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Sea lice – Technology

Blue is the colour Norwegian innovator trial results ‘promising’

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HE Norwegian aquaculture company Blue Lice said the latest trials on the effectiveness of its innovative sea lice trap have brought ‘promising’ results. The idea is based on taking natural factors which sea lice find attractive, such as certain aspects of smell and light, and incorporating them into a system of traps which the sea lice will hopefully find irresistible, as Blue Lice CEO Karoline Sjodal Olsen told Fish Farmer last summer (Fish Farmer, August 2018). Early trials had been encouraging enough to secure investment, as well as industry involvement in the further tests. The company, based in Stavanger, is now analysing the most recent of these, completed in December, said COO Lars-Kristian Opstad. ‘We have an incredible amount of data, and right now we are running through these to make a report.We are very happy with the results so far,’ he said. ‘Compared to cleaner fish, which have the problem of regularly having to be replaced, our trap is much more environmentally friendly and a cost effective solution. ‘In addition to catching the larvae, we will also be able to predict when the larvae will appear, whether it’s day or night. Using data like, for instance, the water temperature and the weather conditions, looking for patterns which make the appearance of the larvae more likely. ‘That means the fish farmer is much more in control of the problem of sea lice, and when the farmer sees a pattern developing, he can be much better prepared. ‘Our trap takes the larvae and the sea lice out of the water. It attracts the larvae before the larvae can be attracted to the salmon. ‘It works by using several known attractors for the larvae. But although to catch grown sea lice is not our aim, we have done that anyway. Our traps seem irresistible!’ Opstad continued:‘The best way to explain how it works is that it is like a fly trap, with easy access but no exit for the lice. It is very low maintenance, easy to set up, clean and change.A simple but very effective system.And we have a patent pending.’ He said the technology is ‘always in development’ and Blue Lice will hopeful-

“theIt attracts larvae

before the larvae can be attracted to the salmon

Top: Blue Lice CEO Karoline Sjodal Olsen and COO Lars-Kristian Opstad. Above and left: The trap was tested at Norwegian farms.

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ly be in a position to take the product to market later this year. ‘At the sea lice conference in Trondheim, Norway, in January our trap was a subject people kept asking about.The demand in the market is high. ‘We have been very happy with the cooperation and collaboration with the fish farms where we’ve been testing, including live pen tests at sea at Bremnes. ‘Our equipment is in production and we now have over 100 traps built.We see the first market to concentrate on as Norway but the trap works for any Atlantic salmon and there are markets in Chile, Iceland and Scotland we can go to. ‘We would even be interested in local companies in those countries manufacturing the trap for us.’ Opstad said for everyone at Blue Lice, the project is more a ‘way of life’ than just a job. ‘Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about where we are going with our trap and solving the problem of salmon with sea lice. ‘And when I tell a colleague about it the next day they often say,‘Yes, me too - I couldn’t sleep either’.’ With all that is ahead for Blue Lice, there could well be a few more sleepless nights in Stavanger. FF

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05/02/2019 14:00:33

Profile for Fish Farmer Magazine

Fish Farmer Magazine February 2019  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

Fish Farmer Magazine February 2019  

Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977

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