the freshwater team are now starting to deliver from the second generation of smolts reared at Barcaldine Hatchery.

Said Pål: “My whole reason for coming to Scotland was to help Scottish Sea Farms bring Barcaldine Hatchery into being and see the finished facility deliver its first generation of smolts. With that now achieved, and with five young grandchildren having arrived while I have been here in Scotland, now feels like the right time to return to Norway where I can be closer to my family, young and old, and be part of the day-to-day once again.”

Pål will continue to lead and manage the freshwater team until a suitable replacement is found, ensuring a smooth handover across all activities.

Commenting on the news of Pål’s planned return to Norway, Scottish Sea Farms Managing Director Jim Gallagher said: “The difference that Pål has made to our freshwater farming is something we will be forever thankful for and something that I hope that he himself will always be hugely proud of.

“I’m certain that our new Barcaldine Hatchery will never be far from his thoughts and that the great friendships made will continue. Now, we’re looking for a stellar candidate to take up the mantle and, together with the freshwater team, build on the fantastic legacy that Pål leaves behind him. The Barcaldine story has really only just begun.”