Strong growth from SalMar’s first offshore giant, Ocean Farm 1, has been the main driver for further expansion using this method of salmon farming, one of the company’s leading executives has said.
SalMar announced last week that it plans to strengthen its focus on offshore aquaculture in the next few years.
Following a long voyage from China, the full scale pilot Ocean Farm 1 was placed in an exposed area of sea off the coast of Frøya in Central Norway in the autumn of 2017. Since then two production cycles have been completed, delivering 10,000 tonnes of superior quality salmon to market.
Olav-Andreas Ervik, CEO of SalMar Ocean, the division responsible for the offshore business, said: “We have been able to observe strong biological results, with strong growth, low mortality, low sea lice levels and a production costs on par with the best coastal locations.”
Experience from the construction and operation of Ocean Farm 1 had now made it possible to develop even better and more cost-effective solutions as the company prepared to build new units for use in exposed areas and in the open ocean.
“The next technological leap for SalMar’s offshore development is Smart Fish Farm, which is planned to be established in the open ocean outside of Central Norway. SalMar has ambitions to build a series of these units for offshore production, based on the experience gained, provided that the authorities open up for locations and licenses in these areas.
“In the open ocean, the Gulf Stream supplies a continuous flow of high-quality water at the right temperature. We have no need to add further energy or fresh water. And the Gulf Stream gets its power from the sun, wind and other deep ocean currents,” Ervik explained.
SalMar’s focus on offshore fish farming will form the basis for a new era in aquaculture with significant effects also for the supplier industry, Ervik contended.
By being at the forefront with solutions and experience, suppliers will be able to secure a competitive edge in a new and potentially vast national and international market.
Meanwhile, SalMar is strengthening its offshore drive with group chief finance and operating officer Trine Sæther Romuld, moving over to take on the post of CFO and Director of Strategy at SalMar Ocean.
Group’s CEO Gustav Witzøe said: “SalMar’s focus on the open ocean marked the start of a new era in the seafood industry.
Offshore fish farming opens vast new areas for sustainable food production and helps to secure the world’s food supply in a long-term perspective.
“By strengthening the team in SalMar Ocean with the appointment of Trine Sæther Romuld, we are further reinforcing this important strategic effort for SalMar.”