Illustrative sketch of the "Salmon Zero" concept. The smolts are put into the small concrete tank on the left, and are moved to larger tanks as they grow. Illustration photo: Eide Fjordbruk.

Go-ahead for enclosed fish farm after four-year wait

A Norwegian salmon farmer has finally been granted licences to develop a farm in which fish are grown in closed tanks in the sea, with water being pumped on to land for treatment.

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Eide Fjordbruk applied for three development permits for its “Salmon Zero” concept in July 2016. Norway’s Fisheries Directorate refused the application because it ruled that the project did not fulfil the condition of “considerable innovation”. 

The company appealed and has now been given one permit of 780 tonnes of maximum allowed biomass and one permit of 425 tonnes.

The Salmon Zero concept is described as a fully enclosed sea system with full recycling of production water. The plant will produce mature fish for harvest at a weight of about 6.5kg.

RAS on land

Production is to take place in closed cages in the sea. The recycling and water treatment systems will be mainly located on land, with parts of the water treatment integrated into the production units. The plant will be modular and can be scaled up or down as needed.

In the longer term it should be possible to move all installations to sea, with recirculation facilities on board a suitable barge.

Eide Fjordbruk AS farms in Hardangerfjord, Fensfjorden and Osterfjorden in Hordaland, and produces around 12,000 tonnes of salmon and rainbow trout a year.