Norway has released between 30 to 35 million triploid salmon since 2013.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has issued a warning about the health and welfare of triploid (sterile) farmed salmon, stating that they generally experience poorer conditions compared to traditional farmed salmon. These triploid salmon require specific farming conditions that differ from those for conventional salmon, the authority said in a statement on Wednesday.
While some health and welfare challenges in triploid salmon can be mitigated through feed supplements and changes in environmental conditions, certain necessary adjustments cannot be made within current commercial farming practices, according to assessments conducted by the Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) on behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
Concerns over the well-being of triploid salmon have been raised in the past, with researchers at the Institute of Marine Research sounding alarms in August 2021.
Norway has released between 30 to 35 million triploid salmon since 2013 as part of testing and documentation efforts for commercial triploid salmon production. However, documenting good welfare conditions for these salmon has proven difficult. In April 2021, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority decided to limit the release of triploid salmon to ongoing trials under NRS’s supervision, with all triploid salmon included in these trials slated for harvest by December 31, 2023.
Upon completion of the final testing project and the Institute of Marine Research’s review of results, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority plans to reassess the knowledge base and experiences from triploid salmon production.