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BioMar joins research project to make salmon farming carbon neutral

Friday, December 18, 2020

Belgian RAS company, Columbi Salmon partnered with the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Morefish and BioMar on a research project aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of salmon RAS farming.

“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 by introducing aquaponics to our RAS facility. We look forward to working with our partners to realize our ambitious sustainability targets,” said 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 be efficiently removed from the RAS plant. One thousand fish will be stocked into the test facility for three months at NIBIO’s facility in Grimstad, Norway.

“Plants capture CO2 from the air and utilize nutrients in the water from fish waste. This is a way to utilize all resources associated with fish farming and can lead to a substantial reduction in emissions,” said Siv Lene Gangenes Skar, researcher and project lead at Nibio. NIBIO will conduct the 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.

Columbi Salmon is establishing a land-based salmon farm in Oostende, Belgium and will establish further production facilities throughout Europe over the coming years. The goal is to produce 12,000 tons of salmon and 4,000 tons 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 concluded.


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