THE salmon farming giant SalMar is working with Norway’s University of Science and Technology (NTNU) to create a new professorship in the field of aquaculture.
The project is being driven by the huge technological surge within the industry which both the company and the university believe will lead to major changes in how the sector operates in the future.
Salmar said: ‘One of the most important challenges the industry is facing is ensuring sustainable production that provides good fish wellbeing and reduced organic footprints, while maintaining a high quality and efficient production capacity.’
As an example of this new technological revolution, Salmar points to its Ocean Farm 1, which is the world’s largest floating laboratory, and which it is now offering to the university to further its research work.
Ocean Farm 1 is a full-scale pilot plant that allows for research on biological and technological aspects of fish farming at sea in a way that has not been possible so far.
SalMar said it is equipped with the best in instrumentation and sensor systems for the aquaculture industry, providing unique opportunities to collect large amounts of data about the fish and the environment in the ocean.
The new professorship will be an inter-disciplinary initiative that links the areas such as cybernetics, biology and aquaculture.
It will act as a link between the aquaculture industry and academia. The project will also strengthen the NTNU’s position as a global leader in this field.
SalMar’s Gustav Witzøe said: ‘We are pleased to be able to offer our floating research station for this important work.
‘The NTNU will be able to collect data on a free and independent basis and carry out the sort of analysis that can help develop an even more sustainable and knowledge based aquaculture.
‘By further developing core competence in Norwegian aquaculture, we will also strengthen the industry’s competitive position internationally.’
NTNU director Ingrid Schjølberg replied: ‘I am pleased that SalMar has taken such an important social responsibility to develop aquaculture in a way that will lead to forward thinking and a more knowledge driven industry.
‘Together, we will contribute to the development of new knowledge and solutions that ensure better fish welfare, more efficient operation and increased sustainability in the aquaculture industry.’
Picture: SalMar’s Ocean Farm 1, a ‘floating research station’