Large rainbow trout of 2,5 kg and more, with well pigmented flesh and attractive silvery exterior has become an ever more popular alternative or supplement to the Atlantic salmon and other salmonids in sea farming. In addition to the positive consumer perception of the saltwater reared rainbow trout, also recognized as steelheads or ocean trout in the market, the general characteristics of the rainbow trout gives this species a competitive edge in sea farming compared to other salmonid species.
The rainbow trout has an incomparably appetite in all life stages allowing timing and coordination of the production within a wide timespan, as well as controlling feeding rate to obtain optimal feed conversion. The rainbow trout can and should always be table fed eliminating the requirement for complicated underwater surveillance equipment or constant adjustments of feeding level and strategy.
The rainbow trout has a natural resistance towards several specific diseases, including ISA (infectious salmon anaemia) and is generally more resistant to a number of other disease like furunculosis and pancreas disease. Combined with the higher temperature tolerance of the rainbow trout this allows profitable production of this species in a wide range of locations and conditions.