Closed facilities increase the utilization of space, it becomes easier to control the environment inside the facility and you avoid problems with lice.
Background to the project
In 2014, 3 categories of green concessions were awarded to the industry. The Ministry of Fisheries announced "Green Concessions", where the aquaculture companies that presented the best concepts for improving salmon production, preventing the spread of lice and reducing the risk of escapees were awarded a concession. Engesund Fiskeoppdrett AS applied with "Closed concrete facilities" at sea, and the concept was recognised and prioritised. We finally received approval in 2016 and the closed facility for the green licence was officially opened on 8 August this year. The first fish are intended to enter the facility at the Ådnekvamme site in Masfjorden around 20 September 2018. There we aim to produce 600 000 pcs. 400 g of fish per year.
Engesund Fiskeoppdrett also has ambitions to continue this initiative and has applied for a development licence for a closed concept where a large scale-up, new technology and new solutions are used to ensure good fish welfare.
The development pledge - How it will work
The concept is based on increasing land use, both by using sheltered sites for closed concrete facilities, and increasing the efficiency of existing sites by producing large post-smolt. The salmon will be placed in a closed concrete facility where the fish are kept from 0.4 kg to 1.5 kg. A drum filter on the seawater intake filters out lice larvae, among other things. A filter on the drain removes all sludge from the fish. Sludge is stored in separate tanks with a capacity of about 200 tonnes and transported away for further processing and use for other purposes such as biogas, fuel, fertiliser and in the concrete industry.
Better control, a sustainable alternative and increased land use
Engesund Fiskeoppdrett AS has operated small-scale large smolt and post-smolt production at Vik Settefisk (in which Engesund is a partner) since 2011. We see great advantages in getting the smolt/post-smolt up to 400 g before release in open cages. The fish are then exposed to salmon lice for shorter periods than if the fish are released as 100-150 gram smolts. Production time in open cages is reduced by several months - from 14-16 months to 9-14 months.
Based on these experiences, Engesund wanted to build a closed facility in a natural and sheltered environment, within the sea. The closed facility is located close to Engesund's ordinary sites, so transport time is reduced and logistics for the operators are simple.
The shore zone is known to be under great pressure, and such facilities do not occupy the shoreline or make other interventions in and by the sea. A closed facility could be located on sites that are not suitable for the production of salmon in open cages, such as inland or in a threshold fjord. One will also be able to make better use of the ordinary sites since each production cycle will be shortened.
Shorter time between each fallowing, with more intensive production (shorter time in open cages) is better for the environment, better for the farmer and better for the salmon.