Cod farmer Norcod and aquaculture business Vesterålen Havbruk have agreed a partnership deal for the harvesting of all Norcod’s farmed cod volumes from its Frosvika facility in Meløy, in Nordland county, Norway.
The agreement runs for the next three years with an option to extend, and covers the entire slaughter and processing of cod at Vesterålen Havbruk’s fish-processing facility in Myre. The facility also processes large amounts of wild cod during the winter fishing season. Myre is considered the “cod capital” of Norway. The agreement covers harvest up to 10,000 tons per year.
“The first harvest will take place from September next year and into 2023. The fish went into the sea at Frosvika this summer, so it will be the culmination of almost two years’ hard work during the production cycle. We know our fish will be in the best hands,” said Norcod production director Rune Eriksen.
The deal is a key step for Vesterålen Havbruk as it will enable year-round activity for the facility in Myre.
“We’re very happy to be working closely with market leader Norcod. This agreement is important for both companies as it enables a better utilisation of the untapped potential in existing facilities. It will also contribute to sustaining our local community with year-round jobs. Our employees are used to handling large volumes of cod during the main season and being able to transfer this knowledge into cod farming is key in the scale-up of the white-fish industry,” said CEO of Vesterålen Havbruk, Brynjar Kværnstuen.
Vesterålen Havbruk will also harvest its own farmed cod, raised in pens at sea, next year. Together with the Norcod volumes, the partners are now closer to building Norway’s largest facility for processing farmed cod.
“It’s a great decision and we look forward to working together to build a new and sustainable cod-farming industry. The market is crying out for fresh farmed cod year-round, so there’s plenty room for more players. Competition is good,” said Eriksen.
Harvesting of Norcod’s cod volumes from its other sites further south in Norway are not covered by the agreement, with separate slaughter arrangements in place in Trøndelag county.