BioFish gets the nod to increase smolt production

The smolt breeder BioFish has been given the go-ahead by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority to more than treble its annual production.

The company’s subsidiary BioFish AS will now be able to raise output from 1.5 million to five million smolt.

The decision also includes permission to phase out the last tanks running with flow-through technology and replace them with a RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) alternative.

BioFish said the decision is an important milestone in the group’s “Green Fish-Farming” philosophy.

It describes itself as a land-based producer of smolt – juvenile fish destined for aquaculture facilities. The expanded licence is likely to have a biomass of some 2,200 tonnes a year.

Its production takes place in its production facility in Kvam on the Norwegian west coast using a RAS which recycles at least 99% of the water used.

BioFish delivers smolt to salmon farms along the entire Norwegian coast, mostly in under a day, and can also deliver its products to customers further afield in northern Europe.

A few weeks ago it successfully completed a £12m listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange. It is thought much of that money will go towards repaying debt.

The group was established five years ago and since then it has invested more than £10m (NOK 130m) in RAS technology which it says allows the company to regulate the environmental impact and eliminate the risk of salmon lice.

The current RAS facility consists of a hatchery and feeding, onward growing and vaccination stations. Smolt of up to 200 grams are produced before being sold onto fish farmers.

It has access to fresh water from a nearby lake and saltwater from its fjord.