Aquaculture development program

Domestic fish production must be increased sustainably so that it can meet the increasing demand for fish. At the same time, the goals set for a good state of the environment must be adhered to. The aquaculture development program aims for growth by harmonizing economic and environmental goals, as well as profitability from new operating methods and methods.

Anticipating and measuring environmental impacts in the sea area provide essential information for coordinating goals. In addition to the assessment of the environmental effects of the open sea area, the program also examines, among other things, the environmental protection requirements of new fry production both on the beach and in the inner and middle archipelago. In the offshore area, information and forecasts of local conditions, such as wind and waves, help companies plan practical operations.

The well-being of the fish is emerging as a significant criterion for the sustainability of operations and a prerequisite for profitability. In program, the Terve kala (Healthy Fish) book is updated, fish health professionals are trained, and good practices are implemented in companies by training fish health managers and treating veterinarians.

The majority of farmed fish in Finland will continue to be produced in net tanks. At least the load on facilities in protected areas may be reduced with the technologies that are being developed around the world to recover solid matter. Nutrient load can also be curbed by developing cheaper water recycling solutions.

The program develops digital solutions, whereby cameras, echo sounding and sensors can be used, among other things, in controlling feeding, observing and combating predators, monitoring the well-being of fish, and building early warning and production control or decision-making systems. Program also focuses on the management of fry production and mother fish, for example the year-round production of RAS fry from Finnish females and the success of RAS fry in the sea. In addition, the effect of new feed raw materials on the sensory quality of the fish is investigated. Companies in the industry are asked about the meaning of the program’s themes and new important themes with an annual survey conducted by the Finnish Fish Farmers’ Association.

Program work packages:

  1. Environmental impact assessment and regulation
  2. Marine education areas, operating models and technologies
  3. Reducing specific load and carbon footprint
  4. Fish welfare
  5. Digital solutions
  6. Management of fry production and brood stock
  7. Quality of fish products

The partners of the aquaculture innovation program are:
Natural Resources Center (coordinator)
Finnish Environmental Center
Food Agency
weather Institute
The Finnish Fish Breeders’ Association
Vocational college Livia
University of Jyväskylä
University of Turku
New partners can join the network.

The aquaculture development program has been granted funding of 1.8 million euros for the years 2023-2026.