As the land-based aquaculture trend continues to grow, a Finnish fish farm has chosen a cutting-edge solution from AGA to provide oxygen to its facility.
Studies show that, by 2050, we will need to produce 70 per cent more food than we do today, while most of our protein will need to come from fish and vegetables. As a result, fish farming is set to play an increasingly important part in feeding our growing populations.
“There’s no alternative,” says Tommy Andersson, Technical Manager of Fifax, a Finnish fish farm that grows rainbow trout on western Åland. “We can’t keep polluting the seas, so we have to raise fish sustainably, in closed circuits, on land.”
Whereas open-water farming is vulnerable to a wide range of risks, from disease to antibiotic resistance and escape, land-based farming does not have to contend with these issues. It is also easier to control the environmental factors in the facility – something that will support the expansion of the industry.
“Land-based aquaculture will eventually become the only sustainable method for raising fish,” continues Fifax’s Managing Director, Kimmo Jalo. “Our facility is based on a so-called ‘ultra-RAS’ – a highly effective Recirculating Aquaculture System, which allows us to clean and re-use all our water. This minimises usage and prevents any polluted water or effluent from going back into the sea.”
Fixax was founded in Finland, in 2012. Its business idea is to raise premium rainbow trout in a modern, innovative and sustainable manner. In 2014, Fifax started building a land-based RAS fish farm in Storby on western Åland. The following year, the fish were in the tanks and deliveries to the market began in 2016.
The Fifax facility is being developed in three phases. At present, the company is building, producing and ramping up, all at the same time. With about a quarter of the construction remaining, the farm is projected to be fully operational by early 2020.
AGA has been supplying the oxygen tanks and liquid oxygen to Fifax since autumn 2018. The oxygenation systems for the first two phases came from another provider. However, Andersson explains AGA’s SOLVOX OxyStream system is being installed in phase three.
“We believe AGA’s system will deliver far more efficient oxygenation than we currently have. AGA has also helped us a great deal when it comes to the building and setup of our facility, so we have full faith in the company,” he says.
“So far, we’ve ordered SOLVOX OxyStream for phase three but, if does as well as we expect, we’d also consider replacing the systems in phase one and two,” adds Jalo.
The Fifax team recently visited AGA’s aquaculture R&D facility, Innovation Centre for Aquaculture and Water Treatment, in Norway, where SOLVOX OxyStream was demonstrated first hand.
“What we saw in Norway was on a different level to what we have today,” explains Andersson. “We believe AGA’s system will enable us to consume considerably less oxygen while delivering better oxygenation and increased saturation, which means less money spent on raising more and better-quality fish.”
“Ultimately, we’d like to have a complete solution in place from AGA, all the way from the oxygen tanks to the fish. Providing SOLVOX OxyStream lives up to our expectations, it would be great to use it throughout the facility,” concludes Jalo.
Founded in Finland in 2012, Fifax is committed to raising premium rainbow trout in a modern, innovative and sustainable manner. Fifax started building its land-based RAS fish farm in Storby, Eckerö on western Åland in 2014 and deliveries to the market began in 2016. Once completed, the plant will have an annual turnover of EUR 13-16 million and employ some 15-20 people. Production will amount to more than 3,000 tonnes of fish a year.