Aquaculture for all

Farming of Sterile Salmon Will Help Preserve Wild Salmon

Salmonids Sustainability Breeding & genetics +6 more

NORWAY - The Fisheries Directorate has granted six new research permits for breeding sterile salmon for commercial production. The goal is to preserve wild salmon stocks.

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AquaGen and IMR will lead the research project to be carried out in collaboration with commercial salmon farmers. Farmers who have been granted experiments are North Salmon Farming AS, Mainstream Norway AS, Nova Sea AS, Eide Fjordbruk AS and Mid-Norwegian Aquaculture AS.

Reducing genetic influences

"It is an important measure to reduce the genetic influence of escaped fish. By giving promise of wide research efforts to adapt sterile salmon in commercial production, adding Fisheries conducive to reducing the risk of genetic effects on wild salmon stocks," says Vidar Baary, who is chief of the investigation section of the Directorate of Fisheries, coastal and aquaculture department.

He explains that the sterile triploid salmon have an extra set of genes, which means that it can not replicate itself if it were to escape. Use of such fish farming could therefore be an effective measure to prevent genetic impact of farmed fish on wild populations vulnerable.

Changing production conditions

Previous experiments with sterile salmon have shown that it is more prone to developing deformities. This is because it has a different physiology than normal salmon and should be reared under different operational and environmental conditions.

Recent research - including the Marine Institute - has shown that by lowering the water temperature for the eggs and adjusting the composition of the diet may reduce the risk of abnormal development significantly.

"There is still a need for more knowledge. Farmed sterile salmon conditions need to be optimised, says department head Baary.

AquaGen will produce and deliver triploid salmon eggs used in the project, and together with IMR. have the professional responsibility of the experiments.

There are plans to manufacture in different geographical areas along the coast to investigate how different environmental conditions affect the production of the sterile salmon.

Fisheries Directorate has granted six licenses totaling 4,285 tons attempt biomass (MTB) over a period of four years and four months for completion of the trials.

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