Aquaculture for all

Grounds for optimism: Scottish Seafarms trainee wins Lantra award

Atlantic Salmon Awards +3 more

Scottish Sea Farms trainee manager Craig Grounds has won Lantra Scotland's Aquaculture Learner of the Year Award.

Craig Grounds is a trainee manager at Scottish Sea Farms' salmon site off Shuna

© Scottish Sea Farms

Grounds, based in Oban, defeated fellow fish farmers from Cooke and Bakkafrost Scotland, at the annual awards, known as the ALBAS, which were announced last night at a ceremony in Crieff Hydro.

After completing his modern apprenticeship level 3 in aquaculture at UHI Shetland while working for Scottish Sea Farms, Grounds has now embarked on Level 4.

He described his win a “fantastic surprise” and paid tribute to the managers who have encouraged him along the way.

“It’s great to have the hard work recognised and to represent Scottish Sea Farms. I couldn’t have achieved this without the support of, first, Andrew MacDougall and Peter Coull, and now Colin Maxwell, my manager at Shuna.

“They have all got behind me, given me time to study and wanted me to do well, as did my tutor Stuart Fitzsimmons at UHI Shetland, who nominated me.”

Originally from Teesside in the north east of England, Grounds said he had never heard of salmon farming when he relocated to Scotland. But having decided to settle on the west coast with his girlfriend, now wife, he knew it was the life for him.

“Being surrounded by nature, mountains, eagles, dolphins, and even the weather, it’s the best ‘office’ in the world. The people are great, too, and it’s never a chore going into work. I’ve loved every minute of it so far,” he said.

As for the future, Grounds said he plans to stay in Scotland with his young family, continue to learn on the job and finish his Level 4.

“I try not to look too far ahead but if an opportunity presented itself and one day I got to lead a site with my own crop, that would be brilliant," he said.

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