Grieg Seafood is set to become the first mainstream salmon producer to invest in a land based site that will grow salmon to market size .
The joint venture in Western Norway will be called Årdal Aqua, and will produce 3,000 tonnes of post-smolt for restocking at conventional marine sites as well as up to 2,000 tonnes of market-sized salmon.
Årdal Aqua is one-third owned by Grieg Seafood, one-third by the smolt and post-smolt company Vest Havbruk and one-third by the Stavanger-based investor group Omfar.
CEO Andreas Kvame said: ““We are working hard to improve biology and fish welfare, and to reduce our impact.
“For a long time, we have invested in post-smolt, where we keep the fish longer on land before we release it into the sea, as an important part of the solution.
He added: “With Årdal Aqua we will be able to develop this farming method further. We aim for all of our fish in Rogaland to spend less than one year in the sea.
“Through our post-smolt investments we acquire competence on how to produce larger fish on land. Based on this knowledge, Årdal Aqua will also grow fish all the way to harvest size. We will take a step-by-step approach, as we know how complex biology is.”
The project is currently in the design development phase, and the company aims to start construction during the autumn of 2021.
Kvame remains convinced that different farming technologies and methods will complement each other in the future.
He said: “With continuous improvements that reduce the impact from our sea farms, something we work a lot on, farming in the seas will still be the main component of the industry going forward.
“Land-based farming is, however, a great supplement, and we look forward to taking part in the development of this technology. What we know for sure is that the world will need a lot more healthy and nutritious food with the lowest possible impact.”