Is Closed Floating Farming the Future of Sustainable Aquaculture? Pre-summit interview with Tor Magne Madsen, Projects Director, FishGLOBE

Tor Magne Madsen
Tor Magne Madsen, FishGLOBE

FishGLOBE deliver a unique closed fish farming technology and designs and builds globes for farmers to buy or rent. We caught up with Projects Director Tor Magne Madsen to talk about how their technology enables circularity ahead of the Blue Food Innovation Summit.

What does circularity look like in aquaculture?

Circularity in aquaculture has high potential to improve in the future, there been a big focus on reducing plastics and waste from farming but now sludge (faeces and spill feed) also has a strong focus.

How does your process or technology enable a circular system?

First of all, we’ve built our globes in HdPe, a plastic material that has high food security and, when used in the right way, there is no microplastic from it. It is 100% recyclable, and it demands no maintenance for corrosion. As we are a fully enclosed farm, we have the opportunity to collect all particular waste. This waste has a lot of nutrition in it and can be used for fertilisers and other benefit like biogas.

How can utilising waste make production more circular?

If we get a lot of waste from our industry, we must make sure that there are regulations that give us a fee for collecting this. Today it’s an extra cost for the farmers, so going into new more sustainable farming is a hassle rather than a benefit. The politics must be beneficial for fish farmers. To enable change, politicians must make sure that there is a clear upside rather than a higher cost to reduce waste. This can be done through a national licensing system.

What innovations are you excited about that are helping advance sustainable blue food?

I’m representing closed floating farming. For us it’s clearly beneficial to have a floating structure rather than large farms on land when the conditions are right. This because we have no permanent intervention in the landscape, we produce fish using far less energy as well as handling the same challenges as land-based facilities: reducing sea lice treatment, no escapes, and collecting the permanent sludge.

Why is the Blue Food Innovation Summit an important date in your calendar? Who are you hoping to meet there?

At FishGLOBE we have a clear strategy to be open and to talk to as many as possible about our patented and unique technology. We are 100% sure that closed floating farming is a big part of the future, and the technology gives new opportunities to the industry. We hope to meet somebody who can use the technology for other species than salmon or that can see the usage of it in new markets rather that the traditional markets. We also hope to meet people who can influence the industry and politicians to make sure that the frame conditions are fitted for usage of new and more sustainable fish farming.

Tor will join a session called ‘Future Production Technology in Focus’ at the summit on June 14-15, where production technology entrepreneurs present case studies of new approaches to aquaculture. See the full agenda here.