The Norwegian salmon sector may be on the verge of adopting large-scale offshore aquaculture structures, but it may need to move away from near-shore cage production, at least if the technological trend of the country’s development licensing schemes becomes a reality. I have. The Development Licensing Program was designed to address the industry’s economic and sustainability challenges by encouraging the adoption of new agricultural technologies. A closer look at the innovations approved under the license will help industry players better understand the future of aquaculture technology.
According to a new paper published in aquaculture report, Norway’s salmon sector is likely to adopt closed containment solutions and stronger offshore rigs as its primary production method. These innovations help limit the negative environmental impact of aquaculture by reducing emissions from farms. They also target higher yields, benefiting farmers.
Norwegian Atlantic salmon industry
Atlantic salmon is the second most valuable aquaculture species and Norway stands out as a major producer of this commodity. Since the field began in the 1970s, salmon farming has become one of the most knowledge and technology intensive sectors in the entire industry. Norwegian industry also enjoys a high level of economic investment and can spawn multiple subsectors focused on salmon genetics, advanced health, nutrition and environmental sustainability.
Advocates of aquaculture often tout its status as a low-emission animal protein, but farming activities still come with environmental and economic challenges. are cultured in open cages. While this has allowed growers to achieve incredible amounts of biomass, open cages pose biosecurity and ecological risks. fish are escaping, and sea lice are disrupting wild salmon populations. Agricultural costs, such as labor and equipment, are also rising sharply and could reduce profit margins in the coming years.
To date, the Norwegian salmon industry has relied on technological innovation to stay ahead of ecological and fish health challenges. The country has also established strong governance and regulatory structures for this sector. Environmentally sustainable practices are encouraged and their structures help foster the adoption of new farming techniques. Norway now stands out as a hub for innovation, with growing consumer demand for farmed salmon I will try to maintain this position as time goes on.
Aquaculture development license
In 2015, the Norwegian government launched a development licensing scheme. These licenses focused on emerging technologies rather than production volumes, unlike regular commercial licenses. This program was designed to encourage the development of new technologies that help address land use and environmental issues in aquaculture. Special attention was paid to design and equipment to reduce sea lice levels, eliminate fish escapes and improve contamination. Destruction was the priority, not improvement of existing technology.
The plan sought to balance the economic demand for Atlantic salmon while mitigating its environmental shortcomings. Instead of paying the applicant a commercial production license that costs her $15 million to her $25 million, the applicant who successfully meets the innovation and sustainability requirements of the development license will pay it for $1.1 million. Can be converted to a regular production license.
Regulators hoped this would help the industry’s innovation efforts. The sector’s funding of its own research and development activities has not worked. This period required a large initial investment and increased technical and biological risk. In some cases, promoting aquaculture innovation was deemed “too risky” to appeal to private investors. A development license was a way to overcome existing market limitations.
What innovations are on the horizon?
Researchers reviewed over 100 applications for development licenses, paying particular attention to new production methods, farm concepts and sustainability solutions presented by applicants. They noted that the majority of development licenses have been awarded for technologies that make offshore aquaculture more feasible and ways to reduce emissions from nearshore production systems. New measures to reduce fish escape have also been approved. This suggests salmon production is going in two separate directions for her. More robust open-sea pens and closed fjord production units.
Technology approved under the scheme indicates that the Development and Licensing Board has endorsed larger aquaculture units. Based on the approved license, researchers believe farming methods and equipment will become more diverse. The current production model, in which farmers place net pens in coastal waters, may not remain the industry standard. I paid attention.
The development-licensed technology was targeted at three primary production locations: protected bays, coastal areas and open ocean. Closed farms or establishments using bags or tanks as barriers to contamination with sea lice, escapees, pathogens, and faecal and feed residues were approved in protected coastal areas. This means that companies operating in these environments invest in technology that gives them greater control over their operational environment. According to the researchers, this marks a shift towards “biological manufacturing,” where fish production more resembles a bio-secure assembly line. Open cage systems may fall out of favor in fjords.
For open-ocean projects, innovation was prioritized to ensure the cages could withstand increased loads from waves and currents. More than half of the development license applications in this segment proposed semi-submersible platforms or rigid floaters with permeable nets. Given the success of these designs during the evaluation phase, the researchers believe that Norwegian regulators considered these concepts the most innovative.These cages also feature high biomass capacity. increase. This suggests that the capital intensity and financial risks of these designs have been barriers for retail investors.
Researchers noted that new farming methods require additional techniques to be developed and deployed. Successful aquaculture in this new phase requires underwater feeding systems, integrated feeding barges and heavy industry solutions. Companies that can provide this technology could play an important role in the growth of the industry.
Regulators appear to be placing more emphasis on seascapes and ecosystems when considering potential aquaculture operations. The standards have been adapted to reflect various production considerations for open sea and near sea environments. This suggests that regulators are willing to consider more diverse (and costly) production permits. However, this also means that producers may face additional requirements and oversight in the future.
Researchers believe this regulatory stance could expand the waters available for aquaculture. It also allows producers to test and adopt a wider variety of aquaculture production techniques. Farming new species may also be on the cards. The authors point out that a new range of farming techniques could be used for species other than salmon.
For coastal development licenses, regulators want producers to be less integrated with the external environment. Therefore, the emphasis is on barriers to fish escape, collection of fish waste, and parasite prevention. Improving fish welfare is also a priority. In practice, this could mean a greater reliance on agricultural technology and less manual labor.
These developments could usher in a more productive and environmentally sustainable salmon industry, but remember that these concepts need to be economically viable to break the status quo. Profitability is not a given, given the regulatory burden on the salmon sector. Many of the concepts proposed to the development licensing board take years to be tested and fully implemented. Industry watchers may have to wait until innovation and economics come together.
The researchers stress that this type of trend projection can be extended beyond Norway and the salmon industry. Most innovations occur in a few hubs before spreading to other fish species and producers around the world. Aquatech solutions rarely stay in his one place. If they are developed and adopted in Norway, they could be found in other aquaculture production areas within a few years – just adapting to local conditions and/or different species. Learn more about Norwegian development licenses. A look will give you insight into what the future production technologies and priorities of aquaculture are and how the industry plans to achieve them.
Read the full paper aquaculture report.