November 6, 2020
99% of Norwegian salmon produced antibiotics free
According to the latest annual Norwegian NORM-VET report, Norwegian salmon farms have nearly eliminated the use of antibiotics.
The annual Norwegian NORM-VET report on antibiotics used in Norwegian aquaculture found the lowest prescription record in 2019 with only 16 prescriptions issued for salmon farming. The data meant that 99% of Norwegian salmon were produced completely without antibiotic treatments.
The figures represent a 77% decrease in the use of antibiotics compared with the previous year and a 99% reduction since the late 1980s.
Dr Ørjan Olsvik, a professor in medical microbiology at the University of Tromsø, Norway, attributed the progress made by Norway's aquaculture industry to "Fish health, good living conditions, a lot of cold, fresh seawater, good quality feed and feeding procedures, extensive use of vaccines against bacterial and viral diseases, as well as excellent and dedicated veterinarians who are specialised in cold saltwater aquaculture."
The continued decline in the use of antibiotics has been accompanied by an increase in salmon production.
Renate Larsen, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council said: "Norway has never produced more salmon than in 2019, yet the use of antibiotics continues to drop. This is the result of a strong focus on fish welfare and food safety in the industry. And we are proud to say Norwegian aquaculture is the best in the world when it comes to antibiotics use in animal food production."
Only 2,22kg of antibiotics were used for the entire aquaculture industry in Norway, compared with 4,673kg used in Norwegian land animal farming.
Olsvik added that the majority of the fish treated with antibiotics were exposed two to three years before coming to the market and no antibiotic residues had been identified in fish sold to consumers.
- Fish Farmer Magazine