Green light for SalMar offshore project

How SalMar Aker Ocean's smart fish farm will look

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has cleared the way for SalMar Aker Ocean to place a giant offshore fish farm in the Norwegian Sea.

The approval includes permission for just 9,000 tonnes of salmon in the first production cycle. The Authority says this limit is because consideration for the needs and biology of fish is very important in the development of new technology for aquaculture.

SalMar Aker Ocean will be responsible for documenting how the necessary considerations for fish health and fish welfare are taken care of throughout the entire production chain.

The company was created last year by SalMar and the industrial investment business Aker to develop offshore and semi-offshore farming, first in Norway and eventually on a global scale.

The two partners said at the launch that their plan is: “…to create ‘the world’s most reliable and intelligent aquaculture business out at sea with the highest requirements for fish welfare’ along with an ambition for zero emissions for the entire value chain.”

The Food Safety Authority said: “The promise of development permits leaves room for somewhat more uncertainty than the operation of ordinary permits, when it comes to documentation of the suitability of solutions that affect fish health and fish welfare.

“The operation must nevertheless be within the framework for soundness set in the animal health and animal welfare regulations.

“The regulations surrounding aquaculture at sea must be clarified before final approval can be granted.”

It also points out that establishing offshore fish farming platforms outside Norwegian territorial waters does present certain challenges in relation to certain fish diseases.

Earlier this year the Norwegian Government committed to consulting on a new set of rules for offshore fish farming.