Photo: Vidar Vassvik.
Nevertheless, Norway accounts for only 1.7 per cent of the world's total aquaculture production volume.
The vision is far more ambitious: Norway – the world’s leading aquaculture nation.
Sustainability and the environment are at the core of the revised work programme for the Research Council of Norway's programme Aquaculture – An Industry in Growth (HAVBRUK).
Public research funding will also be targeted towards generating more knowledge about the societal aspects of an expanding aquaculture industry.
The main challenge facing the aquaculture industry is to achieve greater sustainability.
Pressing problems such as sea lice, discharges of pollution and escapes of production fish must be solved if the industry is to continue to advance and grow.
The inclusive, broad-based process leading up to the revised work programme has helped to raise industry awareness and increase willingness to take responsibility for generating new knowledge.
“The time is ripe for stepping up research efforts and clarifying the division of responsibility between the public and the private sector,” asserts Research Board member Paul Birger Torgnes, who also has close ties to the aquaculture industry.
The new work programme sets out six thematic priority areas:
- Sustainable seafood production
- Healthy fish
- Feeds of the future
- Other production species
- Environment-friendly aquaculture technology
- Genetics and selective breeding