Wild salmon advocate takes interest in farming

A WILD salmon lobbying group is hoping to bring together investors and land based fish farming pioneers, reports Intrafish.

The North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) plans to establish new companies and encourage existing ones to develop on-land operations. It is focusing its efforts in Iceland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland and France.

Orri Vigfusson, chairman of NASF, said he believes land-based farming is the only way to rear fish sustainably.

‘We would like to see some sustainability in the fish farming industry and we think open sea cages are unsustainable,’ he said.

He thinks land-based systems could become commercially viable with the right investment and expertise.

‘The only fish farming industry in Iceland that is making a profit is a land based one owned by Samherji,’ he said.

This company, Islandsbleikja, is the largest producer of Arctic charr in the world and completely land-based. It operates two nurseries, two on-growing farms and a processing plant.

‘I know land-based farming is still in the development stages, and it is probably more costly to set up in the beginning,’ said Vigfusson, ‘but over a period of five to ten years it can be just as profitable and of course there are no environmental costs.’

 

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