Norway almost eradicates antibiotics in salmon farming

The Norwegian aquaculture industry uses fewer antibiotics than any other animal farming, and in 2020, 99% of Norwegian salmon were never treated with any form of antibiotic, according to a Norwegian Seafood Council report. 

Sin nombre
November 22, 2021

The latest annual report on the use of antibiotics in Norwegian animal husbandry and food production showcases the Norwegian aquaculture industry’s success in minimizing the use of antibiotics in salmon farming. Last year saw the lowest ever number of veterinary antibiotic treatment prescriptions for Norwegian aquaculture farms, 48 in total. It means that 99% of Norwegian farmed salmon were produced without any antibiotic treatments. No residues of antibiotics, medicines or illegal substances have ever been found in Norwegian salmon, according to annual studies by the Institute of Marine Research in Norway.

“The World Health Organization has listed antimicrobial resistance as one of the top 10 public health threats facing humanity, and the food production industry has a weighty responsibility to address this issue, and fast,” said Renate Larsen, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council. “The Norwegian salmon farming industry has been a pioneer in this field, and since the mid-nineties, we have all but eradicated the need for antibiotics through the effective use of vaccines and focus on fish welfare.”

While production continues to rise in Norway, the use of antibiotics continues to drop. “This is the direct result of the industry’s focus on fish welfare and food safety, and we are proud that Norwegian aquaculture is the best in the world when it comes to antibiotics use in animal food production,” added Larsen.

A total of 1.4 million tonnes of salmon were farmed in fjords along the Norwegian coast in 2020, making Norwegian salmon the biggest salmon producer in the world, with more than 50% of the market. “The use of antibiotics in our farmed salmon has been almost zero for many years now, although it is still a concern for some,” Larsen concludes. “Consumers can have total confidence that Norwegian salmon are antibiotic free and continue to be a safe, delicious and healthy choice to eat.”

The 2020 NORM-VET report is the twenty-first annual report of its kind, presenting data on resistance and usage of antibiotics in Norwegian animal husbandry and food production. Read the report here.