The primary objective of GutMatters is to define and improve the gut health situation in Norwegian sea-farmed salmon.



Optimal intestinal health and digestive function are prerequisites for efficient feed utilization and for production of robust fish that will better cope with disease, stress and farming conditions in general. However, gut disease has been an underestimated challenge in farmed Norwegian salmon. Gut inflammation and lipid malabsorption syndrome are frequently observed conditions. Previous research suggests that the increasing levels of plant ingredients in feeds, with their inherent antinutritional factors and fibers, can be important contributing factors. The significance of dietary contaminants, gut microbiota, nutritional and disease status, and developmental stage of the fish, as well as exogenous factors such as geographical location, other environmental conditions, and various management practices are not well understood. A more thorough understanding of the interplay between these factors is necessary to define causal relationships and subsequently prevent losses due to gut disease. GutMatters will investigate the relevance of these factors both at commercial fish farms and in controlled experiments, and hence find means of improving gut health in farmed salmon.


GutMatters aims to: 1) Establish empirical knowledge on the current status of gut health in sea-farmed salmon 2) Assess the contribution of feeds and environmental and management factors to observed pathologies 3) Explore interactions between feed constituents and gut health 4) Explore avenues of remediation of gut disorders