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FROM NORWAY TO THE EMERALD ISLAND

Organic Irish salmon with a dash of Norway

While British pop star Ed Sheeran sings about a “pretty little Galway girl”, Norwegian exporters of fish farming equipment have ventured to County Galway for an entirely different reason.

While British pop star Ed Sheeran sings about a “pretty little Galway girl”, Norwegian exporters of fish farming equipment have ventured to County Galway for an entirely different reason.

Bradán Beo Teoranta is a company that begun farming Irish organic salmon in Kilkieran Bay, County Galway a few years ago. Today, it produces between 2,500 and 3,000 tonnes per year. The company operates five of the salmon farming licences for the bay, which is located on the west coast of Ireland.

Did you know that…
Salmon have been farmed in Ireland since the early 1980s?

Better fish welfare

The Irish fish farming company has been in business since 2012 and has invested in further developing their fish farm for organic salmon. In contrast to ordinary salmon farming, the Irish company has significantly fewer fish in each cage. A key benefit of less fish in each cage is that it gives better fish welfare, less disease and it reduces problems with salmon lice.

Additionally, to qualify as organically farmed salmon, the fish – from smolt to Salmon – can only be fed organic feed. It also has to adhere to a number of other regulations. The benefit, according to Bradán Beo Teoranta, is that the organic salmon attracts a higher price when it is sold to their customers, of which 90 per cent is exported, primarily supermarket chains in Europe and USA.

“Consumers are prepared to pay a higher price for our organic salmon because they – and we – feel that it is of better quality than conventionally farmed salmon. On the other hand, it is more expensive to produce organic salmon because you have to use higher quality fish oil and proteins, avoid using antibiotics and chemicals, and keep less fish in each cage,” says Liam Roche, CEO at Bradán Beo Teoranta.

Did you know that…
Ireland pioneered organic production with the certification of the world’s first organic salmon farm, Clare Island?

Norwegian suppliers

To develop its latest fish farm site, Bradán Beo Teoranta has enlisted the support of two Norwegian suppliers to the fish farming industry. The company has ordered a feed barge from AKVA Group and nets and nettings for fish farming cages from Mørenot Aquaculture AS.

“For AKVA Group it is actually the company’s Scottish business that has sold and delivered the feed barge, but given that Norwegian content accounts for minimum 30 percent of the total supplier contract, the project qualifies for financing from Export Credit Norway. We encourage other non-Norway based companies to explore this type of project financing,” says Kaare Haahjem, Export Credit Norway’s responsible for fisheries and fish farming.

Fish Farming

Mørenot Aquaculture and AkvaGroup have delivered equipment to Ireland. Photo: Bradán Beo Teorant

Haahjem adds that Ireland is a relatively new territory for Export Credit Norway.

Did you know that…
All Irish farms are inspected 14 times a year under a national pest management plan which forms part of the production licence?

“This is the first ever project we finance in Ireland. We have previously visited the country and held discussions about financing fishing vessels, but not specifically for fish farming. However, we are very pleased that AkvaGroup introduced Bradán Beo Teoranta to export financing. Today, we are in dialogue with several Irish companies about various projects, so it looks like Bradán Beo Teoranta has helped open other Irish companies’ eyes to export financing,” says Haahjem.

The people in Export Credit Norway are very helpful

Liam Roche, Bradán Beo Teoranta

Liam Roche in Bradán Beo Teoranta explains that the company have acquired equipment from Norwegian suppliers before, but then without the support of export financing.

“It was the head of AkvaGroup’s UK operation that presented export financing as an alternative to us. Given that this was the first time we have used export financing, and it was the first time Export Credit Norway financed a project in Ireland, the process probably took slightly longer than usual, but we are very pleased with the end-result. The people in Export Credit Norway are very helpful and easy to deal with,” says Liam Roche.

Fish Farming

Salmon have been farmed in Ireland since the early 1980s. Photo: Bradán Beo Teorant

Contact us
Kaare Haahjem
Kaare Haahjem Fisheries and Aquaculture +47 415 54 431 +47 415 54 431