Managing Director Christian Riber hailed the initial harvest as a “milestone” for the Trondheim-based company, after an intensive four-year effort to start production.
Norcod expects to produce more than 5,000 tonnes of cod from a continuous harvest by February, according to Riber.
“We had to start harvesting the fish a little earlier than expected due to its excellent biological performance. The fish are in fantastic condition and the first deliveries earlier this month have given very positive customer feedback, ”he said.
“The majority of harvest volumes were sold well above budgeted levels. As customers appreciate more Norcod and its many benefits, this price is expected to increase. The market looks very promising for the coming months, ”he added.
The initial harvest marks an important step towards Norcod’s ambition to become the world’s leading producer of high-quality farmed cod on an industrial scale from its three farming sites in central Norway.
These fish were harvested from the first batch of juvenile cod which was transferred from growth tanks into the sea in January 2020.
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The next batch of 2.4 million fish was transferred to the sea earlier this summer and is expected to be caught in the third quarter of 2022, with the aim of increasing annual production to 9,000 tonnes in 2022 and 25,000 tonnes of by 2025.
Another batch of juveniles is expected to enter the marine phase in spring 2022 after starting their growth phase in December of this year.
“This schedule puts us on the right track to significantly increase production over the next few years. The high quality and volume of fish produced so far gives us the assurance that we can exceed our sales ambition by meeting market demand, ”said Riber.
Norcod has secured buyers for the fish in advance as part of its marketing strategy to provide customers with stable year-round deliveries, compared to seasonal wild cod, through its proprietary marketing company Sirena Group.
“This is only the second time since I started working here that I have discovered a product where customers call back, praise and actually put on a waiting list for the next delivery,” said Magnus Gehlin from Fisk Idag, one of Sweden’s leading seafood distributors. .
Jesper Hansen from Fiskerikajen, Danish seafood customer, said: “We buy the vast majority of our cod from low impact fisheries. In summer it is sometimes difficult to get enough cod from sustainable fishing. Therefore, we are delighted that we can now launch Norcod and are really excited about the high quality of this fish. ”
Cod produced by Norcod is differentiated in terms of price because the fish yields 8 percent more than wild cod and provides a thicker, meatier fillet, according to Riber.
Whole fish are initially marketed in Spain, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, with value-added cod fillets destined for France, Germany and the United States.