DNA tracing for escaped farmed salmon to be tested

Physical marking of farmed salmon and DNA tracing will now be tested as a combined method to find out if a given salmon in the sea or river is an escaped farmed salmon and, if so, which fish farm it comes from.

Spotting the difference between an escaped farmed salmon and a wild salmon is not always easy. But physical marking, such as clipping the adipose fin, freeze branding or colour marking of all farmed salmon, will show whether a salmon has escaped or not, without using time and money on DNA testing.

“The aim is that we can quickly and with a high level of certainty trace escaped farmed salmon back to their owner or the company responsible,” says Matt Baranski, Scientist at the food research institute Nofima Mat, the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research.

In order to go to the fish farm where the farmed salmon is from, it is necessary to make a detour via the genes of the salmon’s parents.

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