This week we launched the Fish Health Report 2021 together with The Norwegian Veterinary Institute and Tekna. More than 800 digital participants tuned in as Torill Moseng, Managing Director at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute handed over the Fish Health Report to Managing Director of The Norwegian Food Safety Authority, Ingunn Midttun Godal.

Cecilie Walde and Ingunn Sommerset from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute then presented the main findings from the report, which revealed significant health and welfare challenges in Norwegian fish farming   

More salmon than ever died prematurely in Norwegian farming in 2021. 

The total number of dead salmon in the sea phase in 2021 was 54 million (15.5 percent). This number is higher than the year before and higher than the record year 2019 where the algae disaster in Nordland and Troms alone took the lives of approximately eight million salmon. The Veterinary Institute’s assessment is that high mortality is mainly a consequence of health and welfare in Norwegian farming not being good.  

“The fish health report is so important. It provides a good knowledge base, both for the industry and the administration, to work further and to improve fish health and fish welfare, and to provide an even better and more sustainable industry. I am very happy that so many have contributed data and insight to the Fish Health Report, which makes it as complete a report as possible.” – Torill Moseng, Managing Director, The Norwegian Veterinary Institute 

Photo: Cecilie Walde and Nina Stangeland

There are many causes of mortality, including that handling the salmon during treatment against salmon lice stresses and weakens the fish. This makes the fish susceptible to various diseases. Several diseases have accompanied the aquaculture industry for over 20 years. 

“It has been great to see all the commitment and knowledge that has gone into the Fish Health Report. What is clear to us is that we must work together to solve the challenges we are facing within mortality, fish health and fish welfare, both in the hatchery phase and in the sea phase. We strongly believe that we have an enormous amount of knowledge spread around the country in all the great organizations that work in the seafood industry. We believe it will be very important to stand together and share knowledge, show the ability and willingness to cooperate on this topic, to improve fish health and fish welfare in the seafood industry.” – Nina Stangeland, Managing Director, NCE Seafood Innovation 

“Kysten Rundt” with The Fish Health Service by Tekna 

 Following the report, we had “Kysten Rundt” with The Fish Fealth Service who gave us an update on the general condition of the fish along the entire coast, as well as a description of the biggest challenges in the different areas. Presenting the different areas we had Kay Roger Fjellsøy, Mattias Bendiksen Lind, Harriet Romstad and Hanna Sæteraas Bjerke joining the studio. Following their presentations, they answered questions regarding fish health and possible solutions to the joint industry challenges going forward.

“Kysten Rundt” with the Fish Health Service. Kay Roger Fjellsøy, Mattias Bendiksen Lind, Harriet Romstad and Hanna Sæteraas Bjerke

Deep diving into the challenges facing the industry 

To really understand the challenges the industry is facing, we had experts from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute deep dive into some of the current issues. Britt Bang Jensen addressed how the PD vaccine affect the number of outbreaks. Eirik Biering then followed by giving us an update on the health status of the wild salmon. Edgar Brun the addressed the big question of whether the industry has a lifestyle problem.   

To round up the webinar we had a number of industry expert joining in on a panel discussion to discuss how the industry can in fact experience growth, while also experiencing increased survival going forward. Joining the panel discussion we had Torill Moseng from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Ingunn Godal from The Norwegian Food Safety Authority, Ragnhild Hanche-Olsen from the  Fish Health Service by Tekna, Jørn Ulheim from Patogen and Ingebjørg O. Sævareid from Salmon Group. The panel was moderated by Björgólfur Hávarðsson from NCE Seafood Innovation. 

Photogallery from the event: