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"The Egg," novel Marine Harvest salmon pen, face hurdles

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The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has granted Marine Harvest four development licenses in relation to “the Egg,” its new concept for a salmon pen.

However, the Norwegian government also rejected 10 additional licenses for which Marine Harvest had applied.

“Marine Harvest is pleased that the authority shares the view that ‘the Egg’ represents a potential new production solution within salmon farming, which may contribute to further develop the salmon farming industry,” the company said in a statement. “However, Marine Harvest will appeal the decision in relation to the rejection of the remaining 10 development licenses for ‘the Egg’ concept.”

“The Egg,” which uses new enclosed technology, could reduce both fish escapes and the sea lice problem, the company has said in previous public statements about the concept. The Norwegian salmon farming industry currently spends more than NOK 3 billion (USD 355 million, EUR 315 million) per year on sea lice challenges.

“If successful, this technology could potentially solve a number of challenges the industry faces today and also reduce the costs related to these,” Ola Helge Hjetland, a spokesperson for Marine Harvest, told SeafoodSource.

The number of development licenses Marine Harvest has applied for “reflects the maximum allowed biomass produced,” Helge Hjetland said.

“Marine Harvest believe that the scale of the project must be sufficient for the concept to be tested both in regards to technology and economy,” Helge Hjetland said. “We hope that the ministry has the same high ambitions for the aquaculture industry as Marine Harvest, and are willing to let us invest in the necessary amount of ‘Eggs’ to realize the project.”

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