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Bakkafrost Scotland head of health picks role model of the year. Bakkafrost Scotland’s Head of Health, Kimberley McKinnell, has been named ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) awards.

 The keenly contested category recognises women who inspire their colleagues, promote inclusivity and professionalism.

 Kimberley, originally from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, said:

“I have never considered myself a role model, so it is humbling to learn that I may have inspired others. In my career I have always tried to work hard and share knowledge and experience to help others develop, so I’m really chuffed that this outlook is appreciated. I’m thrilled to receive the award.”

Kimberley joined the Scottish Salmon Company, now Bakkafrost Scotland, in 2016 as a Senior Biologist and is now based in Lochgilphead, Argyll and Bute. She is a key member of the Biology Department, covering health across all production phases and areas.

Kimberley added:

“I love the people that I work with – everyone is so passionate and motivated to try new things and improve on what we do. It is a pleasure to be able to work in the locations we farm in – people pay good money to holiday in some of these areas.”

Kimberley developed ‘Welfare Awareness’ session for colleagues, an initiative designed to share knowledge about fish health, biological challenges, ways of monitoring and the importance of identifying trends. The training covered gill health, plankton and jellyfish monitoring, general welfare and mortality classification. Those who attended the events also had the opportunity to use stereo microscopes, which are optical instruments that provide a three-dimensional view to monitor jellyfish.

Kimberley graduated in Marine Biology at Aberdeen University before moving to South Africa to research Great White sharks and marine animals.

She added:

“I returned back to the UK in 2012 and worked on a farm for a brief period of time. I really enjoyed the husbandry element of farming and working with animals. I got a job with Marine Scotland Fish Health Inspectorate in 2013, which was my first experience with fish farms and I fell in love with the industry – its super interesting and still developing.”

Ian Laister, Managing Director Bakkafrost Scotland, said:

“Kimberley is a role model here at Bakkafrost Scotland. A notable demonstration of Kim’s commitment and leadership was our recent ‘Welfare Awareness’ campaign, which Kim created, and hosted over 10 weeks and 22 sessions, with 117 staff joining in person or online. This award recognises the dedication and commitment Kim has shown both to our business and to her personal development.”