Photo: Terje Aamodt/Nofima

Centre for Research-based Innovations in Controlled-environment Aquaculture

Fish health   Nutrition and feed technology   Production Biology  

CtrlAQUA is a Centre for Research-based Innovation (SFI) that will lay the foundation for the development of closed-containment concepts of the future. With greater control of the production process, it will be possible to reduce problems associated with mortality and sea lice, and to reduce the production time for farmed salmon.

Time:1. April 2015 – 31. March 2023
Financed by: The Research Council of Norway (50%) and Partners (50%)
Commissioner:The Research Council of Norway
In cooperation with:R&D: Uni Research AS, Universitetet i Bergen, NTNU, Freshwater Institute (USA), Gøteborg Universitet (Sweden). Industry partners: Krüger Kaldnes AS, Pharmaq Analytiq AS, Pharmaq AS, Oslofjord ressurspark AS, FISHGlobe AS, Botngaard AS, Storvik Aqua AS, Aquafarm Equipment AS, Marine Harvest ASA, Grieg Seafood ASA, Lerøy Seafood Group ASA, Cermaq Norway AS, Bremnes Seashore AS, Smøla klekkeri og settefiskanlegg AS.
Contact person
Portrettbilde av Åsa Maria O. Espmark
Åsa Maria O. Espmark

Senior Scientist
Phone: +47 991 60 039

In the report “Value created from productive oceans in 2050”, aquaculture is expected to increase five fold in volume and eight fold in value. The Norwegian authorities and salmon industry works towards this vision. But there are challenges that may hinder achievement of this goal, such as sea lice, diseases, escapes, and the loss of fish through production. Innovations in closed-containment aquaculture systems, where the salmon is separated from the outside environment by a tight barrier, can be important for further development of aquaculture.

CtrlAQUA will work on such closed-containment systems. The main goal is to develop technological and biological innovations that will make closed systems a reliable and economically viable technology. 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.

Post-smolt stage in focus

Focus will be on the most sensitive phases for the salmon in the production cycle, such as the first seawater phase, the so-called post-smolt stage. The main innovation will be reliable and efficient production of post-smolts in closed systems on land or at sea. Thus, the industry can get a good realistic alternative or supplement to the current production technology with open cages.

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

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

SFI_engelskSenior Scientist Bendik Fyhn Terjesen from Nofima at Sunndalsøra has been appointed director of CtrlAQUA. In the centre there will be three departments:

  • Technology and environment, lead by Bendik Fyhn Terjesen, Nofima
  • Preventative fish health, lead by Sven Martin Jørgensen from Nofima
  • Fish production and welfare, lead by Lars Ebbesson of Uni Research

The University of Bergen will have principal responsibility for research education at the centre. The total budget for CtrlAQUA will be NOK 199 million, spread over eight years.

Focused research for the aquaculture industry

Nofima AS is the host institution, and is collaborating with research partners UNI Research AS, the University of Bergen and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Research partners from outside of Norway are Freshwater Institute, USA and the University of Gothenburg.

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

Participants from the aquaculture industry are Marine Harvest ASA, Grieg Seafood ASA, Lerøy Seafood Group AS, Cermaq Norway AS, Bremnes Seashore AS, Smøla klekkeri og settefiskanlegg AS.

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