Leading Portuguese supermarket chain Jerónimo Martins is trialling production of its own farmed salmon using Norwegian smolt.
The retailer contracted specialist logistics firm Flying Sharks to use a specially adapted vehicle to transport the smolt produced by Alsaker Fjordbruk Group’s Fjon Bruk division in Norway to Portugal.
This was after Norway’s food safety authority granted permission to export about 1,200 individual smolt with an average weight of 230 grams and a total biomass of 300 kilograms for the trial.
Jerónimo Martins subsidiary Seaculture Aquicultura in southern Portugal is handling the fish and plans to put them to sea within a month, 11 miles off the coast of Aveiro.
Fish will be transported by boat to an experimental facility using a submersible cage equipped with a roof.
The trial will last from six to eight months, according to Portuguese industry magazine Agricultura e Mar.
Producers may have to overcome the challenge of salmon farming maturing early because of higher sea temperatures off the Portuguese coast, several sources told IntraFish.
Among its business interests Jerónimo Martins operates the largest supermarket chain in Portugal, Pingo Doce, and the largest food chain in Poland, Biedronka. It also has retail operations in Colombia, South America.