Optimised Salmon Feed Makes The Difference

Why Compass?

There are many variables impacting the productivity of salmon farming. With EWOS COMPASS we can optimise feed according to local conditions. 

EWOS COMPASS takes into account several different variables, making it the perfect tool for both designing and choosing the right feed at the right time.

  • Geography

  • Optimised Feed

  • Season

  • Raw Material Price

  • Salmon Price

  • Smolt Type


Salmon feed is traditionally optimised to meet the nutritional requirements of salmon as defined by their weight. However, our most recent research shows that salmon farming productivity can be influenced to a greater extent than previously known, by optimising the macronutrient balance according to geography.

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Optimal Feeding At Different Geographical Locations

In addition to physiological adaptation to changing temperatures, salmonids have developed complex strategies for optimal timing of smoltification, migrations and maturation. This depends on an inherent ability to pre adapt to seasonal changes and our extensive data shows that feed intake, growth and allocation of the ingested nutrients to either grow in size or to deposit fat for energy store, respectively, are not only a function of temperature but a function of temperature and photoperiod combined.

The magnitude of the seasonal changes in temperature and photoperiod are affected by geography (latitude). Hence, the latitude of where the fish is produced has an effect on the performance of a specific feed formulation as predicted by EWOS COMPASS. Recent research at EWOS Innovation revealed that growth in salmon is influenced by macronutrient balance in the feed to a greater extent than we previously understood. By modelling and understanding the nutrient needs of fish according to factors including geography, we can now develop products and feed regime recommendations for any product scenario, anywhere in the world.

The result is that EWOS COMPASS offers salmon farmers the best value for money grower feed concept on the market.

  • Geographically Adjusted Feed

  • Appetite Affected by Temperature and Photoperiod combined

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EWOS RAPID, our seasonally adapted, high performance grower feed based on EWOS COMPASS, offers salmon farmers a number of benefits, including shorter production times, increased weight gain, lower feed conversion ratios, improved profitability and less environmental impact. Knowledge makes the difference!

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Seasonally adjusted feed for optimal performance

Salmon appetite and daily feed intake varies widely in different seawater temperatures, and their needs alter with temperature fluctuations brought about by the changing seasons. EWOS research has shown that fish of the same size have very different rates of feeding and intake in different conditions.

This makes it important to have a feed that can be seasonally adjusted and EWOS COMPASS enables us to produce such feeds.

EWOS undertook an important field trial at Cermaq’s Anevik site in the north of Norway during autumn 2013/winter 2014 to test the performance in commercial sites of a high protein RAPID prototype diet, developed using the EWOS COMPASS concept, against EWOS leading grower feed EWOS OPAL 120. Triplicate groups under full commersial scale were tested to ensure we could collect statistically meaningful results.

When the fish were harvested after 216 days, the results showed that fish fed on the RAPID diet had a higher condition factor, better growth with a 10% increased weight gain, and exhibited better feed utilization. In addition, there were a higher number of superior fish at harvest compared with those fed on the EWOS OPAL 120 diet. Importantly, less organic loading was recorded at the site.

  • EWOS COMPASS facilitates seasonally adjusted feed

  • Salmon appetite changes according to season

  • Seasonally adjusted feed ensures better performance

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Salmon Price

The price of salmon is not a constant and varies according to supply and demand, global economic conditions and season. EWOS COMPASS enables us to produce feed that delivers the best economic yield per site for fish farmers, and the perfect range of feed for the high salmon price scenario we see today.

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The Ever Changing Price Of Salmon

The price of salmon depends to a large extent on market demand. In recent years the market has been buoyant, with a high demand for farmed Atlantic salmon, as consumers seek healthier lifestyles and healthy food. In Norway, the spot price has been high, at around 35-40 NOK per kg, and the future market estimate by FishPool is for this to continue and even to rise.  The prediction to June 2016, given the numbers of smolts put to sea and the likely demand, is for the spot price to reach a new high of 41 NOK per kg.

A similar situation is predicted globally, until production increases sufficiently to meet the growing demand.  

  • Salmon prices change according to demand

  • Current production results in high prices

  • Price prediction to 2016 looks positive

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Smolt Type

Using EWOS COMPASS, our scientists predict and take into account changes in nutritional needs brought about by differences in smolt type and body composition, then adapt the feed composition to take fish physiology under different environmental conditions into account. The result is faster growth and reduced FCR.

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Ewos Compass Takes Smolt Type Into Consideration

Using EWOS COMPASS, our scientists can predict and take into account changes in nutritional needs brought about not only by differences in temperature and day length, but also by smolt type and body composition. This enables us to adapt the feed composition to take fish physiology under different environmental conditions into account. By tailoring feed in this way, we can help salmon farmers to achieve faster growth and reduce FCR.

Our extensive research during the development of EWOS COMPASS, included monitoring the lifecycle EGI performance of generations of salmon from tank and commercial trials, collecting FCR and quality information on pigmentation and fat levels from a large number of farms using our feed, and using decades of knowledge and know-how gained during the continuous development of all our feeds.

The result is a robust and comprehensive dataset of fish growth and feeding information related to environmental and climatic variations that can also be refined by smolt type (SO/S1).

All of this makes EWOS COMPASS a powerful, predictive tool that shows how nutrient changes affect salmon growth and fat deposition under different scenarios and for different smolt types.   

Knowledge makes the difference, as we say!

  • Smolt type affects nutritional need

  • Feed composition adapted to smolt type

  • Feed concept gives smolts the best start

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Raw Material Price

Feed is the largest single input cost for salmon farmers and the price and availability of raw materials is the major driver in determining the price. EWOS works with a large basket of raw materials, to offer customers the most cost effective product on the market.

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The challenge of rising raw material costs

Supplies of raw materials used to make salmon feed are under increasing pressure, and this is driving volatility in both price and availability.

Over the past five years, the costs of fishmeal and fish oil have doubled in price, due to increased demand. These are the two major raw material ingredients in salmon feed, and such an increase in costs has challenged EWOS to widen its basket of raw materials and to be more creative with new feed formulations. It also presents a challenge to salmon farmers faced with rising feed costs.

Thanks to the development of EWOS COMPASS, we are able to offer a unique and valuable method for evaluating different feed alternatives and formulations, against a variety of different business scenarios and raw material cost implications. This capability enables us to develop feeds that are fit for purpose and value creating for our customers.

  • Raw material cost doubled in 5 years

  • EWOS increased basket of raw ingredients

  • EWOS COMPASS vital for new formulations

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Optimised Feed

EWOS COMPASS takes several important considerations into account to produce optimised feed for fish at individual sites, helping farmers achieve the best profit margins per site. It also enables EWOS to provide the optimal feed recommendation for your salmon, whatever the location, smolt type or season.

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