Novel use of ultrasound technology ensures access to AquaGen eggs all year round

Nr. 2 / August 2016


Different production methods for broodstock make AquaGen able to deliver eggs throughout the whole year.  This provides increased flexibility and cost effectiveness in smolt production.  Broodstock raised in seawater produce eggs for shipping from October to July, and land-based production supplies eggs for deliveries during the period July to October.


At AquaGen’s broodstock facility Comau in Chile we have produced land-based broodstock since 2008.  Experience gained from this work is now being utilized in Norway.

From two to three egg intakes per year

Cermaq Norway Forsan freshwater site is the recipient of the first salmon egg batch produced from the land-based broodstock.  The delivery is being made in two equal batches of 2.35 million eggs.

– Getting AquaGen eggs in the period July-August 2016, means that we can transfer 100 gram smolts to sea in April 2017.  With these off-season-eggs we can have three egg intakes per year instead of two and the facility is much better utilized, says hatchery manager at Cermaq Norway, Marit Holmvåg Hansen.

Long experience and novel use of technology

In 2008 AquaGen established the first land-based production facility for broodstock in Chile.  The extensive experience in this area is now being utilized in Norway.  In addition, through an internal R&D project a novel use of ultrasound technology has been developed and implemented that ensures broodstock stripping at an optimal point in relation to egg quality.  This has traditionally been a major challenge for land-based broodstock production.


Extensive use of ultrasound to determine the degree of maturity of the eggs and right stripping time has given good fertilization results for this production.

Specific pathogen free broodstock

Land-based production, combined with good water treatment and hygienic operating procedures provide the basis for reduced exposure to waterborne infection compared with traditional open systems.  Although there is mixed experience with the practical effect of this from Chile, Canada and Iceland, land-based broodstock production will to a greater extent make it possible to control and eliminate specific pathogenic organisms from the water.

– We look forward to following up these fish and are excited to see whether we will have an effect of producing a salmon from “specific pathogen free” broodstock, says fish health manager at Cermaq Norway, Karl Fredrik Ottem.

Genetics and traceability are the same as the customer currently gets from AquaGen’s sea-based broodstock production.  For each new generation of broodstock now continually being produced on land, parents come from the breeding nucleus that has been reared in sea.


Packing of the first salmon egg delivery to Cermaq Norway Forsan freshwater site was done on 25th July, 2016.  The eggs were transported by car and placed in the hatchery on 27th July, 2016.