Significance for the industry:
According to a survey carried out by Nofima, around 20% of Norwegian salmon are affected by dark spots.
As dark spots in the fillet influence our perception of the quality of the product, the economic consequences associated with spots are considerable. In the best case scenario, spots are discovered on the slaughter line and results in downgrading of the fillets and more work to cut away the affected parts.
If the spots are discovered later on in the processing procedures, the value of the pieces that need to be removed increases, as do the adve effects for the remaining fillet. As the fish comes closer to the market, the potential repercussions also increase in the form of customer reactions and loss of respect on the market.
The fact that 20% of Norwegian fillets have dark spots means that 250,000 tonnes of salmon are at risk of being downgraded.
With a price reduction of around NOK 2/kg, this gives an estimated loss of value of around half a billion kroner.
According to a report published in 2015 on the subject of fish health, costs related to the dark spots reached this level back in 2010.
There is reason to believe that the costs today are even greater, as the occurrence of dark spots has increased further since then.
If the occurrence of melanin spots could be reduced, it would be of enormous significance for both fish farmers and the aquaculture industry as a whole.