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Iceland farmer plans closed cage expansion

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Source: FISHupdate

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ANOTHER Icelandic salmon farming company has unveiled significant expansion plans – this time using closed cages.

The latest in a series of recent aquaculture expansion moves has come from AkvaFuture, which wants to set up a facility for up to 6,000 tonnes of salmon in the fjords running alongside Ísafjarðardjúp in the Westfjords region.

The company has drawn up an evaluation document which says it plans to carry out salmon farming in sealed pens.

The managing director, CEO Rögnvaldur Guðmundsson, said in a press release that the pens are of a type which should completely eradicate the risk of the fish becoming infected by sea lice.

He said they should also dramatically reduce the environmental impact that sometimes comes with salmon farming because it is easier to collect the waste that falls to the bottom before it reaches the seabed.

The company statement maintained that its system should prevent any of the farmed fish from escaping and mixing with wild stock in nearly all instances, apart from natural disaster or transport accidents.

This fear is one of the main arguments presented by the wild fishing lobby, which is opposed to salmon farming in many areas of the country.

Like a number of Icelandic farming companies, AkvaFuture has strong Norwegian connections. It is a subsidiary of the Norwegian company AkvaDesign, which designs the sealed sea pens already used by AkvaFuture in Brønnøysund, Norway.

A year ago, Rögnvaldur Guðmundsson told an environmental conference that Iceland could become a pioneer in aquaculture by leading the way in the development of environmentally friendly fish farming.

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