Cooke Aquaculture Scotland | Discover
Cooke Aquaculture Scotland is a leading Scottish salmon aquaculture company. It has activities on the Shetland and Orkney Islands as well as on the Mainland UK.
salmon, scottish, scotland, aquaculture, farmer, shetland, orkney, islands, cooke, fish, healthy, farmed, farming,
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Discover

Our Salmon
Production Cycle

Our Salmon is sourced in accordance with exceptional farming practices making Cooke Aquaculture Scotland a leading sustainability-driven company.

Please discover our high quality Label Rouge and Organic Salmon reared in the stunning Scottish environment.

After more than 30 years of successful salmon farming, the farming sequence is well established.

There are four stages:

  • Hatchery
  • Freshwater
  • Seawater
  • Processing
Hatchery

The salmon farming sequence begins in the hatcheries where eggs are collected from selected mature female salmon, the Broodstock, which live in large freshwater tanks.

 

The eggs are fertilised with milt from male Broodstock fish and then kept in special incubators until they hatch. The eggs hatch to produce alevins, tiny fish with a yolk sac full of nutrition. As they grow the yolk sac shrinks and disappears. This takes several weeks, by when they are large enough to feed themselves and are known as fry. The fry are transferred to new tanks where they are fed formulated feed that supplies all their nutritional needs.

 

We have one Broodstock facility, five egg incubation sites and four sites for fry production. These supply Cooke Aquaculture Scotland farms and other salmon farming companies.

Freshwater

The freshwater stage, as the fry grow and develop, is conducted in larger freshwater tanks or in cages in freshwater Lochs.

 

In around four months the fry have developed to become parr and can be recognised by the vertical stripes on their bodies, which provides ideal camouflage in their natural stream habitats. They continue to be fed a complete diet formulated specifically for fry and parr. When the parr reach 60-80 grams they undergo a physiological change that enables them to live in salt water and these smolt are ready to transfer to sea sites.

 

For smolt production, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland has 8 freshwater facilities, on the west coast of Scotland and on the Shetland Islands.

Seawater

The period in seawater is known as the ongrowing phase, in which the fish grow to become fish weighing several kilos.

 

Again they are provided with ongrowing feeds specially formulated to provide all their nutritional requirements and to ensure the final salmon products are of excellent eating quality. The sequence from hatchery to harvest takes about two and a half years.

 

For ongrowing there are 45 licensed sites:

  • 16 on Orkney Isles
  • 29 on the Shetland Islands

 

Having multiple farming operations in three well separated regions provides flexibility in sourcing, for example to dedicate fish and farms to specific markets such as organic production, and to ensure maximum reliability of supply and minimised impact from factors such as the weather. The farming sites are located in remote and rugged places along the coastline; highly exposed to provide a strong tidal flow of water passing through them. This ensures the fish get plenty of healthy exercise and that the water in the pen is constantly replenished. At the same time, the strategic locations mean the farms are close enough to our packing facilities to ensure maximum freshness in the products we sell.