Aquaculture company Eidsfjord Sjøfarm AS has been given a partial go ahead to develop a 900-foot long “submarine-like” offshore fish farm.
The project had earlier been rejected by the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, but the Ministry of Trade and Industry has overruled that decision, saying it believes that the concept now meets the requirement for significant innovation.
Known as the Eidsfjord Giant, the project will be sent back to the Directorate for further discussions over its eventual development.
The Trade Ministry’s decision is not a definite green light, however. The Directorate will also assess whether the application meets the other conditions for obtaining development permits, including the condition of major investment.
Fisheries and Seafood Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said the decision was an important one and he looked forward to following further what he described as an “exciting” project.
Britain’s Rolls-Royce has played a big part in the technical development of the Eidsfjord Giant, which is 270 metres long and holds six closed fish wells.
Eidsfjord Sjøfarm applied for 17 development permits for the concept, which will involve large scale investment. It will enable fish to grow up to 2.5 kg before being transferred to larger pens.
It is one of a number of futuristic and potentially exciting offshore salmon projects currently under consideration in Norway. Most are waiting for the effects of the pandemic to lift and for salmon prices to return to more realistic levels before proceeding further.
Based in Sortland in the Nordland region, Eidsfjored Sjøfarm AS owns 16 salmon licences, employs around 35 people and has been experiencing considerable growth in recent years.
It is part of the larger Holmøy Holding group, whose other interests include deep sea trawling.