A fish is a fish, right? All slippery and wet, filled with marine delights? Right?
Just like any other livestock, the quality of the meat is closely related to what it eats. Exercise, living space and water quality also make a great difference to taste and nutritional value of the finished product.
That’s why we don’t use copper in our nets to keep them clean – we use water instead. We don’t treat disease through aggressive use of antibiotics. We don’t feed our fish GMOs. We don’t use artificial colouring.
we would never knowingly do something that might jeopardise the environment on which we and our local community rely. Because it simply makes sense.
If you visit the locations of the Kvarøy fish farm, you see Salmon jumping, flipping through the air with a cheeky twerk to their tail. We like to think it’s because they’re so happy to be a part of Kvarøy, but given the salmon’s coldblooded nature, we know this probably isn’t true. What is true, however, is that our fish are strong. Because the fjord around and beneath our locations is 120 metres deep, which creates more current that in turn exercises the salmon, reducing fat levels and improving the quality of the meat.
As fish farmers, we try to mimic nature’s way of raising salmon. Carefully picked sites with just the right water conditions are important in that respect, but how we manage the site itself, as well as the salmon, is just as important. Our pens also have a low density of salmon (20kg/m3), greatly reducing problems connected to overpopulation.
The use of GMOs (Genetically modified organisms) in feed has become increasingly popular the last few years. At Kvarøy we don’t do this, because we’re not sure how the use of GMO will affect our fish and our environment in the long run.
The use of antibiotics is one of the main objections relating to fish farms, and for good reason.
The release of such materials into the water and the food chain is something that should be avoided as far as possible. At Kvarøy we don’t use them at all, focusing instead on vaccines and the right type of feed.
Sea lice are one of the biggest concerns for fish farmers, and many use medical treatment to fight it. That creates pollution and some of the remedies are even banned in the USA. At Kvarøy we use lumpsuckers. They are cute little fish who, as the name implies, suck the salmon free of lice.
They’re environmentally friendly and surely much more fun for the salmon.
The ratio between how many kilograms fish and marine organisms (fish meal/fish oil) that are used in the feed in order to produce 1 kilogram of salmon, is one of the main concerns in sustainable fish farming. Focusing on efficiency and using vegetable sources for proteins have greatly reduced our foot-print on the wild fish and we are proud to say that we have a ratio of < 1:1, i.e. we produce more fish than what we consume.
It’s vital for the salmon that the nets on site are clutter free in order to ensure water flow and cleanliness. Many farmers use copper on their nets in order to prohibit growth of algae, but this results in harmful runoff that settles as a pollutant on the seabed. At Kvarøy we use natural wax and a diver with a high-pressure water jet twice a year. It’s a little more complicated and costly to do it this way, but then again who said great salmon should be cheap?
We don’t use chemicals to boost the colour of the salmon, or to otherwise manipulate their growth, taste or appearance.