Today the aquaculture industry experiences high mortality with 53 million fish a year. This represents large economic losses for the industry and presents a serious welfare problem.
Intensive industrial production exposes animals to many stressors that may cause increased stress and lead to diminished ability to cope with additional handling, which may result in compromised animal welfare, health and in worst-case death. This gives a need for reliable and predicative animal welfare tools. The product is a newly developed stress test for salmon and permits evaluation of fish robustness prior to operational procedures, such as lice treatments, transports etc., thereby providing a predicative tool that enable customers to make informed decisions prior to handling their fish. By determining the fish?s ability to mount a healthy stress response, fish farmers can make decisions that avoid handling that may lead to compromised welfare and in worst-case death. The project focuses on validating the technology as a step towards becoming an operational robustness test for the aquaculture industry.
The project is well under way to validate biomarkers against known parameters of the stress axis in salmon and trout. Collection and analysis of samples from industrial conditions is initiated and ongoing.
The project is a collaboration between VIS, UiB, NORCE and NCE Seafood.