Kvarøy Arctic CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen: 'We believe in producing salmon in the most responsible way'

Kvaroy’s land-based venture goes with the flow

Norwegian salmon producer Kvaroy Arctic is diversifying into land-based farming to complement its traditional net pen operations.

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The new venture, Arctic Seafarm, will be located on the coastline, 30 minutes south of Kvarøy Arctic, taking advantage of the company’s existing logistics network.

Construction is expected to begin in the autumn and will be stocked by the recently formed Kvarøy Smolt. The first harvest is expected to go on sale in the US in 2023.  

Kvarøy Arctic CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen said: ‘We believe in producing salmon in the most responsible way. That means finding sustainable solutions that are healthy for the fish and for the environment.

‘We are leading the way with innovations on the water and it’s now time for us to do the same with land-based farming.’

The new facility will have capacity for 15,000 tonnes of fish annually, produced in a flow-through system, retrieving water from 80m below sea level.

This is a depth uninhabited by sea lice, meaning farmers won’t have to manage pest control at Arctic Seafarm, said the company.

Consistent temperature

The water will be filtered for sediment and treated with UV light before entering the flow-through system, where it will maintain a consistent temperature.  

The flow-through design was selected because of its similarities to the ocean environment and the added advantage of avoiding possible future environmental impacts such as algal blooms.

Kvarøy Arctic can also utilise green hydro technology to power its operations. And it will collect fish waste and reuse it in the form of biofuel to power its well boats and trucks.

If total production targets are met, the new farm will feed nearly 12 million Americans a year, said Kvaroy.

Growing demand

‘There are limitations to how much we can farm in the ocean,’ said Knutsen. ‘We’ve been approached with projects all over the world and are confident the future of salmon farming is in this combination of ocean and land-based farms. The innovations available give us the flexibility we need to meet the growing demand.’

Arctic Seafarm’s managing director, Carsten Rimer, added: ‘There’s nothing like this anywhere in the world.

‘We believe production should not be at the expense of the welfare of the fish or nature. Sustainability and the environment are very central to us, and something Kvarøy Arctic has worked to preserve for many years.’