“I have chosen two queens for myself, one out of love and one out of passion” said Norway’s King Harald when he opened the Norwegian Wild Salmon Centre in Lærdal innermost in Norway’s longest fjord, the Sognefjord. The love was reserved for his wife, Queen Sonja. His passion lay with the Lærdalselva river, known as the Queen of Norwegian salmon rivers.
Like other rivers with populations of big salmon, the internationally renowned big salmon in the Lærdalselva river have provided the genes for several generations of superior farmed salmon.
Thousands of years
But that is not where the success story started. Many of our customers the world over represent a fish-farming tradition that stretches several thousand years back in time. Local species of fish have been and are still cultivated and sold commercially. This heritage has been important in allowing Norwegian pioneers to see the potential in our own fish species.
Salmon and trout
Our Norwegian tradition relates to the farming of salmon and trout on an industrial scale. On the Lærdalselva river, the landowners have run hatcheries and smolt production since the 1850s. Around 1960, Norwegian pioneers started farming trout in the sea. Ten years later they succeeded in producing salmon on a commercially interesting scale.
Born in pain
All new industries are created by pioneers with the courage of their convictions. They have to tolerate scepticism from their surroundings, learn to overcome reverses of fortune and literally be capable of building success step by step. Many of the pioneers do not even build for themselves but are part of a tradition of creating something that future generations can live from.
Several of Seaborn’s partners are now second and third generation fish farmers.
Before the establishment of centres of expertise, they had, through their own experience, developed procedures and technology that both ensured good productivity and good animal health. That was the foundation that now ensures that you as a customer can buy the best products at acceptable prices.
The banks and the experts were sceptical for a long time. In 1963, one of our pioneers was told the following by his bank about his plans for fish farming, ”You have misunderstood, Reidar. Fish should be caught, not fed.” At the same time, the Institute of Marine Research went on record as follows, ”Fish farming is being advocated by fanatics who want to create an industry that doesn’t have the ability to survive.”
Our customers demonstrate that there is a demand for Norwegian Salmon and Norwegian Fjord Trout in large parts of the world. Today, the financial sector and researchers are important players in the development of the industry.
However – someone created both the industry and our company. Several of them are now applying their experience to the development of farming of different species of fish, such as cod. Seaborn is proud to have been born of such people.