SalMar wants to site its Smart Fish Farm in Frøyabanken Nord.

SalMar wins site approval for 19,000-tonne offshore farm


SalMar, the world’s second largest Atlantic salmon farmer, has received location clearance for its proposed offshore development, the Smart Fish Farm.

Clearance of the location in the Norwegian Sea was granted by Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries on Monday to Mariculture AS, which is a company wholly owned by SalMar’s subsidiary SalMar Aker Ocean AS.

SalMar Aker Ocean intends to site the Smart Fish Farm approximately 50 nautical miles west of Frøya in Central Norway.

Regulatory framework

“This is an important step forward in order to realise the potential of offshore aquaculture. The next important milestones for us are the clarifications related to ground rent tax (salmon tax) and the regulatory framework for offshore aquaculture,” said SalMar Aker Ocean chief executive Roy Reite in a press release.

The planned megafarm, designed to hold 19,000 tonnes of salmon, was awarded eight development permits by Norway’s Fisheries Directorate in 2019. That’s the equivalent to just 6,240 tonnes but SalMar will use some of its other production permits to eventually lift that figure to 19,000 tonnes.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) has ruled that the farm should be limited to a maximum biomass of 9,000 tonnes during its first production cycle.