Salmon Evolution reports mortality issues
Land-based farming company Salmon Evolution issued a mortality alert at the weekend after revealing that its new facility in Norway has been hit by biological issues.
It was less than two weeks ago that the company successfully raised half a billion kroner (around £40m) in a single afternoon.
But in an operational update on the Oslo stock exchange on Friday, Salmon Evolution said it was experiencing increased mortality levels in selected fish groups at its new Indre Harøy facility which were likely to lead to harvest delays.
It said: “As per 29 April 2023 the aggregated mortality level for each batch ranges from 0.3% – 7.9%.
The reason for the increased mortality is relating to gill health, suspected to be caused by external pathogens.”
The company is investigating the root cause and taking precautionary steps to mitigate the situation, including increased UV treatment levels on intake water.
It added: “The facility is otherwise operating under stable conditions with relevant water quality parameters at normal levels.”
Summarising the problems, Salmon Evolution said: “Batch 2: Current biomass is estimated to more than 800 tonnes (LW) with an average weight of approximately 4 kg (LW).
“Harvesting is planned to commence shortly with the full batch expected to be harvested by early June at the latest.
“Batch 3: Currently split into two fish groups with an average weight of around 1.6 kg (LW). One of the fish groups is currently experiencing increased mortality.
“Batch 4: Currently split into two fish groups. Low accumulated mortality, but at increased levels for the smallest group. Batch 5: Normal feeding and low mortality levels.”
It now plans to stock five additional batches this year of which the next two batches are planned stocked during the second quarter.
The statement concluded: “Depending on the future performance of the existing batches and any potential decisions to commence early harvest at suboptimal weights, expected timing for phase 1 steady state production volume may be delayed from late Q3 2023 to late Q4 2023.”