When the Department of Fisheries challenged the industry in 2015 to find new solutions for farming fish in the open seas, Norway-based Nordlaks Oppdrett AS stepped up and won the competition based upon an innovative and sustainable approach.
The family-owned company has been a leader in aquaculture in Norway since its founding in 1989, with comprehensive operations from breeding premium Atlantic salmon to sales and marketing. However, continuing its robust growth depends on adopting new and sustainable production methods, as space within fjords for traditional net-pen farming is limited.
Nordlaks realized that the answer lay in economies of scale and designed a unique sea vessel called Havfarm, which is currently the largest floating structure in the world. To put it in perspective, it is almost the length of four football fields and is designed to have a lifetime of at least 25 years without the need to bring it into a dry dock for maintenance and repairs.
“To keep up with growing global demand and support sustainable farming, we recognized the opportunity to turn to the open seas to expand production,” explained Bjarne Johnsen, project manager of Havfarm at Nordlaks. “We realized that the answer lay in economies of scale. If we built larger containers, we would no longer be restricted to the calm waters of the fjord and could afford to deploy more robust materials and sophisticated safety measures.”