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Salmon farmer disappointed by biomass allocation for ‘Giant’ farm concept

The Eidsfjord Giant would be 270 metres long and 42 metres wide. Illustration: Eidsfjord Sjøfarm.
The Eidsfjord Giant would be 270 metres long and 42 metres wide. Illustration: Eidsfjord Sjøfarm.

Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries has given a commitment for seven development permits for salmon farmer Eidsfjord Sjøfarm’s concept “Eidsfjord Giant” after the company appealed a rejection of the concept. The company says the company has great faith in the project but is disappointed with the number of permits granted.

In August 2017, Eidsfjord Sjøfarm applied for 17 development permits for its project. The Directorate of Fisheries rejected the application in October 2018. Eidsfjord subsequently appealed the decision, and in February 2021, the Ministry of Trade and Industry revoked the Directorate of Fisheries’ decision.

The Directorate of Fisheries has now given Eidsfjord Sjøfarm a commitment of 5,175 tonnes of maximum allowable biomass (MTB), divided into six development permits of 780 tonnes and one development permit of 495 tonnes. At the same time, it rejected the application with regard to the other 8,085 tonnes applied for.

May appeal biomass allocation

Eidsfjord Sjøfarm spokesperson Kjell-Børge Freiberg told Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian sister site, Kyst.no, that the firm had just received the decision.

“We have great faith in the project and believe that the project can be the answer to the challenges that both the industry and politicians point to for the aquaculture industry. We are therefore disappointed that the Directorate of Fisheries grants 6.6 permits out of the 17 permits we had designed the project according to,” he said.

Freiberg says the company will now have to spend the next few days reviewing the decision and the reasons for the reduction in the number of permits.

“In this work, we will have to make careful assessments of whether the number of permits the project has been granted provides a sufficient basis for further work towards a realisation. In this work, we will also consider the possibility of appealing the decision to the Ministry of Trade and Industry,” he said.

Post-smolt production

The Eidsfjord Giant concept is an anchored hull construction with closed cages that are open at the top, but under a roof. The hull construction is 270 metres long and 42 metres wide, and will contain six vessels with a diameter of 35 metres and a depth of 12 metres.

The fish farming company plans to collect water from variable depths under the lice belt and use an electric filter to prevent salmon lice and other parasites in the intake water. Organic waste will be collected, dried and transported to land. According to the applicant, the purpose of the closed construction is that the environment in the tanks can be optimised to provide increased growth.

The concept is a post-smolt plant where smolt are grown to a size of 2.6-2.7 kg before being moved to open-net pens.