Norway continues to push aquaculture into bigger, more intensive systems


Norway continues to push aquaculture into bigger, more intensive systems

8 April 2020
The first version of the Havfarm, the huge ship-shaped salmon farm built in China for Norwegian farmer Nordlaks, has been loaded on to a specialist vessel ahead of its long journey to Europe.

Nordlaks has been given a substantial number of development permits by Norway’s fisheries directorate, allowing it to produce more fish to offset development costs. With these, Nordlaks will build two Havfarms, each of which will be equipped with six 47x47 metre nets and hold 10,000 tonnes of fish.

The industry claims that the Havfarm, which is designed for exposed sea areas that experience stronger currents, will protect fish from potentially dangerous physical stresses, while also taking care of the need for water replacement in quiet conditions. 

The industry is developing larger systems for use further off-shore because it wants to farm more fish, while getting away from the suffering caused by sea lice and the environmental impacts concentrating in the sheltered conditions of current salmon farm sites. Some of the new systems are designed for over a million fish in one space, making monitoring and responding to individuals and subgroups impossible. The structures will be exposed to the arctic conditions of the Norwegian and North Seas, risking direct damage to the fish, to the containment unit, and to the automated feed supply and other systems. During rough weather, when the fish are most at risk, it will be impossible to visit the facilities and give medical treatments or repair any damage.