Escaped farm salmon

Escaped farm salmon migrate to the rivers to spawn, potentially affecting wild salmon negatively, both genetically and ecologically.

Oppdrettslaks på rømmen. Foto © Øyvind Solem/NINA
Photo © Øyvind Solem/NINA

Using scale sample analysis, NINA has quantified the proportion of escaped farm salmon in catches from sports fishing, coastal fisheries and samples collected in the autumn, shortly before the spawning period. These results are used to predict the effects of farm salmon introgression to wild populations of Norwegian Atlantic salmon.

NINA also performs genetic analyses to explore whether the introgression of escaped farm salmon to wild salmon populations has led to changes in the genetic composition of wild salmon.

Current research:

  • Mapping the extent of escaped farm salmon in a range of wild salmon populations
  • Monitoring the proportion of escaped farm salmon along the coast
  • Laboratory studies exploring the relative fitness of offspring from escaped farm salmon and wild salmon. 
  • Investigate the spawning success of escaped farm salmon
  • Test the efficiency of different methods to remove escaped farm salmon from rivers

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The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) is Norway’s leading institution for applied ecological research.

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