World Heritage Salmon secures long-term genetics agreement with Benchmark

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World Heritage Salmon is planning a 100,000-tonne salmon farm in a disused mine.

World Heritage Salmon (WHS), which will produce Atlantic salmon in the discontinued olivine mines in Sunnylvsfjorden, Norway, has entered into a five-year contractual agreement with Benchmark Genetics for supplies of genetics adapted to land-based farming.

The collaboration also includes a mutual exchange of expertise, Benchmark Genetics wrote in a press release.

Illustration: World Heritage Salmon

WHS plans an annual production of up to 100,000 tonnes of salmon, which equals a yearly demand of 20 – 25 million ova through the year.

The contract is initially for five years starting 2023, and with a further option for additional five years.
The two partners have agreed to exchange experience and expertise related to land-based farming, including both the project phase and the smolt and grow-out facilities’ operational phase.

CEO Hofseth BioCare and WHS chairman Roger Hofseth. PHOTO: Hofseth BioCare

WHS chairman Roger Hofseth said that the company has chosen to secure genetics at an early stage because they believe that this is one of the most important input factors for the success of land-based production in the future.

“Benchmark Genetics has extensive experience with land-based farming. We will use the time until the smolt and food fish facilities are up and running to share experiences and expertise to reduce risk and ensure optimal production,” he said.

The projected facility will consist of 15 tunnels with tanks. Each of them will constitute independent biological zones. Hofseth says that biosecurity is one of the reasons for choosing BG as a supplier.

“Their strategy with land-based broodstock and egg production and a comprehensive screening program gives us the security we need for reducing the biological risks for our production,” said Hofseth.

Benchmark Genetics Commercial Director Geir Olav Melingen. PHOTO: Benchmark

“When we are in operation, our need for ova will be between 20 and 25 million a year. It goes without saying that we will request deliveries throughout the year, including the summer months. Benchmark’s ability to deliver off-season eggs has also been an important factor in choosing them as our partner,” he added.

Geir Olav Melingen, Commercial Director at BG, said he was pleased that yet another land-based player is choosing genetics from the company.