October 1, 2008


Norway's researchers focus on sustainable salmon feed


Commercial salmon farming can be a net fish protein producer according to recent research findings from CAC in Norway.


CAC is a large-scale research station where all harvested salmon are sent for commercial sale. The facility is owned by Marine Harvest, Skretting and AKVA group.


The CAC trial, with 800,000 salmon aimed to document sustainable production of salmon using vegetable-based sources as feed instead of the usual protein source, which is derived from the sea.


Salmon farming has long been criticised for deriving salmon feed from the limited fishery resources. 


Knut Nesse, Managing Director of Skretting Salmon Feed said this is the first time a large-scale fish trial could be conducted over an entire generation, and where more fish protein could be gained than the fish feed supplied.


In the trial, fish are divided into three groups, which are fed separate diets.


One group was fed with feed that is almost identical to Skretting's normal diet, but with a slightly higher vegetable oil content.


The other two groups were given feed where even more of the marine protein raw materials have been replaced with vegetable raw materials. It is these two groups that are yielding more fish protein than has been used in production of the feed.


Preliminary figures show that the feed that contains fewest marine resources gives just under 1.2 kg top quality fish protein in the form of salmon per kilogram fish protein used in the feed.


Fish measurements taken so far show normal levels of omega-3 fatty acids, including the long chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.


Final figures will be ready in the next few months when the trial is concluded.

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