Student interview: Amazed by the future of closed systems

This winter, Patrik Tang has been at Sunndalsøra sampling fish from the CARDIO project led by Gerrit Timmerhaus of Nofima. Tang highly values his collegial work, which is a crucial informative center to learn from each other. Photo: Terje Aamodt © Nofima.

Patrik Tang is a PhD student who is linking several projects in CtrlAQUA. His key topic is to identify how environmental factors influence the plasticity of physiological processes in post-smolt salmon, for example in osmoregulation, barrier and stress functions.

“My aim is to identify environmental-physiological thresholds for these processes, and to understand how do compromises start to emerge in physiology”, explains Tang.

“Therefore, I emphasize the importance of understanding the environmental-physiological axis of fish and associated thresholds, thereby allowing identification of suboptimal states in fish that can have dire consequences on stock robustness”, he says.

In Tang’s opinion, the technology for closed containment aquaculture is still not complete and has a somewhat long road ahead. However, Tang is a firm and positive believer that in the near future, as these systems develop and are made more efficient at lower costs, they will become a viable solution to many issues associated with aquaculture.

“For these reasons, I am deeply privileged and grateful to be a part of such an important and innovative movement”, he says.

Since starting his PhD studies, he has rapidly become interested in these systems and their great potential as a future supplier of salmon for the growing world demand, systems that he was still unfamiliar with only a year ago.

Raised in Bermuda off the coast of Florida, he moved to Finland where he studied Physiology and Neurosciences at the University of Helsinki. After his studies, he worked with fish and seal populations of the Baltic Sea, within the field of nutrition and physiology. It was quite a leap when moving to Bergen to work with closed and semi-closed containment systems for salmon:

“To be honest, before coming to Bergen, I didn’t have much of an idea about closed containment aquaculture. However, so far it has been an amazing experience and an overwhelming field to be associated with and learn about! My supervisors have been great, additionally the people I come into contact with working at farm sites or generally in this field are inspiring, not to mention, the people I sample with on site, who teach me so much valuable knowledge. Such has taught me that key is good communication among different parties involved, including both the science community as well as the people working at the farms, aspects that I find essential in achieving the common goal”, says Tang.


University: University of Bergen
Student status: PhD 2017-2021
Supervisors: Sigurd Stefansson, Lars Ebbesson, Tom Ole Nilsen and Sigurd Handeland