(Åfjord, Norway) Columbi Salmon has partnered with Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Morefish and Biomar on a research project aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of salmon farming in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS).

17. desember 2020

“Our goal is to build a leading sustainable food production company in Europe. We have partnered with the best and brightest in the industry, to develop technology and process´ for carbon-neutral salmon farming, through introducing aquaponics to our RAS facility. We look forward to working with our partners to realise our ambitious sustainability targets, ” says Kolbjørn Giskeødegård, CFO for Columbi Salmon.

Removing certain nutrients from the RAS facility water is essential to achieve optimal fish health. By adding a new biological filter that contains plant production, nitrogen compounds, together with carbon in air and water and other nutrients can efficiently remove from the RAS plant. 1000 fish will stock into the test facility, and the research will conduct over three months at NIBIO’s facility in Grimstad, Norway.

“The plants capture CO2 from the air and utilises nutrients in the water from the fish waste. This is a way of making use of all resources associated with fish farming, and can lead to a substantial reduction in emissions,” says Siv Lene Gangenes Skar, researcher and project lead at Nibio, which is one of the largest research institutions in Norway.

NIBIO will conduct research in close cooperation with Morefish. Biomar contributes with fish feed used for the research setup. The specially designed feed for RAS has a low carbon footprint and will contribute to keeping the overall emissions to a minimum.

“Modern aquaculture can increase its sustainability level in several ways, refining the discharge into biomass and withdrawing the carbon to bioenergy as two major methods amongst many. The new and evolving RAS technology can realise this potential, due to condensed production on land, and efficient technology for water treatment and removal of the nutrients, says Svein Martinsen at Morefish.

Columbi Salmon is establishing a land-based setup for salmon farming in Oostende, Belgium, and will over the coming years establish further production facilities throughout Europe. The goal is to produce 12,000 tonnes of salmon and 4000 tonnes of salad by 2023-24.

“We are eager to see the results of the research. We believe that combining aquaponics and fish farming in RAS facilities shows great potential and can have a major positive impact. We plan to do this on a large scale when we establish our operations, making salmon farming carbon-neutral and hence truly sustainable,” Giskeødegård finishes.