New leader for CtrlAQUA

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By Milthon Lujan

Norway.- Åsa Espmark is the new Centre Director of CtrlAQUA. She takes over from Bendik Fyhn Terjesen who has headed the Centre from its inception in 2015.

CtrlAQUA is a centre for research-based innovation (SFI) whose main goal is to make closed systems for salmon up to one kilo available off the shelf by 2023.

Espmark is a senior scientist at Nofima in Norway and has long experience of research on welfare, quality and stress in farmed fish. Up until now she has also been the centre coordinator for CtrlAQUA. She is looking forward to leading the centre:

“CtrlAQUA is working with issues that we believe are going to change the course of Norwegian fish farming. It is exciting to be allowed to be part of and to contribute to this reorganisation. To lead the Centre also provides a unique opportunity to become better acquainted with and work with the industry stakeholders who are concerned about the recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and closed technology,” says Espmark.

Researchers and commercial companies collaborate closely on innovation in the Centre. The collaboration contributes to a balance between the biological requirements of the fish, development in technology and the fish farmer’s requirements for operation and profitability.

The commercialisation of closed technology is well under way and Espmark is positive about the development:

“I believe it is clearly evident that we cannot base ourselves exclusively on traditional fish farming methods if we are to solve the challenges the industry currently faces with sea lice, as well as the desire for growth. Closed technology is a preventive method against sea lice. This is the right move for the future because it means that we do not have to handle the fish, with consequent bad fish welfare”, says Espmark.

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“Espmark has done an excellent job as the interim centre director. With this appointment we get both a skilled leader and preserve valuable continuity in CtrlAQUA”, says Frode Mathisen of Grieg Seafood, who is Chairman of CtrlAQUA.

About CtrlAQUA SFI

CtrlAQUA SFI has 17 partners from industry and academia. Nofima is the host institution. The Centre will lay the foundation for the development of closed aquaculture concepts in the future. Given greater control over the production process, problems related to mortality and sea lice will be reduced, as well as reducing the production time for farmed salmon.

CtrlAQUA has a budget of NOK 199 million over a period of 8 years, with the Research Council of Norway and the partners contributing half each.

Source: Nofima

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