Offshore salmon farm plan backed by industrial group

A pilot version of an offshore salmon farm design is to be built following a deal between the concept’s developers and the newly formed aquaculture business unit of Moreld, a Norwegian industrial group.

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Moreld Aqua has entered into a commercial agreement with salmon and trout farmer Erko Seafood for the further design and construction of the GM Aqua offshore farm, based on a design developed by Global Maritime and promoted by Erko.

Erko has previously been refused permits for the development concept, but has appealed, and an application for seven permits has been defined by Norway’s Fisheries Directorate to be “within the scheme”, although there are ongoing clarifications. If Erko is granted seven permits that would allow it to grow 5,760 tonnes of fish.

The GM Aqua offshore cage was rejected by the Fisheries Directorate but that decision has been overturned on appeal. Click on image to enlarge. Image: Global Maritime.

New methods required

“We are convinced that to reach the Norwegian government’s vision of 5 million tonnes of sustainable aquaculture production in 2050, new methods for production will need to be developed,” said Moreld Aqua in a press release.

“Moreld Aqua is teaming up with Global Maritime and Erko Seafood to solve this challenge by developing an offshore concept. GM Aqua design will allow salmon production to be carried out in new locations offshore. Moreld and Erko will be working closely over the next months to prove the concept’s advantages and are aiming to build and operate the first pilot.”

Endre Haugland, chairman of Erko Seafood, which produces around 12,000 gutted weight tonnes of fish annually, said: “We are pleased to see the GM Aqua design project moving forward. We believe that developing this concept that preserves the salmon’s welfare in its natural habitat is part of the solution to reach the industry’s sustainable growth ambitions.”

Offshore competence

Moreld is an industrial group with 3,200 employees. It has a strong position in the offshore oil and gas industry and a strategy to target new customer segments based on existing competencies.

As well as the offshore fish farm, Moreld Aqua is offering fish farmers:

  • Its SCADA+ (Aqua) digital solution for the operation and follow up of the entire value chain of aquaculture;
  • Prefabricated recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) units comprising aluminium tanks with RAS technology delivered fully assembled to the construction site;
  • Hybrid battery solutions for greener operations of fish farms. The system is controlled by Moreld’s energy management system based on SCADA+ technology allowing fish farmers to remotely monitor fuel consumption and optimise their operations for reduced carbon footprint.
Helge Hydle: "Our experience from the energy industry will contribute to safe operations and sustainable growth." Photo: Origo Solutions.

Helge Hydle, a former managing director of Global Maritime with more than 15 years of experience from the offshore and maritime industry, has been recruited to lead the new business unit.

“Moreld Aqua will capitalise on Moreld group’s expertise within several disciplines from energy management to marine operations, to deliver new products and services to the market,” said Hydle.

“With the emergence of new and more complex production methods for fish farming, both on- and offshore, we believe our experience from the energy industry will contribute to safe operations and sustainable growth”.