Harvest volumes in Miami cut by 20 per-cent

Aslak Berge

Atlantic Sapphire shaken after production trouble.

On Wednesday morning, Atlantic Sapphire reported new production problems. The land-based fish farming pioneering company has gone through an endless series of difficulties at its pilot facility in Denmark. Now the business has been scaled up, in a giant site outside of Miami.

Last summer, the company reported the emergency harvest of 200,000 fish, with a total weight of 400 tonnes, in the company’s Miami Bluehouse. This followed three months after 227,000 fish died at a site in Denmark.

Supplier blaming
According to Atlantic Sapphire, this was down to “a design weakness from the company’s RAS supplier” that caused significant amounts of particles to flow from the drum filters (particle filtration systems) into the biofilters and trickling filters. This resulted in elevated turbidity and possibly gasses and caused abnormal fish behavior.

This, in turn, resulted in the mortality of 500 tonnes of salmon, with an average weight of approximately 1kg.

The company’s RAS supplier is Danish Billund Aquaculture.

Shortly after the stock market opening, Atlantic Sapphire’s share price fell 9.1 per-cent.

The investment bank Sparebank1 Markets lowered its estimates for harvest volume by 20 per-cent after yesterday’s production mishap in Miami. This is based on lost feeding and growth from the fish that were lost yesterday.

“We estimate 8,000 tonnes of harvest in the United States and 2,000 tonnes of harvest in Denmark in 2021, which we are likely to reduce by 2,000 tonnes – to 8,000 tonnes in total,” wrote analyst Christopher Robin Winter in an analysis.

Winter pointed out that the company had two accidents in 2020, in March in Denmark and in July in the United States, where the stock fell 16 per-cent and 5.7 per-cent respectively.


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