Published 2021

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Publication details

Journal : Animals , vol. 11 , p. 1–20 , 2021

Publisher : MDPI

International Standard Numbers :
Printed : 2076-2615
Electronic : 2076-2615

Publication type : Academic article

Contributors : Calado, Ricardo; Mota, Vasco; Madeira, Diana; Leal, Miguel C.

Issue : 6

Research areas

Farmed fish

Breeding and genetics

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Kjetil Aune
Chief Librarian


Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) has become a commodity worldwide. The culture of Atlantic salmon is by far the most well-developed branch of marine finfish aquaculture, with this species ranking among the top ten most highly produced in global aquaculture. While Atlantic salmon has been commonly farmed in sea cages located in colder waters (e.g., in Norway, Chile and Tasmania), these regions can experience the negative impacts of heat waves that push seawater temperature above values tolerated by this species. These climate-change-driven shifts in water temperature can be associated with mass mortality events and urgent actions are needed to cope with a changing ocean. This paper reviews the thermal limits of adult Atlantic salmon and lists the negative effects driven by heat stress. We highlight how biotechnology and the genetic diversity of wild populations may help producers to tackle this challenge. Selective breeding programs and other more advanced biotechnological solutions (e.g., gene editing) may play a key role in this quest to produce new strains of Atlantic salmon that more readily tolerate higher water temperatures, without compromising productivity and profitability.