Cod five months ahead of schedule

In just one year, the cod at the National Cod Breeding Centre, Norway, are already five months ahead of their fellow species from the previous year
December 18, 2008

Cod five months ahead of schedule

Measurements show the 2007 year class, which were transferred to sea cages in February this year, reached a weight of one kilo on average in November. Cod from the 2006 year class achieved this average weight five months later. According to calculations, the cod will weigh 3.5 kilos when they are ready for harvest in November next year. That is one kilo heavier than the slaughter weight of the 2006 year class.

"This is a big step forward towards a profitable cod farming industry," said Øyvind J. Hansen at the National Cod Breeding Centre. "The industry regards a slaughter weight of 3.5 kilos as a minimum to operate profitably." Three years must elapse before one generation can parent a new generation. The 2006 and 2007 year classes are similar breeding wise - both generations have wild fish as grandparents.

The increase in weight can be attributed to both breeding and improvements in production.

"Owing to our close collaboration with cod farmers and local feed manufacturers in addition to research progress, we have improved both production methods and feed," says Hansen, adding: "We have become better at sorting roe and we have also improved the quality of live feed."

The aim of the breeding programme is to breed cod with better qualities. The cod will be brood stock for fish farming.