To us, the health and welfare of our fish is paramount. In this section you can read more about how we work every day to keep our fish healthy and free of lice and disease, while maintaining top quality on our product.
We want our fish to grow and thrive. Two of the biggest challenges we face is an elevated mortality rate and reduced fish welfare after mechanical lice treatments. We have a goal of reducing the mortality rate to below 5 % from stocking in the sea to harvest.
Transition to non-medical treatments against lice is good for the environment, but the flip side of the coin is an increase in mortality and reduced fish welfare. Fish health and welfare is important both to us in Eide and our external stakeholders.
We work systematically and thoroughly to ensure good fish welfare and to reduce mortality from every decision ranging from genetics, vaccines and feed to improving operations. The dead fish is examined and categorized, and the development is followed closely over time. Incidents that lead to increased mortality is reported to the Norwegian Food Safety Authorities.
In addition to lice treatment the fish disease PD (Pancreas Disease) is an important contributor to high fish mortality, We use the newest and best vaccines available against PD to improve fish health and reduce mortality.
We also invest in large scale data capture using censors at our pens to continuously log parameters like salinity, oxygen and currents to help us improve and learn.
To reduce mortality further we have also invested in equipment to stun and bleed weak fish that could have otherwise died.
In 2020 we also hired our very own veterinary, Britt Kari. This is an important position for us to increase focus on fish health even further. Britt Kari helps us to work systematically with improving biosecurity and to inspect and monitor the health and quality of our fish.
The measures taken has resulted in a significant reduction in mortality compared to recent years.
In our view, the improvement is mainly due to the continuous work and efforts from all our staff. In addition, the use of stun and bleed vessels and a reduction in the number of lice treatments has been important.
Despite the significant improvement this year our goal it not reached, and some sites still experience a high mortality rate. We will continue the work and measures going forward to keep mortality low and to further advance towards our 7 % goal.
We aim to manage the lice through prevention where possible and to minimize the use of medical treatments against lice. We aim to have less than 0.1 adult female lice per fish at all our sites in the period when the wild salmon and the sea trout enter the sea. All sites shall count and report lice numbers weekly.
The salmon louse is a parasite that exists naturally in the ocean and that only lives on salmonid species. Since there are many farmed salmon compared to wild salmon this will increase the infection pressure if farmers do not take measures to keeping the number of lice low. To prevent this, there are strict limits on how many lice there can be per fish. However, treatments to keep the lice away can be stressful and potentially harm the fish.
We try to manage the lice with preventive measures whenever possible. This is better both for the farmed salmon, the wild fish and the financial results. We use a combination of different preventive measures from genetics, functional feed, lice tarpaulins and tube nets to prevent lice infestations.
When prevention alone is not sufficient, we also use cleaner fish. When this is also insufficient, we use non- medical treatments using either freshwater or tempered water. Medical treatment or early harvest are the last measures we can use if necessary.
Eide Fjordbruk has during the recent years invested heavily in prevention using tube-nets and lice tarpaulins. We are also investing in a RAS-facility to produce larger smolts through the associated company Ænes Inkubator AS. Through the associated company Miljø & Havbruk AS we also have access to the delicing vessel «Seisund» with four lines for treatment with tempered water, an important tool for us to be prepared to act quickly should lice levels rise.
Number of weeks with >0,1 adult female lice per site in the period when the wild salmon and sea trout enter the sea, over the total number of weeks in the same period multiplied with the number of sites
Despite increasing prevention efforts, the numbers of non-medical treatments has increased in recent years in line with lower maximum allowed lice levels and new restrictions on the use of medical treatments. However, 2020 mark a turning point for us as this is the first year, we have been able to reduce also the non-medical treatments. I 2020 we also reduced the number of cleaner fish used. We did not use Rognkjeks (Lumpsuckers) but maintained the use of wild caught cleaner fish. In Eide Fjordbruk we have not used medical treatment added to the water since 2016. We used on average one medical feed-treatment per production cycle in 2020.
Based on a precautionary principle we want to minimize our use of medicines and chemicals in our production. We also have a goal of not using more than one medical treatment per production cycle and to never use copper-based net flouling or antibiotics when farming our fish.
When farming fish we use chemicals for different purposes, including acids for ensilage of dead fish, sedatives and anesthetics for vaccination and transport, and detergents and disinfectants to keep our farms and equipment clean and safe. In addition, we sometimes use medicines for treatment against fish diseases or parasites.
Good and responsible use and management of drugs and chemicals is important for both our people, our fish and our environment. It is also an area which is important to all our stakeholders.
We do risk assessments for all our drugs and chemicals and implement measures to reduce the risk of emissions to the environment or harm to our people or fish. We have a system in place to ensure that all chemicals are handled properly, that all staff are sufficiently trained, have the right protective wear and access to the product data sheet. Use of drugs and medicines is only done after prescription from a veterinary.
Based on a precautionary principle we have chosen not to use copper based anti-fouling on our nets. Copper is a metal with a long degradation time in nature and with a potential negative impact on the seabed under the farms. To achieve this goal, we have had to invest in acquire additional capacity for net cleaning since water based anti-fouling without copper is less effective.
To reduce the use of drugs and medicines against parasites such as the sea lice we use preventive measures and non-medical treatments when possible.
We have managed to reduce our use of medicines significantly since 2016, mainly as a result of more preventive measures and non-medical treatments against sea lice.
In 2020 we achieved our target of not more than one medical treatment per production cycle.
We did not use any antibiotics on our fish in 2020.
Since 1970, we have produced high-quality fish. Each year we produce over 60 million salmon meals. For Eide, a synergy between ownership, responsibility and operations has always been important.
Our focus is on achieving good long-term results at all stages of business. We want to shape the future of aquaculture in the best possible way, so that future generations can harvest and eat high-quality salmon and trout from Eide with a low carbon footprint
Our salmon and trout is also fed with the best feed, with a high share of marine ingredients. This ensures that our salmon is full of the healthy omega 3 fatty acids that both us humans and the salmon need to stay healthy.
We have also chosen to only buy feed where the fish oil ingredients are cleaned for dioxins and dioxin-like PCB’s. This is also to ensure that our salmon contains as much as possible of the health stuff, and as little as possible of everything else. We also eliminated the use of Brazilian soy from our feed. We do this to be 100% sure that we don't indirectly contribute to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, as well as to reduce the carbon footprint of the salmon that we produce.
All the salmon we produce is also Global GAP certified, a standard which include strict requirements on traceability and food safety, so that you can trust that our salmon is safe and healthy. We work every day to improve. It is all about having skilled, passionate and local employees who all have the same goal: To produce salmon of the highest quality.