Takeaways from our salmonid stock audit

The Kontali triannual stock audit of Norwegian salmon and trout finds several explanations for the growth in European biomass.

Throughout the autumn and until November a build-up of biomass was observed in Europe. Despite much higher exports than expected in December, especially from Norway, it appears biomass growth has continued in Europe. Our current estimate is an increase close to 11% , compared to the end of 2019. Needless to say, this status also means that the harvest potential in 2021, both in the short term and during the second half of the year, is notably higher.

With our stock audit for Norwegian salmon and trout just finalized, several explanations for the biomass growth emerge. Firstly, European feed sales continued the strong growth trend in December. Secondly, the autumn smolt release in Norway was higher than previously estimated, with an even stronger growth-effect from the early release of larger smolt. Lastly, the factor which caused the biggest surprise and had the strongest effect, is the turnaround in feed productivity. An improvement in the feed conversion ratio (FCR) during the last four months comes as a strong contrast to the summer-season where the FCR was historically high.

In the current COVID-19 situation, restrictions on travels, restaurants and social life are increasing, adding to the challenges of finding markets and buyers for the available supply. Our current estimate for harvest growth in 2020 is adjusted up to around 2,5%.  For 2021 our harvest forecast for Norwegian salmon implies that 7% more salmon will need to find buyers in new or existing market segments.

Want to know more about the results from Kontali’s stock audit? Check out our Monthly Salmon Report

 Image: Shutterstock by Marius Dobilas