Un­der con­trol

Joint ap­proach be­tween sci­en­tists and in­dus­try to ad­dress chal­lenges of closed-con­tain­ment sys­tems

Fish Farmer - - Norway -

Four Nor­we­gian re­search in­sti­tu­tions, two out­side Nor­way and sev­eral in­dus­try part­ners from tech­nol­ogy and the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try have started op­er­a­tions at a cen­tre for in­no­va­tion in closed-con­tain­ment sys­tems. The cen­tre, Ctr­lAQUA, has been given NOK 200 mil­lion and eight years to reach its goal of mak­ing closed-con­tain­ment sys­tems for salmon up to one kilo­gram.

In­no­va­tions in closed-con­tain­ment, where the salmon is sep­a­rated from the out­side en­vi­ron­ment by a tight bar­rier, can be im­por­tant for the fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the in­dus­try, help­ing to ad­dress chal­lenges such as sea lice, dis­eases and es­capes, as well as re­duce pro­duc­tion times.

Closed sys­tems can be land-based, where wa­ter is re­cy­cled, or sea-based, in which large float­ing tanks re­ceive clean wa­ter from depth. In Ctr­lAQUA, the re­search will deal with both ap­proaches.

The main fo­cus of the cen­tre is in­no­va­tion in closed-con­tain­ment sys­tems for the most vul­ner­a­ble pe­ri­ods of the salmon pro­duc­tion cy­cle, such as the first sea wa­ter, post-smolt, phase.

The cen­tre will also con­trib­ute to bet­ter pro­duc­tion con­trol, fish wel­fare and sus­tain­abil­ity in closed-con­tain­ment farms.This will hap­pen through the de­vel­op­ment of new and re­li­able sen­sors, min­imis­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact through re­cy­cling of nu­tri­ents and re­duc­ing the risk of es­cape, and dis­eases trans­mis­sion to wild stocks.

Se­nior sci­en­tist Bendik Fyhn Ter­je­sen, from Nofima, who is the di­rec­tor of the cen­tre, said that closed-con­tain­ment sys­tems for salmon up to one kilo­gram have fur­ther ad­van­tages than sim­ply pre­vent­ing lice and es­capes.

‘We can con­trol the en­vi­ron­ment in which the fish lives in a closed-con­tain­ment sys­tem. The en­vi­ron­ment is more sta­ble and the fish

The en­vi­ron­ment is more sta­ble and it” the fish use less en­ergy adapt­ing to

use less en­ergy adapt­ing to it.This means that the salmon has more en­ergy avail­able for growth and good health.’

Closed sys­tems for strate­gic phases in salmon farm­ing can help to make the Nor­we­gian vi­sion of an eight-fold growth in value creation from aqua­cul­ture pos­si­ble, and lead to an in­creased num­ber of jobs and the pro­duc­tion of healthy seafood.

In the cen­tre there will be three de­part­ments: tech­nol­ogy and en­vi­ron­ment, led by Dr Fyhn Ter­je­sen; pre­ven­ta­tive fish health, led by Har­ald Takle, also from Nofima; and fish pro­duc­tion and wel­fare, led by Lars Ebbesson of Uni Re­search.

Ctr­lAQUA is one of 17 Cen­tres for Re­search-Based In­no­va­tion (SFI), a ma­jor pro­gramme cre­ated by the Re­search Coun­cil of Nor­way.

The pri­mary goal of the SFI pro­gramme is to strengthen com­pa­nies’ ca­pac­ity for in­no­va­tion, and to de­velop lead­ing in­dus­try rel­e­vant re­search.

Nofima is ac­com­pa­nied by five solid in­sti­tu­tions in Ctr­lAQUA: Uni Re­search, the Univer­sity of Ber­gen, the Nor­we­gian Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, the Fresh­wa­ter In­sti­tute in the US and the Univer­sity of Gothen­burg in Swe­den.

The Univer­sity of Ber­gen will have prin­ci­pal re­spon­si­bil­ity for re­search ed­u­ca­tion at the cen­tre.The to­tal bud­get for Ctr­lAQUA will be NOK 196 mil­lion, spread over eight years.

In­dus­trial part­ners from the sup­plier in­dus­try are Krüger Kaldnes AS, Phar­maq An­a­ly­tiq, Phar­maq AS, Oslofjord Res­surspark AS, Storvik Aqua AS and Aqua­farm Equip­ment AS.

Par­tic­i­pants from the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try are Ma­rine Har­vest ASA, Grieg Seafood ASA, Lerøy Vest AS, Cer­maq Nor­way AS, Bremnes Seashore AS, Smøla klekkeri og set­te­fiskan­legg AS, Ma­rine pro­duc­ers Nor­way AS and Firda sjø­farmer AS.

The for­mal open­ing by the Re­search Coun­cil took place at the end of May at Nofima, Sun­ndal­søra. Nor­we­gian fish­eries min­is­ter Elis­a­beth As­paker, present at the cer­e­mony, said the goal of the Ctr­lAQUA SFI is per­fectly com­pat­i­ble with the govern­ment’s am­bi­tions for the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try.

‘I have great ex­pec­ta­tions for the achieve­ments of Ctr­lAQUA. Even though eight years is a long time, it is ur­gent that we find so­lu­tions to reach the goals. Ctr­lAQUA is an im­por­tant part of this.’

The di­rec­tor of in­no­va­tion in the Re­search Coun­cil, Eirik Nor­mann, pre­sented the SFI plaque to Fyhn Ter­je­sen, say­ing: ‘You have put to­gether a very strong con­sor­tium. I want to point out that the com­mit­tee that eval­u­ated the ap­pli­ca­tion was fas­ci­nated by the in­no­va­tion that the con­cept brings with it, and it be­lieves that the cen­tre will prob­a­bly pro­duce im­por­tant in­no­va­tions within aqua­cul­ture.’

Above: Project par­tic­i­pants at the cen­tre’s open­ing. Right: Ctr­lAQUA sci­en­tists. Pho­tos by Terje Aamodt/Nofima.

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