‘Ocean Farm 1’ all set for work; last night it was filled with post-smolt

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SalMar’s giant offshore platform ‘Ocean Farm 1’ is now being put into operation.

“The farm is not filled with water yet. It is going to be lowered down and will be filled with smolt today. Postsmolt with an average weight of 250 grams,” Jarl Halbostad, superintendent on the Rostein boat ‘Ro Chief’, told SalmonBusiness yesterday evening.

‘Ro Chief’ has been given the task of supplying SalMar’s farm with smolt.

“They have a license for two million fish on the farm, while one million fish are now being released in the next seven days.”

First in the world
“This is the first time in the world,” said Halbostad enthusiastically.

The transfer of smolt will be done using a pipe from the wellboat to the farm. The pipe goes under water and is kept closed all the time.”They’ve lowered it and tested things for 14 days, so they get their first smolt tonight.”

“They’ve lowered it and tested things for 14 days, so they get their first smolt tonight.”

Smooth process
The 50-meter-long wellboat is kept at a safe distance from “Ocean Farm 1”.

“We are four to five meters from the farm. We are not allowed to get close to it,” said Halbostad.

The work has gone smoothly so far.

“Thus far, things have gone surprisingly well. We tested the connection to the farm fourteen days ago, and it has been going well. I do not think they’ve had any big problems on the farm either. But it is very weather-dependent.”

“Now we are very happy. They have been extremely lucky with the weather this fall for the work of anchoring. There were three anchor handling boats here. They left ten days ago.”

Large smolt
Now it’s only ‘Ro Chief’ watching over the farm.

“It’s only us, yes. I believe ‘Ro Fjell’ will pick up the fish when it is due to be slaughtered next summer. Things will go a little faster when they put out bigger smolt, which grow faster.”

Five people work on board ‘Ro Chief’, doing an unusual job.

Halbostad manages the 15-year-old wellboat traditionally, while it is close to the yellow steel colossus of Ocean Farm 1: no joystick or PlayStation controller as in newer wellboats!

“I’m sitting at the bridge’s normal manual drive, there’s no DP (Dynamic positioning – editors note) on board here, no. Here you actually drive the boat.”