Arctic charr is a highly valued fish species in the Northern territory and in the Alps “Alpenlax” with a red delicious flesh and beautiful appearance. Arctic charr farming is still a small industry but with a potential to grow and to develop a unique high quality product from the north. Farming this species requires access to cold fres... More...
Arctic charr is a highly valued fish species in the Northern territory and in the Alps “Alpenlax” with a red delicious flesh and beautiful appearance. Arctic charr farming is still a small industry but with a potential to grow and to develop a unique high quality product from the north.
Farming this species requires access to cold fresh or brackish water. For this reason, the possibility to farm this species in Europe is largely restricted to rural areas in the northern periphery. Northern periphery fish farms therefore have the opportunity to provide EU markets with a unique, high quality product while creating important job opportunities in rural areas.
The annual production is presently is relatively limited, around 5000 tonnes per year, mainly in Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The interest for this northern fish species is increasing and the production have to increased rapidly to meet up with a possibly successful marketing campaigns in Europe. This will require cooperation between charr farmers and other stakeholders. The participants in this project are either researchers or stakeholders of already ongoing projects focusing on Arctic charr and have participated in a pan-European network on Arctic charr, Charrnet.
In this NPP project a holistic approach of our expertise and projects is taken to provide stakeholders in the Northern periphery with tools to strongly improve the development of Arctic charr production. We will specially focus on using sustainable ingredients in the fish feed for Arctic charr and developing welfare criteria for faring conditions and slaughter
This project aims to increase the production of farmed Arctic charr in the Northern periphery area. by identifying production potential and bottle-necks in different regions and with different technologies (WP2). The present situation for charr farming in the area is analyzed to identify production potential and bottlenecks in different regions... More...
This project aims to increase the production of farmed Arctic charr in the Northern periphery area.
by identifying production potential and bottle-necks in different regions and with different technologies (WP2). The present situation for charr farming in the area is analyzed to identify production potential and bottlenecks in different regions and with different technologies. This will provide knowledge for future development of the industry.
by developing and implementing solutions to problems in farming that we have identified already (WP3 ). Solutions to problems in will be suggested from knowledge obtained in activities targeting brood-stock handling, feeding practice, optimised temperature regimes, slaughtering and environmental impact. Sustainability, for farming and the environment, and welfare issues are aspects involved in these targets.
by initiating triple-helix structures in order to provide stakeholders with tools and contact network that will facilitate development (WP4). We will initiate triple-helix structures in order to provide stakeholders with tools and contact network that will facilitate development.
A tested and documented best practice for triple helix networks in charr farming. An increase of the number of new companies by at least 4 with a total annual production of at least 1000 tonnes within the next 5 years. Existing companies will increase their production from about 3000 tonnes to 6000 tonnes within 5 years. Increased local and regi... More...
A tested and documented best practice for triple helix networks in charr farming. An increase of the number of new companies by at least 4 with a total annual production of at least 1000 tonnes within the next 5 years.
Existing companies will increase their production from about 3000 tonnes to 6000 tonnes within 5 years.
Increased local and regional processing of the fish with the establishment of at least 2 processing plants
An increased number of employees by at least 25 annual workers on the farms and an increased number of employees by approximately 25 in new and existing processing plants.
Bottlenecks: The main bottlenecks for Arctic charr farmers in their present situation as well as hindrances for increasing the production or starting new farms are: General: -The complicated and expensive application process to start new farms or increase the production limit. (Sweden). -The limitation of permits to farm in fresh water and use ... More...
The main bottlenecks for Arctic charr farmers in their present situation as well as hindrances for increasing the production or starting new farms are:
-The complicated and expensive application process to start new farms or increase the production limit. (Sweden).
-The limitation of permits to farm in fresh water and use selected strains of Arctic charr (Norway).
-Financing the breeding program of Arctic charr in order to improve the performance of the fish (Sweden and Iceland).
-The expensive environmental controls which are much higher than the cost for environmental control of agricultural farms. (Sweden).
-The lack of knowledge and interest on matters concerning fish farming in general among the authorities (Sweden).
-Help with marketing the product. Marketing of Arctic charr in European Fairs have been very successful but in order to be established on the market the present production is too limited. However, increasing the production to fast could have serious drawbacks and requires investments. Cooperation between the countries participation in this NPP project could increase the possibilities for a successful marketing and balancing between the increased demands for farmed Arctic charr without “overflowing” the market.
Achievements /service and products to the farmers so far:
-The national breeding programs has been secured and expanded in both Sweden and Iceland for the next 5 years.
-A coordination of the farming industry in all participating countries has been initiated. An economical association aimed to improve and increase the egg production of Arctic charr has been formed in Sweden.
-In several meetings, we are now in the process of planning actions for increasing all levels of aquaculture development in Sweden through SLU together with the University of Gothenburg.
-Input to the governmental inquest “Sweden, an Aquaculture nation in the making” SOU 2991:26 which highlights charr farming as one of the most promising aquaculture industries and were suggestions to solve the bottlenecks described above are listed.
-Frequent advice and help to farmers
-Frequent discussion with the authorities in the participating countries to overcome hindrances for increasing the production and facilitate the establishment of new farms.
-Initiation of a specific marketing project to promote Arctic charr
The main already known bottlenecks as well as need for best practice guides are mainly:
-Reports of poor and unreliable egg quality
-A need for increased efforts to find sustainable ingredients in feed for farmed Arctic charr while still keeping a high quality of the product.
-A best practice of feeding techniques for Arctic charr. How and when shall the feed be distributed to minimize waste and still feed as many fish with as equal portions as possible.
-Welfare standards specifically for A. charr need to be described as a part of European welfare standards for aquaculture.
-Humane slaughter techniques for conditions that is suitable for the Arctic charr farms which are usually small and located in remote areas and were fish are slaughtered twice a week throughout the year. Presently, the fish is stunned with CO2 followed by gill cutting which will be banned in favor for more humane methods such as stunning by electric shock or a blow on the head.
-Best practice guides for reusing water in recirculation farming system without hampering the health and welfare of the fish.
-Models for calculating the environmental loads from fish farms.
Achievements /service and products to the farmers so far:
Several aspects of egg quality have been tested, identifying temperature as the main factor.
Product: A handbook on breeding Arctic charr will be ready at the end of the project period.
-Sustainable feed sources for farming A.charr. A trial started in October 2009 both in Iceland and Sweden on feeding A. charr on national resources. In Sweden it will be herring from the Baltic, mussel meat, zygomycets and rapeseed oil. This has attracted considerable interest from media, decision makers and the public. In Iceland the feed sources are based on waste from the fishing industry.
Product: A model for sustainable farming of Arctic charr that is tested and ready to use for the industry in each country.
-Feeding routines/techniques for Arctic charr needs to be described
Product: A handbook on feeding Arctic charr will be ready at the end of the project period.
-Slaughter routines and welfare indicators that fulfils new EU requirement regarding fish welfare are tested and reported.
Service: The farmers are well prepared when the new EU and national welfare requirements are implemented.
-A mobile slaughter machine using electric chock or as stunning methods before gill cutting are close to being financed
Product: A slaughter machine will be available for the farmers to be tested without costs for the farmers.
-Water treatment in RAS systems
Product: A manual on water treatment is available
-Calculating the environmental loads from fish farm.
Product: A report on a case study using different models to calculate the environmental loads on a specific site (In Swedish).
It is not possible to find solutions to all activities described above within the budget and time frame of the present NPP project. Instead we have used this project to highlight the activities needed and to make initial scientific test which improves the possibilities for national funding considerably. The following projects are funded, partly as a result of NPP activities:
Board of Agriculture: Slaughter of farmed fish; a risk assessment approach. 2 milj SEK during 2 years
Board of Fisheries; (applied) A mobile slaughter machine 1,5 milj SEK
FORMAS: Sustainable farming of Arctic charr 3 years 3,8 milj SEK in total
FORMAS: Fish welfare in production, research and recreation, 1 milj SEK during 3 years
The triple helix model was introduced to improve regional development by joining universities, industry and policy makers in “knowledge spillovers”. The model engages the academic based research and development activities by the university, industry as the provider of the customer demand based on its commercial activities and the government or regional councils as policy makers.
The project partners behind the present project are universities or research institute with a long tradition of cooperation with the industry (fish farmers, process industry, fishery managers, etc.). Triple helix adds a new dimension to the development by including the decision makers in different developmental projects by a) give the policy makers correct and new knowledge about issues concerning establishment of new industries, such as calculation of nutritional loads from fish farms or the general status of fish farming in Europe b) the farmers and other entrepreneurs can have a direct dialog with the policy makers and possible solve hindrances more easily.
A considerable effort has been put in the work with finding new sites and interested entrepreneurs and initiating triple helix networks in both Sweden and Iceland. SLU in Sweden (lead partner) and Holar University Collage in Iceland has initiated and participated in the following triple helix models:
In, Sweden Malgomaj Fjällfisk AB, a new Arctic charr farm with a transnational ownership was established as a result of a triple helix cooperation. Two farms; Umlax AB (Swedish) and Røye AB (Norwegian) was going to start a new farm on a new location. SLU made the calculation of the nutrient loads depending on the production and location of the farm and gave general advice. The county council of Jämtland represented the authorities and was represented throughout the process together with landowners, reindeer owners and the public in general.
This company with 5 employees is now growing its first generation of Arctic charr for the table market and has a slaughter house with additional 5 employees. These is more employees than the electricity board Vattenfall have in Villhelmina
Aquaculture Centre North AB (ACN) is another example of a successful Triple helix model: The centre was until 2009 Kälarne research station owned by the Board of Fisheries and under the threat of being closed down. The National breeding programme of Arctic charr has from the start in 1986 been housed there and the research station was initially of this NPP project one of the partners. ACN was formed to save and improve this important station for the future of the development of Swedish Aquaculture. The triple helix model in this process was SLU, representing research, the Arctic charr farmers association and the local authorities (Bräcke kommun and Landstinget in Jämtland). These became the owners of the centre (SLU through SLU holding) and now employ 6 persons.
There now several plans to start new triple helix structures in the county of Norrbotten (Jokkmokk and Lule river) and county of Jämtland (Indals river)
In Iceland, a triple helix was formed to promote small scale Arctic charr aquaculture in the Skagafjordur area. The helix consists of the local municipal government represented by the Skagafjordur geothermal company (Skagafjardarveitur), Holalax fish farm, Verid Science Centre and Holar University College. Representatives from these parties form the steering committee of the project. The end users will be people interested in starting new Arctic charr fish farms. The project will evaluate possibilities for charr farming in different locations and assist prospective farmers in developing business plans and farm design. Moreover, prospective farmers will have access to fingerlings of suitable size from Holalax fish farm which also provides harvesting and marketing services. There are long gone plans for starting four new farms.
Presentation of the project:
Presenting the project at the national project meeting in Sweden (Umeå). Governmental representatives.
Presenting the project at the 6th International charr symposium Stirling 2009
Organizing the National Aquaculture workshop meeting in Lysekil 8-9 October were the project was presented. Participants: Fish farmers, governmental representatives etc.
Meeting in Reyjavik 13-14 October in a Freshwater Aquaculture Meeting. Participants: Fish farmers, governmental representatives, researchers, etc.
Norsk Røyeforum in Östersund, 15-16 March 2010. Participants: Fish farmers, governmental representatives, researchers, etc.
Presentation of A. charr farming internationally in San Diego. Fish farmers, governmental representatives, researchers, etc.
NPP meeting/presentation in Reykjavik LAVA09 10-11 Nov 2009. Fish farmers, governmental representatives, researchers, etc.
Several TV- interviews, scientific press and local as well as national press and popular science press.