Pedro Courard.

"I have no doubt that land-based salmon farming is the option with the greatest future"

Pedro Courard states that, as regulations change, “the production of larger post smolts on land should expand in Chile.”

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Atlantic Sapphire recently announced the appointment of Chilean Pedro Courard as its CEO, being one of the many national professionals who have joined the land-based salmon producer, with over 25 years of experience in the industry.

Courard will assume the position starting August 1, 2024, after leaving the general management of Cermaq Chile, and this marks the conclusion of a very extensive search process over the last half year.

In an interview with Salmonexpert, a partner media of LandbasedAQ, he talks about his perspectives for land-based salmon farming... and his estimates are promising.

Do you think that land-based salmon farming is the present and greatest future of the industry?

Based on what has been observed in recent years, traditional salmon farming seems to be reaching a state of maturity where growth prospects or supply increases, at least with current technologies, are limited. On the other hand, global demand has followed an increasing pattern.

These two elements, lower supply growth and higher demand increase, are creating space for other types of farming to start filling the existing gap. From that point of view, I have no doubt that land-based salmon farming is the option with the greatest future. It is, moreover, a technology that has already been validated.

Will land-based salmon farming continue to expand in Chile, why?

This depends on several factors. One of them is regulation. As regulation changes and allows better management of offshore production capacities, the production of larger post-smolts on land should expand in Chile.

In other words, if it is possible to follow a model more similar to the one existing in Norway, it will make a lot of sense to increase the size of the post-smolts. Regarding the production of the complete salmon cycle on land, at the moment I do not see great advantages in Chile for developing these types of projects.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of land-based salmon farming?

The main advantages are the possibility of producing close to target markets, thus reducing the costs and impact of the involved freight, and of course, greater control from the point of view of production variables, virtually no environmental impact as well as pathogen control, the absence of predators and escapes.

I believe the only disadvantage is related to the investments involved in a land-based farming project, investments that can nevertheless be more than compensated for by the advantages already mentioned.