RASTECH Magazine

Scottish minister impressed by Lago Sofia’s sustainable aquaculture

March 26, 2024  By RAStech staff

A Scottish delegation visited Lago Sofia to learn more about it's smolt RAS operation. (Photo: Lago Sofia)

Scottish Member of Parliament, Mairi Gougeon, is looking to Lago Sofia as part of her vision for sustainable aquaculture in Scotland.

Gougeon, who was in Puerto Montt, Chile for the AquaSur trade show, recently toured Lago Sofia’s land-based smolt farm in Chinquihue, examining the fish tanks equipped with individual recirculating aquaculture systems (iRAS), the monitoring room, and the sludge treatment plant.

In a recent press release, she said she was pleased to see how the company operates and the investment it makes in animal health and welfare, adding that they’re trying to implement both environmental and social values in Scottish aquaculture. 

“We published our vision for sustainable aquaculture last year because we want to see sustainable growth in this activity in our country, but we know that we need to do that by working with the environment that we have, trying to improve the environment, but also making sure that we are working with our communities too, because that is a really essential part of that process,” the minister said in a statement.

CEO of Lago Sofía, Miguel Portus with Minister Mairi Gougeon. (Photo: Lago Sofía)

Miguel Portus, chief executive officer of Lago Sofia, said the visit was an opportunity to present the contributions his company made in terms of technology and design of iRAS modules.

“These systems have been known in the market for some time; here we could appreciate how from a high standard in sustainability and animal welfare, a smolt production project was assembled, which has become a benchmark within the country’s fish farms. We feel very honoured that Minister Gougeon has considered our facilities and has given us almost a full morning of her time,” Portus said.

Lago Sofia is participating in “Blue Bridge”, a program organized by the U.K. Department of Business and Trade, along with the British Embassy in Chile. Through this program, the beneficiary companies could extend the presence of their technological developments to the U.K., starting with their participation in the aquaculture technology exhibition Aquaculture U.K. in May.

“This opportunity allowed us not only to show Scottish authorities what we can bring to Scotland as part of our contributions to production systems but also opens up a world of possibilities for technological, academic, and production exchange in different areas of the farming cycle,” Portus said.

The Scottish minister was accompanied by a Scottish delegation which included, private secretary for Rural Affairs, Rahul Singh; special advisor, Kate Higgins; deputy director for Marine Economy and Communities, Malcolm Pentland; and the head of Aquaculture Development, Jill Barber.

“It provides well-paid jobs in some of the most remote areas of our country and also in our island communities. But, we know that industry growth needs to be sustainable. That means reducing environmental impact, investing in animal health and welfare, as well as working with communities, and that is exactly what we saw today at Lago Sofia,” she added.

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