Unifying forces for new solutions in sustainable aquaculture

Uni Research and the University of Bergen will together offer a new, strong platform to develop needed innovations and recruites for the aquaculture industry.

By Andreas R. Graven

Lars Ebbesson at Uni Research is head of Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Innovations (CSAI). Here photographed at the opening which took place at Marineholmen, Bergen. (Photograph: Andreas R. Graven) 

The opening of the Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Innovations (CSAI) took place 22 November, at Marineholmen in Bergen.

The new center strengthens and develops Uni Research and UiB's position as both national and international leaders in their fields of aquaculture-related research.

- In this center, we will be working with everything from basic research in fish biology to innovations. A major advantage the centre has is the broad interdiciplinary and in-depth knowledge, says centre leader Lars Ebbesson.

He is head of the Integrative Fish Biology Group at Uni Research.

Sustainable solutions

The researchers at the centre have a common goal: to find solutions that allow increased food production from the sea with a reduced environmental footprint - simply be more sustainable than today.

- So, it's all about finding new ways to increase fish production with less impact on the environment. As of today, we are working with industry to evaluate and optimizing environmental conditions in different solutions for post-smolts in semi-closed and closed-containment systems.

- We engage in the development of new feed sources and development. Moreover, we are creating novel analytical tools that industry can use to monitor the fish and see how it reacts in different environments. Thus, fish can get the best possible growth and welfare, says Ebbesson.

There are scientists from both the Department Uni Research Environment and the Department of Biology at the University of Bergen included in the new centre. The centre leader group includes Lars Ebbesson and Sigurd Handeland (Uni Research) and Jon Vidar Helvik and Ivar Rønnestad (UiB).

Different types of wavelengths of light

Ebbesson says, researchers in the centre are also studying many novel ways to use environment to modulate biological processes, for instance how different types of wavelengths of light can lead to the best possible production, robustness and welfare of farmed salmon.

ebbesson akvakultur
Lars Ebbesson (Uni Research), Jon Vidar Helvik (UiB), Ivar Rønnestad (UiB), Sigurd Handeland (Uni Research) and Sigurd Stefansson (UiB). (Photograph: Andreas R. Graven)

- This is something new that the industry is interested in, and we have a partnership with major players in this research topic. Among other examples I could mention, research into tunicates, representing new opportunities for sustainable ingredients to be included in fish feeds, says Ebbesson.

The Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Innovations (CSAI) opens up many opportunities for interdisciplinary research and education, important discoveries and innovations:

- We get practically everything under one roof, not least of which is the close connection with industry, NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster and BTO. The dialoge with the industry is so important to stay current on the challenges they encounter and how we can contribute to the solutions. 

Experiences from the SFI CtrlAQUA

He cites experiences Uni Research already has acquired in connection with the national Centre for Research-based Innovation in closed containment Aquaculture (SFI-CtrlAQUA, led by Nofima), where industry needs are in focus.

- The center gives us a continuity, an opportunity to make important contributions over a long time, even after the CtrlAQUA is a closed chapter. 

- We not only create a unique platform for research and development of innovations for the industry, we will also attract the best young students who are passionate about the industry perspectives. It may eventually be that the center expands with other relevant research partners, informs Ebbesson.

Nov. 28, 2016, 3:06 p.m.

People involved

cp: 2019-12-04 11:17:09