Saturday, 19 August 2017

In-Ocean Fish Farms Are Toast

Here is an Aug 15, 2017 article on the cheaper costs of on-land fish farms, and how in-ocean are threatened:

Salmon farming on land pays off, as a new report 

- Land-based plants can clearly threaten traditional Norwegian farming in open sea lakes, Professor Trond Bjørndal at NTNU Ålesund and Social and Business Research at NHH sticks above Dagens Næringsliv.Together with research assistant Amalie Tusvik, he has provided a fresh report concluding that land-based farming can become more lucrative than traditional salmon farming, if the fish is to be transported by air to the United States or China.According to the newspaper, the researchers estimate that the cost per kilo of salmon in the sea amounts to NOK 28.50 - before shipping, slaughter, packing and transport costs. By comparison, it costs about 39 kroner per kilo in a land-based facility.If the salmon is to be transported to the US or China, about 14 kroner per kilo, it would be more profitable to establish facilities on land in these markets, according to the report."The challenge is that the lead bubble is not the nicest land-based plant for Atlantic salmon that produces 5000-10,000 tonnes a year. There are more challenges that must be resolved before the technology works perfectly. But it will happen sooner or later, and then development will shoot speed, Meiner Bjørndal.It is Møre & Romsdal County Municipality which has funded the report "Land based farming of salmon: Economic analysis".

This is the abstract: 


Trond Bjorndal*, SNF Centre for Applied Research at NHH and NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Amalie Tusvik, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology

SNF, Hellevn. 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Salmon farming has been one of the fastest growing industries in Norway for more than three decades. Nevertheless, in recent years the environmental sustainability of the industry has been questioned. This is mainly due to two reasons. First, the incidence of sea lice has increased tremendously, causing diseases and very high treatment costs. Second, escaped salmon mix with wild salmon with undesirable genetic effects. As a consequence of these problems, the government has decided that for the time being no further licenses for sea based salmon farming will be issued which will prevent the industry from further expansion.

This situation has led to increased interest for development of new technology and new ways of growth for a promising industry. This paper presents economic analyses of two modes of production that both represent potential ways for the industry to grow without new licences or an increase in maximum allowable biomass (MAB). They are 1) full land based production cycle and 2) post smolt production - extension of the land based production phase of salmon from normal release of 100 g smolts to a weight at release of up to one kg which will greatly reduce the length of the sea phase. In land based farms the fish are totally protected from the environment and there will be no releases from the farms. The technology is safe with respect to escapes, which means that increased use of the technology will protect wild salmon from genetic interference from farmed salmon. Land based farms are currently being developed in several countries including Norway, Denmark, Poland, Canada and the USA.

The project presents economic analyses of these two modes of production with comparisons with traditional land based farming. If the new systems are competitive, there may also be development of salmon farms closer to main consumer markets than what is the situation today.


The last paragraph is what I have been saying for years. And if your interest is reading financial comparisons of in-ocean and on-land I have listed dozens of reports and articles in my 191 On-land fish farm systems article:

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