Salmon farmer Erko Seafood AS and offshore engineering services provider Global Maritime AS plan to construct a stationary platform which would be located in the open sea.
The goal of the concept – dubbed North Sea Fish Farm - is to move salmon farming out of the Norwegian fjords, beyond the coastline areas, and into the open ocean where they believe it can benefit from larger production areas and volumes.
The developers say the plan is completely different from all the other concepts that have applied for concessions from the Norwegian Fishery Directorate.
Erko Seafood and Global Maritime say they believe it’s possible to achieve huge improvements in relation to the environmental challenges currently faced by fish farmers and should see great advancements “especially in counteracting the impact of lice on wild salmon (as is the case in Norwegian fjords), and in the ability to greatly expand production areas and prevent contamination and runoff into the local environment”.
They point out that a stationary platform, on the Norwegian continental shelf, located in the open sea will also be subject to extreme forces of nature and must therefore have a solid, sound structure and be of a substantial size to withstand such forces.
In a press release, the companies say they have collaborated to develop the North Sea Fish Farm concept, following a feasibility workshop and study in autumn 2016 and a conceptual study in 2017. The work includes structural design, geotechnical studies, general arrangement of the installation, fish welfare - including fish technical equipment, hydrodynamic analysis of environmental loads on the net and structure, risk analysis, safety analysis (including evaluation of legislation, transport method evaluation and assembly and installation), and the cost estimation of design, build and operations.
Erko Seafood has applied to the Norwegian authorities for 16 development permits totalling 12,480 tons.
Erko Seafood is owned by Haugland Group AS, and was founded by Haugland family from Austevoll in 2005. The company currently has 10 aquaculture licences and an estimated production of 12,500 tons of gutted salmon and trout, according to their website.