Visionaries: Jimmie Hepburn
1st April 2009
‘“Visionary” is a terrible word to use,’ Jimmie Hepburn grimaces. ‘I’m not doing this for my own ego. I’m happy for contributions and new ideas; I’m starting from scratch here, but I want people to build upon this.’
You get to farm the whole system. This is the revolution that is needed in aquaculture.
‘This’ just happens to be the UK’s first organic carp farm, designed to produce a sustainable, non-carnivorous supply of fish for British tables, and makes Hepburn as pioneering in the world of food production as he is as incurably modest.
Hepburn started out in life working on an industrial salmon-farming operation in northwest Scotland. Having spent a childhood ‘messing about in ponds’ and with a university degree in ecology, the scale of Scottish salmon farming didn’t sit easily.
‘I wasn’t happy with the impact the industry was having,’ he says. ‘Three to four tonnes of wild fish were needed to make the pelleted feed to produce one tonne of salmon.’
But Hepburn was at the same time a pragmatist, who could see that not only was salmon farming rejuvenating local economies and communities in Scotland, but also that without some form of fish farming, natural stocks would continue to decline.
‘I was never scared to look at the issues,’ he says. ‘In sustainability, you must be prepared to consider the unthinkable; you must always be prepared to consider something the complete opposite of what you have...
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.