Nofima reports

Rapport/Report 16/2016 – English summary

Sæther, Bjørn-Steinar; Noble, Christopher; Midling, Kjell Ø.; Tobiassen, Torbjørn I; Akse, Leif; Koren, Christian; Humborstad, Odd Børre

Publication details

Publisher: Nofima AS

Issue: 16/2016

Number of pages: 32

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 978-82-8296-374-9

Open Access: green


Live storage of Cod (Gadus morhua L.) enables the industry to deliver fresh products out of season. The current regulations state that fish stored for longer than 4 weeks have to be offered feed, and if fed the fish can be stored alive for another 8 weeks. The industry wants regulations that allows for flexibility, and that, given that the fish welfare is not compromised or product quality is not negatively affected, fish can be stored alive for even longer periods than 12 weeks without access to food. The objective of this project was to evaluate how a starvation period up to 20 weeks affected animal welfare and flesh quality in Atlantic cod. The main conclusion from the project is that the period live captured cod can be stored alive without access to feed is limited by negative changes in fillet quality before animal welfare is impaired. Rather than using a fixed number of weeks, the period without feeding should be linked to body fat stores, measured as hepatosomatic index. This index should not be lower than 3 %.