The Norwegian Research Council funded 76 (20%) of the 385 funding applications for collaborative projects addressing societal and industry-related challenges which they received within their February 2021 deadline. One of these was:

Frameworks for classifying the welfare of farmed Atlantic salmon based upon the principles of severity assessment  led by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (Havforskningsinstituttet).

The primary objective of this project is to provide standardised severity assessment frameworks for classifying the welfare of farmed Atlantic salmon, which are urgently needed.

There are several secondary objectives:

  1. to assess how various delousing treatment components impact upon pain and stress in salmon
  2. to study the severity of scale loss and the recovery process upon fish welfare under different conditions
  3. to weight the relative severity of the FISHWELL overall welfare indicators (OWis), and and combinations of OWi-scores, by semantic modelling
  4. to review the pathology of common salmon diseases and the severity of these disease symptoms for the individual fish
  5. to create a database of the consequences of delousing and disease outbreaks (scenarios) in the industry, utilising industry data and farm visits
  6. to analyse the severity classifications used in approved research projects on Atlantic salmon
  7. to classify the severity of relevant scenarios upon fish welfare, with input from the first 6 phases, using a Delphi-panel process involving a large number of stakeholders
  8. to suggest how severity assessment frameworks can be used as a governmental tool to stimulate fish health and welfare, for example when developmental permits are issued.

In addition to the host institute, the project involves the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, NOFIMA (whose contact person is Norecopa Board Member Chris Noble), Wageningen University and Research, Norecopa, major salmon farmers, well boat companies and aquaculture organisations.

The project runs from October 2021 to July 2025. The work for which Norecopa receives funding will take place over three years (2022-2024).

This page was updated on 01 December 2021

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