Dismay over permit limits for Eidsfjord’s platforms

The Eidsfjord Giant

A 270-metre long futuristic fish farming vessel known as the Eidsfjord Giant has been awarded less than half the number of development permits it had applied for.

The company, Eidsfjord Sjøfarm, which is part of the Holmoy group, originally applied for 17 permits, but Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries has granted just seven. The company said it needs more time to study the decision and decide what it will mean for the business.

The saga goes back to 2017 when Eidsfjord Sjøfarm submitted an application for development licences for the Eidsfjord Giant which was initially rejected by the Directorate on the grounds not enough innovation was involved.

The then Fisheries Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen thought differently and decided that the project should be considered for development licences.

Eidsfjord Sjøfarm said at the time that the project involved significant financial investment which would lead to jobs and innovation.

The Directorate’s latest decision has been made with the following conditions:

  • It is a prerequisite for using the commitment that the locality has been cleared and a permit document has been issued.
  • The development permits shall be operated in accordance with the application and what is described in the decision here. The permits can only be used in Eidsfjord Giant. This applies until possible conversion, cf. the Salmon Allocation Regulations § 23c.
  • Biomass from the development permits cannot be used at sites that have not been cleared for development permits.

The Eidsfjord Giant is a closed farming concept with six large containers  that prevents access for salmon lice and other parasites, with a separate treatment plant for organic emissions.

The salmon is fed until it reaches a weight of approx. 2.5 kg and then it is moved to open facilities at sea where the salmon is ready for slaughter.

Fresh seawater is obtained from the surroundings and the closed facility gives Eidsfjord Giant the opportunity to protect the fish, so that it can grow large and strong for life at sea.

The company said: “We believe that production in closed facilities at sea has great potential, which both provides lice-free salmon and is area-saving.”