sea lice sampling
Photo: IRIS


Sustainability of aquaculture and social acceptance are key factors in improving and facilitating growth in the aquaculture industry. IRIS has for many years been involved in projects with the goal of intensifying and improving the aquaculture industry in Norway as well as around the world. Projects such as “AquaAccept” engage experts in several disciplines (biology, ecology, economy, sociology and computer sciences). The aim of this project is to suggest solutions for the development of the aquaculture industry in agreement with society’s views and the best use of environmental resources in a new way, by looking at the industry in a broader sense.  

Besides the need for growth, the industry also faces environmental threats of which salmon lice are the single most critical factor and in many cases a real threat to the industry. IRIS researcher Renee Bechmann is leading an NFR financed project to identify the impacts of sea lice medication on local shrimp populations. Findings have both been startling and caused media attention as the medication not only affects the sea lice but also larval survival and fecundity of shrimp. Meeting the sea lice challenge without compromising the environment  requires an integrated approach. IRIS is leading the NFR financed project “Seafarm Pulse Guard: Protecting farmed salmon against sealice” where we are working with industry to verify the technology of Seafarm Pulse Guard in full scale trials at an aquaculture site in Øygarden outside Bergen. This technology incapacitates sea lice at the very early stages, reducing their capacity to infest fish in pens.

Besides the above mentioned projects, IRIS is involved in projects where new farming technology, such as semi-closed cages and closed cages is being verified and where IRIS plays an important role in assessing water quality and fish health. All in all IRIS conducts aquaculture research at many levels – from social acceptance to environmental impacts – with the common goal of improving sustainability in today’s aquaculture for future generations to benefit from.

IRIS has been involved in numerous aquaculture related projects over the last 20 years, involving a whole range of fish and crustacean species as well as culture techniques.

Technology and efficiency measures:
  • Water recirculation technology
  • Oxygenation/aeration cages & ponds
  • Effluent treatment
  • Utilization of waste & by-products

Production systems and species:
  • Cold water marine systems (e.g. cage-based farming of salmon & cod, landbased farming of lobster)
  • Tropical brackish water systems (e.g. pond-based farming of shrimp)
  • Freshwater systems (e.g. farming of salmon, smolt, trout)