BALFRON, in Stirlingshire, is now home to what is claimed to be the 'world's first' sustainable land-based, clean water prawn farm.

The newly launched business, branded as Great British Prawns, has been established next door to a major dairy operation to take advantage of heat from its AD plant, and is being touted as the model for a new kind of seafood production, that uses renewable heat, innovative feedstocks and advanced filtration to produce high-value warm water king prawns with minimal environmental impact.

It aims to deliver these prawns fresh from tank to plate within 24 hours, with no need for freezing or air miles. The Balfron site will begin harvesting up to one million prawns by this summer, but the long term plan is to replicate the self-contained production system close to whichever towns and cities offer a viable marketplace for quality prawns with solid green credentials.

Currently, the majority of the UK's king prawns are sourced frozen from farms in the Far East and Central America, and can take up to a year to get here from their country of origin.

"Most prawns have travelled 6000 miles to reach a UK consumer, with worldwide demand continuing to grow," said chairman and commercial director James McEuen. "But we know that consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of seafood production and to be sustainable, the future of aquaculture really has to be land-based."

Crucially, given the recent media focus on Scottish salmon farms use of medication, the GBP production process is closed to the outside world, with every growing condition monitored and adjusted to maximise the animal’s health and well-being, eliminating the need for vaccines and antibiotics.