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Feed R&D in Norway

Feed R&D in Norway

Research licenses in Norwegian aquaculture

Commercially beneficial research is being carried out at our Averøy Field Trials Station in Central Norway using production quota allocated to Mowi through the R&D licence allocation scheme. The research connected to trials at Averøy is focused on continual improvement of our feed portfolio through the application of robust scientific techniques and thorough evaluation of the data generated.

What is a research license?

In Norway, there are several different special licenses within the field of aquaculture, such as development, viewing, research and teaching licenses. A research license, like the one Mowi has, is a license of specific duration for salmon, trout and rainbow trout aquaculture. It is reserved for research purposes within relevant fields of expertise such as fish health, feed development, breeding, production of sterile salmon, technology and operations, as well as ecology and welfare.

The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries assigns licenses and the scheme is primarily reserved for research institutions at university and university college levels. However, in special cases, other private or public institutions may also be granted a license when their facility is considered a necessary and integral part of a research programme. In such cases, it is assumed that the applicant has entered into a binding agreement with an external research institution at university or university college level, and where the research institution assumes the academic responsibility for the research associated with the license in question. In accordance with the terms of our licence, Mowi Feed has partnered with Nofima, a leading institute for applied research within the fields of fisheries, aquaculture and food.

The purpose of the research license is to provide room for important research projects that can take the Norwegian fish farming industry forward. For more information on research licenses and who holds such licenses, visit the Directorate of Fisheries’ web pages.

Mowi’s research license

In order to carry out pilot scale, commercially beneficial research, Mowi holds a research license in Central Norway. Mowi Feed acquired Averøy Field Trials Station in 2014 from Nofima and has been running trials on nutrition, feeding, breeding and fish wellbeing ever since. The net pen component of the facility comprises 64 5x5m and 20 7x7m pens, the majority of which are fitted with feed recovery systems and are very lightly stocked (typically < 150 salmon / 5×5 m pen and approximately 2000 salmon / 7×7 m pen) allowing high precision with regards feeding and estimation of feed conversion ratio (FCR). With nine staff managing 84 pens; feeding bespoke trial feeds with a significant focus on feed and fish analysis coupled to a typical total harvest of < 80 tonnes in each cycle (< 14 % of the allowable biomass), the Averoy site is ideally suited for R&D activities whilst still being exposed to real-world environmental conditions.

What does Mowi use its research licenses for?

Investment in R&D is a cornerstone of our plan for sustainable development. The overarching objective is to secure better fish performance, health and quality whilst using fewer resources and doing it all more cost-effectively. Our projects at Averøy explore four key themes:

  1. Optimum resource utilisation: Maximisation of growth and minimisation of FCR leading to overall reductions in resource use.
  2. Raw material flexibility: Independence from individual raw materials including but not limited to fishmeal, fish oil and soy and adoption of emerging (novel) ingredients facilitates resilience, cost control and customer/consumer acceptance.
  3. Animal robustness and quality: Assuring that the maximum biomass survives to be harvested in return for the amount of feed given. A high welfare status and quality secure the trust of the consumer.
  4. Responsible use of resources: Identifying sustainable resources and combining them for maximum effectiveness with reduced environmental impact.

For more information on Mowi Feed’s research strategy, please see our R&D strategy document.

Sharing our knowledge

In return for being granted the R&D licence at Averøy, Mowi is obliged to make public the findings of the projects carried out there. We have a number of platforms for sharing that knowledge with publication in peer-reviewed journals being one of them. You can find links to many of the articles published at the end of projects hosted at Averøy if you follow this link.