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Trout farmer buys closed pen for bigger post-smolts

A member of the Firda team with a fjord trout. The company intends to grow post-smolts to 1 kg in SCCS. Photo: Firda website.
A member of the Firda team with a fjord trout. The company intends to grow post-smolts to 1 kg in SCCS. Photo: Firda website.

Norwegian trout farmer Firda Seafood Group has become the latest company to order a floating semi-closed containment system (SCCS) for growing smolts to a larger size before stocking them in net pens.

Firda has ordered a Certus 15000 cage from market leader Fiizk and has an option for a further three SCCS.

The first Certus 15000 will be ready for start-up and production of post-smolt in the autumn of 2022, said Fiizk, which recently added rival SCCS supplier Ecomerden into its portfolio of companies.

The Certus 15000 has four intakes that bring water into the enclosure from beneath the lice layer. Click on image to enlarge.
The Certus 15000 has four intakes that bring water into the enclosure from beneath the lice layer. Click on image to enlarge.

150g to 1 kg

Firda plans two crops per year and aims to take the fish from 150g to approximately 1 kg in the SCCS before growing fish to harvest weight in open-net pens.

“Fiizk is very pleased with the agreement with Firda Seafood, and we are already well under way with the project,” said Fiizk’s sales manager for closed facilities, Magnus Stendal.

Nicolai Berg-Arnesen, executive vice president (farming) at Firda Seafood Group AS, said: “We look forward to using this system and believe this form of production can help reduce the residence time in open pens, and thus reduce the period the fish are exposed to lice.

“Overall, we believe this will improve fish welfare, reduce the number of lice in the production cycle and thus also reduce the industry’s footprint. However, it would be of great help if the authorities facilitated manufacturers who want to use such solutions, by compensating with increased MTB (maximum allowed biomass) so that environmental measures such as this can be implemented. It would strengthen the industry’s sustainability and help promote fish welfare while maintaining our competitive advantage in the Norwegian aquaculture industry and jobs on the coast.”

Best seller

Fiizk says the Certus 15000 model is the market’s best-selling semi-closed pen.

A specially designed rigid steel floating collar ensures proper buoyancy of the system and functions as a safe work platform for the operator.

A strong industrial PVC screen closes the production volume and four independent seawater intakes deliver large volumes of seawater from beneath the lice layer (approximately the top 10 metres of the water column) directly into the semi-closed system.

The pen environment is continuously monitored and recorded through a sensor network. Oxygen is added automatically when required. The control and management system provides automatic operation, monitoring and emergency alerting.

Hiddenfjord

Trondheim-headquartered Fiizk had a successful 2021, securing orders for four Certus 15000 SCCS for Faroese salmon farmer Hiddenfjord.

The farmer will use the enclosures to on-grow post-smolts from 600g to an average weight of 2 kg before they are transferred to net pens. This will reduce the time spent in net pens from 12-14 months to between four and six months, reducing or possibly negating the need for lice treatments.

In November, Fiizk announced it had clinched an order for its biggest-ever SCCS – two Certus 30000 cages for Norwegian salmon and trout farmer Osland Havbruk. The enclosures have a volume of 30,000m³, twice the capacity of the largest systems Fiizk has previously delivered.

Certus 30000 SCCS are also being considered by Loch Long Salmon (LLS), which is planning to produce 4,000 tonnes of salmon annually at a site at Beinn Reith, Loch Long in Argyll, Scotland. The company plans to install four 30,000m³ SCCS and a floating, semi-closed harvest station if it gets permission for the project.