Global production of farmed cod is likely to reach 100,000 tonnes by the end of the decade, according to a forecast by Rabobank.

While the farmed cod industry has succeeded in reducing the mortality of young cod hatchlings, there remain problems with the premature sexual maturity of cod in captivity that significantly lowers growth rate and flesh quality. Other problems include fish with spine deformities, escapes and the need to develop

vaccines for diseases.

However, Rabobank says that cod, a ground fish, is more suited to the confines of aquaculture than salmon.

The prospects for explosive growth of the farmed sector are promising, it adds, particularly as up to 60% of the fish meal can now be replaced by a soy-based feed without this causing a significant decline in the growth rate.

Many cod farmers still operate at significant losses and lack of profitability, which have been the main reason for capital scarcity and constitute the key bottleneck in the short term.