Atlantic Sapphire: “It’s like maintaining an airplane that is flying in the air”

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But founder Johan Andreassen says company “has had too many incidents in the last couple of years”.

On Monday, DNB Markets downgraded Atlantic Sapphire after an incident at the company’s fish farm in Denmark, which caused a loss of 400 tonnes of fish.

The land-based salmon farmer’s likelihood of succeeding was reduced from 70 per-cent to 60 per-cent, according to the investment banker.

Furthermore, on the same day, Pareto Securities noted that the affected systems had the largest fish at the site, and were expected to be harvested in the second half of this year. Pareto had included volumes of 1,000 tonnes during this period from the site, which is now likely to be closer to zero.

When asked about DNB’s analysis, Atlantic Sapphire founder and CEO Johan Andreassen told SalmonBusiness that it “never comments on analyst reports or stock prices in general”.

“We see continuous improvement internally and are confident we will get to stable operations with the guided harvest volumes. Unfortunately, we have had too many incidents the last couple of years and our mission is to eliminate these over time,” he said.

Andreassen said he could not comment on the specifics on the maintenance work.

“In general, the challenge is that we have to perform maintenance work with fish in the system. It’s like maintaining an airplane that is flying in the air. It requires extreme attention to detail and risk assessments,” he said.

He added that the company sees no reason to change the production plans of Denmark (2,500 tonnes).

“We know that the systems can handle the designed volumes,” added the CEO.