Florian Sambraus (29) comes from the the seaside resort Timmendorfer Strand by the Baltic Sea. He is halfway in his Phd at the IMR/The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Bergen. He does most of his field work at the Matre Research Station north of Bergen.
Fish not thinking about reproduction, spend more time eating.
Florian Sambraus investigates the suitability of sterile Atlantic salmon, which don’t reproduce, and compares them in different growth trials with ordinary fertile salmon. Atlantic salmon from aquaculture are a popular and sustainable alternative to protect wild stocks. However there are concerns about escaped farmed fish interbreeding with wild populations and thus reducing their fitness. Additionally, salmon maturing in aquaculture show reduced flesh quality and earn less profit.
The induction of sterility is an established and non-invasive method, a principle already used in seedless fruit, oysters and other fish. But although sterile salmon are beneficial, there are problems during grow out. They are susceptible to warm temperatures, can develop spinal or eyesight problems, and males can still mature, although without reproducing. Nevertheless, with adjusted diets and good environmental conditions, these issues are diminished and they grow similar to their fertile counterparts.