New project explores using ultrasound to delouse farmed salmon
A new initiative that will explore the potential of using ultrasound to delouse farmed salmon has been launched by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).
The first of SAIC’s Rapid Response projects, this six-month project brings together industry partner Pulcea with academic partners from the University of Dundee and the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling to research the efficacy of ultrasound in targeting and dislodging naturally occurring sea lice in a non-invasive and non-harmful way.
“It is small-scale at this stage but, if successful, could have a significant positive impact on the aquaculture industry not just in Scotland but around the world”, says Heather Jones, SAIC CEO.
The project seeks to quickly determine the ability of ultrasound to delouse salmon in a way that neither harms the host fish nor the environment, and has been awarded grant funding of £39,467 by SAIC.
“We’re taking a technique that’s proven successful in human medicine and we’re carefully re-engineering it to explore its effectiveness in advancing fish health”, explains Dr Paul Campbell, Reader of Physics at University of Dundee.
If the preliminary results are positive, the industry-academia partnership intends to upscale the ultrasound-based treatment to a comprehensive marine engineering solution with global reach.
Maximising harvest volumes is just one of the anticipated outcomes of the project. “As we progress further into our research, we hope to make a number of other discoveries that will benefit fish health and welfare,” says Ian Armstrong, managing director of Pulcea.
“These, in turn, could help to unlock the industry’s growth potential and deliver real economic benefit to Scottish aquaculture and beyond.”
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