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Salmon gill health project launched

20 September 2018, at 5:41pm

A three-year project that aims to help alleviate gill disease in farmed salmon, largely by focusing on net management strategies, has been launched today.

Compromised gill health has emerged to be a major factor in the farming of salmonids in Norway, leading to economic losses and reduced animal welfare in both the marine and freshwater phases of production.

Checking the gills of a salmon for signs of AGD
Checking the gills of a salmon for signs of AGD

The project involves collaboration between the Fish Vet Group (FVG), Marine Harvest Norway and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and is primarily funded by the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF), with contributions from Marine Harvest and FVG.

The project consists of three work packages and is aimed at identifying risk factors for gill disease, with a focus on the effect of net management strategies on gill health.

The potential effects of phyto- and zoo-plankton, different net types and net maintenance, as well as thermal and mechanical sea lice treatments will be evaluated in order to identify management strategies that can prevent, reduce and minimise the impact of gill disease.

In addition, the researchers aim to identify useful indicators of gill health to help management decision-making at farm level.


The Health and Welfare of Atlantic Salmon course

It is vital that fish farm operatives who are responsible for farmed fish are trained in their health and welfare. This will help to ensure that fish are free from disease and suffering whilst at the same time promote good productivity and comply with legislation.

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The project is expected to be finalised in the summer of 2021.