Fiskaaling Increases the Pace of Lumpfish Breeding

RESEARCH: following the slow pace the work in developing broodstock from Faroese lumpfish has been running at for the last few years, the pace of this work will now again be increased. Fiskaaling and Marine Harvest have made a two-year deal, which entails that the work to develop broodstock can continue. The aim is to breed lumpfish that can thrive in fish cages and eat salmon lice.

In the last few years the work in developing a broodstock from Faroese lumpfish has been running at a slow pace due to the high cost of such work. Therefore, Fiskaaling has worked on finding a solution, which entails securing external financing for this work.

This goal has now been reached, and Fiskaaling and Marine Harvest have made a deal, which entails that Marine Harvest for the duration of the agreement will, to a large extent, fund the work on developing broodstock. The aim of the project is to create a foundation so that the Faroese industry is able to develop lumpfish breeding on its own.

The work in the last few years to develop a Faroese broodstock from lumpfish means that Fiskaaling at the time of writing is breeding the fourth generation of Faroese bred lumpfish. In collaboration with Marine Harvest these lumpfish will be released into Marine Harvest’s sea farming areas at Sundalagið Norður, Oyndarfjørður, and Sandsvágur. These sea farming areas are constituted very differently from one another, and this provides the opportunity for following the welfare of the Faroese lumpfish in the different kinds of sea farming environments. The aim of the work is to breed lumpfish that thrive in fish cages and eat lice.

In addition to the broodstock work the plan is to combine different projects, which among other things encompass the development of knowledge on stripping, hatching and hatching environment, early feeding, feeding trials, lumpfish shelters and behaviour, and research in lumpfish welfare on land as well as in the sea.

The Faroese Food, Veterinary and Environmental Agency has authorised Fiskaaling to transfer lumpfish that have survived in the fish cage at Sundalagið Norður back in to the marine centre in Nesvík, making it possible to breed from these fish. Lumpfish that are released at Sandsvágur and Oyndarfjørður are implanted with so-called “PIT tags.” This makes it possible to use siblings of fish that do well at Oyndarfjørður and at Sandsvágur as broodstock.

The agreement with Marine Harvest also entails that when permits to breed lumpfish on the Faroe Islands are issued out, fish farming companies should be given the opportunity to buy a limited number of lumpfish broodstock from Fiskaaling. In this way they benefit from the developmental work carried out by Fiskaaling the last few years.