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Aquaculture set to surpass traditional fisheries in the Faroe Islands

Staff writer ▼ | April 2, 2016
Faroese aquaculture is now growing at a formidable speed and exports may soon surpass those of traditional fisheries.
Faroe Islands fishery
Fisheries   Huge potential for fish farming
Faroese aquaculture had a slow beginning. After some experimentation in the 1950s and 60s with the farming of trout and salmon, the industry finally took off in the 1980s.

It then endured a wobbly period and a serious crisis in the late 1990s.

However, fish farmers never doubted that the Faroese fjords had huge potential for fish farming. Following a slow recovery, the aquaculture industry was transformed into a reliable large-scale export industry in the mid-to-late noughties.

If the growth of aquaculture continues, it will at some point overtake traditional ocean fisheries to become the largest export industry in the Faroe Islands.

Two examples demonstrate the recent success of the Faroese aquaculture industry.

In February, Bakkafrost, the largest provider of farmed salmon in the Faroes, announced that the company had climbed above one billion DKK in pre-tax profits in 2015 for the first time.

The company has also recently invested in a large processing plant and a new smolt station in order to expand production.

In March, another aquaculture company, HiddenFjord, told Kringvarp Føroya that it had made “sensational” strides in the development of indoor aquaculture in the past year, which decreases the risk of disease and increases efficiency and product quality considerably.

Underpinning the production and export of salmon is the research and development company Fiskaaling.

Its work includes experimental farming programmes, prevention of disease and more. Fiskaaling also produces salmon eggs and provides smolt (juvenile salmon) to fish farming companies.