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AquaGen ‘egg-to-egg’ broodstock facility planned

AquaGen's Profunda facility is to be extended at a cost of £12.9m. Photo: AquaGen.
AquaGen's Profunda facility is to be extended at a cost of £12.9m. Photo: AquaGen.

International salmon ova supplier AquaGen has signed a NOK 150 million (£12.9m) contract for the expansion of its Profunda land-based facility used to grow salmon broodstock.

The Norway plant currently grows salmon from smolts of 100g to broodstock of 12-15 kg. With the new expansion, Profunda will be a full-cycle facility, meaning that the fish will have their entire life cycle in the facility, from egg to egg. The plant will have a capacity to deliver between 80 and 100 million eggs per year.

AquaGen acquired Profunda in 2017 and completed the first expansion phase with a new grow-out department in 2018, which quadrupled its capacity for broodstock production.

Profunda operations manager Frode Sætre with one of the facility's brood fish. Photo: AquaGen.
Profunda operations manager Frode Sætre with one of the facility's brood fish. Photo: AquaGen.

No disease

The latest expansion is to be delivered by contractor Artec Aqua by the spring of 2022 and will complete the strategy behind the acquisition, AquaGen said in a press release.

Profunda is situated in Barstadvik in Ørsta municipality, just south of Ålesund, and has produced salmon broodstock since 2010 without detection of any infectious disease or pathogenic viruses.

“The facility in Barstadvik utilises the geological features of the area, with deposits of silt, sand and gravel that have built up over the last 15,000 years, since the last ice age,” said Profunda operations manager Frode Sætre.

High biosecurity

That geology means the site has access to both marine and fresh groundwater extracted from deep wells in the ground, which gives a very high level of biosecurity.

AquaGen’s facilities include a facility at Holywood, near Dumfries in Scotland, where it produces eggs specifically for the Scottish market, with genetics tailored to local conditions.

It bought the former Scottish Sea Farms smolt production facility in 2019 and re-fitted it to re-purpose it.