What's in the feed
Just like us, the salmon is not dependent on particular food, but on particular nutrients such as amino acids, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Nutrients and ingredients
In nature the salmon finds the nutrient in the food available in the rivers and the ocean. When producing the feed, we can find the nutrients the salmon need in many sources.
The key part is that the right balance of the right nutrients are there. The salmon diet consists of much protein and fats, and little starch. Salmon does not digests starch very well.
Marine Omega-3 acids
Marine Omega-3 acid is a very healthy nutrient for both the salmon and humans. The marine Omega-3 acid comes mainly from fish oil, but much attention is now also on novel sources for marine Omega-3 acid. Replacing fish oil with vegetable oils had reduced the content of Omega-3 acid in the salmon, but the salmon gets what it needs and salmon remains a very good source of Omega-3 in our diet.
Ingredients from agriculture
Much of the protein wild salmon gets from eating fish is in the feed replaced by vegetable proteins from soy. And much of the fats are replaced by rapeseed oil. As fish meal and fish oil from sustainable fisheries are limited in volumes, it is important to optimize the use of our feed resources.
It takes only 1.15 kg of feed to produce 1kg of salmon. Marine ingredients make up less than 1/3 of that.
Furthermore: around 1/3 of the marine ingredients in the feed comes from fish trimmings and by-products.
The red color in salmon comes from the carotenid astaxanthin which is included in the feed. The salmon needs astaxanthin which is also found in the diet of wild salmon and works as an antioxidant in the salmon.
Did you know: You can find Astaxanthin Supplements in stores selling health food.
Feed suited to species and age
The feed we use in Cermaq varies according the fish type (Coho, trout, Atlantic salmon), natural conditions (e.g. temperature and light situation), size and age of the fish, and other.
Cermaq does not reject the use of genetically modified feed ingredients, but adapt to customers preferences and do not use any gm-ingredients in the feed used in Norway.
There is always a "but"
In the marine environment there is pollution from human activities, as dioxin, PCBs etc. These substances get into the food chain in the sea and are found especially in the marine fats. When replacing marine fats with vegetable fats, we get less such undesired substances into the feed.
Farmed salmon has less such undesired substances than wild salmon. All salmon contribute to a healthy diet.
Transparency about our feeds
Cermaq does not produce feed, but set detailed specifications for the supply from feed producers. We tests the feed, and do research on feed.
Our code of conduct for feed suppliers contains requirements to sustainability for all marine and non-marine raw materials and for the social dimension.
In the annual report we report on the composition of and sources of our feed at aggregated level.