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Lars Helge Stien

Lars Helge Stien

Phone: 912 43 951
Visiting address: Forskingsstasjonen Matre 5984 Matredal C.Sunds gt. 64 5817 Bergen

Works with

Personal research focus is on assessing animal welfare, salmon welfare in aquaculture, sea cage environment and the effects from new rearing methods and technology on salmon welfare in aquaculture. Important parts of this work is the Salmon Welfare Index Models (SWIM) 1.0 (Stien et al., 2013) and 2.0 (Pettersen et al., 2014). SWIM 1.0 is a standardised method for overall welfare assessment of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) in sea cages intended to be used by fish farmers, while SWIM 2.0 is a supplement to SWIM 1.0 and adds welfare indicators (WIs) that require the expertise of a fish health professional. My special knowledge of sea cage environment, salmon behaviour, salmon welfare, databases, digital image analysis and statistics have made me an attractive research partner in projects on diverse topics such as the cognitive abilities of fish, sea cage environment, new measuring technology, sea cages with skirts, snorkel sea cages, new slaughtering methods, fillet quality and more. The research has typically been disseminated at several levels, both in writing and oral for project partners, scientific communities, fish farming industries and authorities. I am responsible for IMRs yearly risk assessment of fish welfare in Norwegian aquaculture and frequently function as an advisor to the authorities in regards to fish welfare and regulations.

Curriculum Vitae

Scientific positions

  • Oct 2011 – today: Senior scientist (1110) at IMR, Animal welfare research group.
  • Mar 2017 – Feb 2020: Associated professor (SKO 1011) at UiT, Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics.
  • Nov 2014 – Nov 2015: Acting group leader of the Animal welfare research, IMR
  • Sep 2008   – Oct.  2011: Senior scientist (1109) at IMR, Animal welfare research group.
  • Aug 2007 – Dec 2009: 20% Position as Researcher at the University of Bergen, Department of Biology. Part of the project “Welfare of farmed fish from harvest to killing – Meeting the future challenges (Farewell).
  • Mar 2006 – Sep 2008: Post doctor at IMR, Animal welfare research group.
  • Jan 2006   – Mar 2006: Researcher III the University of Bergen, Department of Biology.
  • Jan 2003   – Dec 2005: PhD position at the University of Bergen, Department of Biology.
  • Apr 2002 – Dec 2002: Project employee through University of Bergen at Matre Research Station (IMR), working for senior researcher Anders Kiessling.

Selected reports

  • Noble C, Nilsson J, Stien LH, Iversen MH, Kolarevic J, Gismervik K, 2017. Velferdsindikatorer for oppdrettslaks: Hvordan vurdere og dokumentere fiskevelferd (eng: Atlantic salmon Operational Welfare Handbook: Assessing and documenting fish welfare out on the farm). FHF project 901157, ISBN: 978-82-8296-503-3, 306 p.
  • Stien LH, Gismervik K, Kristiansen TS, 2017. Risiko for dødelighet og dårlig fiskevelferd i laks- og regnbueørretproduksjonen i sjø (eng: Risk for increased mortality and poor fish welfare in production of Salmon and Rainbow trout in sea cages). In Svåsand T, Grefsrud ES, Karlsen Ø, Kvamme BO, Glover K, Husa V, Kristiansen TS. Havforskningsinstituttet, Fisken og Havet, særnr; 2-2017, pp. 117-123.
  • Kristiansen TS, Gismervik K, Tørud B , Stien LH, 2017. Effekter av lakselus og lusebehandling på laksens velferd (eng: Effects from salmon lice on lice treatment on salmon welfare). In Svåsand T, Grefsrud ES, Karlsen Ø, Kvamme BO, Glover K, Husa V, Kristiansen TS. Havforskningsinstituttet, Fisken og Havet, særnr; 2-2017, pp. 149-160..
  • Stien LH, Oppedal F, Kristiansen TS, 2016. Dødelighetsstatistikk for lakseproduksjon (eng: Mortality statistics for salmon production). In: Svåsand T, Karlsen Ø, Kvamme BO, Stien LH, Taranger GL, Boxaspen KK (eds).  Risikovurdering norsk fiskeoppdrett 2016. Havforskningsinstituttet, Fisken og Havet, særnr; 2-2016, pp. 129-134.
  • Stien LH, Oppedal F, Folkedal O, Mangor-Jensen A, Kristiansenet TS, 2016. Dyrevelferd i lakseoppdrett (eng: Animal welfare in salmon aquaculture). In: Svåsand T, Karlsen Ø, Kvamme BO, Taranger GL, Boxaspen KK (eds).  Risikovurdering norsk fiskeoppdrett 2016. Havforskningsinstituttet, Fisken og Havet, særnr; 2-2016, pp. 161-172.
  • Stien LH, Fjelldal PG, 2016. Velferd til triploid laks i kommersielt oppdrett (eng: Welfare for triploid salmon in commercial aquaculture). Havforskningsrapporten 2016, Fisken og Havet, særnr 1-2016, pp. 44-45.

Selected peer reviewed scientific publications

  • Oppedal F, Samsing F, Dempster T, Wright DW, Bui S, Stien LH, 2017. Sea lice infestation levels decrease with deeper 'snorkel' barriers in Atlantic salmon sea-cages. Pest Management Science 73:1935-1943
  • Wright DW, Stien LH, Dempster T, Vågseth T, Nola V, Fosseidengen JE, Oppedal F, 2017. ‘Snorkel’ lice barrier technology reduced two co- occurring parasites, the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) and the amoebic gill disease causing agent (Neoparamoeba perurans), in commercial salmon sea-cages. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 140, 97–105.
  • Brännäs E, Backström T, Nilsson J, Carlberg H, Stien LH, Magnhagen C, 2016. Distinguishing Arctic charr with different stress coping styles by visual screening of spottiness – reliability and consistency over time. Journal of Zoology. Print ISSN 0952-8369.
  • Solstorm F, Solstorm D, Oppedal F, Olsen RE, Stien LH, Fernö A, 2016. Not too slow, not too fast: water currents affect group structure, aggression and welfare in postsmolt Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. Aquaculture environment interactions 8, 339–347.
  • Bui S, Oppedal F, Stien LH, Tim Dempster, 2016. Sea lice infestation level alters salmon swimming depth in sea-cages. Aquaculture environment interactions 8, 429–435.
  • Samsing F, Johnsen I, Stien LH, Oppedal F, Albretsen J, Asplin L, Dempster T, 2016. Predicting the effectiveness of depth-based technologies to prevent salmon lice infection using a dispersal model. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 129, 48–57.
  • Stien LH, Dempster T, Bui S, Glaropoulos A, Fosseidengen JE, Wright DW, Oppedal F, 2016. ‘Snorkel’ sea lice barrier technology reduces sea lice loads on harvest-sized Atlantic salmon with minimal welfare impacts. Aquaculture 458, 29–37.
  • Nilsson J, Backström T, Stien LH, Carlberg H, Jeuthe H, Magnhagen C, Brännäs E, 2016. Effects of age and rearing environment on genetic parameters of growth and body weight and heritability of skin pigmentation in Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.). Aquaculture 453, 67–72.
  • Folkedal O, Pettersen JM, Bracke MBM, Stien LH, Nilsson J, Martins C, Breck O, Midtlyng PJ, Kristiansen T, 2015. On-farm evaluation of the Salmon Welfare Index Model (SWIM 1.0): theoretical and practical considerations. Animal Welfare 25, 135-149.
  • Wright DW, Glaropoulus A, Solstorm D, Stien LH, Oppedal F, 2015. Atlantic salmon Salmo salar instantaneously follow vertical light movements in sea cages. Aquaculture environment interactions 7, 61-65.
  • Duan Y, Stien LH, Thorsen A, Karlsen Ø, Sandlund N, Li D, Fu Z, Meier S, 2015. An automatic counting system for transparent pelagic fish eggs based on computer vision. Aquacultural Engineering 67, 8-13.
  • Hansen TJ, Olsen RE, Stien L, Oppedal F, Torgersen T, Breck O, Remen M, Vågseth T, Fjelldal PG, 2015. Effect of water oxygen level on performance of diploid and triploid Atlantic salmon post-smolts reared at high temperature. Aquaculture 435, 354-360.
  • Stien LH, Fosseidengen JE, Malm ME, Sveier H, Torgersen T, Wright DW, Oppedal F, 2014. Low intensity light of different colours modifies Atlantic salmon depth use. Aquacultural Engineering 62, 42-48.
  • Johansson D, Laursen F, Fernö A, Fosseidengen JE, Klebert P, Stien LH, Vågseth T, Oppedal F, 2014. The Interaction between Water Currents and Salmon Swimming Behaviour in Sea Cages. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97635. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097635
  • Merkin GM, Stien LH, Pittman K, Nortvedt R, 2014. The Effect of Stunning Methods on Muscle Texture Hardness in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo Salar L.). Journal of Food Science 79, 1137-1141.
  • Frenzl B, Stien LH, Cockerill D, Oppedal F, Richards RH, Shinn AP, Bron JE, Migaud H, 2014. Manipulation of farmed Atlantic salmon swimming behaviour through the adjustment of lighting and feeding regimes as a tool for salmon lice control. Aquaculture 424-425: 183-188.
  • Vindas MA, Sørensen C, Johansen IB, Folkedal O, Höglund E, Khan UW, Stien LH, Kristiansen TS, Braastad BO, Øverli Ø, 2014. Coping with Unpredictability: Dopaminergic and Neurotrophic Responses to Omission of Expected Reward in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.). PLoS ONE 9(1): e85543. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085543
  • Pettersen J, Bracke MBM, Midtlyng PJ, Folkedal O, Stien LH, Steffenak H, Kristiansen TS, 2014. Salmon Welfare Index Model (SWIM) 2.0: An extended model for overall welfare assessment of caged Atlantic salmon, based on a review of selected welfare indicators and intended for fish health professionals. Reviews in Aquaculture 6, 162-179.
  • Korsøen Ø J, Dempster T, Fosseidengen J E, Karlsen Ø, Oppedal F, Stien LH, Kristiansen TS, 2013. Towards cod without spawning: artificial continuous light in submerged sea-cages maintains growth and delays sexual maturation for farmed Atlantic cod Gadus morhua. Aquaculture Environment Interactions 3, 245-255
  • Nilsson J, Folkedal O., Fosseidengen JE, Stien LH, Oppedal F, 2013. PIT tagged individual Atlantic salmon registered at static depth positions in a sea cage: Vertical size stratification and implications for fish sampling. Aquacultural Engineering 55, 32-36
  • Stien LH, Bracke MBM, Folkedal O, Nilsson J, Oppedal F, Torgersen T, Kittilsen S, Midtlyng PJ, Vindas MA, Øverli Ø, Kristiansen TS, 2013. Salmon Welfare Index Model (SWIM 1.0): a semantic model for overall welfare assessment of caged Atlantic salmon: review of the selected welfare indicators and model presentation. Reviews in Aquaculture 5, 33-57
  • Merkin GV, Stien LH, Pittman K, Nortvedt R, 2013. Digital image analysis as a tool to quantify gaping and morphology in smoked salmon slices. Aquacultural Engineering 54, 64-71
  • Stien LH, Nilsson J, Hevrøy EM., Oppedal F, Kristiansen T S., Lien, A. M., Folkedal, O, 2012. Skirt around a salmon sea cage to reduce infestation of salmon lice resulted in low oxygen levels Aquacultural Engineering 51, 21-25
  • Vindas MA, Folkedal O, Kristiansen T, Stien LH, Braastad BO, Mayer I, Øverli Ø, 2012. Omission of expected reward agitates Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Animal Cognition 15, 903-911.
  • Nilsson J, Stien LH, Fosseidengen JE., Olsen RE, Kristiansen TS, 2012. From fright to anticipation: Reward conditioning versus habituation to a moving dip net in farmed Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 138, 118-124.
  • Folkedal O, Stien, LH, Nilsson J, Torgersen T, Fosseidengen JE, Oppedal F, 2012.  Sea caged Atlantic salmon display size-dependent swimming depth. Aquatic Living Resources 25, 143-149
  • Folkedal O, Torgersen T, Olsen RE,  Fernö A,  Nilsson J, Oppedal F, Stien LH, Kristiansen, T. S., 2011. Duration of effects of acute environmental changes on food anticipatory behaviour, feed intake, oxygen consumption, and cortisol release in Atlantic salmon parr. Physiology and Behavior 105, 283-291.
  • Folkedal O, Stien LH, Torgersen T, Oppedal F, Olsen RE, Fosseidengen JE, Braithwaite VA, Kristiansen TS, 2011. Food anticipatory behaviour as an indicator of stress response and recovery in Atlantic salmon post-smolt after exposure to acute temperature fluctuation. Physiology and Behaviour 105, 350-356.
  • Oppedal F, Dempster T, Stien LH, 2011. Environmental drivers of Atlantic salmon behaviour in sea-cages: a review. Aquaculture 311: 1-18.
  • Kristiansen TS, Stien LH, Fosseidengen JE, Strand E, Juell J-E, 2011. Voluntary responses and limits of tolerance to pressure reduction and swimbladder expansion in farmed Atlantic cod, Aquaculture International 625-636.
  • Roth B, Grimsbø E, Slinde E, Foss A, Stien LH, Nortvedt R, 2011. Crowding, pumping and stunning of Atlantic salmon, the subsequent effect on pH and rigor mortis. Aquaculture 326–329, 178–180.
  • Nilsson J, Kristiansen TS, Fosseidengen JE, Stien LH, Fernö A, van den Bos, R. 2010. Learning and anticipatory behaviour in a “sit-and-wait” predator: The Atlantic halibut. Behavioural Processes 83, 257–266
  • Bratland A, Stien LH, Braithwaite VA, Juell J-E, Folkedal O, Nilsson J, Oppedal F, Fosseidengen JE, Kristiansen TS, 2010. From fright to anticipation: using aversive light stimuli to train reward conditioning in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Aquaculture International 18, 991-1001.
  • Stien LH, Bratland S, Austvoll I, Oppedal F, Kristiansen T, 2007. A video analysis procedure for assessing vertical fish distribution in aquaculture tanks. Aquacultural Engineering 37, 115-124.
  • Stien LH, Kiessling A, Manne F, 2007.  Rapid estimation of fat content in salmon fillets by colour image analysis. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 20, 73-79.
  • Stien LH, Manne F, Ruohonen K, Kause A., 2006. Kiessling, A. Automated image analysis as a tool to quantify the colour and composition of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss W.) cutlets. Aquaculture 261, 695-705.
  • Stien LH, Amundsen AHA, Mørkøre T, Økland SN, Nortvedt R., 2006. Instrumental colour analysis of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) muscle. Luten JB, Jacobsen C, Bekaert K, Sæbø A, Oehlenschläger J (eds.), Seafood research from fish to dish – Quality, safety and processing of wild and farmed fish. Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp. 525-539.
  • Stien LH, Suontama J, Kiessling A, 2006. Image analysis as a tool to quantify rigor contraction in pre-rigor-filleted fillets. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 50, 109-120.
  • Stien LH, Hirmas E, Bjørnevik M, Karlsen Ø, Nortvedt R, Rørå AMB, Sunde J, Kiessling A, 2005. The effects of stress and storage temperatureon the colour and texture of pre-rigor filleted farmed cod (Gadus morhua L.). Aquaculture Research 36, 1197-1206.