Closed cage producer attracts international interest

by
Aslak Berge

From the cage edge, you can see a 1,400m2 pearl grey canvas. It is only on the surface.

“In fact, it’s 4,300 square meters, considering the depth. It projects 36m below the sea level,” said Jan Erik Kyrkjebø, general manager of the technology company Ecomerden, to SalmonBusiness.

“With 30,000 tonnes of water, it will be as stable as concrete in the sea inside the fjords,” he said.

The semi-closed cage is scheduled to be towed from Bergen to Osland Havbruks’s salmon farming site in the Sognefjord, Western Norway, next week.

Three others
However, the Ecomerden has several irons in the fire.

“We have three others under construction. Same size,” said Kyrkjebø.

Not all customers are officially known.

“Osland plus a few others,” says Kyrkjebø, and regrets that he cannot state who.

Kyrkjebø’s semi-closed cages have attracted interest – also from countries other than Norway.

“There is a lot of activity on the demand side abroad. Especially in Canada, both east and west, and in Scotland,” he said. “There is more political pressure in the countries there, and requirements for waste management. And that’s why we have a waste management solution at Ecomerden”.

Conceived

“In Norway, the focus is on smolt, fish stocks and mortality, and on relieving lice pressure. Algae has emerged as a problem. The algae bloom last year has brought this concept to fruition,” he noted.

He is no stranger to betting in the international market.

“It was in Chile, this concept was conceived. I farmed post-smolt in Chile. That was 17 years ago. We had both a technology company and a fish farming company. So I sold out just before the ILA problems started down there,” Kyrkjebø concluded.

Illustration of two Ecocages in the Sognefjord, Norway. Photo: Ecomerden
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