BioMar looks to manage stress and boost performance in salmon

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Photo credit: GettyImages/DieterMeyrl
Photo credit: GettyImages/DieterMeyrl

Related tags BioMar Salmon sea lice

In the last 10 years there has been increased use of mechanical and other forms of treatment to help with the challenge of sea lice, increasing the cost of salmon production and also involving stressful events for the fish such as handling.

Such stressful events increase the risk of secondary infections potentially resulting in a lower final harvest weight and reduced quality, reports BioMar as it launches a product, SmartCare Calm, designed to help salmon cope better with those kinds of challenges.

The company maintains that the product should be used strategically before and immediately after any planned stress event; it claims that Calm will be a useful addition to the feed for the farmer to help mitigate welfare risks and maintain the expected level of performance.

“Handling involves both lost feeding days and reduced growth potential due to decreased post-treatment appetite. For salmon undergoing repeated sea-lice treatments, the resulting growth loss has been estimated to be around 0.5 kg,” Torunn Forberg, product marketing manager, Smartcare salmon division, BioMar, told us.

The new product, she continued, can reduce the negative impact stressful treatments have on salmon performance by allowing the fish to get back to normal feed intake faster, ensuring good growth and pigmentation.

“We have documented the use of Calm in internal trials, both in tanks and in semi-commercial trial cages in the sea. Calm fed fish had a significant improvement in feed intake, performance, and fillet pigmentation,” said Forberg.

When asked what exactly the product comprises, she would only disclose that it is based on “natural ingredients.”

BioMar is launching Calm in the salmon markets of Chile, Norway, UK, and Ireland.

Hatchery feeds

The aqua feed maker also recently opened a new wing dedicated to R&D in the hatchery segment at its Aquaculture Technology Centre in Hirtshals Denmark: the LARVIVA Hatchery Hub trial facility.

“We have a solid and fast-growing share in the hatchery segment, but we still see untapped potential as the segment continues to evolve,” noted Carlos Diaz, CEO of BioMar.

In recent years the hatchery sector has seen consolidation with larger units and standardization of protocols, as well as the introduction of new species with unique feeding behavior, stated BioMar.

“Our goal is to ease production, reduce costs, and provide stronger larvae,” said global hatchery product manager, Joana Amaral.

High performance hatchery feeds are essential for creating strong and healthy fish and shrimp early in life as this leads to better survival rates and a more robust animal, according to the company.

Simon Wadsworth global R&D director, BioMar said the new facility will enable the feed producer to conduct trials with a very high degree of control over all production parameters.

“We can simulate conditions that our customers experience in different hatcheries around the world and do trials with both marine and freshwater larvae.”

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