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Closed cage developer in contract talks with farmers

Aquafarm Equipment is negotiating with several farmers to supply a new version of the Neptune cage, now with everything integrated into the cage construction. Illustration: Aquafarm Equipment.
Aquafarm Equipment is negotiating with several farmers to supply a new version of the Neptune cage, now with everything integrated into the cage construction. Illustration: Aquafarm Equipment.

The developer of a closed cage salmon farming concept featuring tanks made of glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) reinforced with steel has revealed it is in contract negotiations with several Norwegian salmon farmers.

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Aquafarm Equipment has so far sold its Neptune 3 closed cage to Marine Harvest, which is running a test production of post-smolts at its Skånevik site in Norway.

Now the Haugesund-based firm is ready to sell an improved version of the Neptune 3, which integrates everything required for a salmon farm.

“The production that’s now taking place in Marine Harvest's cage has been very good, even in the winter,” said Atle Presthaug, who is in charge of Aquafarm’s development.

"We are in contract negotiations with several companies on the new version. It will have a frame around where everything from pumps and lining is integrated so that you do not have to have this on separate rafts.”

Aquafarm has been awarded NOK 18 million over two years by the EU’s Horizon 2020 project to develop the Neptune cage, currently for post-smolts, into something that can be used to grow full-sized fish.

With this in mind, Aquafarm has also applied for six development permits from Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries, but the application was rejected last October.

“We have an appeal to this. We have the need for that arena to test the concept completely. The cage is today for post-smolts, and the development permits are for food fish. I hope to get an answer to the appeal before the summer,” said Presthaug.

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