Finding NIFES. How Cargill research salmon ended up on display at Norway’s largest aquarium
November 01, 2016
A few lucky fish from Cargill’s Innovation Center in Dirdal, Norway, have left behind the humble life of research salmon to be in the limelight at the largest aquarium in the country.
It all started when the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research in Bergen, known as NIFES, which studies aquaculture nutrition and seafood consumption, ran out of salmon and was also short on space. Its neighbor, the Bergen Aquarium, had a spare tank. For the fish, the research institute turned to another neighbor: Cargill.
Cargill Aqua Nutrition’s head office is located just steps away from NIFES and the Bergen Aquarium. Ernst Hevrøy, species technology lead for Cargill Aqua Nutrition, answered the call for help and agreed to provide the institute with several fish that would live at the aquarium.
He says choosing the fish was a daunting task, knowing that these unassuming research salmon would be living out the remainder of their days in the public eye. “We recruited a good batch of premium juvenile salmon,” he said.
To give them the boost they needed to fulfill their new role as tourist attractions, Hevrøy turned to Cargill’s EWOS brand of feed products. After a long journey by car from the Cargill Innovation Center in Dirdal to the aquarium in Bergen, he suggested the staff feed them EWOS Boost, a feed containing nucleotides and extra vitamins.
“It pepped them right up!” he said.
The aquarium was careful to accommodate the salmon’s feeding habits, adapting their feeding schedule to be consistent with what the fish were used to at Cargill.
“Health and welfare is of utmost important for us, so we had to accommodate this need,” said Natalie Stenfeldt, first coordinator at the aquarium. She said that over time, they transitioned the fish to follow the same routine as the other salmon at the aquarium.
The arrangement has proved beneficial for all involved, as Cargill gained a new customer in the Bergen Aquarium.
“We are very pleased with your EWOS Boost feed,” said aquarium CEO Geir Olav Melingen. “We will certainly continue using this. An important learning for us going forward is to have it available from the very start when we get a new litter of fish.”
While it was an unexpected turn for these fish to find a home with NIFES and the Bergen Aquarium, they have settled comfortably into their new life in the spotlight.