August 22nd, 2019 by Aqua Nor
Tradition-rich Smøla-company presents its new name at Aqua Nor
During today’s Aqua Nor, Smølen Handelskompani AS announced that the company and its subsidiaries Smøla klekkeri og settefisk, Sagafisk and the aquaculture display facility are now called Nekton.
– We combine all of today’s companies under one umbrella and one brand name because we want to promote one common profile. If we are to continue to succeed together in the future, it is an advantage that we become associated with only one name, says Nekton’s new general manager, Christian Wikan.
Continued focus on R&D
Nekton means “living organisms” and the new name will include everything from aquaculture at Smøla – from hatchery and smolt, to cages and boats.
– The new name makes us more recognizable throughout the value chain from smolt to food fish. But there are probably many people at Smøla who are still only going to call us the “hatchery”, smiles Wikan.
He says that it is also an advantage to bring together all employees under one organizational structure to make it easier to continue to focus on research and development. The name change also comes with a new strategy until 2023.
– Training is important to us and something we will continue to focus on. Our display facility has had a good year and it is of great value to educate future fish farmers and employees in the industry at Smøla, Wikan says.
A fairytale history
Smølen Handelskompani has a long history and currently has 50 employees – now the plan is to expand with another 30 new employees. In 1996, they started breeding eel, before moving into smolt and salmon farming.
– We used to say that 1 out of 20 Norwegian salmon are from Smøla because it is with us that they have started life, says Roger Osen (Ap), mayor of Smøla.
– Aquaculture has always been important to Smøla and the development is a fairytale story. Today we have 46,000 tonnes of fish in the sea and Smøla has an annual export value of 4.5 billion NOK. That is half of Oslo’s export value, but we are also a few fewer inhabitants.
Smøla currently has 2,150 permanent residents and Mr. Osen is particularly proud of the quality of both feed and fish. He says the municipality will continue to invest in both aquaculture research at the Gullklakken plant, in biogas – where they can supply 300,000 Kilowatts a year today – and one of the country’s largest wind farms.
– You become what you eat, so does the fish – and we want to raise the quality standard yet another notch, he concludes.