The super-sized smolt challenge
By David Owen
In many salmon production regions, there are important advantages in producing a bigger smolt for stocking to sea cages. For example, in locations troubled by sea lice, a larger smolt could reach a size big enough to harvest just before the next wave of sea lice hits. This not only saves treatment for the fish in question, but also freesup lice treatment resources to concentrate on the smaller fish. In Chile, a 150 g smolt is regarded to be better adapted to cope with the sea and it allows for the salmon to stay only one summer in the sea instead of two. However, producing bigger smolts on land means that a company’s recirculation systems are pushed a lot harder, giving staff some headaches. So what happens when we grow a batch of smolts a lot bigger without expanding the recirculation system?