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 so-called 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 a third party and involves extraction of samples from the seabed under and around the cages in a facility.
The analysis has three parts:
All parameters are allocated a score according to how much sediment 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. The analyses are carried out when production of one generation is at its peak.
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. 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 under the facility 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, spread of disease, outbreaks of disease etc. MOM-B samples must always be taken before releasing fish to a location.
If the score is 3 or 4, fish must not be released without an additional evaluation of the status of the location, describing the reason for the lack of restitution. If a score of 3 or 4 is reported for a location, a MOM-C sample shall be taken.
Main goal:Average MOM-B max 1.5 per location