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100,000 tonne underground salmon farm seals genetics deal

Atlantic Salmon Breeding & genetics Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) +5 more

World Heritage Salmon (WHS), which aims to produce Atlantic salmon in a former mine in Norway, has entered into a five-year contractual agreement with Benchmark Genetics.

World Heritage Salmon plans to produce a 100,000 tonne salmon facility in a disused olivine mine, deep inside a mountain

The company is affiliated with Hofseth International, a seafood group with headquarters in Ålesund. The company aims to become the world's greenest fish farm through measures that include converting sludge from production to energy and saleable proteins. © World Heritage Salmon

WHS plans an annual production of up to 100,000 tonnes of salmon, in a facility consisting of 15 tunnels in Synnylvsfjorden. These would require an annual demand of 20 - 25 million ova. The contract is initially for five years, starting 2023, and with a further option for additional five years.

The two partners have agreed to exchange experience and expertise related to land-based farming, including both the project phase and the smolt and grow-out facilities' operational phase.

Roger Hofseth, chairman of WHS, says that the company has chosen to secure genetics at an early stage because they believe that this is one of the most important input factors for the success of land-based production in the future.

“Benchmark Genetics has extensive experience with land-based farming. We will use the time until the smolt and food fish facilities are up and running to share experiences and expertise to reduce risk and ensure optimal production,” he says.

“When we are in operation, our need for ova will be between 20 and 25 million a year. It goes without saying that we will request deliveries throughout the year, including the summer months. Benchmark's ability to deliver off-season eggs has also been an important factor in choosing them as our partner,” the chairman points out.