Gigante Salmon encounters high mortality in smolt release

Gigante Salmon (company presentation 2021)

Norwegian land-based salmon farmer Gigante Salmon has reported “significant mortality” with its second smolt batch.

The company said in its 2023 Q4 report that the first delivery went very well, but there were problems with the second delivery at its Rødøy facility in the north of the country.

It said: “We will return with an update when the scope has been clarified.”

On a brighter note, the company has now started production with a release of 640,000 smolt with an average weight of approximately 100 grams.

As previously announced, the start of production in the original plan has been postponed.

CEO Helge E. W. Albertsen said: “In order not to affect the further production plan for the facility to an overly large extent, we have chosen to deploy fewer smolt than [we] originally planned to be deployed last autumn.

“Our focus is now to ensure fish welfare in the best way, while also gaining experience and secure good operations.”

Fish have been released in one of three production basins. The last two will be completed throughout 2024, and the next smolt release is expected in the third quarter.

From Q4 the company reported:

  • Additional financing in the amount of NOK 306 million (£23m) secured.
  • Preparations, groundwork and installations in technical area for phase 1 and phase 2 completed.
  • Organisational changes in advance of the start of operations and phase 2 of development.
  • Filling of production basin 3 begun on 15 December.
  • Release of fish in production basin 3 starting week 3 in 2024.
  • Construction manager for phase 2 of the project hired.
  • On-going work towards completion of phase 1.
  • Preparations for start of phase 2.

Gigante Salmon shares fell sharply on the Oslo Stock Exchange this morning following news of its mortality problems.

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