Ocean Farm 1 – the world’s first offshore fish farm

Ocean Farm 1 ushers in a new era in the history of salmon farming. It is based on the best that the Norwegian aquaculture and offshore technology sectors have to offer, and resolves many of the issues relating to sustainable growth that the aquaculture industry is facing.

The installation is currently under construction in China, and will be positioned in Frohavet, off the Trøndelag coast, in the second half of 2017. Ocean Farm 1 is a full-scale pilot facility, where many aspects of offshore fish farming will be tested out.

Dimensions and facts
Height: 68 m
Diameter: 110 m
Volume: 250,000 m3

Makes use of leading offshore technology
Ocean Farm 1 is the world’s first offshore salmon farm. It builds on the same fundamental principles as the semisubmersible installations used by the offshore oil and gas sector. The project is an interdisciplinary partnership between leading Norwegian aquaculture and offshore companies and centres of expertise.

Global Maritime AS Design and systems integration
Kongsberg Maritime AS Electrical installations and instrumentation for marine and fish handling systems
Mørenot Aquaculture AS Hull outfitting, nets and moveable bulkhead arrangement
Malm Orstad AS Drive system for moveable bulkhead
Emstec GmbH Equipment and systems for fish transfer
Graintec AS Equipment and systems for receipt and distribution of fish feed
Optimar Stette AS Equipment and systems for handling dead fish
Pump Supply AS Equipment and systems for net cleaning
CSIC QWHI Hull construction and installation of marine systems
DNV GL/Noomas Third-party verification and certification
MARINTEK Model testing and associated analysis
Sintef Fiskeri- og havbruk AS Environmental data and calculation of currents
FugroOceanor AS Environmental data and wave calculations
Ramnäs Bruk AB Mooring chain
Lankhorst Euronete S.A. Fibre ropes
Farstad Offshore AS Installation mooring system and fishfarm

When developing the concept’s technical solutions, every fish farming process has been taken into account, and new approaches have been found for the various operating procedures. In addition to complying with the aquaculture industry’s own fabrication standards, the regulations and standards applicable in the offshore oil and gas sector have also been used. The pilot facility is generic in its configuration, which means that while individual installations may have the same overall design, they must be certified/adapted to the prevailing weather and environmental conditions at their intended locations.

Ocean Farm 1 comprises a slack anchored, semisubmersible, rigid structure, with a high degree of flotational stability. It is intended for offshore installation in water depths of 100 to 300 metres. All fish handling operations can be performed on board, without recourse to external service vessels or equipment. In addition, the facility is equipped with one moveable and two fixed bulkheads so that it can be divided into three separate compartments, enabling different fish related operations to be performed. The installation is fully automated to eliminate heavy manual operations. Normally, a crew of 3-4 people will operate and monitor the facility. Risk analyses show that the potential for fish escapes is very low.

Contributing to sustainable development
For SalMar, sustainable growth in the aquaculture industry depends on its ability to make use of new locations that offer good biological conditions for the farming of fish stocks – typically areas that are less affected by tidal currents and where the direction of currents is more constant. The project’s objective is to develop technologies that will make this possible. Feasibility studies started in 2012, and over the past three years, various technical solutions have been evaluated. This has resulted in the design of a complete offshore fish farming installation. If successful, an initial, full scale pilot facility could help to resolve the aquaculture industry’s currently limited opportunities for further growth.

Equipped for R&D
The pilot installation will be equipped for the performance of R&D activities, with particular focus on biological conditions and fish welfare. In this way, it will help to promote the further advancement of the aquaculture industry through applied research and development. SalMar has been allocated a site at Frohavet, off the coast of central Norway, for this project. The objective is that operational experience gained from this pilot facility will be fed back into commercial production of this type of offshore fish farming installation.

This is Ocean Farming
The company behind Ocean Farm 1 is Ocean Farming AS, a subsidiary of the SalMar Group. Ocean Farming was established specifically to develop an offshore fish farming capability. Through the development and implementation of new technologies and the build-up of operational experience, Ocean Farming will acquire the specialist expertise needed for this next generation of fish farming facilities to achieve its full potential. Ocean Farming has received grants from Innovation Norway to help fund the concept development phase.