SalMar’s gigantic ocean farm gears up for harvest

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It’s soon harvest time for the fish in SalMar’s Ocean Farm.

“All has gone well so far,” SalMar’s CFO, Trond Tuvstein, told Salmon Business.

The ocean farm construction commenced operation in September 2017, when the Rostein vessel “Ro Chief” filled Ocean Farm 1 up with one million smolt averaging 250 grams in weight.

· Read more: Ocean Farm 1’ mistaken for UFO

“Harvesting is planned for the third or fourth quarter” said Tuvstein PHOTO: Elisabeth Nodland

Fish doing fine
The objective of the ocean farms is to minimise the risk of pollution, lice and escapes into the fjords. During the Pathos Forum conference, Harald Takle of Cermaq asked how the fish fare during rough weather.

According to Tuvstein, the SalMar salmon are in fine form.

“The fish are growing and are doing fine. The farm has weathered the conditions well. At times, it’s been pretty rough out there, but we knew that would be the case. The installation is dimensioned for that,” he said, adding:

“The fish have normal, healthy behaviour”.

Few lice
Tuvstein said the lice situation is satisfactory. In Week 28 (9-15 July) there were 0.01 female lice per fish, according to the Norwegian fish health data site Barentswatch.

“The lice situation has been satisfactory, which is how it is basically for the entire region. Lice haven’t presented any major challenges,” he said.

“In terms of operation, all is proceeding according to schedule, and I have to say in an excellent manner,” added the CFO.

New gigantic ocean farm
However, SalMar is not contenting itself with ‘just’ Ocean Farm 1. The company has bought up a majority shareholding in the firm Mariculture, which has developed the technology for “Smart Fish Farm”.

Visualisation of the new ocean farm. PHOTO: Mariculture

The giant cage construction has a diameter of 160 meters, room for three million salmon and costs EUR 157 million. In comparison, Ocean Farm 1 is small with its capacity for around 1.5 million fish.

The Stavanger-based company has applied for 16 development licenses, and in June received provisional approval for licenses.

Even so, it has not yet been clarified how many licenses the concept will receive. But the Directorate of Fisheries is currently further considering the application with the intention of awarding one or more licenses.