Ocean Farm 1 was handed over at Qingdao City shipyard in east China's Shandong Province in June.

World’s first offshore fish farm on its way to Norway

Salmar has taken delivery of Ocean Farm 1, the world's first deep-sea fish farm.

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Built by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group, a subsidiary of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, the semi-submersible structure was officially handed over at a red-carpet ceremony Qingdao City shipyard in east China's Shandong Province on Saturday.

Ocean Farm 1 is expected to arrive in Norway in about six weeks, where it will be positioned in Frohavet, off the coast of Trøndelag.

Ocean Farm 1 is expected to arrive in Norway in about six weeks.

Salmar, which owns 50 per cent of Scottish Sea Farms, was awarded the first development licences for the Ocean Farm 1 concept on February 28. The eight permits the company were granted are limited to 780 tonnes of salmon/trout each for a period of seven years.

"The future begins now," said Salmar's Gustav Witzøes when he and a delegation from the company participated in the official acquisition, according to Frøya.no.

New era in sustainable seafood 

Salmar said in a statement: "The conclusion of the construction project is a significant milestone for SalMar, but the real work starts now. Ocean Farm 1 is a full-scale pilot facility for testing, learning, research and development. It will be equipped for R&D activities, with particular focus on biological conditions and fish welfare. Aiming to reduce environmental footprints, improve fish welfare and answer acreage challenges, the learning and new solutions from the project could represent a new era in sustainable seafood production – and is potentially adaptable worldwide."

The 110-metre wide structure, which is 70 metres in height, can contain 250,000 cubic metres in volume and withstand magnitude 12 earthquakes. Some 20,000 sensors allow the marine site to achieve complete automation in monitoring and feeding the fish. The farm can mature up to 1.5 million fish in 14 months. It is also equipped with a 360 degree revolving gate for cleaning fish nets and driving fish shoals.