Atlantic Sapphire has resumed normal production of salmon in Florida, it said overnight. Photo: Atlantic Sapphire.

Atlantic Sapphire bosses and fish breathe easy again after oxygen crisis

On-land salmon farmer Atlantic Sapphire has resumed normal feeding of fish after securing extra supplies of liquid oxygen (LOX) for its Bluehouse recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Florida, it said in a market update overnight.

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The company had stopped feeding to reduce demand for oxygen, which had been in short supply due to demand from hospitals in the state because of a spike in Covid-19 cases.

“In response to the shortage in the US market and potential negative effects on the operations of Atlantic Sapphire ASA, management took precautionary measures both to reduce its oxygen consumption and to engage in alternative supply sources, in order to avoid putting its biomass health at risk,” stated the fish farmer.

Multiple sources

“Over the last days, the company has been able to secure additional LOX deliveries through multiple different sources, including Miami-Dade County, its original oxygen supplier and three additional out-of-state sources of LOX. With the current schedule of LOX deliveries and supply chain redundancies in place, the company has been able to increase feeding to normal levels across all its fresh and saltwater systems. Although the company will continue to monitor the LOX situation closely, it expects to be in normal production going forward.”

Atlantic Sapphire has previously explained that it has always been the company’s plan to build its own oxygen generation unit at the site at a further stage in the construction process.

The company’s current aim is to reach steady state production of 10,000 tonnes (head on gutted) of salmon annually, but it has longer-term plans to produce 210,000 tonnes a year on the site.