The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has announced that SalMar Aker Ocean’s offshore fish farm should be limited to a maximum biomass of 9,000 tonnes during its first production cycle.
Following a trial of a full-scale pilot facility, Ocean Farm 1, SalMar Aker Ocean is hoping to produce up to 19,000 tonnes per cycle eventually at the Smart Fish Farm which will be located 45 miles off the coast of Norway. Based on Norwegian aquaculture and offshore technology, Ocean Farm 1 aspires to address central issues related to sustainable growth in the aquaculture industry.
“This is because consideration of the fish’s needs and biology is very important in the development of new technology for aquaculture. The applicant is responsible for documenting how necessary considerations for fish health and fish welfare are taken care of throughout the entire production chain,” the Norwegian Food Safety Authority said in a press release.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority was clear that, as the plant is due to be located outside Norwegian territorial waters and outside the scope of the EEA agreement, the regulations surrounding aquaculture at sea must be clarified before final approval can be granted.
“Establishment of facilities outside Norwegian territorial waters presents challenges for Norway’s free status according to the EEA agreement’s veterinary provisions for certain fish diseases. This will be of decisive importance for the status an offshore facility will have for Norway’s exemption status for, among other things, the diseases VHS and IHN.”