Research area

Sustainability and welfare

In most respects, good animal welfare is synonymous with good health, good growth and good feed utilisation – or in other words good and cost-effective production. This is the background for the focus on welfare in our research.

In the Western world, increasingly more focus is being placed on food being produced in a sustainable and ethically sound manner. The World Commission for Environment and Development in 1987 defined sustainable development as: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.". Our research in the field of sustainability touches on both specialist issues of relevance for sustainability and interdisciplinary approaches where the development to which we contribute is seen in a larger social context.

We are obliged by both our ethical principles and Norwegian law to take care of considerations for the welfare of animals in culture. This also applies to farmed fish. The large supermarket chains and consumers of Norwegian seafood view good animal welfare in production as a quality criterion.

National and international collaboration
In order to ensure a high professional quality within so many different disciplines, we place a lot of emphasis on establishing good collaboration relationships with other research communities, both nationally and internationally.


None Photo: Frank Gregersen, Nofima

Relevant news


  • Hilde Toften

    Director of Research, Production Biology

    Phone: +47 77 62 90 53


Research area



Research area within Sustainability and welfare

Fish welfare

There are many ways of defining fish welfare and the scientists at Nofima use a definition where the fish’s ability to cope is central. Fish welfare is not a separate subject, but it integrates across traditional disciplines and along the entire supply chain.

Organic aquaculture

From 2008, a global annual increase in the production of organic seafood of 15-20 % is expected.

A growing consumer segment places great emphasis on feelings and intangible values (animal welfare, environment, ethics, image and more) when they buy food. Seafood products have so far not been prominent on the organic food market.

Water quality

Water quality can be a limiting factor for achieving optimal growth and good welfare in farmed fish. Nofima Marin is working to increase the knowledge base about how different water qualities influence the fish’s welfare in intensive juvenile production.