Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) is a salmonid closely related to salmon and trout. It always spawns in fresh water, usually in lakes. The Arctic char may spend its whole life in fresh water or be anadromous, alternating between fresh and salt water. It is only found in the northern hemisphere and can live further north than any other freshwater fish.
Arctic char thrive best in cold, clear oxygen-rich water. Hence access to clean, cold fresh water is important in Arctic char farming. The entire production cycle of Arctic char can take place in fresh water, although some producers choose to have a salt-water period.
An adaptable species
Arctic char is an adaptable species which tolerates handling well. Since it is a school fish, it also has a high tolerability for high densities. There have not been any serious outbreaks of disease in farmed Arctic char in Norway.