Salmon Evolution has been operating the Indre Harøy facility for more than seven months and has been able to provide stable conditions throughout the period observing low mortality. The performance of the first batch was in line with the company’s expectations and the second exceeded the first, demonstrating the potential for this operation going forward.
According to the company’s Q3 results presentation, 30,000 salmon were harvested with an average weight of around 4 kg in early November. The quality testing confirmed good filet quality and excellent taste. For 2023 and onwards the company expects to release smolt every second month, each consisting of around 280,000 individuals.
Cargill, Salmon Evolution’s feed partner, said it is very pleased with the strong results achieved with the first production. The feed was specially developed for the hybrid production facility where the water is partially reused. Cargill has worked closely with Salmon Evolution from the early stages to develop this feed and follow-up along the way.
Salmon Evolution sets special quality requirements for its salmon feed. It must take care of the salmon's nutritional needs, have a very precise sinking speed, very little dust, and no oil leakage. All these specifications are to provide salmon with good-quality water and a good growth environment.
“We are very satisfied with the interaction and the close cooperation we’ve had with Cargill so far and are convinced that this partnership is an important part of creating the most optimal conditions for the salmon. Although the first harvest has already been a great success, we are confident that as we learn more and more, we will be able to continuously improve our operation and maximize production, while maintaining the highest quality standards,” said Ingjarl Skarvøy, chief operating officer at Salmon Evolution.
“Most exciting for us has been how well the feed has performed and how well our feed design model would predict the production process,” said Sigurd Tonheim, strategic marketing and technology lead in Cargill’s Aqua Nutrition North Sea business.
“When we design EWOS-feed, we use models for growth rate and feed performance to predict how effective our feeds will be. Backed by big data from decades of commercial production at sea, our models are very strong,” Tonheim said. However, the way Salmon Evolution produces fish, as well as other land-based fish farming, differs from fish farming at sea in many ways.
“Our feed design models for sea farming are therefore not relevant for designing feed for land-based farming. Together with Salmon Evolution, we, therefore, developed new models adapted to their production. This is to be able to predict the results of the feed, and together understand which feed design would be the best when all conditions are considered,” explained Tonheim.
“We are extremely excited to have completed our first harvest from the first batch of fish at our facility in Norway. This has given us valuable insight into how we can optimize the environment to make the salmon thrive and learn how to operate the facility in the best possible way. When we move the fish on land, it is all about providing the salmon with an environment that is as good, stable, and natural as possible. It is therefore very important for us to have a quality feed that fulfills the nutritional and physical requirements of the feed, and that the feed supports the potential of rapid growth inherent in producing salmon in a land-based facility,” said Skarvøy.
“Our philosophy for land-based fish farming is to design a feed that ensures stable operation of the production systems,” said Tonheim. “We are glad that we managed to deliver on the criteria that are important for Salmon Evolution, and that the production achieved such good results.”