Young researcher to seek salmon feed adjusted to climate change

Grant allows research into a nutritional composition for a feed for farmed Atlantic salmon reared in high seawater temperatures
March 11, 2010

Young researcher to seek salmon feed adjusted to climate change

“It’s a dream project”, says Ernst Morten Hevrøy about the project granted by the Research Council of Norway under the scheme for excellent young researchers in the field of aquaculture.

Ernst Morten Hevrøy is a researcher at the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) in Bergen. His everyday work is aimed at investigating how to produce the best possible feed for farmed Atlantic salmon.  Last year he sent an application to the Research Council of Norway under the Young Excellent Researcher scheme related to the Aquaculture Program.  

"“I hit the jackpot”, said Hevrøy with a smile.

"The application has been approved, and for the next four years I have been given the opportunity to work on my main interest, which is to find a nutritional composition of  a feed that is adjusted to farmed Atlantic salmon reared in high seawater temperatures".

"This is a very relevant issue. For example, in the west coast of Norway we have had exceptionally high sea temperatures for several years, and studies show that the sea temperature is rising along the coast. This is not favorable for the Atlantic salmon which thrives best at 13-14 degrees Celsius, and the feed utilization decreases as the temperature approaches 17 degrees.  How does the Atlantic salmon cope with an elevated seawater temperature? Knowledge on this topic will also be valuable for use with other species in other sea areas where climatic changes may be experienced in the future".

International focus
In 2008, the Research Council of Norway’s aquaculture program established a funding scheme for Excellent Young Researchers (YFF) in the field of aquaculture research. The aim is to give talented young researchers the opportunity to reach a high international level by providing them with good working conditions.

"The YFF scheme therefore presents a unique opportunity", said Hevrøy.

"We are currently in the process of establishing an international research group which will work together on problems related to feed, climate and Atlantic salmon. This will involve researchers from Japan, USA, Canada and Norway. Among other things, we will be study the effects of diet on metabolism in  salmon, as well as considering how hormones can regulate the appetite, and whether important genes are controlled by the temperature.   We will also collaborate with another project, Farming of Atlantic salmon at high temperature".