Cermaq deploys laser defence against sea lice

Cermaq Norway is deploying 140 lasers in its fight against salmon lice, the company has announced.

It says laser technology has proven to be effective against salmon lice and gentle on the salmon.

After extensive evaluation in two locations in Finnmark and at Nordland, the system will be put into use at other suitable facilities in those areas.

Cermaq has signed a major contract with the technology company Stingray Marine Solutions for the equipment.

Fish lasers are increasingly being used by Norwegian producers, and they now protect some 50 million salmon and trout.

Karl Fredrik Ottem, head of fish health at Cermaq Norway, said: “Lice lasers have been shown to keep lice levels down. It means we avoid many mechanical de-licers and thus avoid stressing the fish so they can swim in peace.

Cermaq’s goal is to control the level of lice to the greatest extent possible with preventive technology and laser is one of several measures that we now want to increase the use of to ensure the best possible fish welfare.”

Cermaq says it will continue to evaluate the effect of the lasers. Separate team of operators will ensure optimal placement in their operation.

The team will be linked with Cermaq’s growth centre in Nordfold. An important part of this will be to further develop procedures, so the company can achieve best practice and the best possible result.

“The laser nodes come with monitoring of the level of lice and selected fish welfare parameters, so that the plants get a good insight into the development of lice and the health of the fish. Thus, we believe that using lice lasers is the right step in terms of ensuring both fish welfare and the most sustainable production possible,” said Ottem.

Cermaq says salmon lice are a challenge for the entire industry so it is important to have many tools in the toolbox.

The light lasers are produced by Stingray Marine Solutions. Its managing director John A. Breivik said he was very pleased to have significantly expanded co-operation with Cermaq.

Breivik said: “This is a new and important milestone for us at Stingray, where we have already gained important experience for a couple of years and have been able to develop a good collaboration with Cermaq and good people at the sea sites, at a world-leading farming company, both when it comes to fish welfare and sustainability.”

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