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New experimental fish pen system showing signs of success

OSLO, NORWAY – Cermaq’s experimental closed containment pen system in Norway has the company’s Canadian arm happy.

Atlantic salmon were stocked in the system three months ago. According to a release from Cermaq Canada, the fish have adapted well.

The new technology is called Certus and is located just north of the Polar circle in the Horsvaagen region.

“With its bright orange ring, it stands out from the other pens in the region. Under water, it is different as well since it has both a flexible composite wall and a traditional net, providing protection from predators and fish escapes,” the company said in a release.

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Cermaq noted that not only are fish healthy in the system, they’re thriving.

“The fish in this new system are actually growing better than our fish in the traditional net pen structures located in the same region,” said Regional Project Coordinator Kjell Hansen in the release.

“We are seeing minimal mortality’s and we have had no problems with sea lice. Certus also takes the safety of employees into account and makes moving around the system for employees safe and easy.”

Cermaq Canada’s Managing Director, David Kiemele, said it’s great to see the technology working so well.

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“The health and growth of the fish, partnered with the limited interaction with wild populations make this an exciting possibility for us here in Canada. The development of new technology is continually improving the way we operate and these latest results are really exciting,” he said.

“We hope to potentially have this technology in the water here in Canada by as early as next year.”

The salmon will stay in the closed pen until June, and then moved over to an ordinary net pen for the last growth phase until harvesting.

“The first data from Certus supports the potential of producing salmon in closed systems in the ocean during the first phase of growth in saltwater,” said Cermaq’s research manager for aquaculture technology, Harald Takle.

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“Our further ambition is to develop our closed containment concept which we have named “Flexifarm”, in which we use modern cleaning technology for the intake
water to prevent intake of pathogens and thus infectious diseases.”

Cermaq’s Canadian operations are based out of Campbell River and Tofino on Vancouver Island. There are additional operations in Norway and Chile.

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