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Novel closed-containment salmon farm launched in Norway

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
24 March 2021, at 8:53am

Starfish, an innovative closed-containment salmon farming system, has now been installed in a Norwegian fjord and is due to be stocked later in the year.

The Starfish prototype has been installed at Hidra, outside Flekkefjord, in Norway and is due to be stocked with salmon later in the year
The Starfish prototype has been installed at Hidra, outside Flekkefjord, in Norway and is due to be stocked with salmon later in the year

Produced by Nekkar, Starfish is fully-automated and is digitally and remotely managed. At the heart of the system is a software platform for remote surveillance, data acquisition, bio analytics and production control. It has been designed to reduce environmental impact and operating expenditure. It has double protection against escapes, aims to avoid sea lice by taking in water from deep below the cage, and collects up to 90 percent of the biological waste produced by the salmon.

“Nekkar aims to develop disruptive technologies that offer high sustainability impact solutions for the aquaculture industry. Starfish is the first example of this approach. We are excited about the forthcoming ocean testing and the future opportunities this may present,” says Preben Liltved, CEO of the marine engineering specialist, in a press release.

The company aims to offer further disruptive technologies and automated sensors to the aquaculture sector in the future.

Nekkar has cooperated with Lerøy Seafood from the beginning of the Starfish development work, and the project is supported by Innovation Norway.

“The idea behind Starfish is to reduce opex level dramatically for the fish farming industry, while simultaneously improve fish welfare and focusing on circular economy. We look forward to verifying the technical and operational parameters of the solution, before we start preparations for testing with biomass later this year,” says Mette Harv, executive vice president of Nekkar’s aquaculture business area.

In both Norway and parts of Canada there is a political drive towards closed containment fish farming, as a potential solution to solve major environmental and sustainability challenges such as sea lice, escapes and high mortality rates.

“Today there are around 4,000 open cages in Norway. Closed cages will open up additional locations. This illustrates the market potential for Starfish,” adds Harv.

 

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The foundation of Nekkar's business is world class engineering, electrification, automation, and digitalisation competence and heritage from the drilling industry in Kristiansand which is the DNA in the company's digital solutions business area. Nekkar aims to apply this competence as levers to develop disruptive technologies that can make high-growth industry sectors - such as aquaculture - even more sustainable, productive, and profitable.