Norwegians are now raising salmon in the Arctic Circle. A maverick band of entrepreneurs and scientists is trying to help future-proof aquaculture against the havoc caused by climate change.
Silicon Valley of the Sea goes high tech with fish
Norway has built the world’s biggest salmon-farming industry. But it wants to go bigger. With their lucrative oil fields now in decline, Norwegians have ambitious plans for aquaculture to power their economy far into the future.
Climate change could make those dreams harder to realize. As waters warm, more salmon farmers may have to move into the country’s Arctic regions to raise the temperature-sensitive species. And there’s another problem. Salmon feed is based on fishmeal, produced by grinding up wild-caught fish. With climate change pushing underwater ecosystems to the breaking point, Big Aquaculture is seeking ways to feed fish that aren’t hostage to increasingly unpredictable oceans.
The Norwegian cities of Bergen and Stavanger have become a Silicon Valley of the Sea as entrepreneurs and scientists look for answers. The innovators hope to find sustainable sources of feed, minimize pollution from fish farms and take new ideas to scale.
CORRECTION: Between January and September 2018, CO2Bio produced more than 800 pounds of algae using carbon dioxide. An earlier version of this story incorrectly said it had produced 8,000 pounds of algae.