Andfjord Salmon is excavating pools below sea level, allowing the company to use low-energy pumps that "push" the water in instead of lifting it. Image: Andfjord Salmon.

Andfjord Salmon delays first stocking to ensure best conditions

Andfjord Salmon, which is developing a novel on-land farm in Norway, has postponed the stocking of its first pool until next spring.

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The company originally planned to have smolts in the pool by around September this year, but construction work has been slowed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The latest Covid-19 response measures from the Norwegian Government have generated uncertainty concerning the initial schedule of the smolt release,” the company said on its website.

“Mandatory quarantine for foreign employees has reduced the capacity at the subcontractor level. Andfjord Salmon aims to ensure the most optimal biology, and has therefore decided to release the smolt during spring 2021.”

Martin Rasmussen: "The economic impact of this decision is minimal."

Welfare is priority

Chief executive Martin Rasmussen said: “The economic impact of this decision is minimal. While we could have remained on schedule, we would like to give the smolt best possible living conditions.

“We will ensure that the completed facility has a sufficient period of testing. Therefore, our overall assessment determines releasing the smolt during spring 2021 as more beneficial. The salmon’s welfare is our number one priority.”

Rasmussen said the company had also decided to expedite the construction of phase two of the facility, at Kvalnes on the island of Andøya, and phase three, which involves salmon farms at Fiskenes and Breivik, further north on the island.

Winter stocking

When phase two has been completed, Andfjord Salmon will be able to release smolt during the winter, with incoming water taken from a depth of 160 metres, which ensures optimal winter temperatures for salmon farming. The Kvalnes facility will initially not have this flexibility, with only the intake for water from 30 metres being completed this autumn. 

Andfjord is using a patented flow-through system. The salmon pools, excavated from rock, are located below sea level, and will therefore be filled up with fresh oxygen-rich sea water at a rate of 15-17 times a day.

Andfjord intends to eventually produce 70,000 tonnes maximum allowed biomass in total at its three locations.

Read more about Andfjord Salmon’s unique project in the current issue of Fish Farming Expert magazine, which can be accessed here or on the home page of