As part of the research license that Nofima has co-located with Blom fiskeoppdrett outside Bergen, Nofima has conducted research showing that the choice of feed has a major influence on mortality rates in salmon that are co-infected with the diseases PD and HSMB. Photo: Helge Skodvin © Nofima.

Research licenses in aquaculture

Large scale, commercially beneficial research is being carried out together with the fish farming industry in Southern, Central and Northern Norway as part of Nofima’s research licenses. The research and trials connected to the licenses aim to document whether a dynamic feeding regime related to the seasons can increase appetite, growth, robustness and fish welfare for farmed salmon throughout the production phase at sea.

What is a research license?

In Norway, there are several different special licenses within the field of aquaculture, such as development, viewing, research and teaching licenses. A research license, like the one Nofima has, is a license of limited duration for salmon, trout and rainbow trout aquaculture. It is reserved for research purposes within relevant fields of expertise such as fish health, feed development, breeding, production of sterile salmon, technology and operations, as well as ecology and welfare.

The Directorate of Fisheries assigns licenses and the scheme is primarily reserved for research institutions at university and university college levels. However, in special cases, other private or public institutions may also be granted a license when their facility is considered a necessary and integral part of a research project. In such cases, it is assumed that the applicant has entered into a binding agreement with an external research institution at university or university college level, and where the research institution assumes the academic responsibility for the research in the license in question.

The purpose of the research license is to provide room for important research projects that can take the Norwegian fish farming industry forward. For more information on research licenses and who holds such licenses, visit the Directorate of Fisheries’ web pages.

Why does Nofima have research licenses?

In order to carry out large scale, commercially beneficial research together with the fish farming industry, Nofima has applied for and been granted research licenses in Southern, Central and Northern Norway. Nofima holds three research licenses in each region, where the licenses are operated together with various partners. Nofima collaborates with Blom fiskeoppdrett in Southern Norway, Lerøy in Central Norway and Nordlaks in Northern Norway.

The fact that Nofima holds its own research licenses is important in solving current biological issues that the industry faces in its everyday production of salmon and trout. Research licenses are also an important arena for implementing research in the fish farming industry.

What does Nofima use the research licenses for?

The research connected to the licenses aims to document whether a dynamic feeding regime related to the seasons can increase appetite, growth, robustness and fish welfare for farmed salmon throughout the production phase at sea. The research also aims to increase understanding of the complexity and interaction between environmental, production, quality and health parameters in different parts of the country.

Another important goal is to increase the knowledge of fat deposition in internal organs, the role of various fat depots and the correlation between this and inflammatory disorders or diseases that can in turn affect the robustness of salmon. This can be especially relevant to salmon that are naturally infected with various viral diseases. The main purpose of the research licenses is to increase the profitability and competitiveness of Norwegian aquaculture within the framework of sustainable development, and to contribute to increased knowledge and value creation along the coast.

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