New offshore aquaculture cage, Offshoremerd, tested

Kjell Lorentsen, Managing Director of Gigante Offshore. Photo: Rune Nilsen/Bodø Nu/Gigante Offshore

The Norwegian aquaculture company Gigante Offshore, based in Bodø, is developing a new cage concept. The test model was towing tested recently south of Bodø.

Usually tests are conducted in model tanks but this prototype measures 80 meters long and 8 meters wide and was built by PolarPlast, also not far from Bodø, using polyethylene. This new concept is new in the ever developing of new offshore cage constructions. When the cage is fully developed it will be about 500 meters long and 40 meters wide and have one mooring in one end and have a service and supply boat housing at the other end. Primarily the cage will float at the ocean surface but can be lowered to 30 meters to avoid lice in periods, or to avoid extreme weather.

The locality for the first cage has already been picked. It is in a rough open ocean area south of Bodø, where the model was recently tested.

This new cage concept is also meant to be able to farm other species in addition to salmon.

The project is currently engaging multiple research and development organizations, including PolarPlast, NorLense, Multiconsult, Aqua Knowledge, Rolls-Royce, Labora, Sintef Ocean, SeaSpection Rov Services, Løvold, Mørenot and Kunnskapsparken Bodø, which is coordinating the project.

The company is still waiting for a final development permit.

Gigante Offshore was founded by Kjell Lorentsen in 1988 and is headquartered in Bodø, Norway. The company produced about 10,000 tonnes of salmon in 2017. The company is also the majority owner of Salten Aqua Group which includes broodstock and smolt production, production and sales. Its wholly owned daughter company, Gildeskål Forskningsstasjon (GIFAS), conducts considerable research and development, especially in exposed open ocean farming.

Source: Fiskeribladet-Fiskaren