Capture-based aquaculture involves fish being caught and transferred live to sea cages. This system offers a host of advantages. The fish can be fed and slaughtered when demand dictates. This avoids major seasonal variations in the level of supply to customers, and the value of the fish also increases.
"Many consumers want fresh high quality seafood products and capture-based aquaculture can ensure more even supply of such products," says State Secretary for Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Vidar Ulriksen. "But this is a relatively new industry and there is a requirement for more knowledge. We will, therefore, establish a Centre of Excellence for capture-based aquaculture. This centre has been allocated to Nofima in Tromsø."
Previous studies have shown that in some circumstances coastal fishermen increased the value of their cod quotas by 35-40 percent by delivering the catch live.
Today less than one percent of the annual Norwegian cod quota is landed live.
"It is exciting for Nofima to be assigned this task from the Ministry," says Nofima's Acting CEO Øyvind Fylling-Jensen. "For several years now we have collaborated closely with industry actors to develop the concept of capture-based aquaculture and we are very happy that we will now get the opportunity to research this area even better."
He points out that while research on catching and feed technology will be central for the new centre, there will also be focus on other areas such as markets and product development.
"Our aim for this centre is that Nofima's broad competence along the entire supply chain from catch through to market will contribute to increased added value for the industry," says Fylling-Jensen.