Hoping for better results at giant ocean farm

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Owner Nordlaks is now putting new and larger smolt in the cages of “Jostein Albert”.

The first smolt release was not an unconditional success. Major problems with winter sores and lice contributed to the mortality rate being as high as 19 per-cent.

“The Directorate of Fisheries (Norway .ed) considers that the mortality rate in Havfarm has been generally high, not least considering that the production time has been short. Cages 3-6, in particular, have had big challenges, with an average mortality rate of around 25 per-cent. Total for all cages has it been a mortality rate of about 19 per-cent. These are high numbers, not least considering that it is a new technology that is being tested,” the Directorate of Fisheries wrote in a letter to Nordlaks.

New wellboat
But now in July, after a period of fallowing, the second generation of salmon are now on their way out to the farm, reported Bladet Vesterålen.

Nordlaks hopes the lice problem will be less troublesome with their own wellboat. In May, the company delivered the long-awaited wellboat “Bjørg Pauline”. A second wellboat will hopefully be in place this autumn.

“Bjorn Pauline”. PHOTO: Nordlaks

“This will be much easier now that we have the boat in place,” said head of communications Lars Fredrik Martinussen.

He explained that the first generation of salmon on the sea farm came from two different facilities, one with good fish health and one with poorer.

2.3 million
About 150,000 fish glide around under the surface of the water, less than half the number of fish at full capacity.

“The whole farm can accept 2.3 million salmon, so there are still some trips with “Bjørg Pauline” before it is full. The fish are both fed and monitored from Børøya (Nordlaks’ headquarters) and both the activity and appetite indicate that this fish has endured the migration well,” said Martinussen.

The second generation is based on larger smolt than the first.

“The hope is to be able to make up for some of the backlog that was due to the fact that we started late in the first year on the Havfarm, and harvested earlier, perhaps already a little into the New Year,” he added.