Norwegian technology for sustainable aquaculture
Farmed fish could be crucial to achieving a world without hunger. Although aquaculture can have a large environmental footprint, Norwegian technology makes it possible to produce fish sustainably and with less environmental impact.
The global population is growing rapidly. Today there are over 7 billion people on earth, and the UN forecasts that the population can reach 9.7 billion as early as 2050. Sustainable, large-scale production of nutritious food will be required to make sure that everyone is adequately fed.
Fish and other seafood are some of the most important sources of animal protein, fats and Omega-3 fatty acids – all of which are vital nutrients. Moreover, aquaculture also has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than many types of meat production.
Innovative and sustainable sea lice prevention
Sea lice are one of the most pressing challenges facing the aquaculture industry. These parasites release their eggs into the water. The eggs develop into larvae that attach themselves to fish, retarding their growth, disrupting their salt balance and making them vulnerable to disease and predation. Until now, drugs and chemicals have been the predominant method of controlling sea lice. Sea lice, however, have begun to acquire resistance to delousing agents.Norwegian companies have been using their creativity to prevent this pest from attacking fish.
Revolutionising fish feed
Worries about decreasing availability of marine ingredients for fish feed have long loomed over fish farmers. High-quality feed that meets the nutritional demands of fish, particularly in the larval stage, is essential for healthful, tasty fish. Rotifera, or wheel animals, and Artemia nauplii, or brine shrimp, are the most common live feed organisms used in aquaculture in Europe today. Substantial amounts of soy are imported for use in dry fish feed, but this may be cultivated at the expense of local ecosystems. The aquaculture industry has to find methods of maintaining nutritional quality while sparing the environment.
Sustainable offshore aquaculture
Today most marine aquaculture facilities are located in fjords or along the coastline. Waste feed, faeces, fish escapes and high concentrations of parasites have negative impacts on both the local environment and wild fish stocks.
Sustainable closed-system aquaculture
Another way of solving the environmental challenges associated with marine aquaculture along the coastline is to enclose the fish farms. Closed facilities prevent fish escapes, eliminating risks to wild fish stocks, and allow waste to be collected instead of being released. They also significantly reduce the risk of sea lice outbreaks.