The history of aquaculture in the Faroe Islands:
The Faroese aquaculture industry has roots dating all the way back to 1967. Through its heritage and constant research, the Faroese aquaculture industry has gained leading-edge know-how in the field of aquaculture. Challenges have been met head-on with innovation and major reforms, which today have led to one of the most sustainable aquaculture industries in the world.
1967 – Pioneer Júst í Túni was the first to make a successful attempt at aquaculture in the Faroe Islands farming Rainbow Trout.
1970 – P/F Fiskaaling (Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroes) was founded in order to conduct research on the farming of fish and to improve the Faroese brood stock.
1978 – Salmon is farmed for the first time in Faroese fjords.
1980 – The Faroe Fish Farmers Association is founded.
1980-89 – A period marked by high market prices and opportunism leads to the number of farming licenses surging to 63.
1990-94 – Low prices and disease for the first time highlight the need for restrictions and legislation. As a result, licenses are massively reduced.
1995-99 – Twenty-one fish farmers remain in the Faroe Islands during a period of good health and good prices.
2000-05 – A string of disease outbreaks, including infectious salmon anemia (ISA), spark calls for stringent regulation in order to create a predictable aquaculture environment. These calls result in the “Faroese Veterinarian Act on Aquaculture,” one of the most stringent and comprehensive aquaculture veterinarian regulatory regimes in the world.
2006-10 – Legislative reform proves very successful, and the Faroese aquaculture industry re-emerges with stunning results. The industry is now also well consolidated, represented by only six farming companies: Bakkafrost, Vest Laks, Marine Harvest, Luna, Viking Seafood, and Faroe Farming.
2010 – The two biggest aquaculture companies in the Faroe Islands, Bakkafrost and Vest Laks, merge and form the tenth largest salmon producer in the world. The merged company, Bakkafrost, becomes the first Faroese company to list on the Oslo Stock Exchange and the first Faroese aquaculture company to go public.
2011-12 – Bakkafrost aquires the Faroese meal and fish feed producer Havsbrún. The aquisition includes the two salmon farming companies Viking Seafood and Faroe Farming in which Havsbrún was the majority shareholder. Bakkafrost also aquires the remaining shares in the two companies, but later sells 51 % of the shares in Faroe Farming in order to comply with the Faroese Fish Farming Law.