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New analysis finds greater costs for land-based aquaculture

Footprint and water consumption were measured for comparable set-ups on land and at sea.

A new report led by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in cooperation with research institutes Sintef Ocean and SNF puts production costs for land-based grow-out 42 percent higher than those in the sea, according to IntraFish sister site TekFisk.

Based on production of 1.3 million metric tons of fish and a production capacity of 10,000 metric tons per year per farm (130 farms), the analysis finds that a transition from sea to land-based farming requires 11,700 hectares vs 4,238 square kilometers at sea plus 520 million cubic meters of water for recirculating aquaculture systems, putting production costs at an estimated NOK 43.60 (€4.62/$5.34) per kilo against sea farming's estimated NOK 30.60 (€3.24/$3.75) per kilo.

The research also found land-based hatcheries to incur 15 percent higher costs at NOK 43.60 (€4.62/$5.34) per kilo versus NOK 37.90 (€4.02/$4.65) per kilo for sea-based production. Based on production of 340 million smolt per year, with average weight of 500 grams in RAS farms with annual capacity of 3,000 metric tons per year (57 tanks), the researchers calculated a requirement of 612 hectares vs 1,148 square kilometers at sea, but water consumption of 68 million cubic meters per year.

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To buy a copy or view sample pages of IntraFish's in-depth land-based salmon farming report detailing all the costs, trends and companies influencing the sector, click here.

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