Arctic Fish qPCR

Arctic Fish is one of Iceland´s largest salmon producers located in the Westfjords of Iceland. Arctic Smolt is the company’s hatchery and grow-out facilities situated in Norðurbotn in Tálknafjörður. The smolt production is led by freshwater manager Johan Hansen and his team, which altogether have vast experiences from working with frontrunners of the aquaculture industry, including the Faroe Islands, Norway, and Denmark.

The modern hatchery and grow out facilities, enable smolt production based on the newest technology and production standards, and are the first and only aquaculture facilities in Iceland to solely rely on RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture System). The RAS facilities consist of 36 tanks and 10 biofilter systems with a total volume of 6400m3, enabling a productivity of up to 530 tons per year.

Recently an expansion of the RAS facilities totaling an investment of 3,5 billion ISK was initiated, which will increase the total volume by 7.200m3 to 13.600m3. The expansion will include 12 new tanks and 2 biofilter systems, thus increasing productivity by 100%.

In 2021 total production was 3.500.000 smolts with an average weight of 180 gr, and future expansions include a steady increase over the next 4 years reaching 5.000.000 smolts with an average weight of 200 gr in 2025.

Arctic Smolts´ production standards and visions have always been clear, to produce high quality salmon smolt but at the same time promote fish welfare by ensuring optimal living conditions and water quality. By installing a laboratory equipped with instruments and technicalities enabling water quality analysis, smolt analysis etc. in 2016, freshwater manager Johan Hansen and head of laboratory, Nancy Rut Helgadótir, took the first step of moving the production to another level. In line with the companies’ visions, Johan and Nancy took further steps to enhance the level of knowledge of fish welfare and production and shorten the response time of routine samples of e.g., microbial dynamics in the RAS water. They reached out to aquaculture consultant Elin Djurhuus Joensen, microbiologist at SMJ Aqua, a Faroese based company, with the aim of aiding Arctic Fish in choosing a high-quality qPCR machine and establishing contact to suppliers of molecular tools. SMJ Aqua established contact to medor, a subcontractor of Thermo Scientific, the world leading supplier of molecular tools, and after negotiations and expectations alignment, Arctic Fish could proudly present their investment in a state-of-the-art qPCR machine, the Quant Studio 3 from Thermo Scientific, which would enable them to run their own routine tests.

The investment in the Quant Studio 3 from Thermo Scientific is a giant leap forward for Arctic Fish, significantly improving their knowledge foundation and response time, e.g., associated with pathogenic bacteria and viruses, enabling fast and necessary adjustment in the production. To our knowledge, Arctic Fish is one of the first salmon producers in Europe, to take the step of buying their own qPCR machine and ambitiously run their own samples, facilitating faster response time, enhance knowledge, experience, and capabilities within the company and industry, making Arctic Fish one of the frontrunners in the Icelandic aquaculture industry.