Faroese salmon farmer Bakkafrost is forecasting a 17% higher total harvest for the first three months of this year.
In a Q1 trading update, the group said output for both the Faroe Islands and Scotland will reach 21,000 tonnes, compared to 18,000 tonnes over the same period last year. The increase in production was seen in the Faroes, while Scotland saw a slight fall in volume.
The total, heads on gutted, is made up of: Faroe Islands Farming North 11,400 tonnes (2020: 6,300 tonnes); Farming West 2,500 tonnes (2020: 2,800 tonnes); Farming South 100 tonnes (2020: 1,600 tonnes) and Farming Scotland 7,000 tonnes (2020: 7,300 tonnes).
Feed sales in Q1 2021 were 23,800 tonnes (19,100 tonnes). Havsbrún sourced 48.5 thousand tonnes of raw materials in Q1 2021.
The main reason for the large increase at Faroe Farming North this year is that in February 2020 the area was battered by some of the worst storms seen on the islands for many years, which affected output. They lasted for at least four days and took a heavy toll on fish farming operations, leading to the loss of around a million small fish and harvest volumes being 10% lower.
In its annual report, published a few weeks ago, Bakkafrost said that, storms apart, farming operations in the Faroe Islands have performed well last year with strong growth and fish of exceptionally high quality. It looks as if that trend is continuing, especially in the northern sector.
The report also said farming operations in Scotland were continuing to improve in terms of key performance indicators.
The full Q1 2021 report will be published on 11 May.