Norway’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has approved development permits for Roxel Aqua’s “octopus” offshore salmon farming concept, following an appeal by the company -- a decision that gives the company a second shot at proving the concept is innovative and would require significant investment to execute.

The ministry reversed its original ruling after Roxel provided additional documentation for the concept, and now says the project meets the requirement under Norway's Development License program.

“Roxel Aqua has a new, innovative and future-oriented concept,” Norway Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said, adding that "parts of the concept are not as well-documented as they should have been."

Development permits were a time-limited scheme that could be applied for from 2015 to 2017.

The purpose was to grant salmon farming permits for projects that contribute to innovation in the sector, and which involve large investments.

The "octopus" consists of a modified offshore rig with 12-14 tension-anchored submersible cages.

The cages encircle the rig and can be pulled down below the surface by winches.


The Directorate of Fisheries originally rejected the application from Roxel Aqua, ruling the concept did not meet the standards for a "significant innovation."

With the ministry's new decision, the case will now be sent back to the directorate for reconsideration and potential final approval.

Roxel Aqua will now have six months to fulfill the conditions in the ministry's decision, which include proving the operation can withstand rough weather.

If they do so, the directorate will go assess whether Roxel Aqua's application fulfills other conditions for obtaining development permits, including the condition of significant investment.

The decision in the appeal case does not mean that Roxel Aqua will be granted development permits in this round.