Cod farm­ing pro­ject moves ahead at pace

Fish Farmer - - European News -

THE fish farm­ing com­pany Nor­cod is mov­ing ahead with plans to be­come the world’s largest pro­ducer of farmed cod.

It has re­cently trans­ferred around 200,000 fry to its base and re­leased them into cages, and said they were in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion.

The first load of 123,000 fry have an av­er­age weight of 140 grammes. The av­er­age weight of the sec­ond load of 75,000 fry was some­what higher, at 215 grammes, the Trond­heim based com­pany said.

Nor­cod said its fish fry were re­leased at Fin­nangerøya, about 100 miles north of Trond­heim, in two dif­fer­ent cages, and will be pro­duced to the high­est sus­tain­abil­ity standards.

It al­ready has two state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties in op­er­a­tion, with am­bi­tious plans for an­other eight for start-up over the next few years.

The fish will be farmed in its nat­u­ral cold wa­ter habi­tat on Nor­way’s west coast. Nor­cod said it aims to sup­ply what it be­lieves is a strong mar­ket for fresh cod on a year round ba­sis.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rune Erik­sen ex­plained that af­ter the fry trans­fer, the fish im­me­di­ately be­gan swim­ming in shoals in the sur­face of the cages and went di­rectly af­ter the feed and seemed to thrive.

‘This was a very im­por­tant day, both for us and for the in­dus­try,’ he added.

He also said Nor­cod plans to har­vest the fish in June next year, but this could be ac­cel­er­ated if the cod con­tin­ues the same ex­po­nen­tial growth rate it has achieved dur­ing the breed­ing phase.

In the past two months, the busi­ness has suc­cess­fully raised new in­vest­ment, to­talling 105 mil­lion kro­ner (around £8 mil­lion) to help fund what looks to be a ground-break­ing pro­ject.

It plans to use the net pro­ceeds to in­vest in ac­cess to ju­ve­niles and the build-up of biomass.

In terms of biomass, the com­pany said it has priv­i­leged ac­cess to sixth gen­er­a­tion fry bred for op­ti­mal health and yield.

At a time when wild cod catches are re­stricted by tight quota lim­its, Nor­cod said: ‘We aim to sup­ply the strong mar­ket for fresh cod year round, amid grow­ing de­mand glob­ally for sus­tain­ably pro­duced, healthy pro­tein.’

The next stage in its plan will be to post a full 1.5 mil­lion cod fry in its other farm in Frøya mu­nic­i­pal­ity, closer to its home base.

Above: Nor­cod plans to har­vest the fish in June next year

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