“Salmon used to be the party fish. Now it’s become an everyday fish. We want to make cod the party fish.”
So says Harald Dahl, a millionaire dotcom entrepreneur, investment banker and founder of Norway’s Codfarmers ASA, in an article in today’s Wall Street Journal – High-Tech Fish Farms Angle to Make Hard-to-Rear Cod the Next Salmon (Free content – Article and Slideshow -October 27, 2008)
His dream comes as aquaculture, more craft than science until recently, appears ready to come into its own. This year, for the first time, humans will eat more farmed fish than wild fish, according to a report being prepared by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
While aquaculture is nothing new, Codfarmers’ focus on a previously challenging species is.
But cod are difficult creatures. Previous efforts to farm the fish, in Norway in the 1990s and Canada and Scotland earlier in this decade, ran aground due to fickle breeding conditions, a restrictive diet and a stubborn drive to escape nets…Mr. Dahl thinks he can address such qualms with technology and Norway’s deep fjords.
His grand ambition has strong economics behind it. Farmers can charge about 20% more for farmed fish than for cod caught in the wild, because it is fresher. Wild cod has to spend several days in the belly of a boat returning from the middle of the Atlantic before it hits shore. Farmed cod doesn’t have to make that trip, making it fresher. Farmed salmon, by contrast, sells at a steep discount to wild salmon.
Although a bit of a slick promo piece, here’s an interesting video about Codfarmers ASA.
YouTube – Codfarmers