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Keywords:

  • aggressive behaviour;
  • enrichment;
  • fat;
  • fin damage;
  • hatchery;
  • wild-like

This study investigated whether shelter (presence or absence) affected the frequency of fin damage in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar exposed to feed restrictions (0·73 or 0·33% of body mass day−1). The presence of shelter had a positive effect on the pectoral fins at both feed ration levels and on the dorsal fin at the higher ration level but it had a negative effect on survival. The reduced feed rations resulted in fish of the same size and nutritional status as wild fish. The provision of shelter has potential to mitigate the negative effects of feed restrictions on fin quality, but the optimal shelter design requires some additional investigation.