QliceProject ID: 736310
H2020-EU.3.2.3. - Unlocking the potential of aquatic living resources
H2020-EU.3.2.5. - Cross-cutting marine and maritime research
Qlice: Environmentally-friendly system to combat sea lice in salmon farms
Total cost:EUR 71 429
EU contribution:EUR 50 000
Topic(s):SMEInst-08-2016-2017 - Supporting SMEs efforts for the development - deployment and market replication of innovative solutions for blue growth
Call for proposal:H2020-SMEINST-1-2016-2017See other projects for this call
Funding scheme:SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1
The problem: Feeding an expected global population over 9 billion by 2050 is a daunting challenge. Aquaculture can play a major role in acting on this challenge while also meeting the so needed sustainable growth in food production. Salmon farms have become very large nurseries for sea lice – the main pathogen affecting salmon in net-pens (sea cages) – materializing in a huge threat both to the salmon farming industry and to wild salmon populations. Money spent by the Norwegian salmon farming sector on combating sea lice surpassed €500 million in 2015. Uncontrolled sea lice infestations are also affecting wildlife because wild juvenile salmon have to pass through the fish farms before they reach their offshore habitat.
The solution: The Qlice method is a novel and environmentally-friendly solution, consisting of a chemical agent (particulate calcium oxide) and a delivery system – aiming at combating sea lice infestations in salmon farming. Unlike other treatments, Qlice will exert a positive impact on the environment by buffering the seawater acidification caused by intensive farming activity, i.e. excess feeding and wastes. Our results have shown up to 81% reduction in in sea lice and no fish mortality this reduction is enough to keep sea lice levels well below the permitted limit (less than 0.5 female adult sea lice per salmon on the net-pens) by Norwegian authorities.
The market: Aquaculture production already exceeds 97 million metric tons (live weight), while the value of international aquaculture trade amounts to USD157 billion. The production of farmed salmon has grown more than 600% since the 1990’ and it is currently growing at 6% compound annual growth rate. Total market size for Qlice in Norway (approx. 50% of the global market) is around or €150 million – the global market size should be twice this figure. We are in a strong position to exploit an addressable turnover exceeding € 203 million, five years after market introduction.
EU contribution: EUR 50 000