The Norwegian Research Council has announced a revised programme of R&D in aquaculture, which puts the emphasis on ensuring that the industry is developed in a way that is sustainable.
Pressing problems that need to be solved to ensure sustainability and allow the sector to grow include, sea lice infestations, discharges of pollution and escapes of production fish into the wild.
While Norway is currently the world’s leading producer and exporter of salmon and rainbow trout and an important global supplier of expertise, technology and equipment for aquaculture, the country accounts for only 1.7 per cent of the total aquaculture production volume. Given this the vision of turning Norway into the world’s leading aquaculture nation, is ambitious.
The revised work programme - Aquaculture – An Industry in Growth, is the result of a broad-based process involving industry players and the government. The Research Council says the inclusive, broad-based process leading up to the revised work programme has helped to raise industry awareness and increase willingness to take responsibility for generating new knowledge.
“The time is ripe for stepping up research efforts and clarifying the division of responsibility between the public and the private sector,” says Research Board member Paul Birger Torgnes.
The new work programme sets out six thematic priority areas:
Sustainable seafood production
Feeds of the future
Other production species
Environment-friendly aquaculture technology
Genetics and selective breeding