Biological Hazards

Sterilised fish for farming - effects on biodiversity


Report no:

Publishing: 04.11.2024

Key message:

VKM shall evaluate the potential positive and negative effects of triploidisation, and other methods used to produce sterile fish for aquaculture farming, on biodiversity.

The project is commissioned by the Norwegian Environmental Agency.

Salmon lice and escaped farmed fishes are the main threats to salmon in Norway. Using sterile fish for aquaculture could be an important measure to remediate at least one of these threats. In 2021 Atlantic salmon was listed on the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre’s list of species as “near threatened”.


VKM shall identify the amount of aquacultural fertile and triploid salmon found in the environment and evaluate the effects these have on wild salmon stocks. Triploidisation is one method used to produce sterile fish. With this method fish eggs get three pairs of chromosomes instead of two, rendering the animals infertile.

VKM shall also evaluate whether the use of triploid salmon has other positive or negative effects on biodiversity, compared to traditional diploid farmed salmon.

In addition, VKM shall provide an updated overview on the knowledge and experiences with other types of sterilisation used in aquaculture. Based on this, VKM shall assess the potential other sterilised fish would have to affect wild fish stocks genetically, and whether there are other positive or negative effects linked to using these methods in aquaculture, in regard to biodiversity.

The project group

The VKM project group consists of:

• Kjetil Hindar, Scientific Leader of the project group, VKM’s Panel on Biodiversity
• Nur Duale, KM ‘s Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms - Food and Feed
• Knut Thomas Dalen, VKM’s Panel on Nutrition, Dietetic Products, Novel Food and Allergy
• Eva Thorstad, VKM’s Panel on Biodiversity
• Åse Helen Garseth, External expert, Norwegian Veterinary Institute
• Martin Malmstrøm, Project Manager, VKM Secretariat
• Anne Marthe Jevnaker, VKM Secretariat

The assessment will be approved by an interdisciplinary approval group. The project is scheduled to be published in November 2024.


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