News 152 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Skretting to test sustainability of salmon

Commercial salmon farming can be a net fish protein producer according to recent research findings from CAC in Norway. CAC is a large-scale research station where all harvested salmon are sent for commercial sale. The facility is owned by Marine Harvest, Skretting and AKVA group.

The objective of the trial at CAC - with 800,000 salmon - is to fully document the sustainable production of salmon. "The trials at CAC are a milestone," says Knut Nesse, Managing Director of Skretting Salmon Feed. "This is the first time we can refer to large-scale trials on fish over an entire generation, where we gain more fish protein in the form of salmon than we use to produce the fish feed.

In the trial, fish are divided into three groups, which are fed separate diets. One of the groups has been fed on feed that is almost identical to Skretting's normal diet, but with a slightly higher vegetable oil content. The other two groups have been given feed where even more of the marine protein raw materials have been replaced with vegetable raw materials. It is these two groups that are yielding more fish protein than has been used in production of the feed.

Normal levels of omega-3 fatty acids
Preliminary figures, from the pens that have been harvested, show that the feed that contains fewest marine resources gives just under 1.2 kg top quality fish protein in the form of salmon per kilogram fish protein used in the feed. Control of the fatty acid levels has been one element of the trials and findings have been positive. The fish measurements that have been taken so far show normal levels of omega-3 fatty acids, including the long chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.

Final figures will be ready nearer to Christmas when the trial is concluded.

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