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A BUSINESS aimed at making the salmon farming industry more sustainable has taken a leap forward in Swansea.

Fowey Shellfish Company was given planning approval to retain and complete the building at Queens Dock to grow lumpfish.

The lumpfish are then transported to Scotland and released in salmon-farming pens, where they feed on lice which can blight the larger fish.

Fowey Shellfish Company staff raise the lumpfish in tanks in the industrial building, which is 60m long, 19m wide and just over 7m tall.

Water from Queens Dock is pumped into the tanks and then discharged after being filtered.

A report which went before the council’s planning committee, on September 3, said Fowey Shellfish Company had a particular interest in maintaining the dock’s water quality because it also grew mussels on ropes dangling in the water.

A planning officer said this mussel rope venture had been operating for around 10 years and had been taken over by the applicant company.

The officer added: “The (lumpfish-growing) building is essentially an industrial unit. It is deemed to be an appropriate use for this location.”

The nearest houses are just under one kilometre away on Langdon Road, in SA1.

Environment body Natural Resources Wales (NRW) raised several questions during the application process, but did not object.

The permission to retain and complete the building comes with a number of conditions, including the submission to the council of a scheme for the disposal of foul water.

The venture’s lifetime is expected to be 20 to 30 years – and a permit, or an exemption, is needed from NRW.

Councillors on the committee had no questions, and the application was approved unanimously.

Speaking afterwards, a Fowey Shellfish Company spokesman said: “It (lumpfish-growing) is the most sustainable way of dealing with sea lice.”

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