Grieg Seafood eyeing 21% more sales in 2018

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Grieg Seafood is expecting a strong year of salmon harvests, processing and sales, at least in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, where Canadian volumes are due for a surge in growth.

The company said Thursday that it expects group-wide sales volumes in 2018 to reach 127,700 tonnes, or 21 percent more than in 2017: “The increase is mainly due to higher harvest volumes in Grieg Seafood,” management informed investors in their recent report.

“The market now seems to have returned to normal levels, both in terms of prices and frozen stock, and retailers as well as other customers are again eager to develop closer cooperation with the salmon producers,” management stated.

Canadian turnaround
Grieg’s overseers pointed to Canada, where harvest volumes were down 10 percent to 9,600 tonnes in 2017 due to low stocking levels of smolt in 2015 and a little-known algae bloom in 2016. That’s all about to change after a round of restocking.

Meanwhile, new aeration technology, plastic instead of steel net pens, new Canadian technology for early disease identification and algae-bloom monitoring have already increased feeding days, so the company is predicting a banner 2018. The Canadian techniques will also be used to combat serious biological problems in Shetland, where the harvest was also down about 10 percent to 12,056 t in 2017 after algae blooms and sea lice onslaughts.

More fish fed
“The introduction of sensor technology to monitor algal blooms enables us to determine at an early stage the type of algae and the appropriate feeding response,” management said.

The overriding message from the company for 2018, was that “There has been a significant build-up of biomass during 2017, and we will therefore harvest significantly more salmon from this region in 2018.” BC saw a “significant reduction in harvest volumes” in 2017, but the situation for 2018 is a full turnaround.

Led by BC and Finnmark, Norway, company smolt stocking reached 26 million fish in 2017, “the highest number ever”.