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New Revolutionary Aquaculture Ship to Move Farming Further Offshore

08 December 2015

NORWAY - It could be the start of a sustainable revolution for the Norwegian salmon farming industry following the design of an aquaculture ship that will move salmon farming further offshore where sea lice and waste build up will no longer be serious problems.

In conjunction with Nordlaks, NSK Ship Design has designed the ship known as Havfarm (Ocean Farm) which measures 430 metres in length and 54 metres wide.

The ship is designed to be anchored to the seafloor using the offshore industry’s technological solutions which can withstand very tough conditions at sea.

If the project is completed as it has been designed, it will be the longest ship in the world.

One Havfarm will be able to contain 10,000 tons of salmon – over 2 million fish. For comparison, the Nordlaks salmon slaughterhouse at Børøya produces 70,000 tons a year.

The facilities will be able to withstand a significant wave height of ten metres, and can be raised by four metres during inclement weather.

The ocean farm itself will extend ten metres below sea level. The farm will be constructed as a steel frame with six cages measuring 50 by 50 metres on the surface and aquaculture nets going to a depth of 60 metres.

"At the time Inge Berg from Nordlaks contacted us, we had previously been flirting with the idea of producing a larger construction from scratch. Berg came up with a very thorough idea of how to move from aquaculture pens to aquaculture ships in the open ocean," said sales manager Thomas Myhre.

Sea lice should no longer be a problem in the deep water and if lice do appear on the salmon they can be removed manually. 

This also ensures a totally chemical-free production, thereby protecting the environment and saving the farmer money.

In the deep water with strong currents, the build up of waste from the farm will be less of a problem. The spreading area for waste products will be 27 times larger than it would be for ordinary pens, a massive 472,000 square metres.

Minister of Fisheries Elisabeth Aspaker and the Norwegian government announced free concessions for aquaculture businesses willing to make larger investments into new technology in order to overcome the industry’s challenges with regard to environmental and space issues.

Shortly after, the owner notified that Nordlaks had great plans in response to the government’s efforts, namely the Havfarm ships. Now Nordlaks is well underway in the process, and they have applied to build three ships, each of which will cost between 600–700 million NOK.

"We are hoping we can begin using the technology in 2017, if we are provided with development concessions to do this," said Inge Berg at Nordlaks.

"Nordlaks is focused on creating sustainable solutions for its own production. For them it is not just about increase volume, getting control of the louse problem, but also the well-being of the salmon, and sustainable solutions. The Havfarm project raises the bar for what is possible in aquaculture, and we absolutely want to be a part of that," said Mr Myhre.

Top Image Credit: NSK Ship Design

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