Optimum smolt physiology is a critical factor when it comes to achieving good results during sea water transfer. ATPase analysis is an important tool in determining the right time to transfer your fish to sea.
Laboratory analysis of ATPase levels in salmon gills during smoltification has become an effective method in assessing how far the process has come. The analysis consists of an examination of gill tissue in order to evaluate seawater tolerance. The technique involves measuring the enzymatic activity of gill Sodium Potassium ATPases which naturally increases during smoltification.
The use of ATPase analysis, together with other smolt parameters such as darkness/light control, smolt index, behaviour, possible plasma chloride measurements and operational experience from the hatchery will provide the best basis for choosing the right time for sea transfer.