Summary


Gadus morhua is one of the most important commercial fish species in Northern Europe and North America’s eastern coast. Cods stocks were heavily reduced during the 1980s, and today the fishery is very low compared to historical levels. Stock collapses increased the investments in cod aquaculture enterprises, both hatcheries and on-growing farms began to accelerate. Within a few years an annual production capacity in the order of 60 million juveniles and around 400 on-growing sites was built up in Norway alone. However, the financial market crisis in 2008, together with recover of natural stocks decreased aquaculture production. Despite the big investment in cod aquaculture, the living conditions and the husbandry systems that maximise the welfare of this species are still to be defined, developed and improved. This lack is quite incomprehensible, given the background and the availability of research performed on this species. To optimise fish welfare of this species, improvements are mainly needed to meet home range and depth range needs, reproduction without manipulation, deformation rate, aggression and stress reduction.