SSC transfers first ballan wrasse
The first sea transfer of commercially grown ballan wrasse in Scotland has been successfully completed by the Scottish Salmon Company, with Viking Fish Farms at Ardtoe Marine Laboratory.
The wrasse, proven to be effective ‘cleaner fish’ were transferred to one of The Scottish Salmon Company’s farms in the Western Isles where they will provide a natural biological means to control and minimise the impact of sea lice.
This is the result of four years of research and development to achieve a sustainable and welfare-friendly method of commercial wrasse production to support healthy farmed fish.
The original research was launched in 2008 and later co-opted into the Ecofish project, a wrasse research initiative financed through the European Regional Development Fund/Northern Periphery Program, as well as with governmental grants and private funding. The findings from the initiative will be shared with the industry as a whole.
Sea lice are naturally occurring parasite which affects both wild and farmed salmon. Successful management is an important issue for the industry.
Steven Morrison, SSC marine sites manager, was responsible for the transfer. He said, “The transfer was text book and the wrasse are thriving. It is very satisfying after the time and effort that has been put into this project through training, the preparation of equipment as well as monitoring and recording systems.
“It’s great to be involved in innovative work which will assist fish health long term and which supports environmental excellence.”
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