The wild salmon of the River Vosso in Norway are famous as they are the largest wild Atlantic salmon strain on the coast of Norway measured as average size as they return to the river.
However, around 1990, their numbers collapsed for several reasons. In 2008, Marine Harvest Norway together with other salmon farmers joined a multi-party project to aid a recovery in their numbers.
In mid May 2009, the first Vosso-smolt was released in the fjord.
- The process this far has been very successful. The egg material comes from the genuine stock of Vossolaks which is kept at the gene bank in Eidfjord. The smolt we have produced are of good quality and are just like a wild salmon, comments Marine Harvest Norway’s technology director and chairman of the project, Cato Lyngøy.
Key elements of the project are increasing hatchery capacity and establishing net pen-based farming in the river system. It is a five year project which this year released 50,000 smolt and expects to release another 150 000 per year during 2010-2012.
Sufficient to maintain stable population
Approximately 2–4% of the released smolt are expected to return as adults in 2010 and later years. Environmental scientists have now indicated the reproductive capacity of the river as sufficient to maintaining a stable population, when the numbers have been rebuilt.
The project is unique in having brought together fish farmers, wild fish interest groups, river owners and local communities. Marine Harvest is committed to provide NOK 350,000 a year until 2012 and made an additional start-up donation of NOK 450,000.
Photo credit: Stiftelsen Voss Klekkeri