Portuguese supermarket chain Jerónimo Martins CEO Soares dos Santos was optimistic about Atlantic salmon farming project off the coast of southern Portugal.
It’s not the first place that comes up as an ideal place to farm Atlantic salmon – and no – this isn’t the announcement of another multi-million dollar RAS site.
The boss of Portuguese corporate group Jerónimo Martins told reporters at a conference at the company’s headquarters in Lisbon that its pilot salmon farm, 11 miles off the coast of Aveiro, is growing fish.
The company – which operates more than 3,600 stores in Portugal, Poland, and Colombia – created the subsidiary Seaculture Aquicultura to handle the operations last year.
The installation comprises a cage-shaped structure 11 nautical miles off the coast of the town of Ílhavo, with surveillance systems on-site and monitored from a control centre installed and developed by European Commission project ECOMARE.
Hot water though? Not an issue, according to professor Ricardo Calado who is part of the site’s research team working with Aveiro University. Around 1000 salmon are in the farm.
Talking to Ipacuicultura in October last year, Calado said that “while in the waters of northern Europe, there is only one period of the year in which the optimal growth of salmon is favoured by the water temperature of around 14 ° C, in the centre and north of the west coast of Portugal can guarantee an optimal thermal window throughout the year by placing the cage in the water cage to allow fish to grow throughout the entire period and thus shorten the production cycle to commercial size ”.
While talking about the Jerónimo Martins’ Pingo Doce store’s financial results on Friday, Noticias ao Minuto reports that Soares dos Santos said that was “good news and less good news” about the site.
“What didn’t go so well is that we still haven’t managed to hit the right cage to be on the high seas and to deal with storms, the two we did had some bad luck, we didn’t lose them, but it didn’t go as well as we expected,” he said.
However, he added that the “good news” is that “salmon grows in Portuguese waters ” and that it was the opinion of the CEO – of the company which turns over EUR 16 billion a year – that in the Aveiro area, salmon “has a sustainable growth from a financial point of view for consumption”.