Food for the future
We’re a nation built on seafood. In Norway, every job in aquaculture creates nearly two more in other industries and every 1 NOK created makes 1.43 NOK for our economy1. It’s the lifeblood of our home, so it’s important that we plan for the future. That’s why we’ve taken extra steps to ensure that we’re farming our salmon in a way that’s both efficient and environmentally sound.
Salmon is a naturally efficient animal. Unlike mammals, it doesn’t need to use energy standing upright. It’s cold-blooded, which means that instead of using energy to regulate its temperature, it can harness the energy from food to grow. In fact, we only need 1.2 kg feed to produce 1 kg of salmon.
We also ensure that any marine ingredients used in our salmon feed come from regulated sources. That they are bits that people won’t or don’t eat, such as offcuts and industrial fish. Over the past 30 years, the amount of feed we use has been cut by 15-20%, and we expect this to fall even further as farming techniques advance.
Approximately 70 percent of the feed ingredients are derived from vegetable sources, the rest comes from marine resources.
Reducing our impact
When salmon escape it’s a problem. It’s not only bad for business, but it could have an impact on the wild salmon in the area. That’s why we mark and track our salmon to distinguish farmed from wild. We’re focused on preventing escapes and we use divers and CCTV if there’s a chance a cage could be damaged. There is also an environmental fund largely for removing escaped fish, and Norway holds companies to account – with a 500 NOK fine for each farmed salmon caught.
By counting the lice in individual cages each week and using filters in all slaughterhouses and transport boats, we’re reducing the risk of our salmon getting infections. We also farm “cleaner fish” (wrasse) to eat the parasites, and we’re using our research fund to explore other environmentally friendly methods. The health of salmon from Norway is recorded on a common health database for the entire aquaculture industry.
Farmed Atlantic salmon already forms 50% of the total global salmon market2, but as the world’s population grows, it could be a sustainable source of protein for all. Our ocean-farmed salmon has a lower carbon footprint than both beef and pork – so using it in a recipe could help to limit climate change.
1 Source: SINTEF “The significance of the fishing and agriculture industries for Norway in 2009 – a national and regional ripple effect analysis”
2 Source: Seafish “Responsible sourcing guide: farmed Atlantic salmon” (August 2012)
Both the Norwegian Animal Welfare Act and the Aquaculture Act regulate the Norwegion salmon farming industry.