About Engesund Fiskeoppdrett AS
Engesund Fiskeoppdrett AS is located at Engesund in Fitjarøyane, outside Fitjar in Sunnhordland.
Engesund Fiskeoppdrett AS is a family-owned company. Svein Eivind Gilje is the daily manager. He is the grandson of Lars Kleppe, who was one of the pioneers of fish farming in Western Norway. Kleppe started trout farming back in 1964.
Svein Eivind Gilje, grandson of founder Lars Kleppe, has a certificate in both aquaculture and fishing/catching, and has worked on both fishing boats and well boats in the past. His list of achievements includes the addition of the display licence for Engesund Fiskeoppdrett, a dark-green licence in category C and an R&D licence for research into the cultivation of kelp in the vicinity of fish farms.
The company has 2 commercial licences; an ordinary food fish licence and a "green" licence. Furthermore, Engesund also operates two special licences; a display licence and an R&D licence. Engesund is also a partner in Vik Settefisk AS, Vest Aqua Base AS and Hordalaks AS, and thus cooperates extensively with other fish farming companies.
Engesund Fiskeopprett builds its business on a local, historical development linked to traditional fishing, the pioneering days of fish farming and the trading and hospitality town.
The founder of the aquaculture company, Lars Kleppe (grandfather of the current manager), ran fishing, a shop, smallholding, post office and guesthouse on the island of Engesund, which he owned. He established the salmon farm in 1987, having obtained a licence the same year. The farm was then run together with his son, Ingebrigt Kleppe. It was considered a re-establishment, as Lars Kleppe was one of the pioneers of fish farming in this area (cf. the licence granted by the Directorate of Fisheries). He bought the salmon smolt from Johnsen in Brandasund.
As early as 1964, Lars Kleppe started with rainbow trout, which he exported himself. At that time, the plant was a net that blocked off a small bay (just north of Hengjo in Engesund). The saithe fish was bought locally, by another pioneer, Rønhovde. Kleppe caught the feed himself, with his own net. Pale and other fish were milled in Sjøhuset, where there was also a freezer room. The rainbow farm was closed in 1972.
However, this was not the first time the Kleppe family started farming. Among other things, during the war they had a large oyster farm in a poll west of Ivarsøy. In addition, Kleppe operated with lobster chests that held 3000 kg, placed in the bay in front of Engesund.
In this way, Engesund Fiskeoppdrett represents a coherent, natural development that constitutes a genuine, direct link to the old fishing community. Not just in Engesund with its unbroken family ties and town ties, but as part of the cultural history of the west. And it is an example of the original intention of the fish farms and the granting of licences, to create jobs along the coast built on a local foundation. Fish farming became an alternative when herring and other fish species disappeared in the 1950s and 1960s.
The current day-to-day manager, Svein Eivind Gilje, has grown up with fish farming. He has a certificate in both aquaculture and fishing/catching. Before he was appointed daily manager, he worked on fishing boats and well boats, and for a time also as a cook.