Navigate to top
SUSTAINABILITY LIBRARY 2023 Biodiversity Seabed condition

Seabed condition

Before stocking a production site, approval is required from a number of official and private bodies. Furthermore, approval requires compliance with numerous analyses, requirements and local conditions.

Before stocking a production site, approval is required from a number of official and private bodies. Furthermore, approval requires compliance with numerous analyses, requirements and local conditions. These approvals are given after mapping and compliance of ecological status, spawning areas for marine species, diversity, and presence of endangered species in the region.  

MOM-B

Before stocking a production site, approval is required from a number of official and private bodies. Furthermore, approval requires compliance with numerous analyses, requirements and local conditions. These approvals are given after mapping and compliance of ecological status, spawning areas for marine species, diversity, and presence of endangered species in the region.

One of the assessments carried out both prior to approval for operations at a location and during fish farming at the facility is a MOM-B evaluation.

MOM-B stands for:

M – matfiskanlegg (production facility)

O – overvåkning (monitoring)

M – modellering (modelling)

A MOM-B evaluation is carried out by an independent third party body and involves extraction of samples from the seabed under and close to the cages in a facility.

The analysis has three components:

  • Fauna investigation
  • Chemical investigation (pH and oxidation reduction potential)
  • Sensory investigation (gas, color, odor, consistency, dredge volume and mud depth)

The MOM B analyses are investigations of grab samples that are collected evenly distributed under the bottom of the fish farm.

All parameters are allocated a score depending of how much the sea bed is affected by the organic  substance. The distinction between acceptable and  unacceptable sediment condition is set to the highest  accumulation that allows burrowing benthic organisms  to live in the sediment.

On the basis of these investigations, the individual location receives a score, which also provides an indication of when the next MOM-B investigation should be carried out. Scoring is given from 1- 4 on each parameter on each grab scoop, where 1 is the best result. The total score is the average value of all parameters and grab scoops. If the score is 3 or 4, measures must be taken to improve the condition of the facility.

A poor score often requires more frequent seabed investigations than a good  score. In addition to MOM-B, analyses are also conducted locally at individual facilities. These include measurement of density, oxygen level in the sea, currents, water quality, visibility, dives etc.

Each facility is also linked with neighboring  facilities in a zone-based cooperation to work together on topics such as lice and preventing accidental release, prevent spread of disease, prevent outbreaks of disease etc.

Main goal

Average MOM-B max 1.5 per location (average score all surveys in calendar year for locations in operation that year)

KPI 2023: MOM-B score within 1 or 2 for all locations

 

2022

2021

2020

2019

Average MOM B Score

1,38

1,49

1,37

1,55

 

MOMC

The Group also conduct MOM C surveys. The C-survey is a trend monitoring of the bottom conditions in the transition zones from the farming zone and outwards in the recipient. This study is based on mapping of fauna on soft bottoms, which is carried out in accordance with relevant ISO standards.

In addition, hydrographic, geological and chemical support parameters are included. These extended trend monitoring outside the local areas is done as often as required, depending of environmental conditions, standard criteria and permit terms.

All fish farms in use are regularly monitored using regular monitoring programs. MOM B and / or MOM C environmental surveys are carried out at least annually in the near zone at each fish farm in connection with biomass peaks / maximum production capacity. These surveys are carried out in accordance with NS 9410 and are based on the Aquaculture Operations Regulations.

A pilot project has been initiated at a marine locality with commercial operations for collection of mud. The objective with this project is to minimise the carbon footprint on the seabed under the facility. This is the first trial involving collection of mud from commercial, full-scale marine facilities.

The project has the potential to contribute to development of new technology for collection in traditional facilities with an open cage system. The project is being conducted in collaboration with STIM, and is partly financed by Innovation Norway.

 

Copper

Copper is a naturally occurring chemical element which can be toxic at high levels in the marine environment. Nets can be treated with antifouling agents containing copper. Also, cleaning of nets during the production cycle is necessary to ensure good water quality for the farmed  fish. Lerøy Seafood Group uses low-pressure underwater washers to reduse copper release to the environment.

Together with suppliers, the Group works to identify alternative antifouling products and alternative net materials. Such alternative solutions are now in our “tool-box” for managing nets, and are implemented in the Group´s production strategies.

In addition to cleaning in-situ, all nets are cleaned at onshore sites after each production period. Onshore cleaning sites have zero copper emissions, as required  by Norwegian legislation.

Main goal

Replace antifouling agents that contain copper

Fallowing

As a strategy to minimize infection pressure and environmental impact, all sites are fallowed and washed/disinfected every two years. In all regions where the Group has operations, fallowing and  stocking periods are coordinated in zones, defined by the The Norwegian Food Safety Authority, NFSA and companies in each Area Based Management, ABM scheme.

Every site in a defined coordinated area is fallowed every second year for at least two  months. Within each area-based management area, there is at least a one-month coordinated fallowing period every second year.

In 2022, every marine site in the Group was fallowed for 236 days on average.

 

2022

2021

2020

2019

Average number of days fallow per locality:

236

142

138

140

 
 
Main goal

Average fallowing per location: Minimum 60 days

Density

The maximum legislative limit for fish density in a seacage is 25 kg/m3. Average density in the Group´s cages is far below this, indicating that the fish have plenty of space in the cages. In 2021, the average density for the Group´s seafarms was 8,7 kg/m3.

Fish health and fish welfare are at the core of our operations as a producer of Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout. As such, we are committed to both ethical and statutory obligations governed by Norwegian legislation.

A healthy fish is also a good fish for production and a prerequisite for good financial results. There are therefore numerous incentives for putting fish health and fish welfare at the top of the agenda for fish-farming operations. In an effort to ensure that we continuously fulfill these obligations, the Group has chosen to invest substantial resources in preventive measures for fish health, and this is a major part of the production strategy for the entire Group.

MAIN GOAL DENSITY: Less than 25 kg/m3

 

 

2022

2021

2020

2019

Average density all locations:

8,0

8,7

8,4

8,8

 

We care about the welfare of our fish and accept our ethical responsibility that comes with animal farming. The Group's goal is qualitative and requires continuous monitoring and targeted efforts throughout our farming value chain.