Atlantic salmon is a well-studied species, but there are still mysteries of where they reside in the ocean and what impacts their marine survival. ATLANTIC SALMON AT SEA - factors affecting their growth and survival (SeaSalar) is a research program where research institutions join forces to increase the knowledge on Norwegian salmon at sea.

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Left: Migrations of Atlantic salmon tagged in eight different geographic areas. Release locations post-tagging are shown by squares (from 11 northeast Atlantic river catchments and at-sea at Western Greenland). Crosses show the pop-up location of the tags. Right: Area use during the ocean migration of tagged Atlantic salmon, shown with lines and shades with colours representing salmon from seven different areas. Photo: Audun H. Rikardsen.

Redefining the oceanic migration of Atlantic salmon

Many surprises from tagging Atlantic salmon with pop-up satellite tags. Further north and east than we thought, more use of oceanic fronts, deeper dives and staying in colder water.
Atlantic salmon, Norwegian spring spawning herring and Atlantic mackerel are pelagic fish that feed in the open ocean. Photos Audun Rikardsen, UiT (Atlantic salmon) and Erling Svensen, Institute of Marine Research (Atlantic mackerel)

Do salmon post-smolts compete for food with mackerel or herring?

We looked at potential competition between salmon and mackerel or herring, in a new publication. There was no evidence to support the hypothesis that lower marine survival for salmon in recent years can be explained by competition with herring or mackerel.
Results in this study suggest that 23-mm long PIT tags can be used to tag fish down to 13 cm total length, and 12-mm long PIT tags can be used to tag fish down to 7 cm total length

Reliable survival estimates based on tagged fish depend on using small enough tags

PIT-tags are often used to study marine mortality in salmon. It is important that the tagging itself does not increase mortality. New review publication assessed tagging effects based on available studies.