Aquaculture has been named as the future industry for Norway. The export value of Norwegian salmon farming was 29 billion NOK in 2011. A future-oriented and sustainable smolt production is essential for growth and development of this industry. Production of smolts is changing after the government opened for production of up to 1 kg size in land-based systems before the fish must be stocked in cages at sea, compared to 250 grams today. Recirculation in land-based farms and closed-containment cages in sea may be instrumental. This will be key topics during the 2nd Conference on Recirculation in Aquaculture in Sunndalsøra in late October.
The smolt production phase is the basis for a salmon that show good health, welfare, and performance in the traditional sea cages. Therefore, the methods used in smolt production are essential in reaching these goals. However, in the Norwegian salmon industry today the smolt-concept is in rapid change, since it is now legal to produce smolts of up to 1 kg prior to transfer to traditional cages at sea. Such a large fish may be more robust than smaller smolts, show reduced mortality, shorter production time in open cages in the sea, and thus fewer problems with salmon lice. Furthermore, the use of water recycling in land-based smolt facilities become more common, to achieve greater control of the farming environment and to preserve water sources. There are also initiatives underway for the production of postsmolts in closed-containment systems in sea. To focus on these important changes in the Norwegian salmon industry, Nofima in cooperation with Sunndal Næringsselskap, and Møre and Romsdal county, invites all interested parties to the conference "Smolt production in the future – 2nd Conference on Recirculation in Aquaculture" on Sunndalsøra 23-24. October 2012.
Nofima has a strong research focus on the use of recirculation of water in aquaculture and how it affects the welfare and performance of Atlantic salmon. Sunndal municipality wants to increase aquaculture activities, and has made this possible with dedicated land-lots, water-borne waste heat, and entrepreneurial support.
In 2008 the first conference, "Recirculation of Water in Aquaculture" held at Sunndalsøra, attracted a large attendance, enthusiastic discussions, and presentations from internationally recognized researchers. In 2010, the Minister for Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen opened "Nofima center for recirculation in aquaculture," at Sunndalsøra. This center is a research tool to determine the fish's requirements for water quality, nutrition and production methods in recycled water.
During the conference, invited presentations will be given by farming companies, governmental agencies, technology suppliers and scientists. Presentations will be given in two main sections.
- Part 1 of the conference will focus on smolt production in land-based recirculation systems. This section will contain presentations on experiences in the industry and their research needs, and research on water quality requirements, welfare and performance of salmonids in recycled water. The technology suppliers will be invited to presents proposals for design and dimensioning of recirculation systems for production of 1 kg smolts.
- Part 2 of the conference will focus on closed-containments systems at sea for production of 1 kg postsmolts. Within this topic, suppliers will present design and dimensioning of systems, researchers will present studies on water quality, welfare and performance relevant to such systems, as well as handling and utilization of sludge from both land-based recirculation systems and closed-containments systems in the sea.
The organizers behind the conference will be Nofima, Sunndal Næringsselskap and Møre and Romsdal county. The county has so far given a positive signal to support the conference. The organizers will also apply to the Research Council of Norway for support.
For the organizers,
Bendik Fyhn Terjesen, Senior scientist, Nofima
Per Helge Malvik, CEO, Sunndal Næringsselskap