The February 2023 issue of Fish Farmer is out now online

Jane Lewis, UHI Shetland

The February issue of Fish Farmer is out now online and you can read it here.

In this issue we feature a tiny organism that has created big problems for fish farming: the humble sea louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis.

Exactly how farmed fish, their wild equivalents and the sea lice interact has been a topic of fierce debate for a long time. In the latest twist in this saga, a report commissioned by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans has concluded, based on statistical analysis of a huge amount of data, that there is no significant correlation between sea lice numbers on fish farms and the levels of infestation in wild fish.

Will this be enough to change the Canadian government’s mind about the need to scrap net-pen farming? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, you can read the report’s findings in our Sea Lice feature this month, as well as more research from Norwegian institute Nofima on how evolution “hotspots” help to spread the lice’s resistance to pesticides.

There is already enough science on sea lice to fill a large book, and that is the subject of this month’s Book Review, which features Sea Lice Biology and Control.

Also in this issue of Fish Farmer, we focus on Land-Based Farming and some of the projects around the world that are looking to rear high quality fish without having to rely on the ocean environment.

Sandy Neil looks at the rise of the humpback (or “pink”) salmon, an invasive species in Norway that now appears to have made a home in the UK too.

We also chronicle Bakkafrost Scotland’s efforts to salvage a potentially dangerous feed barge after it sank in Storm Arwen; we assess Norway’s tentative steps towards licensing offshore fish farming; and with Valentine’s Day coming up this month, we celebrate the romantic’s favourite shellfish: oysters.

February’s Fish Farmer also includes a report from the International Lumpfish Conference, which considered how to care for these cleaner fish that a playing an increasingly important role in protecting farmed fish against sea lice.

And finally we have some forthright comment from Salmon Scotland Chief Executive Tavish Scott, Dr Martin Jaffa, Nick Joy and, responding to our article on the planning system, John Aitchison of the Coastal Communities Network.

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