Sustainable smolt production—an integrated approach (SMOLTPRO) (38876)

Project Details

Description

Salmonid fish is an important natural resource in Scandinavia. Anadromous salmon and brown trout are important natural resources for recreation and fishing and are a part of our cultural heritage. Human activities however, have impaired the natural production of salmonids considerably. Large numbers of hatchery salmonids are therefore released, to compensate losses in natural production caused by hydroelectric power exploitation and other environmental impact. However, conventionally reared hatchery fish have difficulties adapting to natural conditions and therefore perform poorly after release.

New research shows that modifications of the conventional hatchery environment can have positive effects on the development of hatchery reared fish, but their long-term effects on performance in nature are poorly known. Previous research in this area has been too scattered and limited by insufficient infrastructure to conduct large scale experiments over the full life cycle. SMOLTPRO integrated the competence and resources in this field of research using a multidisciplinary approach. We evaluated the effects of modified rearing methods on smolt migration and survival, and its socioeconomic value.

Experiments were conducted in a series of full-scale model systems to evaluate the generality of effects across the climate zones in the Baltic Sea, Kattegat and the North Sea. Following a dialogue with relevant stakeholders, the results will have been used to produce new guidelines for sustainable smolt production.

The project was coordinated by University of Gothenburg, Sweden and funded by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS.

Research area: Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/01/201031/12/2014

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