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Seafarm Pulse Guard

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SPG (Seafarm Pulse Guard)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-02-28

The overall vision of the Seafarm Pulse Guard [SPG] project is to upscale, pilot and commercialise our unique method for preventing sea lice infestation in marine salmon farming.

EU INDUSTRIAL AND SOCIETAL PROBLEMS: Sea lice are considered one of the greatest challenges in salmon farming, posing a detrimental effect on marine ecosystems, fish health and welfare, and consequently threatening the sustainability of the aquaculture industry. The economic cost of a problem may be the bestmetric for prioritizing research and management resources. Costs associated to sea lice control are estimated as €0.3-0.9/kg of salmon produced costs, a figure that only in Norway was estimated to more than €500m in 2015 (66% higher than in 2014) with medical treatments (particularly hydrogen peroxide) accounting for approx. €270m . Regional estimates for the cost of sea lice ranged from 4% of production value for Atlantic Canada to 7–10% in Scotland. A cost of 6% of the value of the production for the countries affected by sea lice has been established as average. While this will vary for different farms and the same farms over time, it helps place the cost of lice in the context of other measures the industry may take to improve protability .
Available commercial solutions to prevent sea lice are focused on reactive methods (i.e. infestation treatment), leaving fish farmers with a very limited capacity to prevent disease outbreaks. Avoiding the long list of negative consequences associated with sea lice and impacting fish health and the economic status, productivity, and reputation of fish farms has never been more challenging.

OUR SOLUTION: Seafarm Pulse Guard (SPG) is a preventive method capable of reducing sea-lice infestation in fish farms by 95%. Our patented, chemical-free technology uses electrical pulses under 48V to inactivate sea lice development at larval stages (Nauplius and Copepodite) and prevent the lice from attaching to salmon in fish net-pens and to reproduce. Results from preliminary tests have shown no indications of any negative biological effect on salmon, no interaction with the surrounding environment nor with the fish farm infrastructure, even under harsh weather conditions. In addition, electrical pulses have proven to be highly effective in preventing escapes (we have documented a reduction of 20% in our small-scale tests) and attacks from predators (e.g. seals).
SPG’s work plan spans 24 months and consists of five work packages (WPs) divided between two technology maturation WPs (WP 1-2) running parallel with two market maturation WPs (WP 3-4) with data and analyses from these four feeding into WP5 - Innovation Management – that will support all activities.

For the first period (M1-12), the project activities mainly focus on:
• Elevating our Seafarm Pulse Guard [SPG] technology and associated sub-system prototypes from current TRL7 to TRL8. Work carried out comprises:
- SPG System specifications
- Optimisation voltage power supply and a pulse unit
- Sensor adjustment in current flow meter
- Establishing large-scale piloting infrastructure at pilot sites

• Large-scale real environment piloting
- Pre-commissioning testing
- Optimisation of number of electrodes
- Configuration of power settings
- Fish welfare monitoring
- Monitoring, evaluation and validation of large-scale piloting

• Supply chain development and upscaling
- Stakeholders identification, analysis and engagement
- Supply chain analysis and development

• Market and regulatory surveillance
vContinually monitoring, revising and updating market research
- Revising and updating cost and price structures

• Innovation management and communication
- Coordination, reporting and financial management of the project
- IP monitoring, assessment and protection
- Innovation management and communication of project results
- Preparation of final Business Innovation and Commercialisation Plans
SFD AS has developed an entirely unique preventive technology based on the use of electric pulses to prevent sea lice from attaching to salmon in fish pens. The patented technology (Seafarm Pulse Guard, patents WO 2014054951 A1 and NO 334396 B1) is the most effective chemical-free method in the market, with no additional environmental impact. In essence, SPG is an electric current network capable of rendering inactive the stages of development of salmon lice in seawater (Nauplius and Copepodite) preventing them from attaching to the salmon, and thus avoiding sea lice infestations in salmon farms and the surrounding environment.
Experimental tests have verified the effectiveness of the technology, with the additional attachment of farming-related lice being reduced by up to 95%. SPG helps prevent sea lice infestation and treat salmon in an efficient and gentle way to ensure optimal fish welfare and growth throughout the production cycle. By bringing SPG to the market, we will provide the industry with a valuable solution to some of the major environmental challenges that the industry is facing today. Sea lice are the most influencing single factor restricting the exploitation of aquaculture in existing spaces and the access to new areas, in addition to posing a huge reputation problem for the aquaculture industry. SPG will erase sea lice from the list of limiting factors for aquaculture growth worldwide, improving the sustainability of existing locations and allowing access to new areas, through an effective protection against sea lice.