VIP welcome for new Grieg Newfoundland salmon facility

Grieg Seafood hatchery and smolt facility in Placentia Bay

A high-level delegation, including Canadian federal and regional government officials, turned out for the official opening of Grieg Seafood’s new aquaculture facility near Marystown, Newfoundland at the weekend.

Also present at the Placentia Bay event was Jon Elvedal Fredriksen, Norway’s Ambassador to Canada, who jointly cut the ribbon with Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Grieg says Canada and Norway are now its prime targets for future growth. It sold its Shetland and Scottish business to Scottish Sea Farms for £164 million last year to part fund those plans.

The plant (pictured above) includes a hatchery and a smolt operation, with the first fish expected to be transferred into the ocean in the next few months. The ultimate goal is to produce up to 45,000 tonnes of salmon at the site.

The fish transfer should have taken place last year, but was delayed after a single case of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) was discovered. Grieg culled up to a million salmon as a precautionary measure to reduce risk.

But that setback was forgotten on Friday for the launch of Grieg’s Newfoundland project, where investment is expected to total more than CAN $150 million (£92.5 million) and which includes a 250,000 sq. ft. smolt building.

Grieg CEO Andreas Kvame described the potential for aquaculture development in Canada as being significant.

Addressing an audience of guests at the launch, Kvame said the Placentia Bay development was four times larger than Grieg’s farm site in Stavanger, Norway. “That can give you some idea of what you can be in the Blue economy,” he added.

Knut Skeidsvoll, managing director of Grieg Seafood Newfoundland, added: “I am particularly proud of the accomplishments of our local team over the past seven years in building this project. We look forward to our region being a contributor towards the bright future of the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland.”

The Israeli company AquaMaof has developed special water recirculation technology which Grieg says is the first of its kind for the fish farming industry, allowing 100% recirculation of water.

AquaMaof said the system reduces energy costs and “strict biosecurity protocols and complete environmental control enable elimination of antibiotics and chemicals in the process and high survival rates.”

Newfoundland’s Fisheries Minister Derrick Bragg said such technological innovation made him confident about the future safety of aquaculture.