Green light for SalMar’s offshore fish farm

Offshore salmon farming company SalMar Aker Ocean says it has received approval for the location of its Smart Fish Farm in the Norwegian Sea.

The decision has come from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries. The Smart Fish Farm will be operated by Mariculture AS, a company wholly owned by SalMar Aker Ocean AS, which itself is jointly owned by seafood giant SalMar and marine engineering business Aker.

CEO Roy Reite said: “This is an important step forward in realizing the potential of offshore aquaculture.”

He added: “The next important milestones for us are the clarifications related to ground rent tax and the regulatory framework for offshore aquaculture.”

The salmon tax could become the sticking point against progress being made on this important next development in salmon farming.

SalMar has been the main pioneer in offshore farming with its Ocean Farm platform, but last week Gustav Witzoe, its founder and Chairman, said there would be no progress if the tax issue is not clarified. At the moment the tax is only levied against coastal or fjord based fish farms.

It was almost two years ago that SalMar and Aker, two of the leading players in their respective field in fish farming and industrial engineering , came together to launch SalMar Aker Ocean.

This new operation will operate fish farming in weather-exposed areas and far out to sea and continues SalMar’s long-standing investment in this field.

SalMar and Aker have big plans for SalMar Aker Ocean. The aim is for the company to produce 150,000 tonnes of salmon annually by the end of 2030 under fantastic conditions and on the salmon’s terms. The company will thereby be one of the world’s largest salmon producers.

The major investment depends, among other things, on the authorities in Norway making arrangements for it, but they say they are not sitting idly by and waiting.

“We have already completed two successful production cycles with the sea cage Ocean Farm 1 and have concrete plans to expand the business with two more facilities,” SalMar Aker Ocean added.

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