Storm delays launch of “Aquatraz” with 180,000 fish waiting to be released into cage

Ole Alexander Saue

Over the last few months Midt-Norsk Havbruk (MNH) has worked around the clock to complete the semi-closed cage construction “Aquatraz”.

April 2017, MNH was awarded four licenses to develop the Aquatraz cage. The construction is now fully completed and waiting ready at Fosen Yard in central Norway. Now all that remains is the 300 km move to its site in Nærøy, northern Norway.

“It was ready to go 14th September, but bad weather prevented us from making the transfer,” Project Manager Steingrim Holm told SalmonBusiness.

Project Manager Steingrim Holm

Environmental programme 
According to Holm, 180,000 salmon averaging in weight just under 1,000 grams are waiting to be released into the Aquatraz, after which an intensive follow-up programme will be initiated.

“We have a fairly comprehensive biological measuring programme for monitoring the fish. A reference cage is in place for comparisons with the fish housed in Aquatraz. Completion of a biological measuring programme is a condition of the consent we have received. It entails fish health, welfare, lice, growth and product quality,” he said.

“We’re waiting in anticipation now, and are keen to release the fish into sea water. “We have every confidence in the project, but it’s always a thrill to have it tested full-scale,” said Holm.

Dependent on better weather
As yet, MNH has not set a firm date for when the construction will be towed the long passage from the shipyard to Nærøy.

“Difficult to say when that will happen. There’s still bad weather along the coast, and we are dependent on better weather conditions when we tow it from the shipyard to its site.

Aquatraz. PHOTO: MNH

3,120 tonnes
Holm said they are more than pleased with the result after several years of developing and building.

“Work has gone splendidly of late. “We are delighted with the result, so prospects are looking bright. The lifting system has been tested, and it’s working very well. We’re looking forward to getting the construction to its site so we can carry out the last test programme”.

The licenses are for a total of 3,120 tonnes.

Well underway with number two
Four Aquatraz constructions will be built. According to the plan, the second will be completed at the close of 2018/New Year of 2019, while the last two will be built during the first half of 2019.

All of the cage constructions will be built at Fosen Yard.

“The shipyard is in full swing with production of cage number two,” said Holm.

Each cage has capacity for 1,000 tonnes biomass.


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