The Innovators

AQT Spotlight on Fredrik Friis – from traditional mariculture to Closed Pen Systems

Recently we had the pleasure of sharing with all of you a brief introduction to American Aquafarms. Today I would like to present you with further details on their sustainable operations.

I got to speak with Fredrik Friis, their production manager. Fredrik has been working with American Aquafarms since late 2020. His professional experience has been solely focused on closed-containment salmon farming. As of now, he is in charge of supervising production planning.

Who is Fredrik in American Aquafarms?

Being a new project that is planning to enter its pilot stage, American Aquafarms is getting everything in place for when the fish come. And that is where Fredrik’s job is key. His work involves several stages of production, so what exactly is he doing at the moment at AA?

“Among other things I oversee the production planning and ensure that all procedures are in place beforehand. I am able to shape the project based on my knowledge. Creating the best possible environment for the fish”

How is Fish Welfare Being Ensured?

Fish welfare is dependent on many factors. One of the most important ones being fish density. Rearing fish in a Closed Pen Unit is different from an open net one, Fredrik’s job is in making sure that the amount of biomass each unit can handle, does not exceed. “Taking into consideration fish’s sizes and needs throughout their different growth stages”. Establishing appropriate stocking densities to ensure “our fish are thriving”. Thriving fish translates into better quality, performance, and health.

Fredrik American Aquafarms

Regarding diseases, this technology enable the elimination of the Sea Lice issue. Hence, eliminating the need for antiparasitic and delousing processes. Relieving them from the major financial burden these treatments represent. “By also keeping the fish stronger, free from injuries and other pathologies at sea”.

Getting rid of the main issues in Salmon Farming, American Aquafarms can focus on other challenges. Such as keeping optimal rearing environments, suitable oxygen and CO2 concentrations, and an ideal water velocity throughout the system.

What Happens With the Waste?

We know one of the major perks of Closed Pen Systems is that they have a lower impact on our environment. Keeping the waste from reaching the Sea Bed. But what is happening with the waste after all? Does it stay in the polymer sack forever?

Fredrik explains that inside the pen the water flow and velocity allow the feces and uneaten pellets to sink down to the bottom of the sack. “These are then pumped up to a centralized waste treatment system. Where the sludge is dewatered and then repurposed. The plans are to repurpose this sludge for agriculture or biogas, they are still doing research on what the most optimal and sustainable repurposing option is. “A solution that is favorable for us, the environment and that is economically viable.” Utilizing this resource reduces the impact farming operations traditionally have, but also gives them a “Gold mine” meaning.

How is American Aquafarms Different? Who is Your Ideal Candidate?

American Aquafarms is establishing its operations in Maine, which serves the American Market and has a small environmental footprint while doing so. “Our Focus is on building a team committed to the fish and oceans. Talent interested in sustainable aquaculture.” Having a local presence, being future and environmentally oriented, and offering great opportunities for candidates is what make American Aquafarms stand out.

“The ideal candidate would be someone who is as passionate as we are about what we do.” In the search for talent, the organization is looking for someone that not only sees production in term of biomass. But also someone that has a moral and ethical approach to production that lines up with theirs. “For every position across the hierarchy, we are in the search for someone that is concerned about the welfare of the fish.”

The Innovators