The role of fin-fish and invertebrate aquaculture has evolved in the last decades from minor to very important, probably key in providing reliable protein sources to an ever growing world population.1 Salmonid aquaculture, in particular Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) production, has changed from a niche market to a multi-billion dollar business. This makes what is still seen as a high-quality commodity readily available at a reasonable price to most economic classes.2,3
Norway is the largest world producer of farmed Atlantic salmon, with almost 1.2 million tons produced in 2014.4 This is significantly more than Chile and the United Kingdom, which are second and third largest producers with 500,000 tons and 150,000 tons, respectively.5
Intensification of aquaculture activities has inevitably led to an emergence of aquatic diseases, and as the world becomes smaller, with trade agreements bringing goods and broodstocks across the globe, the risk of spreading pathogens is real.6 Unsurprisingly, new pathologies, particularly infectious diseases, have regularly been identified in Norway since the 1980s, with ranges of occurrence expanding as production increased. Parasitic agents, like the salmon louse, and Salmonid alphavirus causing pancreatic disease (PD) generate considerable financial losses every year.4
The aim of this presentation is to provide an overview of salmonid aquaculture in Europe (mainly in Norway and Scotland). An outline of its history and development will be followed by a summary of the most significant pathological threats the industry has faced and how these have shaped the industry itself. The various management strategies and treatments will be discussed, with a view on the present and future situation.
1. Beveridge M. Cage Aquaculture. Blackwell Publishing; 2004:1–3.
2. Heen K, Monahan RL, Utter F. Salmon Aquaculture. Fishing News Books; 1993:5–6.
3. Shaw SA, Muir JF. Salmon: Economics and Marketing. Timber Press; 1987;23:211–215.
4. Bornø G, Lie Linaker M. Fiskhelserapporten 2014. Harstad: Veterinærinstitutet. 2015:5–7.
5. Marine Harvest. Salmon Farming Industry Handbook. 2015:17.
6. Scarfe AD, Lee CS, O'Bryen PJ. Aquaculture Biosecurity: Prevention, Control, and Eradication of Aquatic Animal Diseases. Blackwell Publishing; 2006:10–11, 31–54.