Research area

Fish health

Disease prevention, vaccine development, challenge models and deformities.

The aim of research in the field of fish health is to contribute to better health and survival rates of farmed fish and to reduce economic losses for fish farmers.

Through many years studying the defence mechanisms (immune systems) of fish and the interactions between bacteria/viruses and fish, Nofima Marin has built up knowledge which is useful in the development of vaccines and other preventive measures. This has in turn contributed to reduced use of antibiotics and other medicines on farmed fish.

External conditions, such as feed composition, water quality, activity level and stress, also have a major impact on the health, survival and welfare of fish. The same applies to breeding and genetics. Nofima Marin's multi disciplinary profile means that competence within the fields of breeding and genetics, feed and nutrition and efficient and sustainable production may also be utilised in projects dealing with fish health.

Nofima Marin studies how deformations in farmed fish can be prevented, and research over the past decade has shown that environmental factors also need to be taken into consideration. We have made specific recommendations for adaptations to production routines, a fact which means the instances of deformations in the aquaculture industry are dropping.


Vaccination of fish. Photo: Nofima, Frank Gregersen

Vaccination of fish.

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Research area within Fish health

Challenge models

Winter ulcer on salmon.

Nofima Marin offers challenge models in fish both for viral and bacterial diseases.


In a sustainable biological production, we expect the fish that are produced will be healthy and normal. In aquaculture, at times far too many deformed fish are produced, which is both a welfare problem and a source of financial losses.

Disease prevention

Cod cell culture.

Preventive measures are important to reduce outbreaks of disease on farmed fish and to avoid using antibiotics.

Vaccine development


Since 1998, Nofima, (then Fiskeriforskning) has had an IPN virus bath challenge model which is used in both research and projects for vaccine- and fish feed manufacturers with products in the Norwegian market.