About our fish
We get our fish from several sources and in several different ways, from the traditional to the innovative and truly ground-breaking. We constantly work to achieve the perfect proportion between fish caught in the ocean and fish from farming.
The reception station – where old traditions stand strong
There is no place with more competence about wild fish than Myre. The knowledge possessed by a person from Myre is not accumulated over the course of a lifetime – it's been passed on from generation to generation, stretching back centuries.
This knowledge is transferred to every link in the chain of our organization, from the fish reception to the fillet factory. Not only through the kind of education you get by sitting at a school bench, but also the kind of learning you get over a hot cup of coffee or by standing on the dock with your eyes taking in the vastness of the ocean. And one of the people who possesses this invaluable knowledge is Lasse.
Lasse showed up on the docks belonging to Vesterålen Havbruk Produksjonslag in 1980 and has been there ever since, around the clock and in all kinds of weather.
Lasse came directly from the fisheries education at Myre public school, where he got his tutoring from some of the best people in the business. He became manager of the reception station in 1992, and after 40 years at the helm he is currently busy passing all his knowledge on to the next generation.
When the fishermen come in from the sea to deliver their catch, they are fully aware of the quality they are expected to deliver – some claim Lasse can see the quality of the catch just by judging the way the vessel is rolling in the waves.
In his competent hands the receiving facility accepts fish from local fishermen, just as it’s been done for centuries. Throughout the year, the catch we get is defined by spawning seasons and how the different species move in the ocean; cod, pollock, haddock and halibut all have different seasons. At the receiving facility the fish is either salted for export or prepared for the fillet factory.
Farming of cod – where the future awaits
If you have been working with fish in Norway for some years, you´ve been involved in salmon farming at one point or another. The business hit it big during the 70s and has become a specialized industry and an extremely important export-article for Norway. So, when we decided to launch our latest business venture – cod farming – it was with a considerable amount of experience and insight from salmon farming to rely on.
Cod farming is a business opportunity filled with great expectations. It's been pursued several times before in other locations in Norway, each attempt giving us valuable knowledge. This regards areas like food, logistics and structure regarding the production.
The knowledge of location is also essential – our facilities are located north of the Arctic Circle; a place science regards as ideal due to low water temperatures and currents.
We are still early in trial sessions, but the results have been very promising. As time passes, we plan to increase the number of sites in different locations across the north of Norway. This will create value for far more people than us – more jobs, an increased population in small communities and growth for local businesses.
The positive effects will spread everywhere, also internationally. The world's need for food will continue to grow, and there is no other source of protein you can produce in such a large volume and with such a small environmental footprint as fish.
Time - an essential factor of success
Even though the fish we export is either salted or deep-frozen, it's still a fresh product by every standard. This is because we´re always racing against time – a biological, absolute factor, a change that happens gradually in a fish during the first hours after it's been slaughtered.
This change manifests itself as stiffness in the muscles that reaches its peak after eight to twelve hours depending on the temperature. This stiffness is called rigor mortis and defines a before and after for the quality of the fish.
If the fish is processed before rigor mortis occurs, the natural shape of the fibres in the fish-meat stays intact and the moisture that makes it juicy remains in the cells. If it's processed after, the fillet will get a completely different substance – it becomes dry and the quality drops exponentially.
Our fish is always processed pre-rigor.
It never takes more than eight hours from when it's caught in the ocean until it's received in the facility. Instantly after the fish has been gutted it is placed on ice, reducing the temperature to one degree Celsius. This slows down the process causing rigor mortis.
The fish is processed instantly after it arrives at the reception station. The fish destined for cure with salting is processed at the reception station. The fish destined for the fillet factory is instantly delivered at the filleting facility situated just a few hundred meters from the reception station.
It will be processed according to customers specification in one of the most advanced fillet factories on the planet. It can be processed into whichever size and packaging solution, fresh or frozen, well ahead of the time rigor mortis sets in.