Salmon Evolution staff watch as smolts are pumped into the first pool at Indre Harøy. Photo: Ane S Skarvøy, Skarvøy Media.

First smolts stocked by Salmon Evolution

Salmon Evolution, which is developing a 31,500-tonne (head on gutted) on-land salmon farm in Norway, has introduced smolts to the first of its 5,000m³ salmon tanks.

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About 100,000 smolts with an average weight of around 300 grams were stocked. The smolts were supplied by Kraft Laks, Salmon Evolution’s in-house smolt facility acquired in August 2021.

The smolt transportation from Kraft Laks to the Salmon Evolution site at Indre Harøy (Harøy Island) was carried out with a wellboat after which the fish were carefully pumped into the first fish tank.

Good appetite

Salmon Evolution said all relevant fish health parameters were constantly monitored during the process with no negative indicators identified.

Following a short adaption period for the fish, initial feeding commenced, and the fish have shown good appetite and behaviour in line with expectations.

Håkon André Berg: "This is the moment that we all have been waiting for."

Just the beginning

Salmon Evolution chief executive Håkon André Berg said: “Since we started construction back in May 2020, this is the moment that we all have been waiting for. I am extremely proud of our organisation and the fact that we have been able to adhere to our ambitious timeline, even with the challenges faced us during the pandemic.

“At the same time, this is just the beginning. As we now move forward, our number one priority is the biology in our farm. Good biology will improve fish quality and translate into strong growth, which finally will be reflected in the financial performance.”

Over the coming months Salmon Evolution will gradually ramp up production at Indre Harøy with the next release of smolt planned already in May. Steady state smolt release volumes are expected from the fourth quarter of 2022, where at the same time both completion of phase 1 and first harvest are expected.

Phase 2

Phase 1 of the development will have a production capacity of 7,900 tonnes HOG per year. In February, Salmon Evolution signed a heads of terms (non-binding) agreement with phase 1 contractor Artec Aqua for the planning of phase 2.

The second phase is expected to in principle be identical to phase 1 and add a further 7,900 gwt of annual production, bringing the total planned production volume to 15,800 gwt.

The cost of phase 2 is currently estimated to NOK 1.3 – 1.4 billion, (£109 - £117 million), with a final capital expenditure target expected to be set in the second half of this year.

Hybrid flow-through

Salmon Evolution is using a hybrid flow-through system (HFS) delivered by Artec Aqua to achieve a water economy with about 65% reuse and 35% new supply in the form of filtered fresh seawater.

The company says this is simpler than a conventional recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) and ensures controlled and optimal growth conditions, eliminates the risk of parasites and limits the threat of infection.

See photo gallery below. All photos: Ane S Skarvøy, Skarvøy Media.