Thousands of salmon now swimming in the ‘Marine Donut’

Editorial Staff

The novel pen design will hold 1,100 metric tons of biomass when fully operational, equivalent to 200,000 market-sized fish.

Norwegian salmon farming giant Salmar filled its ring-shaped floating closed containment fish farm – known as the Marine Donut – with thousands of salmon on Friday.

This salmon pen, located at Sekken outside of Molde since the fall of 2023 and developed by Bluegreen, uses flow-through technology, preventing escape and contamination, while minimizing the risk of disease, algae and sea lice.

The main structure is made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and acts as a barrier against the external environment to prevent lice infestation and infection into the plant.

From left: Geir Andresen, Elg Thunes, Nils-Johan Tufte (all from Bluegreen), Johannes Schjølberg, Mykhaylo Ivashchenko, and Erlend Are Larsen (all from SalMar). Photo credit: Kristoffer Grindheim

The novel cage is designed to withstand high exposure to both waves and currents and can hold 1,100 metric tons of biomass when fully operational, equivalent to 200,000 market-sized fish or 1 million post-smolts.

The entire leadership team of Bluegreen was present to witness the introduction of the first fish on Friday afternoon.

After rigorous testing and development, the Marine Donut has finally welcomed its first inhabitants under the watchful eyes of Bluegreen’s leadership team and CEO Nils-Johan Tufte.

“It has been a long journey, with ups and downs over many years,” says Tufte. “It was a major milestone when SalMar bought the first facility, and when the fantastic Bluegreen team built it last year. It’s just fantastic to see happy salmon swimming around in Marine Donut.”

Geir Andresen, responsible for the facility’s construction, has now handed over operations to Erlend Are Larsen of SalMar, who oversaw the release of the initial 15,000 salmon into the facility.

This milestone aligns with the development permit granted by the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, allowing for rapid feedback on production progress.

SalMar will closely monitor the fish’s development to ensure optimal health and growth.

“It is important for us to see that the fish thrive in the facility,” says Roger Bekken, Chief Operating Officer for aquaculture at SalMar. “The fish are calm and distributed well in the facility,” says Andresen. “Everything has been successful so far.”

Now that the fish are swimming around in the Donut, Tufte expects more orders.

“We have received incredible attention over the past year, and many fish farmers are interested. Both here in Norway, in Canada, Scotland, the Faroe Islands, and Chile. But everyone has wanted to wait to see how the fish thrive in the facility before signing. We believe there will be a new order soon,” he says.

“Right now, we have advertised five positions as plastic mechanics or plastic welders,” says Tufte. “We also encourage professionals without expertise in plastic to apply. Carpenters, sheet metal workers, industrial mechanics – if you like to work hard and are eager to learn new things, feel free to apply with us. We offer thorough training.”


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