Norwegian cod farmer Statt Torsk heralded "important milestones" in its latest quarterly update while conceding it still has a long way to go to grow the market.

During the quarter, the group started commercial production at its Stokkeneset site, which should support year-round deliveries until mid-summer 2024.

It also entered into a long-term processing agreement with Western Sea Products, owned by the Mosoval Group, at Vartdal, and obtained the Global Gap certification.

Statt Torsk completed a private placement during the second quarter for NOK 41.4 million (€4.2 million/$4.2 million) and secured a biomass overdraft facility from a large Norwegian bank of NOK 35 million (€3.6 million/$3.6 million).

Test harvesting was successfully completed in June and in July, the group signed a deal to sell 30 percent of its farmed cod production -- 1,600 metric tons -- for NOK 75 million (€7.6 million/$7.7 million) to a South European client.

During the quarter, the company was also awarded three additional production licences for its Rekvika production site in northern Norway, raising the total there to six.

The additional licences at Rekvika lift production capacity at the site to 4,680 metric tons, although this will not affect harvests before the 2024-2025 growing season.

Statt Torsk expects to harvest 1,500 metric tons of cod in 2022 and 4,000 metric tons in 2023.

"All this tells us that we are on the right track," said CEO Gustave Brun-Lie. "The industry starts to materialize, but we have still a long way to go."

The company's goal has not changed, he added, and Statt Torsk needs to increase its yearly production to about 12,000 metric tons.

It currently has two applications to expand under consideration by the authorities and several other possibilities are identified.

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But the most important challenge now is the market, said Brun-Lie.

"Production of farmed cod is small and needs to be developed," he said.

To do this, the group is working in close cooperation with its partners, and colleagues in the industry through Torskenettverket as well as authorities such at Sjomatradet.

"Large and continuous efforts are being made towards the market to make it understand the value of farmed cod products in terms of sustainability, predictability and quality," said Brun-Lie.

"In other words: so far so good; there is definitely no lack of enthusiasm; rather the contrary," he said.