Salmon on land: Fredrikstad Seafoods lost €6.2 million last year

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Norway’s first land-based salmon farmer throws in the towel.

“We are still in a start-up phase, but the figures for 2021 were still not satisfactory, Bernt Olav Røttingsnes, CEO of parent company Nordic Aquafarms Europe, told Fredrikstad Blad .

The turnover in Fredrikstad Seafoods increased from NOK 19.9 million (€2 million) to NOK 45.1 million (€4.6 million), but the deficit also increased: from NOK 41 million (€4.2 million) to NOK 61.5 million (€6.2 million) before tax.

This includes provisions related to the trial in 2020, where the district court sentenced the company to pay NOK 46 million (€4.7 million) in compensation to Grønkjær – the contractor who built the fish farming facility.

However, the ruling was appealed to the Court of Appeal,  and in January the decision came : Not only was the claim for compensation from the district court deleted, but Fredrikstad Seafoods was also awarded NOK 77 million (€7.8 million) in compensation from the aforementioned contractor.

“The result is characterized by the fact that both the salmon price and the production volume were relatively low in 2021,” Røttingsnes said.

The company produced 770 tonnes of salmon last year. Theoretical capacity at the plant, on Øra near Fredrikstad, is 1,500 tonnes.

Feredrikstad Seafoods decided this winter to shut down salmon production, and instead focus on farming the tropical fish species yellowtail.