Technology ‘must drive salmon farming
TECHNOLOGY should be at the forefront of any future development of Norway’s aquaculture industry, a leading research figure has suggested.
Aina Valland, director of business development and social contacts at the Norwegian Seafood Federation, said there was no reason why salmon farming should not be expanded, provided it was done in the right way.
Valland, who is a civil engineer, said in a report to the federation she was pleased that engineers were showing an increased interest in the sector, but if the industry was to grow properly it also needed investment from the government.
She cited the Ocean Space Centre for techno- logical development and biological research as examples of where state investment could help. If used in the right way, technology could double value creation in the industry.
But production costs also needed to be reduced otherwise salmon could not compete on price with meat products, she argued. ‘While one goal is to increase production, another should be to export Norwegian aquaculture technology to other countries, so that they can also increase their food production,’ she said.
Valland also pointed out that the environmental footprint of aquaculture is considerably less than for the production of lamb, chicken, cattle and pigs. It was also area-efficient, with any impact on natural areas reversible.
In an earlier report, two Norwegian research groups, Sintef and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, disclosed they were working on robotic projects to transport fish from farms and to inspect the underwater parts of sea farms.
Salmon farming can be expanded