Genome editing – a game-changer in salmon farming:
Conditions for social and moral acceptance 

Front page photo

Salmon farm in a Norwegian fjord surrounded by snowy mountains

Short project description - front page

Fish farming is the most important Norwegian bioeconomy industry, but it is also controversial for ethical and environmental reasons. The basis for this food production is the salmon, an iconic animal in Norwegian culture. One promising approach to solving some of aquaculture's production challenges, and to ensure higher value creation in aquaculture is using genome-editing techniques such as the CRISPR system. This emerging technology enables rapid and precise changes to the genetic basis of relevant salmon traits.

However, unless it is introduced in a socially and morally acceptable way, promised improvements and solutions cannot be utilised. This project aims to determine the acceptability of genome edited salmon through an empirical ethics approach combining descriptive and normative studies.

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  • "Hva mener tromsøværinger om GMO?" ("What do Tromsø people think of GMO?")
    Op-ed at Nordnorskdebatt.no, 8 November 2019, by Torill Pauline Blix Bakkelund (in Norwegian)
  • "Moral limits to genome editing of farmed salmon"
    In Sustainable governance and management of food systems (Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2019): 261-266, by Bjørn Kåre Myskja and Anne Ingeborg Myhr




  • Anna Wargelius, Institute of Marine Research
  • Lotte Holm, Copenhagen University
  • Sigrid Bratlie, Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board
  • Petter Arnesen, Federation of Norwegian Industries
  • Merete Kristiansen, Nordlaks
  • Herwig Grimm, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
  • Bernice Bovenkerk, Wageningen University
  • Mickey Gjerris, Copenhagen University