Ocean Farm 1 arrived in Norwegian waters last week. Photo: Salmar

Now we get down to work, says Salmar chief

Trond Williksen, managing director of Salmar, says he is pleased that the construction and delivery of the world’s first offshore fish farm has been completed and now it is time to “focus on operations”.

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Ocean Farm 1 arrived in Frøyfjorden on Tuesday following an 11-week journey from China.

Speaking to kyst.no, Williksen said: “In the next few days and weeks we will review procedures and tests, and the cage should be anchored on the site so that it is prepared for the first fish until autumn. Now we focus on the operations.”

Salmar chief Trond Williksen

Challenging phase

The cage will initially hold one million fish of 250 grams. “We will enter an operational pilot phase that will last for about one year until the fish reaches the target weight,” he said.

“We are very pleased to have the construction of the structure behind us and to have the cage transported upwards. But to operationalise technology is the next challenging phase. It is not just pressing a button and we are there. There is new technology and much needs to be learned. We want to contribute to a solution to the future aquaculture industry and there is a lot of technology that needs to be optimised.”

Specialist team

During the pilot phase, a specialist team with technical, operational and biological competence will work on the farm.

“The team was established a while ago and have undergone a training program around the technology. After the pilot phase, there will be 12 employees in the shift scheme working on the cage,” Williksen said.

He said the reaction to the arrival of Ocean Farm 1 was a humbling moment. “It has been amazing. It was incredibly nice to see the staff and that so many local people took the trip to Nordhammerneset to see the farm on its way to site. It was a bit overwhelming.”

Built by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group in China’s Shandong Province, Ocean Farm 1 is 110 metres wide, 68 metres high, can contain 250,000 cubic metres in volume.