Egg delivery contract of more than 100 million NOK signed

AquaGen will be the sole supplier of salmon eggs when Norway Royal Salmon opens its new hatchery outside Tromsø.

From the left: Liza-Mari Widnes Isaksen, Lisbeth Martinsen and Kåre Gruven (NRS), Hans Reidar Halle-Knutzen and Anders Fjellheim (AquaGen), and Tore Evjen (NRS).

The plant in Dåfjord, an hour’s drive from Tromsø, will be one of the world’s largest smolt plants when it opens in 2021. With eggs exclusively from AquaGen.

– We are very pleased to have signed this three-year agreement. We know AquaGen well and have collaborated for several areas, but this is the first major egg delivery agreement we enter into together, says Executive Vice President Freshwater, Tore Evjen.


Strategic commitment

The approximately 17 million salmon eggs per year will make NRS and partners almost self-sufficient in smolts and are part of a larger strategic investment for the company.

– We will deliver a quality product for dinner tables all over the world. We will continue to grow in a sustainable way, be profitable and contribute to the local communities we are part of. We are investing in northern Norway because this is where we find what we believe to be the best locations for sustainable farming, and our new smolt plant is a key piece of this strategy, Evjen emphasizes.

NRS’s feed manager, Kåre Gruven, says that it was natural to choose AquaGen, which through many years of breeding and genomic selection has achieved good results with their egg products.

– AquaGen has a high focus on developing new products. It is important for us to use the best egg products, and AquaGen has shown very good results in areas such as fish growth and breeding progress, says Gruven.


Uses 100% GAIN eggs

NRS has chosen to use 100 percent GAIN eggs, a product with the greatest improvement in lice resistance, handling tolerance and growth.

We have seen that GAIN provides better growth, and we therefore choose to use only this egg product. In addition, AquaGen has backup solutions that ensure flexibility and delivery capability, which is also one of the reasons for choosing them, says Gruven.

Also for AquaGen, this agreement is strategically important, not least to be able to work as systematically over time as genetics and breeding work requires.

– This is an important agreement for us, and a type of long-term collaboration that we want where we can develop the products further with our customers. In addition, we of course think it is very good that the breeding work we do is noticed, smiles AquaGen’s sales and marketing director, Hans Reidar Halle-Knutzen.


Promoting the development of sterile fish

For both NRS and AquaGen, sustainability is the basis for all development work that takes place in the companies, and the largest part of the agreement consists of sterile fish to be used in NRS ‘green licences. These will stimulate new technological solutions or operating methods to reduce the environmental challenges of escaping farmed fish.

Tore Evjen (NRS) and Hans Reidar Halle-Knutzen (AquaGen) sign the contract.

– Production of sterile fish is still fairly new, and together with NRS we want to develop this production further to get even better survival, more robust fish and even faster growth. This is a work that we look forward to, and which will be a boost for the entire industry when it comes to further development of sterile fish, says Hans Reidar Halle-Knutzen.


Local jobs

The hatchery in Dåfjord is strategically located in relation to NRS’s activity in northern Norway and will have significant local and regional ripple effects. Operations manager Liza-Mari Widnes Isaksen is looking forward to starting up the facility in the new year.

– I have been involved in the entire planning phase and look forward to starting the work in a state-of-the-art recirculation plant (RAS) with approximately 20 employees. We will produce around 2400 tonnes per year, says Isaksen.