Gustav Witzøe will take over as CEO of SalMar effective 21 October 2019. From this date the current CEO, Olav Andreas Ervik, will become managing director of the new subsidiary SalMar Ocean AS and responsible for the company’s ventures in ocean-based fish farming.
SalMar’s initiatives in ocean-based fish farming has to date been organised as a business area within SalMar and headed by Gustav Witzøe. These activities will now be transferred to a subsidiary which Ervik wanted to lead.
Both Witzøe and Ervik emphasise that this change will ensure continuity in management, and that it is a logical consequence of SalMar’s ambition to lead in the development of ocean-based fish farming.
The Board of Directors considers this a good foundation for the continued positive development of SalMar.
“By establishing SalMar Ocean, SalMar makes another move to strengthen its leading position in the development of ocean-based fish farming,” comments Gustav Witzøe.
The group has recently released a new generation of fish in its offshore cage Ocean Farm 1. Meanwhile, the subsidiary MariCulture AS is finalising the design phase of a larger and more advanced offshore cage, Smart Fish Farm, which will be placed in the open sea. Both these businesses now become part of SalMar Ocean AS.
“These are technologically ground-breaking projects and part of the company’s ocean strategy. Our ambition is to lead the development of environmentally sustainable seafood production in exposed ocean areas,” Witzøe continues.
“We are convinced that ocean-based farming will play an important role in future food production. On the open ocean we have unique opportunities to farm on nature’s premises and with minimal environmental impact. I really look forward to taking this initiative further,” adds Ervik.
The ocean-based and traditional fish farming operations will continue to co-operate and interact closely to ensure transfer of knowledge and experience that will benefit both parts of the business. Witzøe emphasizes that SalMar still wants to be a leader in both technological development and biological production in order to contribute to an environmentally sustainable development of the Norwegian aquaculture industry.
Witzøe points out that in recent years, SalMar has invested more than NOK 8 billion in sustainable growth, mainly in equipment and industrial plants to further develop the company’s production capacity and industrial platform.
“The company will continue to be an important part of the industrial seafood cluster in Norway, which is recognised as a world leader in research-based knowledge development and innovation. SalMar aims to work closely with leading knowledge institutions such as NTNU, Sintef and the University of Tromsø, for example by sponsoring professorships to strengthen research in areas relevant to the development of Norwegian aquaculture,” says Witzøe.
SalMar processes a significant part of its salmon internally and aims to maintain its image as ‘the processing company’. Processing generates three to four times as much employment and local value creation as exporting whole salmon. It also offers the opportunity to refine the residual raw material into valuable products such as animal feed and human health products. Processing near farming sites also significantly reduces the overall emission of greenhouse cases.
SalMar has previously established the world’s largest and most advanced salmon processing plant on Frøya (InnovaMar) and has now started construction of a similar processing plant on Finnsnes in Senja municipality (InnovaNor) in Northern Norway.
“In the years to come, the company will invest large sums in production facilities in several locations along the coast, including significant growth in RAS-based smolt production. In total, SalMar will invest several billion Norwegian kroner in production and industrial facilities in the next few years, says Witzøe.
For further information, please contact:
Atle Eide, Chair of the Board in SalMar ASA
Telephone: +47 911 52 977
Gustav Witzøe, CEO in SalMar ASA
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Telephone: +47 911 47 834