Ice Fish Farm triples daily production as winter approaches

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NTS-owned Iceland-based, Ice Fish Farm, is ramping up its daily harvest of farmed salmon from 30 tonnes to 100 tonnes.

Ice Fish Farm’s Chairman, Gudmundur Gislason, confirmed this to SalmonBusiness, when we met him at Ice Fish Farm’s head office in Reykjavik. In relatively modest and anonymous premises in the capital, it’s all hands on deck to tackle the significant increase in production.

“We’re currently building up our harvest plant in Djupivogur on the east coast of Iceland. In the next two months, likely at the end of October, we will step up daily production from 30 tonnes of salmon to 100 tonnes,” said Gislason.

Ice Fish Farm’s harvest plant is located here at Djupivogur. PHOTO: Google

According to Gislason, the planned escalation is a direct consequence of the company having recently been awarded a license for an annual production of 20,000 tonnes. The company currently has an annual production of 4,500 salmon, which are farmed along the east coast of Iceland.

Smolt expansion
There is also full activity on the smolt side. The company is currently extending the Isthor smolt production facility, which is 50/50 owned by Ice Fish Farm and Arnarlax.

“At the moment we are producing three million smolt annually. We’re now installing twelve new tanks, which will mean annual production is increased to five million smolt, and half of that production goes to us,” Gislason said.

Meanwhile the company plans to increase smolt production at the Rifós facility, which is situated at Kópasker, further north in the country.

“This facility was purchased last summer. We produce one million smolt here annually, but the plan is to increase this to four million.

Ice Fish Farm’s offices in Reykjavik. PHOTO: Sharon Olsen

Gislason says there at least two good reasons in having two smolt facilities.

“One is that it is good risk management, but it’s also good for the pending increase in production; that we have access to enough smolt.”

Quicker than many had imagined
He maintains the expansions show that “Things are headed in the right direction” for the Icelandic aquaculture industry, and that the sceptics have been proven wrong”.

“We have proven it is possible to farm salmon on Iceland. The fish are thriving, and we are making progress quicker than many had ever imagined. The next step for us to ramp up volume,” concluded Gislason.