Norwegian salmon giant Mowi is moving ahead with plans to shutter Scottish site Loch Ewe by the end of the year, the first of two farms relocating to avoid impacts on wild salmon habitat.

Biomass from the Loch Ewe site will be transferred to the Isle of Scalpay at the end of its current farming cycle, followed by the closure and transfer of salmon from its Loch Duich site.

“Success for this relocation initiative will be a net increase in production, a net increase in export value for Scotland and a net reduction in our environmental footprint at sensitive locations," Mowi Scotland Managing Director Ben Hadfield said.

Mowi Scotland announced plans on July 9 to move the farms, which it says will enable it to produce in a more modern, efficient way.

The Loch Ewe farm will start production in spring 2020.

Mowi Scotland Head of Environmental Management Stephen MacIntyre said the move is part of the company’s plans to grow under the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee’s (RECC) recommendations, which included shifts to higher-energy farming areas and “more appropriate” open water areas.

Mowi estimates it will spend around £7.5 million (€8.3 million/$9.3 million) to relocate the two inshore farm sites.

Employees working at Loch Ewe have been given the option to relocate to other sites.

Despite, most farmers operating in Scotland saw a decline in earnings per kilo in the first half of 2019, Mowi Scotland managed to increase earnings by 22.2 percent to €2.59 ($2.90) per kilo.

Harvest volumes increased 20 percent in the second quarter of this fiscal year compared to the same period last year to 38,300 metric tons.