Have new water cooling systems turned the tide for troubled land-based farmer?

Editorial Staff

Miami-based producer has recorded strong growth in biomass across all production batches.

Land-based salmon farming pioneer Atlantic Sapphire has reported significant improvements in production at its Florida facility.

The improvements which the company credits to increased water cooling capacity, leading to stable water temperatures of around 14 degrees Celsius, have positively impacted the production environment since the third quarter, according to a stock exchange update on Thursday.

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The company noted strong growth in biomass across all production batches, with an increased proportion of high-quality salmon. However, fish from groups present in the facility before the third quarter of 2023 were negatively affected by high temperatures experienced during that period and will be harvested out early.

Significant differences in feed conversion rates were observed between fish groups present before and after the third quarter of 2023, according to CEO Johan Andreasen.

For groups present before the third quarter, the economic feed factor was 2.4, compared to 1.1 for groups introduced afterward. The company also reported a decrease in fish mortality rates.

“We have much more stable conditions in the farm since we completed the very critical infrastructure upgrades last year that are supporting a good growth of biomass,”

The company’s stock market value peaked at NOK 12 billion ($1.1 billion), with a share price of about NOK 150 in February 2021. However, the current share price has dropped to NOK 1.48, bringing the market capitalization down to around NOK 1.1 billion ($110 million).

Atlantic Sapphire is in the process of constructing phase 2 of its Florida facility. Phase 1 has a capacity of 9,500 tons per year, while phase 2 will increase the capacity to 15,000 tons. The company has invested around $650 million in total, and by the end of 2023, the standing biomass was approximately 3,050 tons of fish.

In October, Andreassen announced his decision to step down as CEO. The company has not yet named a successor.


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