Salmon oil is a widely used oil of which 99% is derived from farmed salmon. Its omega-3 fatty acids have positive health effects. Most of the retail business, with the exception of a few suppliers, only has access to farmed salmon which comply with very strict regulations.

In order to meet the demand for salmon, salmon fish farms were established. In the last decades production and consumption of farmed salmon has increased; in addition the demand for farmed salmon is still on the rise. A further increase in salmon production is expected. Salmon farms are found in several countries, for example Scotland, Chile, Scandinavian countries and the Baltic States.

Throughout the years the salmon’s diet has changed due to reduced availability of fish meal and fish oil. More sustainable fishing methods are one reason to account for this. As a consequence salmon obtain energy and protein from more plant based feed ingredients. Scotland is the only country where fishmeal still is a mandatory part of the ration.

At the moment a great deal of research is carried out to find alternatives to improve and ensure the quality of salmon while keeping sustainability in mind. Nature provides many alternatives for energy and protein, such as algae, insects and yeasts. Some of these are not ready for large-scale use as yet.

It is expected that this new generation of alternatives will have a positive effect on the composition of fatty acids in salmon oil.