Former Mowi COO on land-based fish farms: “I have the most faith in facilities being built in overseas markets”

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Marit Solberg does not believe land-based fish farms will be competitive with open sea cages in Norway.

Solberg has been in the aquaculture industry since 1985. Retiring in 2018, she spent most of her career with the world’s largest salmon farmer Mowi, attaining the position of COO Farming Canada, Scotland, Ireland and the Faroes.

Marit Solberg is now an advisor and board member to the companies Aquacon and cod farmer Norcod. The former will build three land-based salmon farms in Maryland, on the US East Coast.

Solberg warned, however, that land-based salmon farming is burdened with considerable risk.

“You can’t just buy turnkey facilities, and there can be many growing pains in connection with the development of the facilities,” Solberg told the newspaper Bergens Tidende.

“It is much more complicated to farm on land than in the sea. On land, it is expected that everything in the facilities works the way it should. Smolt production has also been difficult. It requires a completely different kind of insight,” said Solberg.

“I have the most faith in the facilities being built in the overseas markets, where there are currently high transport costs. Here there are several Norwegian players that can succeed. I do not believe that we will have so many land-based projects in Norway that’ll be able to out compete sea and cage-based production,” Solberg told BT.