Great interest in land-based salmon farming

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Johan Andreassen and Atlantic Sapphire’s large-scale farming plans in Florida are attracting great interest.

Among those who have been across the Atlantic to look is Ottar Vartdal from Norway. He is a farmer in Sunnmore, the southernmost traditional district of the western Norwegian county of More og Romsdal.

He does not hide the fact that he is curious about the major investment Atlantic Sapphire is making, especially for the production of large smolt. Back home, Vartal has invested a lot in landbased production of post-smolt.

“From next year we will put our entire production into large smolt. All that’s on land,” he tells SalmonBusiness.

“At Vartdal we have seven tubs 14 meters in diameter and 5.5 meters high. And then we have a tank that is 28 meters in diameter. A total of 10,000 cubic meters.”

Vartdal has four permits for farming, two smolt plants and his own slaughterhouse.

“We have the new plant and then we have the old one next door.”

“How much have you invested?”

“It will be at least €10.6m”

“Do you plan to shorten the production time in the sea by making this investment?”

“We hope so. By putting 600-gram fish in the sea in May we can harvest in January / February. By adding fish weighing a kilo in May, we can harvest for Christmas,” he says, going on to emphasize that an important part of the effort is to increase food fish production by using the permits more efficiently.

“We have a permit for 1,200 tonnes on land on top of it”

“And that is equivalent to one permit?”

“I hope for more than that. It’s one of the few ways to expand in Norway,” says Vartdal.

Vartdal expects to save around four months of production time in the sea by putting out smolt that weigh one kilo rather than 100 grams.