Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Cleaner fish technology

An investigation was made of the potential of cleaner fish (wrasse) to remove sea lice from farmed Atlantic salmon under commercial conditions.
Wrasse were cheaper and more effective than dichlorvos in lice control on first sea year salmon. Effectiveness on second sea year salmon has been shown in Norway. The current limitations on cleaner fish technology are:
availability of wild stocks near some farms;
absence of a fishery from March to May which exposes salmon to lice for 2 months;
sustainability of supply of greater than or equal to 10 cm wrasse from local populations (excepting southern Norway);
concerns over transmission of wrasse diseases and parasites to salmon.

Cultured wrasse, which are certified as disease free, may overcome these limitations. Additional research is also required to reduce wrasse escapement, improve understanding of factors affecting cleaning activity (eg presence of hides, alternative food, social status, salmon aggression), and predict the transmission potential of wrasse (and other wild fish associated with farm cages) diseases and parasites to salmon.

Reported by

Ecological Consultancy Services Ltd
17,Rathfarnham Road, Terenure
6W Dublin
Ireland
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