A "blank year". After losing more than 80% of its livestock in 2022, the company Saumon de France, the only salmon farm in the open sea in France, created in 1991 and located in the harbour of Cherbourg, has seen its turnover increase from 6 million euros to 1 million this year.
This is due to the warming of the surface waters of the English Channel, which leads to a proliferation of bacteria and killer micro-jellyfish or poor oxygenation for salmon. "With water temperatures above 21°C for thirty days in a row, the summer of 2022 was fatal," admits Pascal Goumain, president of the company, who has therefore decided to "review its farming procedures to adapt to climate change".
Returning to business as usual
He recently acquired control of the four closed-circuit tanks of the Isigny cooperative to "pre-fatten" his salmon for a few months until they reach the weight of 1.3 kg before returning them to their natural water pens in the bay of Cherbourg, where they will build muscle in the currents. This will give them a fat content of 12%, identical to that of wild salmon.
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The first "new" harvest is expected next summer when they will have reached 5 kg. The aim is to return to the usual production of 2024 tonnes per year by 3000 and even rise to 10,000 tonnes within five years on the production scales. 250,000 tons consumed each year in France.