Animal Health and Welfare

Triploid (sterile) salmon - animal health and welfare


Report no:

Publishing: 01.11.2023

Key message:

VKM will review knowledge about animal health and welfare in triploid (sterile) salmon, compared to farmed salmon

This assignment is requested by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, NFSA.


The use of sterile farmed salmon has been regarded as a potential risk-reducing measure in addressing environmental consequences associated with escapees from farms, since sterile fish cannot interbreed and thereby influence genetic integrity of wild populations. One approach to achieve sterility is through induced triploidisation. This method results in the eggs containing three sets of chromosomes instead of two.

The health- and welfare consequences of production with triploid salmon needs to be documented in accordance with the Norwegian Animal Welfare Act as well as the Norwegian Food Law. The documentation needs to demonstrate that the production method promotes characteristics which yield robust animals which are functional and healthy.

Terms of reference

VKM shall review knowledge about health- and welfare consequences in triploid salmon under aquaculture conditions, compared to diploid farmed salmon, in different stages of production, from hatchery to slaughter. This includes knowledge on, for instance, robustness, biological functionality, mortality, susceptibility to disease and potential to transmit infection.

VKM is also requested to describe possible measures to reduce the risk.

Project group

The project group comprise of:

Espen Rimstad, VKM Panel on GMO Medicinal products (project chair)

Tor Atle Mo, VKM Panel on Animal Health and Welfare

Ingrid Olesen, VKM Panel on Animal Health and Welfare

Johan Johansen, VKM Panel on Animal Health and Welfare

Tom Fraser, external expert at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research

Rolf Erik Olsen, external expert at the Norwegian University of Life Science and Technology

Snorre Gulla, external expert at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute

Åsa Maria Espmark, external expert at NOFIMA

Dean Basic, VKM Secretariat (project manager)

The report will be approved by the VKM Panel on Animal Health and Welfare and will be published by 1 November 2023.


lite bilde av Dean Basic

Dean Basic

Project manager, PhD

T: +47 21 62 28 25
Send e-mail

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

T: 21 62 28 00

P.O. Box 222 Skøyen
0213 Oslo

©2004-2023 VKM

Web editor: Tanya S. Kristiansen
Senior editor: Ingrid M. Høie