Atlantic Sapphire subsidiary, Atlantic Sapphire Denmark, experienced a mortality event in one of its grow-out systems on Saturday, losing around 227,000 fish and pushing the company's next harvest revenue back by about four months.
Preliminary analysis, subject to further verification over the next days, indicates higher nitrogen levels than desired as the cause of the event, which has been addressed in a design modification, according to a company announcement to the Norwegian Stock Exchange.
Other portions and systems of the pilot farm were unaffected due to the segregation design that created various independent systems.
Other systems in the Danish pilot farm and the US-based main facility had already been modified or are in the process of being modified to avoid future events.
The value of the biomass represented by the affected fish is insured, but the company is still assessing the complete financial impact of the event.
"This incident demonstrates the importance and challenges of finishing commissioning of all Bluehouse systems while already in operation as well as the value of having multiple independent systems for biological risk diversification reasons," said the company in the announcement.
"At the same time, the company's strategy to have its Danish pilot farm as R&D facility proves immensely valuable in testing designs and identifying issues in this first and largest ever land-based, RAS salmon farm in the world."
Upon completion of the US Phase 1 facility this year, with the expected annual output of 10,000 metric tons (HOG) salmon per year, Atlantic Sapphire will have a total of six independent grow-out systems in the US, "limiting the risk of any systemic contamination to only about 15 percent of total output," said the company.