Salmon and trout producers tackle lice treatments

Sea lice project for salmon and trout The project aims to improve sea lice treatments for salmon and trout. Image courtesy of MarineHarvestScotlandSM

Scotland’s salmon and trout producers want to extend the usage and efficacy of the most environmentally-friendly sea lice treatments.

In a project being co-funded by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), Marine Harvest Scotland and Dawnfresh Seafoods have teamed up with Solvay Interox, Aqua Pharma and academics at the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture to determine what happens when freshwater and hydrogen peroxide-based treatment Paramove are combined.

Richard Hopewell, fish health manager for Dawnfresh Seafoods and lead industry partner, said: “This is early stage, investigative work being conducted within controlled tanks at the Marine Environmental Research Laboratory, part of the University of Stirling's Institute of Aquaculture, based at Machrihanish.

“There, we hope to confirm the efficacy of using freshwater and Paramove in conjunction with one another, and, in doing so, contribute to the ongoing efforts of the industry in sea lice control.”

Better control

Currently, two possible ways of treating farmed Atlantic salmon against sea lice – a key barrier to sector growth – are to bathe the fish either in freshwater or hydrogen peroxide which quickly breaks down into water and oxygen.

The anticipated benefits of the 12-month, £242,985 project include better control of sea lice, reduced use of medicines and shorter treatment times – all of which are expected to enhance fish health and welfare, and help deliver higher production volumes.

It’s thought that the applied research project could lead to further collaboration between salmon and trout producers to establish the therapeutic value of other approved sea lice treatments at low salinities.

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