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Research Centre Will Study Feed Requirements of Salmon in Arctic Conditions

The research centre, which is scheduled to start up in June 2015, will contribute knowledge on fish farming in arctic environments in Finnmark, a county in the extreme northeastern part of Norway, to optimize ongoing operations and to explore the possibilities for growth in this region.

April 2, 2015


The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has granted research permits to Arctic Salmon Research Centre (ASCR) for the period 2015-2020. The research centre, which is scheduled to start up in June 2015, will contribute knowledge on fish farming in arctic environments in Finnmark, a county in the extreme northeastern part of Norway, to optimize ongoing operations and to explore the possibilities for growth in this region.

\"This centre will be important for the industry’s growth in Finnmark. This northernmost region in Norway has in many ways great conditions for fish farming, but we need more knowledge of the challenging conditions in Finnmark to get production results at the same level as fish farms further south, says a happy Olai Einen, research manager in Cermaq.

Aquafeed producer, EWOS, said it will be interesting to document new knowledge, together with Cermaq, in relation to fish farming in arctic conditions with lower sea temperatures and big differences in day-time length during the seasons. Through research carried out by EWOS Innovation, EWOS has good models for the significance of seasonal variations, and can adapt the salmon’s diet for different fish farming areas, product manager Ernst M. Hevrøy said.

\"To this date, we have little systematic research activity on salmon farmed in Finnmark, and EWOS wants to be an important contributor to new, strategic knowledge when it comes to arctic salmon fish farming. In addition, it is important for EWOS to have access to research permits and research units in a very interesting salmon fish farming area. That trials are done in full-scale fish farming conditions with a natural variation in environment, will give us an extra strength in this research cooperation. We are especially focused on the composition of the feed and its significance to the salmons growth, quality, wellbeing and health\", said Ernst.

Unique challenges in the region
Salmon farming in Finnmark has had weaker economic sustainability than fish farming further south. This is due to a longer production period, fish health challenges that are unique for the region, and a wider variation in product quality.

Arctic Salmon Research Centre will find the causes to these challenges, by studying the significance of feed customized for the fish farming conditions in Finnmark. The trials will be done in full-scale with groups of spring smolt (S1), and autumn smolt (S0) that are kept from smolt to harvest. It has been given two research permits from now, and then two from the summer of 2016. The trials are planned to take place at Cermaq\'s existing facilities at Kirkneset, Kuvika and Segelsnes in the Hammerfest area.

\"The relevance of the results will be particularly high, as the trials are done at a practical fish farming scale, and under natural fish farming conditions in Finnmark\", said Olai Einen.

\"The feed is the most important input in fish farming, and we do not know enough about what demands for feed the fish has, to be able to optimize fish farming in arctic areas\", said Adel El-Mowafi, managing director of EWOS Innovation.

The arctic environmental conditions with variations in day-time length and low sea temperatures are the basis for the specific goals for the trial period 2015-2020. These are:

  • Optimize growth and feed utilization in salmon by customizing protein and energy in the feed to environmental conditions and growth pattern in Finnmark;
  • Study the effect of feed with functional ingredients on sore prevention in salmon, and possibly contribute to healing of sores;
  • Optimize fatty acids composition to maximize the utilization of essential oils EPA and DHA, and at the same time ensure good health and quality in salmon from Finnmark;
  • Optimize pigment content and antioxidants in feed.
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