Fish farm start-up launches community fund benefitting north-east Skye

Robert Gray holding one of the first boxes of organic salmon harvested by Organic Sea Harvest - ready to be shipped to the market. NO F24 Robert Gray
Robert Gray holding one of the first boxes of organic salmon harvested by Organic Sea Harvest - ready to be shipped to the market. NO F24 Robert Gray

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Organic Sea Harvest (OSH) has partnered with aqua feed supplier Cargill to launch a community fund that will benefit north-east Skye residents.

‘Bho Mhuir gu Tir’/From Sea to Land community fund launched last week, coinciding with OSH’s first harvest. The community fund forms part of OSH’s ongoing commitment to bring social, cultural and economic benefits to north-east Skye where it farms.

The principal aim of OSH’s community initiative is to provide financial support to local organisations for projects which bring benefits to sustain the rural district of Staffin, known as An Taobh Sear (East Side) in Gaelic.

The area has a resident population of more than 570 people who live in 23 crofting townships dotted around Staffin Bay and Trotternish Ridge.

OSH will be contributing 5p per kg of head on gutted fish harvested from their farms to the fund and the money will be used for various community projects.

The success of this initiative will be based on factors such as the number of farms OSH operate, the tonnage harvested and the number of fish feed tons OSH buys from Cargill.

A committee will be formed, composed of the OSH workforce and community representatives, including Sgoil Stafainn, to decide which projects are supported.

Each project will need to submit an expression of interest prior to being awarded any funding. OSH anticipates several projects a year could benefit from this fund.

OSH spokesperson and founding director Alex MacInnes said: ‘A local fund is something I’ve been aiming to set up for a while now as it’s always been part of our vision at OSH to give something back to the community.

‘This is our way of thanking the people of Staffin for their continued support and part of our ongoing goal to help create a sustainable future for the next generation.

‘For example, we will be fulfilling our commitment made at the beginning of the OSH journey by making a major contribution to the Staffin Slipway Re-development project, which will see the harbour upgraded to serve the community, fishing and aquaculture boats and encourage marine tourism.

‘We chose the name ‘Bho Mhuir gu Tir/From Sea to Land’ as it’s a reminder of Staffin’s rich fishing history. We are delighted to be supporting a historic fishing community and working closely together to deliver a community harbour for everyone.’

A digital meeting will be held to inform the community of how they can benefit. Anyone interested in finding out more should email communityfund@organicseaharvest.co.uk.

CAPTION:

Robert Gray with one of the first boxes of organic salmon harvested by Organic Sea Harvest ready to be shipped to the market.

NO F24 Robert Gray