Our last day in Bergen. Rainy, windy and 58 degrees.
We take a bus tour out to the coast to a fishery. They raise what we call steel-head trout; they call it rainbow trout. Trout and salmon are in the same family. We saw a film of the process of raising salmon/trout for the market. They catch the female salmon in fresh water and take all of her many eggs (roe); take the male salmon and take all of his sperm and combine them in bins of water. They keep the water at the perfect temperature for the fertilized eggs. When the eggs hatch, they're called Frye. They live off a sac of nutrients they are born with. In a few weeks, they need to start eating; they're called Parr with camouflaging vertical stripes. Three to six months later they become Smolts, which have bright, silvery color. The smolt body chemistry changes, allowing them to live in salt water. They remain in this stage, one to five years, until they become sexually mature and are called mature salmon. Then they are ready for market.
Norway has both the world's largest salmon farming industry (aquaculture) and the world's largest population of wild salmon. The aquaculture in controversial because of many issues:
1 - Norway has to import 75% of the feed; mostly soy.
2 - The high density of fish in the net-pens has created major problems with sea lice.
3 - Farmed salmon have been bred partly to be fast growing and is now quite different from its wild relative.
4 - Aquaculture contributes to half of Norwegian emissions of copper. The net-pens are impregnated with anti-fouling agents containing copper to prevent algae growth; but the copper leeches into the ocean water.
5 - Salmon farming contributes to spreading serious diseases to wild salmon.
6 - The waste from salmon farming can lead to hyper eutrophication and unsuitable conditions for other maritime species around the farm.
Aquaculture plays a major role in feeding the world's growing population. And Norway's aquaculture industry ranks among the world's leading programs. Every day, 14 million meals of Norwegian Salmon are consumed in more than 150 markets around the world. And Norway understands that safeguarding the environment and fish stocks for the future is the only way its aquaculture industry can remain sustainable. So of course they are addressing all of the issues, problems and concerns. And of course they also compare their problems to the problems with the meat industry.
And speaking of meat, don't worry about Beverly, the meat-eater, she is still getting lots of meat!
When we got back from the fishery, we boarded out ship that will take us into the coastal Fjords!!!