The species is carnivorous. They consume manufactured compound feeds. The fish-in-fish-out ratio is low, meaning that quite a low volume of fish is input into this farming system as feed to produce one kilogram of salmon. Traceability systems and a policy are in place for feed components.
This production method is an open net-pen system that directly interacts with the marine environment, including high waste discharge and possible effects on the environment and ecosystem functions. Uneaten feed and faeces can dissolve freely into the surrounding marine environment, causing eutrophication and benthic habitat alterations. Escapes can have negative impact on salmon although salmon farming is not allowed close to large rivers in Iceland.
Iceland has strategic environmental planning with the regulatory framework covering issues concerning protection of vulnerable habitats, use of chemical, disease control, and monitoring. The overall management is largely effective.