Havfarm: a new salmon fishing revolution in Norway

Aquaculture company Nordlaks is developing Havfarm, a giant ship-shaped fish farm that could revolutionise salmon fishing in Norway. Where will aspects of ship design assist with this cause, and how might it change Norway’s aquaculture industry in the future?

In February, Norwegian fish farmer Nordlaks penned an agreement with Chinese shipyard CIMC Raffles to build the first of two major new fish farms under the Havfarm moniker. When it commences operations in 2020, the ship-shaped Havfarm 1 will feature a catamaran-like hull measuring 430m in length and the capacity to accommodate up to 10,000 tonnes of salmon at a time.

The Havfarm concept – developed by Nordlaks alongside veteran ship creators at NSK Design – has been heralded as a potential game-changer for Norway’s already burgeoning salmon fishing industry. But where have shipping principles been applied to this humongous platform, and what could it mean for the future of Norway’s aquaculture sector?

Havfarm 1 will be a stationary platform moored approximately 5km south-west of Hadseløya, an island in Norway’s Vesterålen region. The steel structure will extend more than 30m below sea level and act as a framework for six separate mesh pens, measuring 50m across and ten metres deep. It will be capable of withstanding wave heights up to ten metres, and can be raised up even further out of the sea when inclement weather strikes.

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