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Andreas Kvarme, CEO of Grieg Seafood, spoke at NASF last week. Image by Pål Mugaas Jensen
Andreas Kvarme, CEO of Grieg Seafood, spoke at NASF last week. Image by Pål Mugaas Jensen

Andreas Kvarme, CEO of Grieg Seafood, believes that the company can increase production by 10% a year over the next four years and that its Shetland operations will be radically improved after 2015 ended in "disaster".  

Speaking at NASF in Bergen last week, he revealed that the company’s EBIT fell to NOK 0.73 per kilo, down from NOK 5.30 the previous year.

The final quarter may have shown signs of improvement, with EBIT/kg rising to NOK 2.82, but this was by no means related to the company’s performance in Shetland.

“It went smoothly in Q4 in Norway and British Columbia, while in Shetland it was a disaster,” he said.

The company produced about 65,400 tonnes in 2015 and Kvarme thinks this should be 70,000 tonnes this year.

“We must improve our performance in Shetland by reducing the risk of algal blooms and subsequent mortality.”

To do this, he argued, the company needs to reduce the time its salmon spend at sea from 24 to 18 months by increasing smolt size by 50%, and stocking every quarter.

The company will be working with shellfish producers in Shetland to monitor algal blooms and will also be investing in new technology including upwelling pumps to move the algae out of cages. Furthermore they will be stepping up lumpsucker production.

“From June we will aim to produce around 400-500 thousand lumpfish,” he said.

As a result of these measures he aims to grow the company’s production by 10% a year until 2019.

"The most growth in volume will occur in Norway, thanks to our green licences in Finnmark, which should all be stocked by August,” he explained.