C-Feed (a spin-off from SINTEF) has so far produced
copepods on a small scale in Trondheim, Norway, but when the new plant opens in
the autumn, the company will start by increasing its production by a factor of 10.
Using unique technology from SINTEF, the new factory,
which is located outside Trondheim, will have an annual market potential of NOK2bn.
The tiny crustaceans will be used as live feed for fry
of ballan wrasse, tuna, lobster, halibut and other marine species. Many
companies and researchers across the world have tried without success to
cultivate new species, and it is often the fry stage that has been the problem,
because a large proportion of the young fish die during this early phase of
“Until now, cultivating tuna has been an extremely
demanding, not to say impossible, process. Our copepods have turned out to be
very suitable as baby food for fry, and we believe that tuna could represent a
major market for us, since tuna are in great demand with sushi enthusiasts all
over the world,” says C-Feed CEO Rune Bjerke.
C-Feed says that the copepods are also very likely to
revolutionise the cultivation of well-known farmed species such as halibut,
lobster and ballan wrasse.
Mr Bjerke points to ballan wrasse cultivation as having
great market potential, particularly in Norway. Wrasse are in demand because
they eat lice that live on the skin of salmon held in fish-cages, and are
therefore among the most effective methods of combatting plagues of lice. “The
production of fish-feed for ballan wrasse farmers could become our largest
market in Norway,” says Mr Bjerke.
The company has already started small-scale exports to
customers in several European countries, and expects that its turnover will be
in the region of NOK10m in the first full year of operation of the new plant.
By Icefish Press FP
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