The Research Council of Norway’s regional fund Northern Norway has awarded NOK3 million (over €311,000) to research the effects of health feed on salmon farmed in arctic regions.
This project is the second in a series of four long term trials scheduled to take place at the Arctic Salmon Research Centre (ASRC). The research centre was established earlier this year by EWOS (part of Cargill Animal Nutrition) and Cermaq together with 3 research institutions (Nofima, Univeristy of Nordland, and NMBU-University of Life Sciences).
The centre will provide knowledge on fish farming in arctic environmental conditions, and EWOS is in charge of the research activities.
"Salmon farming in Finnmark has fish health challenges that are specific to this northernmost region in Norway. Our project will study health feed and its effects on fish health, performance and filet quality on salmon farmed in Finnmark," says Ragna Heggebø, researcher at EWOS Innovation.
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A few numbers, in the EU, we consume around 23.1 kg of seafood per year. 24% of this comes from aquaculture. The two most consumed aquaculture species in the EU are salmon and mussel. Nevertheless, the EU production of fish and shellfish is small, when compared to what is produced in the rest of the world.
Salmon fish farming in this region has had a slightly 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 bigger variation in product quality. ASRC will find the causes to these challenges, by studying the significance of feed customised for the fish farming conditions in Finnmark.
The first project started up in mid-November, and is about optimising growth and feed utilisation. The fish from this study are currently being prepared and analysed. The third project is related to optimising Omega-3 in the fish, and in the fourth project quality and pigmentation will be studied.
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