Smolts transfer marks turning point for Newfoundland’s newest salmon producer

Grieg Seafood NL has finally transferred the first smolts to its sea cages in Placentia Bay – a milestone that places the salmon producer on track to achieving its ambition of eventually producing 45,000 tonnes a year in the Canadian province.

The first batch of fish weighing between 220 and 250 grams were transferred to the sea on May 17.

The momentous event was supposed to happen in 2021; however, one fish was found with infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAv) that summer, prompting the slaughter of one million smolts.

Photo: Grieg Seafood NL

A spokesperson from the Norwegian parent company, Grieg Seafood, confirmed with SalmonBusiness that transfers will continue to be made over the next several weeks. The plan is to transfer 1.2 million each at two sites in Placentia Bay, where it has long-term exclusive farming rights. Harvesting is expected to be completed sometime in January or February 2024.

Photo: Grieg Seafood NL

Grieg Seafood of Norway is a new player in this Canadian province, having entered the market only in February 2020 with its acquisition of Grieg Newfoundland. Newfoundland is expected to add 11 sites to the group’s entire Canadian operations.

As a greenfield project, the parent company expects this year’s expenses in Newfoundland to increase. “This year we have capex in this region of US$17.7 million (NOK 170 million) mainly related to sea production and digitalization. This is a district with poor infrastructure, so we are working with local authorities to improve it, and pay our share of building infrastructure, digital infrastructure. That is something that will benefit everyone, helping us and not least the local community as well,” said CEO Andreas Kvame during the Q1 2022 financial reporting last May 13.

Photo: Grieg Seafood NL