Cermaq awarded for its work to improve fish welfare

Close follow-up and simple measures has improved the quality and survival of the fry.

From left: Managing Director of Cermaq Norway, Knut Ellekjær, member of the jury Brit Tørud from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, and site manager at Holmvåg, Jan Robert Bell. Photo by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute

The prize was awarded to Cermaq at the AquaNor fair taking place in Trondheim, Norway, for the improvement work at the fry plant Holmvåg in Steigen, Norway, and the good results it has given.

Good fish welfare is good for business

- Good health and welfare for our fish is fundamental in all our work throughout our value chain across all companies in Cermaq, says Knut Ellekjær, Managing Director of Cermaq Norway. Good welfare gives a strong and robust fish, good production results and good financial results in the end, says Ellekjær.

Small measures - great results

At Cermaq's fry facility Holmvåg in Steigen, they have specialized in the earliest stages of the salmon’s life cycle, from roe to fry. The commitment among the staff at the facility is very high, bringing out good ideas for how fish welfare can be improved.

By careful observation of start feeding fry behavior, and adjustment of tank hydrodynamics, feed distribution and water temperature the staff has improved survival and fry quality significantly.

- By observing the fry’s behaviour closely, we have been able to act and make adjustments that have given very good results. A result of these changes we now start with 5% fewer roe grains, but still produce the same amount of fry at the facility, says Marit Mehus, fish health and freshwater manager in Cermaq Norway.

New equipment not crucial - the commitment to the animals more important

Holmvåg is not a new facility, and the tanks in which the fish swim are from the late 80s. But this has been no obstacle for improvements and the excellent results at the facility.

- These results show that we can make important steps for improved fish welfare also on older facilities, says Marit Mehus. - What the staff at Holmvåg have done here is impressive and demonstrates how important their strong commitment to the fish is, says Mehus.

Fish welfare on the agenda in all Cermaq’s operations

Fish welfare is a topic in all areas of Cermaq’s value chain, and different measures are taken to optimize fish health and welfare, securing the quality and survival of the animals. With the development project iFarm, Cermaq aims to improve fish welfare by using artificial intelligence and machine learning, identifying each fish in a net pen, and giving it individual follow-up.

The Fish Welfare Prize

The newly established prize is awarded from the Fish Welfare Forum - a collaborative platform for the Norwegian Veterinary Instituteand the Institute of Marine Research.

Press contacts

Lars Galtung

Lars Galtung

Chief Communication and Sustainability Officer


Lise Bergan

Lise Bergan

Head of Communication

+47 932 51 114

+47 23 68 50 30

Astrid Vik Aam

Astrid Vik Aam

Communications Manager

+47 924 90 676

+47 924 90 676

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