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Losing faith in land-based

Atlantic Salmon Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) +3 more

Shares in land-based salmon producer Atlantic Sapphire have plummeted in value by 16 percent in one day, following reports of the loss of 227,000 salmon at its Danish facility over the weekend.

News of the mortalities, which are believed to have been caused by a build up of nitrogen in one of the grow out units at Atlantic Sapphire Denmark, has compounded a shaky financial start to the year for the company, whose share price has decreased in value by 34 percent in the course of the last month.

Phase 1 of Atlantic Sapphire's Miami facility is due to be completed this year

The company’s Danish facility, which has the capacity to produce 3,000 tonnes of salmon a year, was established in 2011 in order to help the company refine and perfect the techniques for growing market-sized salmon in RAS. However, it has experienced numerous issues, including the loss of its entire stock in 2017.

Undeterred, the company is currently in the process of building a new facility in Miami, with phase one – capable of producing 10,000 tonnes of salmon a year – due to be completed by the end of 2020. Looking ahead, the company aims to be producing 220,000 tonnes of salmon a year by 2031.

The company believes that the new “Bluehouse” systems being installed in Miami and replacing the existing systems in Denmark, will help to avoid the possibility of such incidents occurring.

“This incident demonstrates the importance and challenges of finishing commissioning of all Bluehouse systems while already in operation, as well as the value of having multiple independent systems for biological risk diversification reasons,” the company stated in a release on the Norwegian stock exchange.