The Norwegian fish farm company SalMar just received ‘Ocean farm 1’ from China and now sees big potential for offshore expansion.
Salmon farmers are venturing offshore to overcome production constraints caused by limits on coastal fishing licenses. Bard Skjelstad, head of biology for Norway’s SalMar, said.
The company is deploying Ocean Farm 1, an offshore salmon-growing facility that can operate in waters between 100 and 300 meters deep.
The farm was recently completed by the Chinese state-owned firm China Shipbuilding Industry. Another five farms are to follow at a total cost of $300 million.
“We’re quite humble about what might happen, but this structure will give us the possibility to solve many of our problems. One of the biggest advantages of this project is that we can move into other areas,” Skjelstad said.
Skjelstad’s comments came ahead of the AquaNor 2017 trade fair in Trondheim, Norway, where several companies announced technological advancements in offshore and land-based recirculating aquaculture systems. Marine Harvest, the world’s largest salmon farmer, is developing offshore ‘egg’ structures that can hold 1,000 metric tons of salmon each.
Another Norwegian company Erko Seafood is working on a similar offshore structure with engineering firm Global Maritime, while Akva Group is working on its Atlantis Subsea offshore salmon concept.