Fish from Bue Salmon's first harvest.

Land-based salmon farmer celebrates successful first harvest


A Norwegian land-based fish farmer that previously produced post-smolts has completed its first production cycle of harvest-sized salmon.

During May and June, Bue Salmon sold 514 tonnes of food fish at an average price of NOK 99.2 (£7.36) per kilo and achieved a superior share of 95%.

Bue Salmon farms its fish at a pilot facility comprising four circular, flow-through tanks sunk into the ground. The tanks are 9 metres deep and each one holds 3,700 cubic metres of water.

The farm is situated on the island of Gjørøyna in Bulandet, an archipelago in the sea off the mainland coast of Vestland county. There is sea on all sides and low terrain that ensures the lowest possible lifting height to pump sea into the tanks, reducing energy requirements.

Bue Salmon said it used 2.7 kWh per kilo of fish when producing post-smolts up to 1 kg, which is much lower than the average for Norwegian recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facilities, another form of land-based production.

Bue's pilot plant on the Bulandet archipleago

Reasons for optimism

“We are very satisfied with the development we have seen in the company recently. Our first ‘Buelaks’ have been sold and distributed, and the plant will soon be ready for new use in August. This quarter has confirmed that we have made sound judgments,” said Bue Salmon chief executive Knut Eikeland in the company’s quarterly results.

“We have every reason to be optimistic about the company's future development.”

The pilot facility has a capacity of 1,400 tonnes of post-smolt and farmed fish, with a licence to produce a total of 5,500 tonnes in Bulandet. Bue is now scaling up the site at Bulandet and plans to build a significantly larger land-based farming facility at Lutelandet, an island close to shore that is attached to the mainland by a bridge.

With this expansion, Bue aims to become a leading company in land-based aquaculture, with an eventual annual production of around 50,000-60,000 tonnes.

Among the highlights of the quarter was a positive preliminary statement from the state administrator, which gives Bue Salmon optimism for its licence in Lutelandet. The company is also in the process of finalising its strategy process and has entered into a strategic partnership with DNB bank for further funding.

One of the four tanks built into the ground at Gjørøyna. The tanks are 9 metres deep and each holds 3,700m³.