Andfjord Salmon's environmental and climate impact

Marine biodiversity is critical to the health of people and the planet and careful management of the oceans is a key feature of a sustainable future.

27 April 2023

As a seafood company dependent on a healthy environment for its business operation, it is important for us to minimise our environmental footprint.

Andfjord Salmon’s business operations can have an actual or potential negative impact on the environment through emissions to air and sea, through waste or sludge generation stemming from production, as well as energy use from farming facilities and office buildings. If not managed correctly, the company’s business activities can potentially impact wildlife, specifically birds and fish species, the seabed, flora and fauna.

Andfjord Salmon aims to have a positive impact on the environment, and is continuously working to mitigate and minimise risks. The company has established environmental guidelines, monitors its activities carefully, conducts tests and reports on its progress. Andfjord Salmon should at all times abide by relevant laws and regulations in the areas in which it operates, including:

• The Regulation on the Establishment and Expansion of Aquaculture Facilities
• The Aquaculture Operations Regulations
• The Aquaculture Act
• The Nature Diversity Act
• The Water Regulation Act
• The Pollution Control Act
• Internal Control Regulations
• Municipal zoning plans
• The aquaculture legislation (IKAkva) for environmental sustainability and animal health and welfare

Read more: Andfjord Salmon ESG Report 2022


Andfjord Salmon is committed to both ethical and statutory obligations governed by Norwegian legislation. All fish farming facilities operating in Norway have effluent permits distributed by the Norwegian environmental authorities, which control the amount of nutrients and organic materials that can be discharged from facilities. This also applies to Andfjord Salmon.

Samples from the seabed are taken regularly below and near the farms in order to monitor the environmental conditions, in accordance with the Norwegian standard for environmental monitoring of benthic impact from marine fish farms (NS 9410). Environmental surveys carried out by the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries show that effluents of nutrients and organic materials from aquaculture are minor environmental problems in Norway.

Andfjord Salmon started the processes of carrying out an Environmental Risk Assessments (ERA) and an Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in 2020 and 2021, as
required by Norwegian law and in compliance with the requirement set out by Global G.A.P Aquaculture Standards. The EIA provides the basis for further risk assessments on the various environmental impacts of the company’s future business operations. One of our goals for 2022 was to develop a biodiversity plan as a summary document of Andfjord Salmon's positive and negative impact on the natural environment. As part of the work on the biodiversity plan, Andfjord Salmon has
together with Åkerblå AS conducted a modelling of the spread of discharge in Andfjorden, specifically relating to dilution and dispersion of discharge water in full-scale production at three different discharge points outside Kvalnes (“North”, “Mid” and “South”).

As the spread of discharge water varies during the day and is affected both by the tide and the wind, the average concentration during the year and over the entire modelling area was calculated. The modelling shows that the highest concentrations of discharge water are located around the discharge points. Concentrations will be below 1% on average in surface layers, except for a small area close to land in the case of discharge from the discharge point “South”. At the bottom layers, the area of influence with an average concentration above 1% extends about 2000 m southwest (all discharge points) and about 1400 m towards north of all discharge points. For both nitrogen and total phosphorus, it has been simulated that the discharges of nutrient salt will not deteriorate the water quality in Andfjorden outside Kvalnes, which remains in “good ecological condition”.

Based on the modelled discharge, Andfjord Salmon, together with Rådgivende Biologer AS, conducted a mapping of the marine biodiversity in Andfjorden using ROV technology. The survey showed that the modelled influence impact area consists of kelp forest and shell sand, and important breeding areas for several fish species. Andfjord has also mapped the deep water areas outside Kvalnes as a precautionary measure, in which the marine habitat “sponge community” were registered.

Fish Escape

Andfjord Salmon’s technology provides robust barriers to limit escape. The company started working with Norconsult and DNV in 2021 to meet the requirements for escape safety in NS 9416 Landbased aquaculture farms for fish. The latest status report gave Andfjord Salmon the highest score in terms of the prevention of fish

Fish health and welfare

Ensuring good health and welfare is both an ethical responsibility and the most important factor in achieving good growth, higher quality, and lower costs.

Fish health and welfare, such as protecting the fish from unnecessary stress and impact, are at the core of Andfjord Salmon’s innovation. Continuous water flow from deep waters ensures that our salmon live in an environment where the presence of salmon lice and poisonous algae is close to non-existent. In 2022, Andfjord Salmon has continued to carry out extensive planning and testing to ensure optimal fish health and welfare. The company’s fish welfare measures are comprehensive and focus on all aspects of the farming value chain, including feed and nutrition, respiration, thermal regulation, water quality, hygiene, disease management, behaviour control and social contact and rest, and the company’s overall goal is to mimic the salmon’s living conditions in the sea as much as possible.

On 25 June 2022, Andfjord Salmon released approximately 200,000 smolt at an average weight of 120 grams in the company’s first land-based pool at Kvalnes, Andøya. Due to strong biological performance, the average weight of the salmon reached 1 kilogram in November 2022 – well ahead of the late December 2022 forecast. The survival rate stands an industry leading 98.9 per cent, four months after the smolt was released. Water quality and thermal regulation. An optimised living environment with the best water quality is a key basis for good fish health and a high survival rate. In 2021, Andfjord Salmon verified the laminar water flow technology at the first pool at Kvalnes, which confirmed that the company was able to recreate wild salmon’s natural habit on land and offer the salmon the best possible living environment. Now that the company is in production and is striving to ensure continuous and optimal fish welfare, Andfjord Salmon regularly examines the water quality, including monitoring the presence of pathogens.

The company is also in the process of setting up a complete sensor system based on fish welfare indicators made by Fishwell to monitor, control, and optimise the water quality and living environment of the fish in the pool. The patented Andfjord Salmon flow-through pool system supplies a continuous flow of 100% seawater. As water is pumped from a depth of 40 meters, water temperature is considerably more stable than what would be expected at corresponding depths in net pens and is follows seasonal patterns in ambient water temperature. During the first six months (approximately) of production, over 60% of daily temperature readings were in the range 10–16°C, which is considered optimal for sea farmed salmon.

Health checks, hygiene and disease management

Andfjord Salmon is by law required to carry out sampling and screening for a range of fish pathogens six times a year but does so every month to ensure the best possible living conditions for the salmon. An external supplier conducts monthly sampling and screening for a range of fish pathogens. If the company and if the company experiences increased mortality or suspects disease, additional health check ups, autopsies and analysis are carried out. The company has entered into contracts with analysis laboratories for fish pathogen screening.

Feed and nutrition

Our ambition is to develop the world’s most fish-friendly and sustainable aquaculture facility of its kind. Therefore, having our own specially developed feed, with unique ingredients from a local supplier, is an important building block to be able to to achieving this goal, and to adopting a feeding strategy that avoids strong competitive behaviour, ensuring low stress and homogeneous growth.

In February 2022, Andfjord Salmon entered into a strategic feed supply agreement with Skretting, which is the aquaculture business line of global leader in animal nutrition and aquafeed, Nutreco. Under this agreement, Skretting has developed a feed that is specifically tailored to Andfjord Salmon’s flow through technology to ensure optimal water quality, fish welfare and growth conditions in the land-based pool.

The feed has been named “Calanus® Plus by Andfjord Salmon” and consists of feed ingredients that have a proven track record from land-based salmon farming, including the zooplankton Calanus finmarchicus (Calanus). Andfjord Salmon is the first salmon farmer in the world that utilises a commercially developed feed that contains Calanus, and the feed composition is specifically tailored to Andfjord Salmon’s flow-through system and location at Andøya. This feed will ensure the production of permium quality salmon.

Most importantly: The fish LIKES the feed very much!

Andfjord Salmon is a Norwegian company established in 2014. The company is listed at Oslo Stock Exchange (ANDF), and located at Kvalnes on the northernmost island of Andøya in Vesterålen, Norway.