By Marie Hauge
Cod is far more intelligent than salmon, said scientist Birgitta Norberg. She guided Ted Turner and the rest of the board directors from The Turner Foundation when they visited the Austevoll Research Station. The station is one of three research stations belonging to the Institute of Marine Research.
– The cod can eat its way out of the cages, told Norberg.
The guests also learned about the local cod studies on sterile fish and all female population. This can be useful future methods to avoid interbreeding between wild and farmed cod.
Media mogul and philantropist
Ted Turner is the founder of CNN. He is also a philantropist with great interest in environmental and third world questions. He is actively involved in business with a restaurant chain. Safe food is therefor of great interest to Turner, one of the board directors said.
Guided tour at the station
How to trace and label farmed fish, the consequences of different fish fodder and how escaped cod effect the wild cod were among the topics the Turner Foundation wanted to learn more about. After Norbergs presentation the group was invited to see the facilities at the station. Among others they met scientist Anne Berit Skiftesvik. She showed them different stages of farmed ”cleaningfish”; a species used to fight salmon louse.
Seeing the fjords
The Turners visit at Austevoll was last stop on a seven days long cruise in the fjords of Western Norway. They travelled on the MV Hebridean Princess. The trip included daily presentations on different topics such as sustainable forrestery, hydro power and viking history.
The five board directors, who are Ted Turners children, also brought their children to Norway. While the grown ups were updated on Norwegian aquaculture, the kids feed fish in tanks and cages and studied eggs and larvaes through the microscope. All under the safe surveillance of station manager Torfinn Grav.