Best Quality Norwegian Salmon! Brønnøysund, Norway, October 2016.

01-img_6740-001If you travel to Brønnøysund, I recommend a visit at Norsk Havbrukssenter – Norwegian Aquaculture Center. We were very lucky and got to visit the sea farm even though it was closed. When it is out of season, they are closed on weekends. Lene came anyway and gave us a tour. This is a model of a fish cage, she made to show the visitors what it’s like under the water.

Facts: The net or fish cage contains 97,5% water and 2,5% fish. She told us how deep it went and how wide it was, and I forgot to take notes… When the fishes grow, half of them are moved to an empty fish cage.

02-img_6750-001 03-img_6752-001This house has an office where they supervise feeding with underwater cameras and computers. They also keep track of water temperature, oxygen etc… There is also a visitors´ center where you can learn more about the life of the salmon.

I didn’t know that the salmon has a dark colored back, so it wouldn’t be visible to predators from the air and a light colored belly so predators from the deep wouldn’t see it against the bright sky. My daughter knew 🙂

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05-img_6777-001These salmons got here when they were ready for salt water and about 100 grams (3,5 oz) and now they are around 3 kg (7 lb). They are fed with pellets made of fish they naturally eat.

They are slaughtered when they are around 5 kg (11 lb). The way it’s done is quite interesting. They are vacuumed or sucked into a boat where they swim around until they get to the center where they once more are moved to a fish tank. I’m happy to know that they get anesthesia before they are euthanized.

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A huge challenge for the sea farmers is sea-lice. In the regular fish cage, they have cleaner wrasse (Labridae) for sea-lice pest control. The cleaner wrasse eats the sea-lice of the salmon, and makes it possible to treat them chemically only once a year.

The yellow fish cage is closed so sea-lice can’t get in, furthermore the water is pumped from 75 meters deep. Sea-lice needs light to live and thrives in the surface area, the water from 75 meters deep is sea-lice free. This is an ongoing project, quite expensive, but it seems to be worthwhile.

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This is a great way for the children to learn more about life in the sea. They can touch and study it up close. The tank contained small fishes and crabs, sea stars, sea weeds and shells.

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They have a nice café and a store. Where they sell souvenirs.

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I really enjoyed visiting this place and so did my children. It was very interesting. However, my favorite thing at this center wasn’t anything I mentioned above. It was the fishes swimming outside the fish cages. Several mackerels were swimming just under the surface, with their mouths wide open filtering the water to get plankton. They looked like amazing Chinese dragons with their beautiful colors. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Facts:

  • More than 50 % of all fish and sea food consumed already comes from aquaculture.
  • 1 kg of feed gives 1 kg of farmed salmon (10 kg of feed gives 1 kg of beef).
  • 0,00008 % of the world’s Oceans produces 14,8 billion salmon meals per year
  • 100 countries buy Norwegian Salmon
  • Aquaculture is crucial for supplying the world´s food needs for the next 50 years.
  • Chinese throw raw salmon into the air three times at New Year, first for joy, then for wealth and last for happiness.
  • In Paris you can buy “Baguette Nordic”, French bread with Norwegian smoked salmon.
  • Eating salmon is healthy and amongst many things it improves your vision and immune system, strengthen your bones and prevents heart disease.

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