Fish Farmer Magazine - February 2020

Page 46

Sea lice – New tools

Counter attack Innovative funnels, traps, cameras and ‘vacuum cleaners’ add to farmers’ armoury BY SANDY NEIL


S pressure intensifies this year on Scottish salmon and trout farms to control sea lice, this month we look at the new tools emerging on to the market. New rules introduced by the Scottish government in 2020 will require each fish farm to report weekly sea lice numbers to the fish health inspectorate. Every sea lice report will also be published for public scrutiny on a monthly basis. On top of this, the current reporting and intervention thresholds have reduced from three and eight average adult female lice per fish to two and six, respectively, to allow earlier intervention and enforcement action. These new regulations are pushing fish farmers to investigate better ways to monitor and combat the harmful parasite. One new device, designed by Norwegian biotech company Blue Lice, attracts sea lice into a trap. Blue Lice’s CEO Karoline Sjødal Olsen told Fish Farmer: ‘The aquaculture industry’s licence to operate, and to increase the salmon production in the future, depends on how it’s able to tackle the challenges related to


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sea lice in a sustainable way. ‘The goal in the future would be to not handle the fish for the entire cycle in the water. Our technology is a preventive method that will attract, capture and contain sea lice before they can cause damage. ‘We capture sea lice in the larvae stage, which is different from treatments that treat in the adult stage of the lice when it has attached to a fish. ‘It is well known that ectoparasite sea lice in the copepodite stage are attracted to light and scent signals. In addition, we introduce a third component- water turbulence- to mimic the movement of fish. ‘Our system prevents sea lice from affecting farmed salmon, saving costs, and reducing the

Left: Blue Lice cofounder and CEO Karoline Sjødal Olsen (second left) and team Opposite: XBlue Lice co-foudner and COO Lars-Kristian Opstad

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