The myths about antibiotics

That farmed salmon are full of antibiotics is a myth that lives on. But it is not the case! in the 1980s, bacterial diseases were a problem in salmon farming, but effective vaccines were developed in the 1990s. This led to a considerable decrease in the occurrence of bacterial diseases.


The fact is, the fish farming industry currently accounts for about 1% of the use of antibiotics in Norway. In comparison, meat and egg manufacturers use 14 % and 85 % is used in human treatments.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health monitors sales of antibiotics. In relation to biomass produced by farmed fish, the changes in the sale of antibacterial agents for the treatment of farmed fish are marginal and sales are very low.

The quantity of antibacterial agents that has been sold over recent years means that an estimated 0.5-1 per cent of fish were treated with an antibiotic.

This figure has been obtained from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute's annual report regarding the use of antibiotics in Norway. This shows how the ratio between the amount of salmon produced and the use of antibiotics in the fish farming industry has developed since 1981 The green curve shows the amount of fish produced, while the blue bars show the use of antibiotics.