Salmon farming is a big industry with ca. 14,000 mill. € per year in the world., mainly in Norway and Chile. One of the greatest problems for salmon farming is the parasitic copepod, a sea-lice which hangs in the fish avoiding its growth, producing wounds and even the death. It causes a cost of 300 mill. € per year in Europe.
Nowadays the fight against this parasite is the use of chemicals and drugs. It goes against the organic farming and the companies general interest because of the lost of increasing organic market, the bad image of salmon farming and its elevated cost. Other negative impacts in environment and natural fish stocks can also be found.
The project deals with an innovative method for sea-lice elimination in salmon farms. It is the use of invertebrate filter feeders which eat the parasitic copepod in its early free-living planktonic stage. It avoids the parasitic copepod reachs its adulthood in the parasitic stage when it hangs in the fish.
The method is totally environmental friendly, organic farming compatible and cost-effective. Preliminary cost analysis shows a 25% of cost savings and it might also coproduce commercial filter feeders in the same salmon farm. Moreover the method is almost totally developed, having reached a TRL 8 after laboratory, pilot scale and operational environment demonstration.
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