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The company currently has no illustrations of the facility at Frya. Above is a preliminary situation sketch of the plant used as a basis in the discharge permit. Image: Frya Oppdrett.
The company currently has no illustrations of the facility at Frya. Above is a preliminary situation sketch of the plant used as a basis in the discharge permit. Image: Frya Oppdrett.

A Norwegian company that plans to farm mountain trout – a variant of brown trout – on land has received positive feedback from authorities.

Frya Oppdrett has applied for a maximum permitted biomass of 6,000 tonnes of mountain trout (Salmo trutta alpinus) which would enable it to produce 8,000 tonnes of fish per year at a site in Ringebu municipality in Norway’s second-biggest county, Innlandett.

The company also plans a hatchery, broodstock facility and processing plant and has applied for a hatchery permit to raise 6 million juveniles per year to an average weight 90 grams. A separate application has been made to the Directorate of Fisheries’ head office to allow broodstock to be kept at the site.

No impact on river

Frya Oppdrett’s planning application states that the water in the plant will be recycled with a high degree of purification. Wastewater from production and the processing plant will be cleaned and disinfected before being filtered through the ground.

According to the application, Frya Oppdrett will thus have no direct intervention with the 127-mile-long Gudbrandsdalslågen river since the water supply comes from groundwater wells, and the drainage returns to the groundwater through infiltration.

Recommended

In a consultation statement, the Directorate of Fisheries, Region South, writes that its assessment is that the facility will not affect fishing interests or marine biological diversity.

“We therefore recommend that permission be granted for a new land-based aquaculture site in Ringebu municipality, provided that permission is granted for broodstock from the Directorate of Fisheries’ head office,” the Region South office states.

Olav Skjøtskift: Expecting approval by late summer or autumn. Photo: LinkedIn.
Olav Skjøtskift: Expecting approval by late summer or autumn. Photo: LinkedIn.

Water extraction

Olav Skjøtskift is Frya Oppdrett’s chief executive. He told Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian sister site, LandbasedAQ, that the processing of the application is now under way and pointed out that the company had also received a positive consultation response regarding abstraction of groundwater, in addition to the response from the Directorate of Fisheries.

“Since inland aquaculture is not something the administration in Innlandet county municipality works with on a daily basis, we understand that they need somewhat more time for treatment than the 22 weeks specified in regulations on processing time of aquaculture applications,” he said.

Skjøtskift said the company envisaged that it would receive final approval during the late summer / autumn of 2022.

An illustration of Driva's first mountain trout RAS at Oppdal, which is expected to send fish to market by late 2025. Image: Driva Aquaculture.
An illustration of Driva's first mountain trout RAS at Oppdal, which is expected to send fish to market by late 2025. Image: Driva Aquaculture.

Driva Aquaculture

Frya Oppdrett is 100% owned by Driva Aquaculture AS, which is already building a 4,000-tonne mountain trout facility at Oppdal, close to the Driva river in Trøndelag county, which borders Innlandet to the north. Recirculating aquaculture system technology is being supplied by the Israeli company AquaMaof.

The first fish from Oppdal should reach the market by November 2025, with the first from Ringebu on sale in October 2027.

Driva also has ambitions to build or buy a plant or plants overseas, in the United States, Japan, or the European Union. Selection of location(s) would be based on market traction, and optimal supply and demand.