“Norwegian Gannets fish quality has been a catastrophe”

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The Danish smokery Polar Salmon Hjerting Laks has two times received salmon from floating processor “Norwegian Gannet”, where the fish was too soft and almost unusable.

“At least two times it has been a catastrophe with the quality of the salmon. The fish was all soft, softer as I have never experienced before. It was a catastrophe. The skin simply fell off the fish,” says Christoph Kjærsgaard, CEO of Polar Salmon Hjerting Laks, to SalmonBusiness.

The company did a claim on around three tons of salmon in April 2019, and the seller, Hv Line, the owner of “Norwegian Gannet”, explained that the reason behind the bad quality of the salmon was tough weather during the travel and that the fish had been contained in ice buckets during the storm.

Christoph Kjærgaard, CEO Polar Salmon Hjerting Laks. Photo: Katrina Poulsen

After receiving the first batch in April 2019 the company had decided not to order fish from the harvesting vessel again, but after being promised the problem was solved the company ordered fish again in August 2019.

As the company first started the processing two days after, Polar Salmon Hjerting Laks choose to not make a claim but contact the company to hear what has happened. According to Polar Salmon Hjerting Laks “Norwegian Gannet” state, they have had trouble with this batch of fish. The reason behind is that the fish had been harvested on board and been contained on the ferry to Hirtshals in a tank. The company also stated that the fish had been weak, which had caused the fish to become soft. They registered the complaint and asked for photos to document the incident.

SalmonBusiness has contacted CEO Kristian Haugland of Hav Line, the company behind “Norwegian Gannet”, and he had not heard about the incidents before now.

“The reason for soft fish can be many. We have the same quality as other delivers. We handle a claim between the customer and us, not through the media,” says Kristian Haugland.

Christoph Kjærsgaard is not sure if the floating vessel is the way to go.

“Of course there are startup difficulties because the idea is fundamentally good: to sail it down and use less CO2 and time. But it can be rough to sail on the west coast and this has to be taken into consideration. We definitely have had some challenges with the vessel,” says Christoph Kjærsgaard.

Due to high demand and low fish supply, Polar Salmon Hjerting Laks have after the bad experience been convinced to buy small stocks of fish from “Norwegian Gannet”.

“We had actually decided that we would never again buy fish from the boat, but they convinced us to try once again and the last time we received salmon from the boat the fish was fine,” says Christoph Kjærsgaard.

“Norwegian Gannet”. Photo: Roar Bjånesøy

If the company will use Norwegian Gannet again is unknown.

“If we can get the salmon elsewhere we will do so, but if we are not able to meet demands, we might have to order fish from the boat again,” concludes Christoph Kjærsgaard.