A Fiskeldi Austfjarda site on the east coast of Iceland. Photo: Fiskeldi.

Icelandic salmon farmer set to triple production

Icelandic salmon grower Fiskeldi Austfjarda HF (East Fjords Aquaculture) has been granted permission to more than triple production of salmon to 20,800 tonnes per year.

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Fiskeldi, which is majority-owned by Norwegian salmon farmer Midt-Norsk Havbruk, will be able to grow up to 12,000 tonnes of ordinary salmon and 8,800 tonnes of sterile salmon per year, distributed between two fjords, Berufjordur and Faskrudsfjordur, on the eastern coast of Iceland.

Previously Fiskeldi has had permits to grow 6,000 tonnes of salmon and 5,000 tonnes of trout. The trout permit is being discontinued as there has not been any trout production in recent years.

40,000 tonnes

The extra volume allowance in Iceland increases the capacity of Midt-Norsk Havbruk’s parent company, NTS ASA, to almost 40,000 tonnes of salmon a year.

Dagfinn Eliassen, marketing and development manager for NTS, said: “This is very good news. We already have good control of biology and have invested in equipment at sea and slaughterhouses with super-chill. This makes us well equipped for the increase in production. With the volume limits we have now gained, we can reinforce the positive development of the unit cost. We want to exploit the potential that this extension provides, as soon as possible.”

Predictable and safe

Frank Øren, manager of Midt-Norsk Havbruk’s daily operations, said: “The Icelandic volume production is in line with what we have on the Namdal coast [in Norway]. That means we can streamline production and use zone divisions and layouts as we do at home. It provides predictable and safe production. We already produce Icelandic premium salmon that the market demands and wants more of.”

Midt-Norsk Havbruk AS owns 62.06% of Fiskeldi, which expects a harvest volume of around 5,000 tonnes this year.