Research on Arctic Salmon Farming Granted Millions

8 January 2016, at 12:00am

NORWAY - The Research Council of Norways regional fund Northern Norway has awarded NOK 3 million to research on effects on health feed for salmon farmed in arctic regions.

"The award means that more people see the importance of finding out more about the effects of arctic conditions and that we can start the study," states project leader Ragna Heggebø, researcher at EWOS Innovation.

The expert panel assessed the funding application and the project as strong professionally, exiting, and very important for the region.

This project is the second of a total 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 and Cermaq together with three 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.

Salmon fish farming in this region has had a slight 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 customized for the fish farming conditions in Finnmark.

“To this date, we have little systematic research activity on salmon farmed in Finnmark, and EWOS wants to be an important contributor to new, strategic knowledge when it comes to arctic salmon fish farming," says product manager Ernst Hevrøy.

“Arctic environmental conditions are well suited for salmon farming, therefore the potential is great. Research on fish farmed at suboptimal arctic conditions with long periods of low sea temperatures and short days is therefore very important for the aquaculture industry, and EWOS is leading the way in the development of new knowledge.”

Adel El-Mowafi, managing director of EWOS Innovation, is pleased with this positive outcome.

“This grant is a solid recognition of both the project as well as the center. As the leading supplier to farmers in the northern regions for a number of years, it is natural for EWOS to take the lead in the knowledge development.”

The first project started up in mid-November, and is about optimizing growth and feed utilization. The fish from this study is currently being prepared and analyzed. The third project is related to optimizing Omega-3 in the fish, and in the fourth project quality and pigmentation will be studied.