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Societal value of research

Anthropogenic impact has reduced the abundance of wild salmonid populations considerably, and numerous studies show that supplementary released salmonids have low survival in the wild.

The potential for enhancement of wild smolt production is limited in the foreseeable future due to the extensive exploitation of rivers for hydroelectric power, which is likely to persist as the trend is to direct energy production towards renewable sources. One important aim, suggested by the Swedish Board of Fisheries (SBF), is to improve the quality of hatchery-produced smolts. SMOLTPRO is an integrated effort to achieve this aim, and is also in line with the directives of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action plan (BSAP) and the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Strategic relevance of SMOLTPRO

SMOLTPRO is highly relevant for the Swedish Research Council Formas' strategic research areas, since the project:

  • Focuses on sustainable use of natural resources under climate change, and on development of efficient and sustainable management systems in aquaculture.
  • Contributes to a stronger positioning of national and international collaboration, including EU and the Nordic region.

The project also adds to the marine profile strategy of the University of Gothenburg (GU), including a leading role for GU and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in the development of marine aquaculture in Sweden, as recently suggested by the Department of Agriculture.

Plan for project deliverables

SMOLTPRO results will be evaluated in an objective and transparent way to adjust future allocation of resources to a sound balance between hatchery and natural smolt production. In particular, socioeconomic and ethical aspects will be studied by Prof. Anders Skonhoft and Dr. Petra Andersson, respectively. Their analyses will be based on input from other work groups, and will be critical for production of the end-product: the hatchery guidelines.

The Swedish Smolt Quality Group with representatives from energy producing companies (smolt rearing facilities), SBF, hatchery managers and scientists, will act as a reference group for SMOLTPRO.

Results will be published in international peer-review journals, and presented at conferences and workshops. A new guideline for sustainable hatchery production of smolts will be produced and distributed to hatchery managers in Scandinavia and all relevant stakeholders. Finally, a professional communicator will be employed during the second half of the project to coordinate the dialogue with media and stakeholders.


Photo by Tom Curtis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Strategic research areas

In response to a governmental bill, the Swedish Research Council Formas during 2009-2012 finances a number of large projects in 'strategic research areas'.

The strategic projects include innovative, multidisciplinary research on climate models and effects of climate change, as well as on sustainable management and use of natural resources.

Page Manager: RASMUS KASPERSSON|Last update: 6/21/2010

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