SalMar was founded in February 1991 following the acquisition of a licence for the production of farmed salmon and a whitefish harvesting/processing plant from a company that had gone into liquidation. These events took place during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the Norwegian aquaculture industry, which subsequently also led to the collapse of the fish farmers’ own sales organisation (Fiskeoppdretternes Salgslag AL) in November that same year. It was precisely this company’s failure, and the so-called salmon mountain, that helped lay the foundations for the secondary processing operations which are a cornerstone of the SalMar story. Up until then the vast majority of Norwegian salmon had been exported as fresh or frozen round gutted fish. This was the start of a major restructuring of the Norwegian aquaculture sector, which gradually led to a substantial increase in its level of industrialisation.
Since its inception in 1991 SalMar has developed into a vertically integrated aquaculture enterprise, whose production stretches from roe/broodfish to the sale of finished products. SalMar has gone from a single company with one licence for the production of farmed salmon in Norway, to an international concern with 100 fish farming licences in Norway and considerable shareholdings in the UK. Today, SalMar is Norway’s third largest producers of Atlantic salmon. During the same period the number of employees has risen from 25 to around 1000. In short, SalMar has made spectacular progress over the past 25 years, and is looking forward to an equally exciting period of development in the years to come.