Equity Analyst on Atlantic Sapphire mortality: “It is likely that the batch affected was the next to be harvested”

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Thomas Myrholt from SpareBank 1 Markets states that it is likely that the quarter of a million fish at Atlantic Sapphire’s onshore facility in Denmark was the next batch of fish to be harvested. 

Monday morning Atlantic Sapphire released a statement informing on the mortality in their onshore farming. In the announcement, it was not stated which fish had suffered, but Thomas Myrholt believes that it is likely to be the fish next to be harvested.

“I do not currently have official coverage on Atlantic Sapphire. But I argue this underlines the risk in the production method. The company writes that the event pushes harvest out some 4 months, based on this it is likely that the batch that was effected was the next to be harvested. This corresponds well with the biggest concern for such facilities, and that is that the biological risk increases as the salmon gets larger,” says Thomas Myrholt.

Thomas Myrholt, analyst at Sparebank1 Markets. Photo: SB1M

Thomas Myrholt explains that if the oxygen level is too low and there is nitrate available in the tank, the organic matter will be broken down to nitrogen gas (n2) and carbon dioxide (CO2),  and this is according to Myrholt what has happened at Atlantic Sapphire’s facility in Denmark.

Read also: Quarter of a million salmon die at Atlantic Sapphire’s Danish RAS facility

The company has experienced something similar back in the summer of 2017, where 250 metric tonnes of salmon died. The current events show, according to Myrholt, how challenging the production method is as the technology of producing onshore salmon from egg to harvest is still in a constant development phase.

“I feel certain that the company will eventually figure out how this is done. I was in Miami a few weeks ago to see the US facility and I can confirm that there is happy fish swimming around in the tanks. But there has been little risk of such events reflected in the share price, hence the -15% drop we see today,” explains Thomas Myrholt.

Read also: Atlantic Sapphire stock gets knocked down after high mortality in Denmark

The company states that measures to prevent such events in the future already has been taken or is underway at both the US facility and other systems in the Danish facility. Moreover, the biomass is according to Atlantic Sapphire secured.

“We know very little about the economic impact of the event,” concludes Thomas Myrholt.

Without success, SalmonBusiness has tried to get a comment from Atlantic Sapphire on which fish have been affected.