Post-smolt is a relatively new method of producing salmon in Norway. Releasing smolt weighing up to 1 kg instead of the normal weight of around 80 grams is beneficial in a number of ways. Firstly, the production time in sea cages for salmon ready for slaughter is shorter (down to 10-11 months compared with the normal 16-22 months). As such, both the localities and facilities/equipment in the sea can be used more efficiently for salmon production via e.g., improved exploitation of the current limits for maximum allowed biomass. This also allows for change in both the use of localities and follow regimes, as the best localities can be reserved for salmon production.
The shorter period in the sea also means that the risk involved in that part of the production cycle – currently the most vulnerable period for salmon lice, disease and poor fish welfare – can be reduced. The salmon lice do not have as much time to invade the salmon and thus also shorter time for reproduction and dispersal.
Photos by Finn Refsnes.