Norwegian salmon mortality rate up again
A record 62 million farmed salmon died in the sea phase in Norway last year, an official survey has shown.
The figure is six million higher than in 2022, according to the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, corresponding to almost 17% of the total number of released in Norway that year.
Edgar Brun, Director of Fish Health Welfare at the Institute, said: “The figures for 2023 show what we have seen in recent years, that we will not see any decrease in mortality.
“Both in terms of number and percentage of mortality, these are the highest figures we have recorded so far.”
The figures show that the mortality rate for salmon in the sea phase was 16.7%, up from 16.1% in 2022.
The actual number in 2023 was 62.7 million dead farmed salmon. The Directorate says there are approximately 0 .7 million fish which have not yet been categorised and which may contribute to a minor correction of the overall figures.
Production area 3 (Karmøy to Sotra, just north of Stavanger) had the highest mortality with a rate of 25%, while production area 13 (East Finnmark) and 1 (Swedish border to Jæren) both had below 10%.
Brun says 2023 brought a change of pace in terms of attention to the health, welfare and mortality of farmed fish, and initiatives were taken in the industry and administration to improve the situation.
“We will return to what is behind the mortality in 2023 and other conditions that affect the health and welfare of Norwegian farmed fish in the Fish Health Report (next month)”, he added.
The Norwegian Veterinary Institute uses an epidemiological calculation method for mortality which takes into account the fact that the number of fish in the cages varies over time.