Researchers at Iceland's Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MRI) on Friday said the salmon farming sector can handle a roughly 20 percent rise in maximum biomass without any adverse effects on the environment.
A new report from MRI revised an earlier recommendation of 71,000 metric tons to 106,500 metric tons. Under the new guidelines, biomass in the Eastern Fjords could double to 42,000 metric tons.
Icelandic salmon farming production increased rapidly in recent years, up to 11,700 metric tons in 2018 and 26,900 metric tons in 2019.
At present, licenses are issued for farming up to 30,000 metric tons of salmon in netpens.
Icelandic salmon farmer Arnarlax raised its harvest expectations 20 percent to 12,000 metric tons for 2020, despite increased mortalities at its Arnarfjordur site earlier this year.
The Icelandic firm's earnings before interest and tax grew to NOK 27 million (€2.6 million/$2.9 million) in the fourth quarter of 2019, after being in the red the same period last year, showing significant growth.
Land-based salmon production is also poised to increase in the country.
Icelandic whitefish giant Samherji aims to grow its licenses up to 20,000 metric tons in the next 10 years, Samherji Director of Fish Farming Jon Kjartan Jonsson previously told IntraFish.
And at the end of last year, the Icelandic Food Agency granted whitefish giant Samherji an increase on its operating permit for its land-based aquaculture operation in Grindavik, from the current 1,600 metric tons to nearly double, at 3,000 metric tons of salmon and char.