Globally the salmon aquaculture industry is worth circa $14 billion USD (2019 figures), the main obstacle to further growth is the tiny sea louse. Konree Innovation is developing a deep-tech game-changing and disruptive technology to tackle this, the single most feared and persistent, pest in salmon aquaculture – the sea louse. The sea louse is regulated everywhere it is farmed, once the levels present reach the regulatory threshold, it triggers treatment. The direct cost to the industry in treatments for sea lice is approximately $1 billion USD (2019 figures), while the indirect cost is estimated to be ca. $3 billion USD, mainly due to fish deaths brought about by weakening of the salmon due to sea lice induced wound infections and bacterial diseases therein as well as the non-optimised handling of the fish during treatments. Up to 20% of production can be lost in this way.
Konree Innovation is developing a deep-tech non-fish-handling solution that will employ both artificial and machine learning to outsmart the sea louse’s biological strategy for infestation. The sea is a tough harsh environment, the technology will need to perform well in this environment and do no harm to the fish in the pen, the pen itself or the environment. All these requirements demand a deep-tech solution. Konree Innovation is internationally focused: Norway has 56% of global production, next Chile at 28%, North America at 7%, Scotland at 6%, Australia and New Zealand at 2.4%, Ireland at 0.6%. Iceland and the Faroe Islands are now also farming Atlantic salmon. Consumer demand for alternative climate- and planet-friendly sources of protein is expected to get much higher, and farmed salmon offers a highly nutritious source of animal protein with a low carbon footprint. An effective way to maintain control and manage sea lice numbers will overcome the barrier to growth and enable the salmon producer industry to compete with the big meat producers that have a much higher carbon footprint.
Fields of science
- agricultural sciencesagriculture, forestry, and fisheriesfisheries
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringenergy and fuelsrenewable energy
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculesproteins
- natural sciencescomputer and information sciencesartificial intelligencemachine learning
- HORIZON.3.2 - European innovation ecosystems Main Programme