We are now finalizing the plant to full capacity.
After finalizing the capacity of the plant will be over 3,000 tons of round fish per year.
We believe in the sustainable cultivation of fish and we want to be pioneers in the realization of that vision.
Our company’s business idea is to raise premium rainbow trout in a modern, innovative and environmentally friendly way. For this reason, FIFAX is building a land-based RAS fish farm in Storby, Eckerö on western Åland. Our goal is to produce the best whole, fresh Finnish rainbow trout. The product will initially be distributed through local markets.
Once the plant is completed, it will have an anual turnover of 13-16 million euros per year and employ 20-25 people. Production will amount to over 3,000 tons of round fish per year. FIFAX is an Ålandic joint-stock company, with most of it being owned by Ålandic interests and the remainder owned by Helmet Capital and investors represented by them. FIFAX AB was founded in 2012 and today has some 100 shareholders.
In order to attain our vision, our work is based on the following core values.
• innovative thinking
INNOVATIVE THINKING: We have an innovative approach to water treatment. Through our advanced approach to water treatment, the sea water we use, both inside and outside the plant, can basically be entirely re-used in production. This minimizes our emissions back into the sea.
ACCOUNTABILITY: We take responsibility for the consequences of our production process, and not just for emissions into the sea. Sludge goes to local agriculture and reduces the need for artificial fertilizers.
QUALITY: The latest technology provides the best quality. The basis of the RAS technology that we use is that the water in the round tanks circulates. The fish will swim all their lives against a current, as they do naturally in rivers and streams. This means that the fish are exercising 24 hours a day. This results in fish flesh of the highest quality—firm, muscular and with the perfect amount of fat.
INTELLIGENCE: We want to be smart and keep our sites on the long-term in our activities and we recycle everything possible.
We believe in sustainable, large scale aquaculture with a minimal impact on the environment and we aim to be trail-blazers in realizing this vision. This is why we are cultivating premium fish in a modern, innovative and environmentally friendly way.
We are doing this by farming the fish on land, in treated water from the archipelago sea. This cultivation model eliminates all need for medication under normal circumstances.
We create an optimal environment for the growth of fish with modern RAS technology and optimized living conditions for fish in general.
We adhere to the strictest quality requirements in our production process. Taking nothing for granted and we continually strive to improve our methods.
We don’t do this just because it’s good for our business, but also because it is good for the community, for us as people, and for the environment.
We only deliver whole, gutted, fresh rainbow trout in the weights specified by our customers. Our fish is the primary raw material for the fish processing industry, but will probably also be sold whole to the end consumer mainly through retail chain outlets.
Our facility even has the technology to produce roe, breeding fish and even other species of fish.
To ensure quality we use eggs from one of the best specialized suppliers in northern Europe. They have cultivated egg lineages that are adapted for RAS farming.
RAS-produced fish is already a concept on many world markets. We don’t think that our product will be any exception, but it will establish a class of its own on the market for fresh rainbow trout.
We call it ”the Steelhead” – a smart fish.
Our product is used as raw material by the processing industry in the food sector. This means that our product is often made into other products.
However a product can seldom become better than its raw materials and we cultivate a first-class raw material.
Rainbow trout are generally less oily than salmon. The fat content varies depending upon the feed, but farmed salmon often have, in comparison, twice as much fat as rainbow trout. Salmon can have up to 18-20 grams of fat per 100 grams. Rainbow trout often have less than 10%. Over 50% of the calories in salmon are from fat, while in rainbow trout, only 35% is fat.
Despite this, rainbow trout have plenty of the beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, so that we feel healthy; rainbow trout make for a healthy meal, without too much fat.
Our rainbow trout swim against the current 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just like they do out in nature. So it’s like they’re working out all their lives. The fish develop a strong musculature, which for us as consumers translates into firm and fine flesh, with lower fat content.
Our steelheads are excellently suited for all methods of preparation: smoking, pickling and all other known ways of preparation at home in the kitchen. It also makes great sushi, thanks to its solid and firm consistency.
With the knowledge that our product is cultivated with the greatest of care for the environment, in a sustainable way with serious consideration for the ecosystem, we dare say that our steelhead is really a smart fish.
RAS is a collective name for the recirculation technology that is used in world-wide, modern, land-based aquaculture. In brief, RAS entails taking water for aquaculture, from a treatment plant in our case, but it is also continually being purified in biofilters in phases in the cultivation process; this is optimized use in which the cultivation water is reused over and over again.
The cultivation water is cleaned once every hour.
The amount of water that the fish use up which evaporates and goes out with the sludge from the tanks is continually being replaced with new water. The process is system monitored and guarantees that oxygen levels, feed quantities, etc., are optimal.
In this way, the technology creates conditions for very quick growth, resulting in highly effective production.
The RAS system also enables year-round and predictable production, with a daily delivery of fish of the required sizes and weights.
FIFAX has placed high, strategic environmental requirements on the plant and the production process. We must hold our total emissions from fertilizers so low that we do not need an environmental permit.
The biomass releases feces which is high in nitrogen and phosphorus. FIFAX AB has invested considerable resources in developing a water purification concept which can purify both the incoming and recirculating water.
This strategic stand we have taken enables us to limit the yearly emissions of our water treatment plant to 200 kg of phosphorus and 1,500 kg of nitrogen.
When considering our scope of production and compared with traditional aquaculture methods in the sea, the amounts of these emissions must be seen as relatively low. Our production process doesn’t give off noise, gas or smells either.
In traditional aquaculture, the fish must be given medicine, such as antibiotics, for the simple reason that you are raising them in the sea and the water is contaminated with bacteria and different viruses. There is also the risk that fish raised in the sea will be infected by wild fish. In this type of cultivation, salmon lice is a common problem. The situation is the same if you use untreated sea water on land.
This is why we treat our water with UV rays and other modern methods, without adding anything to it. In this way, we ensure that our cultivation water is free from bacteria and therefore we don’t need to medicate the fish as a preventative measure. However, our plant can theoretically get contaminated by eggs, feed, equipment, etc., which would mean that we might need to temporarily add medication.
FIFAX AB and the real estate company F-Fast are building an aquaculture plant for the production of 3,200 tons of rainbow trout per year. The industrial hall, which houses the aquaculture facilities and its related activities, is roughly 15,000 m2.
The hall has 36 grow-out tanks. Additionally, a hatchery, fry section, laboratory and technical and administrative areas. Construction began in autumn 2014 and is expected to be completed, at total production capacity, in 2019.
In 2020 we will reach full delivery capacity. A water treatment plant is also being built in the area to maintain the environmental requirements for emissions of phosphorus and nitrogen.
The plant will employ 20-25 people when completed.
The plant will be the largest of its kind in northern Europe.
Land-based aquaculture is based on the idea of cultivating fish in large tanks on land at our latitudes, under a roof, eliminating the influence of external factors, such as weather, temperature, environment and water-borne disturbances.
Land-based aquaculture is not a new phenomenon; it is done world-wide and with many different species of fish.
The water we use in our aquaculture is from Åland’s sea, which we pump up and purify of all bacteria. The water is circulated and is even purified continuously in the facility and used over and over again, so we make optimal use of the water.
The water conditions are optimized for the fish; temperature, oxygen levels, light and feed, which results in a perfect environment. The fish like the environment and they grow very well.
Land-based aquaculture has been developing over several decades and the technology is now in its fourth generation. The rate of establishment is high and new, large plants are being taken into use in Denmark, Poland, Norway and Scotland. Smaller plants have existed for a long time all over Europe, including Finland and Åland (Guttorp).
project manager (Effector Scandinavia Ab)