In short: The best investor is one with dirty shoes (e.g., see Faroe Islands). We took that advice again to heart and visited Leroy Seafood Group in Norway. Here we show you some pictures and explain some important things about salmon farming.
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The Bonafide Investment Team went for the 5th year to attend the North Atlantic Seafood Forum. Some suggest that if not the most important, it is surely is one of the most important conferences for the fish and aquaculture industry.
Salmon aquaculture is the fastest growing food production system in the world—accounting for 70 percent (2.4 million metric tons) of the market.
Doing another site visit
We have always believed that visiting fish farms is like a walk-about on the factory floor. The shop owner, or in our case the investor, can learn many things from talking to workers, engineers and so forth.
Thus, whilst we attended the North Atlantic Sea Forum, we decided to do another site visit with a salmon farming operation.
Very early Wednesday morning we got ready to visit with Lerøy Seafood Group. Since we would spend most of the time outside, warm, waterproof clothing, vest, hat and helmet was the dress code to adhere to.
We hope that visiting with Lerøy Seafood Group would give us a better impression about how the company was using what type of feeding procedures to raise their salmon.
To get there from Bergen, however, we had to take a short boat ride with the M/S Lyna. The boat took us to the farming site at Buarøy, south of the city of Bergen.
The salmong farming site Buarøy
The picture below was taking just before we got to the site with our boat from Bergen.
The Salmon farm has 8 pens in the fjord. The feed barge or boat (see picture above) is thereby docked right next to the pens.
The barke at the site that we visited has a capacity of about 400 metric tons of feed stored in multiple silos.
The silos currently carry pellets from Ewos (owned by Cargill) in 4 different sizes.
These pellets are between 3-10 mm in size. The sizes vary in order to address the different growth stage of the reared salmon.
Typically 4-5 people work in shifts on the site. Normal working hours are from 07:00 until about 16:00 hours.
Of course, as we know salmon feed during daylight hours only.
During daylight hours, one of the key tasks is to observe the eating behavior of the salmon. In turn, feeding metrics (i.e.
- the volume,
- location or
- size of pellets
can be adjusted according to the observed feeding behavior the salmon show.
As the above picture shows, technology helps to observe the salmon. In turn, by monitoring salmons’ behavior, their feeding is adjusted accordingly.
Cyclopterus lumpus, the lumpsucker or lumpfish are used for lice control. This is a non-pharmaceutical approach of sea lice control when raising salmon.
These so called “cleaner fish” are also farmed by Lerøy on another site.
As such Lerøy also sells this treatment to other aquaculture producers.
Join the discussion
As the above shows, raising salmon is an art and involves technology as well as manpower. Regulatory efforts try to make this a sustainable endeavour. But increasing farming production in Norway is not easy.
As our visit illustrated, careful use of natural resources is a must. In turn salmonid farming in Norway should remain sustainable and competitive on world markets.
1. When you shop for fish, do you look on the package for information for how these were farmed?
2. Have you ever visited a feed barge in a fjord?
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