Recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) farmer Danish Salmon plans to harvest its first batch of entirely land-raised fish in 2014, with production already sold to a subsidiary of Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Nissui).
The farm, located in Hirtshals, Denmark, expects to harvest its first 2,000 metric tons of salmon, grown from egg to 4.5kg in around 21 months, in September 2014. The first batch has already been purchased by Nordic Seafood.
Fish have actually grown faster than anticipated in the enclosed system, said Soren Frandsen, manager of Danish Salmon, speaking at Denmark’s first ever ‘Farmer’s Day’ aquaculture event.
While construction of the site is still being completed, even as fish move through the system – the furthest advanced are at 47g in the pre-smolt/ smolt stages – expansions are planned. First to 4,000t and, if the land around the current plant is available to buy, to 6,000t later, said Frandsen.
It is still early in production, but the project manager confirmed the company would look to brand its uniquely-farmed salmon with its own name. The product is targeted at Japan, the US and Russia, he added.
Danish Salmon is a DKK 100 million ($18.1m) undertaking, with the government contributing DKK 23.8m and energy company Nord Energi adding DKK 1m.
Once up and running, the plant is designed to harvest 45t of salmon each week, with five batches of eggs put in each year, at 10 week intervals.
The enormous facility recirculates 13,000 cubic meters of water an hour, for 2000t of salmon, at a density of 80 to 90k per cubic meter. Grow-out tanks are 16m in diameter, and there are eight of them under the facility’s roof.
Given the biosecurity of an RAS, vaccination may not have been necessary – however, given that this was a DKK 100m investment, Danish Salmon played it safe and vaccinated its fish just in case, said Frandsen.