Aquaculture North America

Norwegian company touts merits of open ocean farm

May 2, 2014
By Tor-Eddie Fossbakk

Proposed design combines technology from the Norwegian fish farming industry and the offshore oil and gas sector.

Ocean Farming AS, a subsidiary of Norway’s SalMar Group, was established with the objective of developing offshore fish farming technologies. The company has spent more than two years working with international expertise in maritime engineering and design as well as cutting edge expertise from the Norwegian oil and gas sector.

Arvid Hammernes, Managing Director of Ocean Farming AS, told ANA that this system utilizes a semi-submersible concept, similar to what is used in floating oil and gas drilling rigs.

The submerged facility is an anchored fixed structure, floating in the exposed ocean and is suitable for water depths of 100 to 300 meters.

All of the farming operations can be managed onboard the facility without making use of service vessels and outside equipment. This means that the fish can stay inside the net from smolt stocking to harvestable fish. The facility is also equipped with one moveable and two fixed bulkheads that can divide the facility into three compartments enabling different fish operations to be performed. To ensure regular cleaning of the nets, spray nozzles would be mounted onto the moveable bulkhead.

The facility is fully automated, avoiding heavier manual operations. During normal operation, a crew of 2-4 people would monitor and manage the facility. However, it can also be remotely operated.

According to the designer the facility is intended for operation in ocean-exposed (offshore) areas taking advantage of superior biological conditions.

Technical specifications

  • Overall height:               67 m
  • Diameter:                     110m
  • Volume:                        245,000 m3
  • Weight:                         5,600 tonnes
  • Central column equipped with control room, living quarters, utilities, feed silos. –Tor-Eddie Fossbakk

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