Slashing mortality and boosting production profits
by Hugo Magne Kjelseth, Europharma Sales & Marketing Director, Norway
oor smolt quality used to account for about 40 percent of the mortality in Norwegian salmon production. That is changing, as SuperSmolt FeedOnly is fast becoming the preferred method of smoltification. 74 million smolt where produced in Norway using SuperSmolt FeedOnly in 2017. In fact, use of the method has increased steeply every year since 2013, when the technology was used on less than 10 million smolt in Norway. According to Europharma, supplier and owner of the global patent rights to the revolutionary technology, the big break came as a result of the successful launch of SuperSmolt FeedOnly. New discoveries through extensive R&D efforts made it possible to smoltify the fish using SuperSmolt feed alone, and not in combination with mixed-in additives in the production water, as was the case in previous years. Since we acquired the SuperSmolt rights back in 2008 we have been convinced in the exceptional value of this technology. It has great benefits both in terms of fish health, growth, production flexibility and profitability. SuperSmolt FeedOnly makes it significantly easier to achieve these benefits, and allows the technology to be utilised in all types of freshwater salmon production, including loch production. We are now seeing companies saying ´this is how we smoltify our fish now´, and designing their production facilities and production plans accordingly, says Jim-Roger Nordly, owner and Head of Europharma AS, as well as their sister companies in Chile, Canada and Scotland. The SuperSmolt technology is based on the find that smoltification can be induced and controlled by stimulating the calcium receptors in the fish through feed and/or natural additives in the production water. The method effectively eliminates the negative issues related to traditional smoltification through light control. SuperSmolt allows the fish to smoltify under constant light, which means that it grows faster and may be transferred earlier or significantly larger than traditional smolt. Another huge benefit is the fact that SuperSmolt fish do not desmoltify. That makes it
easy to produce totally homogenous fish groups where every fish has solid saltwater tolerance at the time of transfer. This is of course hugely significant in terms of fish health and welfare. It is no surprise that the increase in Norwegian smolt produced by SuperSmolt FeedOnly correlates with a significant national drop in mortality during the first three months at sea. Moreover, the health of the fish that survive is even more important. Solid smolt status makes the fish eat well and grow fast. If parts of the fish group struggle, then feed factor suffers, growth suffers and the risk of disease increases, says Nordly. He sees a big difference in the way many Norwegian salmon companies now view the technology. Many fish farmers used SuperSmolt first to “rescue” poor performing fish groups. They now see that the benefits relating to fish health, production flexibility and economy greatly exceed the cost of the product, which makes the whole thing a no-brainer. The ability to reduce the production time as much as a month has massive effects on profitability, says Nordly. In addition to the Norwegian market, SuperSmolt FeedOnly is widely used in all major salmon producing countries. 10.5 million smolt in the UK was produced using SuperSmolt in 2017. www.europharma.com
22 | June 2018 - International Aquafeed
Jim-Roger Nordly, owner of Nordly Holding (Europharma is a subsidiary of Nordly Holding AS).