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Norway's Fisheries Directorate has rejected Mowi's application for development licences for its AquaStorm concept. Image: Mowi.
Norway's Fisheries Directorate has rejected Mowi's application for development licences for its AquaStorm concept. Image: Mowi.

Plans by salmon farmer Mowi to grow fish in subsea cages that could be used up to 100 kilometres offshore have been rejected by Norway’s Fisheries Directorate.

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Mowi had applied for 36 Norwegian development licences for the project, called AquaStorm.

The company wanted to farm salmon in cages that would be kept 15 metres below the surface and could be lowered as deep as 50 metres if weather conditions required.

Mowi proposed using pipes and cables to supply and control the farm from the shore. Click on image to enlarge. Image: Mowi.
Mowi proposed using pipes and cables to supply and control the farm from the shore. Click on image to enlarge. Image: Mowi.

Technologically demanding

But officials have ruled that the application didn’t have enough detail and failed to meet the requirements for providing “significant innovation”.

“The AquaStorm concept appears to be relatively demanding to explore technologically,” said the Directorate in its statement rejecting the application.

It wrote that Mowi’s application should contain documentation corresponding to the demanding concept.

The AquaStorm concept itself is perceived by the Directorate as a well-planned project.

“Good plans, however, are not enough to substantiate the realisation of the concept to the extent required by the development licence scheme and the complexity of the concept,” said the authority.

Immature project

The Directorate said it considered that the project is in a phase with unresolved conceptual details that cannot be confirmed before further analyses and studies of the technology have been carried out. 

In addition, the Directorate stated that it didn’t find design and construction analyses of the concept in the application. It described the project as immature and emphasised that the application does not document the concept’s feasibility.

Mowi previously emphasised that the realisation of the concept was dependent on the authorities granting the project enough permits. Norway’s development licences allow fish farmers extra biomass for a limited period to offset the cost of developing new and innovative ways of growing salmon.

The company already has alternative development licence projects, including the Marine Donut and the Egg, both floating closed containment facilities. Neither project received the full number of development licences Mowi applied for.

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