News last update:6 Aug 2012

Salmon feed for a better immune system

Scientists at Nofima have developed a salmon feed that strengthens the immune defence of salmon so the survival rate after a natural outbreak of the IPN virus increases "dramatically".

Professor Kjell-Arne Rørvik at Nofima Marine (formerly Akvaforsk) believes this is an example of the fish feed of the future."The best way of significantly improving fish feed involves finding and utilising components that collaborate with the fish's biology so that the energy in the feed is better utilised."

When salmon weigh around 100 grams and are ready to be transferred to sea cages, they are referred to as smolt. It is clear that the biology is challenged when the salmon smolt are transferred from fresh water to sea water. This major readjustment means the smolt have a poor appetite and the intake of energy-rich feed is often insufficient to maintain a good immune defence. The smolt enters a period of several weeks' duration with reduced weight and increased susceptibility to sickness.

IPN virus
The infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) virus is one of the aquaculture industry's major health challenges. The disease particularly affects smolt in the first weeks after transfer to salt water. One method to enable smolt to have sufficient energy to fight off the disease is to add bioactive fatty acids to the feed. Tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA) increases the salmon's ability to oxidize fat to energy.

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