The specialist slaughter ship Norwegian Gannet has come to the aid of an Icelandic salmon company which was in danger of running out of harvest capacity.

The salmon farms owned by Arctic Fish are currently booming, but the company’s harvesting facilities were in danger of approaching the maximum allowed by its slaughterhouse licence

For example, the biomass at one location, Dýrafjarðareldin, has increased by 6,000 tonnes since April this year.

So Arctic Fish called in the Danish owned Norwegian Gannet to help process 500 tonnes of salmon.

The company, along with Arnarlax, which is owned by SalMar, is planning to build a large new joint slaughterhouse in Iceland, capable of processing 50,000 tonnes in the first phase alone. But completion of the project is still some way off.

Arctic Fish, which is part of the Norway Royal Salmon operation, said the action may have been unconventional but was necessary. It was forced to call in the Norwegian Gannet so it could reduce its biomass and operate in accordance with the restrictions imposed by the licence.

The salmon was then taken on board to Hirtsals in Denmark for processing.

But the vessel could not just slip into Iceland unnoticed. It had to undergo specialist cleaning, which included disinfectant treatment, before it was allowed to operate.

It was last in Iceland back in February 2020 when severe storms almost wreck a farm owned by Arnarlax and thousands of salmon urgently needed slaughtering and processing.

The vessel’s owners, Hav Line, have clashed with the Norwegian government in the past over attempts to restrict use of the vessel.

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