Thermolicer is first for Scottish farm

Scottish Sea Farms has invested more than £4 million in Scotland’s first Thermolicer machine. It arrived from Steinsvik in Norway last week and trials are currently underway in Shetland.
Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) will cooperate with other farmers in Scotland, sharing the use and knowledge of using the Thermolicer with them, in a drive to reduce the need for medicinal treatments in the fight against sea lice.
Ralph Bickerdike, Scottish Sea Farms’ head of fish health, said: ‘Sea lice is a challenge for all fish farmers in most salmon producing areas.  At Scottish Sea Farms we intend being part of the solution to this challenge.
‘Our work with SAIC (the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre) and other industry partners in this area has already reaped huge benefits through our work with wrasse and lumpfish – varieties of cleaner fish.
‘The Thermolicer is the latest step in developing alternative tools to maintain a sustainable solution to fish health management.’
The Thermolicer is a machine that uses zero chemicals in the treatment of sea lice.  The lice have a low tolerance for changes in temperature and the new machine uses this fact to use water temperatures to eradicate the parasite.  It is a simple and environmentally friendly method that goes beyond the traditional treatments
This is the first Thermolicer to be used in Scotland and is part of Scottish Sea Farms’ continued investment in its infrastructure and development.
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, said: ‘Scotland’s salmon farmers have always been at the forefront of new inventions creating technological solutions as needs have evolved.
‘Collaboration and sharing knowledge and skills have been paramount in enhancing fish welfare. It also reinforces our commitment to environmental and industry sustainability – crucial in driving our industry forward. We look forward to hearing the results and seeing how it can integrate with established health management strategies to the benefit of the whole industry.’
Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: ‘We are delighted to see this level of innovation and collaboration happening in Scotland. The industry is tackling the biological issues it faces with energy and initiative, and with a strong commitment to sustainable practices.
‘Scottish Sea Farms is leading the way, allowing the learning from deploying this new equipment being trialled to be shared with other operators in Shetland.’