Moorings, buoys, netting, feed systems – we’re continually upgrading our farm equipment and infrastructure with newer models engineered to be even more resilient during extreme winds and strong swells.

Similarly, we regularly review and hone our own practices to reduce the potential for any items to become loose or break away, in good weather or in bad.

This includes:

  • Checking the integrity of all farm infrastructure daily with regular underwater inspections throughout each crop
  • Monitoring the shipping forecast for early notice of severe weather
  • Carrying out a risk assessment in advance of severe weather to identify any additional measures necessary such as re-locating equipment or mooring workboats in more sheltered areas
  • Inspecting farm infrastructure before and immediately after the weather event, including the use of underwater cameras and/or divers, to check for damaged, dislodged or lost items.

We also train every new member of every farm team in knot-tying during their first week, everything from how to tie a knot securely to how many ropes are required to adequately secure an item, minimising the likelihood of ropes breaking free.

Recovering lost items

In the rare event that extreme weather does result in marine debris from one of our farms, we’ll notify the Coastguard. Then, as soon as conditions make it safe to do so, we’ll go looking for the item and retrieve it.

Equally, many of our farm teams can regularly be seen along their local shorelines removing debris from other marine users and/or general waste.

It’s about being good neighbours and doing everything we can to look after the environment in which we work and live.

Beach cleans

Cleaning our local shores of marine and mixed waste is something we’ve been doing informally for many years now.

In 2018, our Orkney team signed up to the Marine Conservation Great British Beach Clean, inspiring farmers in fellow regions to do likewise.

Come 2021 – our fourth year of participating – and made it a business-wide effort with 13 separate beach cleans carried out across Argyll, the Highlands and Islands, Orkney and Shetland, collecting and removing all manner of waste items.

You can watch our Orkney colleagues’ short video about their 2021 beach cleans here.