Delaying sexual maturation in farmed cod may improve fish welfare, quality and economic outcomes
Thanks to an important scientific breakthrough, Norway’s largest cod farmer Ode is looking forward to the future.
That’s because a new light management regime is being deployed on the company’s cod farms. Together with research institute Møreforsking, Ode was part of the recently concluded LuxCod project, which focused on how light regimes impact cod in aquaculture settings. The goal is to delay sexual maturation in farmed cod to improve fish welfare, quality and economic outcome.
Early maturation in cod is an economic and production disadvantage for farms, resulting in increased mortality and lower growth rates. This is because cod use available nutrition and energy reserves to develop roe and milt instead of building muscle, thus negatively impacting yield and harvest weight. The process is also stressful, resulting in lower fish welfare and fillet quality, while there is also a risk of sexually matured farmed fish spawning in pens and impacting wild cod populations.