Scottish salmon to be flown to US on Boeing 757 converted into flying fridge

New method will see fish landing on plates within 24 hours of it being caught

The salmon farming company Bakkafrost in Bakkavagur in the Faroe Islands. EPA
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New Yorkers’ insatiable appetite for Scottish salmon has driven a supplier to come up with an innovative way to deliver fresh fish to the Big Apple – by flying the product across the Atlantic on its own Boeing 757.

The Scottish Salmon Company, owned by Faroese firm Bakkafrost, claims the plan would cut its carbon emissions, but campaigners are sceptical.

Bakkafrost is in the process of converting its jet into a flying fridge that can store fish at zero degrees.

The jet will depart the Faroe Islands in the evening, carrying up to 35 tonnes of the day’s catch, and deliver it to an airport in New Jersey in time to reach wholesalers and restaurants early the next morning. Other freight would be flown back on the return flight in a bid to reduce costs, the company says.

The current arrangements see salmon transported from Scotland to Heathrow Airport and flown to the US — a significantly longer route. The process also requires large amounts of ice in order for the product to be sellable upon arrival.

Scottish salmon is among the finest of the species in the world, and is one of the top UK food exports.

The US, France and China are the biggest markets.

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of Sustain, which campaigns on food and farming, said the fishing industry requires more post-Brexit help from the government to sell their products to markets closer to home.

“I think the idea that in a climate crisis we’re planning to fly fish across the world seems like a really daft initiative,” she told The National.

“It just seems so daft when we’re trying to reduce our carbon footprint that we are looking at flying a very perishable product for hundreds of miles in order for it to be consumed. Every nation has good fish locally.”

The plan drawn up by Bakkafrost is also contentious within the salmon farming industry.

The firm's rival Hiddenfjord halted all air freight in October 2020 and instead uses ships to take its products to the US market — a more eco-friendly process.

The voyage takes nine days and, as a result, the company's carbon footprint has been slashed by 94 per cent.

Updated: June 22, 2022, 12:07 PM