Cod held in intensive culture typically mature within 2 years from hatching, with reduced somatic growth rates, deterioration of flesh composition and reduction of wet weight by at least 25%. A delay or cessation of maturation during on-growing is therefore crucial for profitable farming. The advent of a new lighting technology based on Cold Cathode Light Tubes enables fish farmers to improve the growth rate of farmed cod significantly. Overlaying of artificial illumination on the natural day-night cycle in day length masks this seasonally changing signal and has been shown to successfully regulate maturation in a number of tank-based studies in Atlantic cod in which a complete cessation of maturation and up to a subsequent 60% improvement in growth have been observed.
The CODLIGHT-TECH project is an EU-project involving parties from several European countries: MATIS – Food Research, Innovation & Safety and various fish farming companies in Iceland; The University of Stirling and Johnsons Sea Farms in Scotland; Institute of Marine Research (Havforskningsinstitutet) in Bergen, Fjord Marin and Intravision Group in Norway and; The Swedish University of Agricultural Science in Uppsala, Sweden.