In order to accommodate a more environmentally friendly aquaculture industry that also improves fish welfare, an imminent goal is to reduce the duration of the sea-phase in salmon farming.

Photo: Pure Salmon

The Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) can produce large post-smolt salmon (up to 1000 grams), which decreases the sea-phase from 15 to 10 months and thereby shortening cycles, which lets farmers have more cycles through the year. This has the potential of boosting productivity by 20-30% through more optimized use of the maximum allowable biomass at the farming sites. In order to take full advantage of these qualities of RAS, there is a need to increase knowledge on how different rearing conditions affect the fish growth and maturation, and to construct appropriate rearing procedures.

FREMAD (“Fremtidens lakseoppdrett” or “The salmon farming of the future”) is a KABIS research project that aims to answer these knowledge gaps. Through lab-scale to industrial-scale testing, the project will explore how different farming regimes during the land-based phase affects the production performance of salmon during the sea-phase. FREMAD aims to validate how various abiotic factors (such as light period and temperature) affect fish’ maturation at different rearing stages and to develop optimized rearing procedures to accommodate increased fish growth without risking early maturation.

The KABIS project has been an important arena where problems associated with early maturation in RAS-systems have been identified. Additionally, the project has facilitated extensive collaboration between industry and R&D.

FREMAD had its kick-off in October 2020 and has a duration of three years.

The project consortium consists of industry actor and project manager Bremnes Seashore, Sævareid Fiskeanlegg AS, Lerøy Aurora, and R&D partners Akvaplan NIVA AS with project leader Professor Alberg Kjartan Imsland, University of Bergen, NOFIMA AS, Institute of Marine research (Norway), and Norwegian Institute for water research.

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