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Bakkafrost's Glyvradal hatchery, which will produce four million smolts annually when expansion work is complete. Photo: Bakkafrost.
Bakkafrost's Glyvradal hatchery, which will produce four million smolts annually when expansion work is complete. Photo: Bakkafrost.

Faroese salmon farmer Bakkafrost has signed an agreement with Norwegian recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology company Nofitech to expand its Glyvradal smolt hatchery by 13,000m³.

The annual production of the hatchery is expected to increase to four million smolt when the expansion project is completed.

The expansion of the Glyvradal hatchery capacity is part of Bakkafrost’s strategy to farm the salmon for a longer period on land. Its goal is to reach an average smolt size of 500 grams and to reduce the farming period at sea down to 12 months by 2022.

Bakkafrost chief executive Regin Jacobsen, left, and Nofitech boss Robert Hundstad sign the contract for the hatchery expansion. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Bakkafrost.
Bakkafrost chief executive Regin Jacobsen, left, and Nofitech boss Robert Hundstad sign the contract for the hatchery expansion. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Bakkafrost.

Minimal risk

“With the expansion of the Glyvradal smolt hatchery, we are one step closer to achieving our overall goal to farm our salmon for a longer period on land,” said Bakkafrost chief executive Regin Jacobsen in a press release.

“This is part of our strategy to farm superior salmon in a sustainable way with minimal biological risk”.

Nofitech chief executive Robert Hundstad said: “We are very excited and humbled that Bakkafrost has given us the opportunity to be in the lead of this visionary project and to be part of the exciting development in the industry of salmon farming.”

More capacity

Bakkafrost, which owns the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), is currently also expanding the smolt hatcheries at Viðareiði and Norðtoftir. With the expansion of the three smolt hatcheries, Bakkafrost will increase its total smolt capacity by 30,000m³.

The company is also expanding an SSC hatchery at Applecross and is looking for suitable sites for two further large hatcheries in Scotland as part of plans to grow larger smolts for SSC.

“Once fully implemented, the large-smolt strategy will be a game changer for the farming operation (in Scotland),” Bakkafrost said in its third-quarter report earlier this month, although it did not specify what size the Scottish smolts will be when put to sea.

An illustration of how the finished hatchery will look. Image: Bakkafrost.
An illustration of how the finished hatchery will look. Image: Bakkafrost.