The salmon is easy to recognise with the streamlined body shape, the dark blue upper side, the shiny skin with black dots and the so-called fat (adipose) fin, located in front of the tail fin. Atlantic salmon are farmed along nearly the entire coastline from East Finnmark to Western Norway. The facilities are carefully planned and located in fjords and other areas with good water replacement, which ensures optimal living conditions for the fish.
Salmon start life in freshwater and are eventually put out in pens in seawater. They stay in the pens in the ocean and fjords for 14–22 months, right up until they have reached a slaughter-ready size of 4–6 kg.
Farming and sales of Atlantic salmon take place year round.
The salmon start life on land in an incubator tray. The roe is fertilised in freshwater and is incubated at a constant temperature for 80 days before hatching.
After hatching, the fry nourish themselves on the yolk sac which they have on their stomachs. When the yolk sac has been consumed, they change to being fed. This process occurs four to six weeks after hatching. When they begin to eat feed, they are moved to larger freshwater tanks.
After 10–16 months in freshwater, the salmon are ready to be put in the sea. At this stage, each fish weighs between 60 and 100 g. Before they are put into the sea, they must undergo a smoltifi cation process. This process enables the fish to live in saltwater, and then it is called a smolt.
The salmon mature in pens located in the ocean and fjords.
They stay in the pens for 14–22 months until they reach a favourable slaughter weight (4–6 kg). Then they are shipped in wellboats to processing facilities, where they are slaughtered and processed.
Technology and welfare
Norway is today a world leader in farming of Atlantic salmon and has some of the most advanced technology solutions for ensuring good fi sh welfare and high quality. A great emphasis is placed on research, and work is done continuously on developing new technological concepts which will meet the challenges the industry faces.
The relationship of Norwegian fish farming to the environment is primarily regulated by the Norwegian Aquaculture Act. The Act specifi es that aquaculture is to be established, conducted and wound up in an environmentally-responsible manner. Aquaculture is supervised by several authorities, such as the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the County Governor and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate. There are several environmental certifications with stringent environmental, ecological, fish welfare, food safety and HSE criteria. The environmental certifi cations for farming of salmon are GLOBALG.A.P., Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).
Food safety and quality control
Public administration of food safety in Norway is intended to ensure safe seafood for consumers. Work is done on food safety throughout the entire value chain. The authorities have laid down regulations which are intended to ensure food safety, and it is the Norwegian Food Safety Authority which supervises how enterprises comply with these. The inspection authorities obtain scientifi c knowledge from a number of independent technical institutions, such as the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM), the Norwegian National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. An individual business owner must itself ensure that the seafood is safe and of proper quality.
Salmon is an oily fsh which is rich in:
Protein, which builds and maintains all the cells in the body.
Marine omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent and retard cardiovascular disease and are important for the development of the brain.
Vitamin A, which contributes to providing good vision and immune response and is important for foetal development and reproductive capacity.
Vitamin B12, which is important for the body's production of new cells, including red blood cells, and which can contribute to preventing anaemia.
Selenium, an important element in the enzymes that combat harmful chemical processes in the body.
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