Animal Health and Welfare
Triploid (sterile) salmon - animal health and welfare
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.
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.