The Aquaculture Students visited Hraðfrystihúsið – Gunnvör hf (HG)‘s aquaculture facilities.
HG participates in two main aquaculture projects, outside of their wild fisheries enterprises:
– On growing of captured cod
– Cod farming, from egg to market sized fish
Pens are between 15 and 20 m in diameter, and up to 90 m circumference. Smaller pens contain ~20,000 individuals, where bigger pen hold ~70,000 to 90,000 individuals. When we visited, the average weight of individuals was ~ 800g, where harvesting weight is just below 3 kg. Challenges associated with this industry includes predation on penned fish by sea birds, most commonly cormorants. Additionally, since cod are bottom feeders, harvesting must be done in such a way as to eliminate or diminish bursting swim-bladders in the fish. This is true for juveniles being transported to the pens, as well as harvesting the marketable fish.
Our visit ended with samples of cod liver, and warm coffee on board one of the vessels. Thank-you to Kristján G. Jóakimsson, director of marketing and processing at HG for the in-class presentation, Barði Ingibjartsson and Eiríkur Ragnarsson for bringing us around the facilities and out to the pens, and to our instructor, Peter Krost, and program director, Dagný Arnarsdóttir, for organizing the outing.