Lice trials look promising – Fishfarmer Magazine

Lice trials look promising30 June, 2010 –

NORWEGIAN aquaculture research organisation Nofima says its attempts to overcome the lice problems that have plagued the country’s salmon industry are “in full swing”.

Nofima’s says its well established challenge models (standardised methods in which fish are infected under controlled conditions, as a tool to develop vaccines against fish diseases) have long been used in trials on various types of virus and bacteria. These now form the basis for a challenge model against salmon lice, which will provide the opportunity for the aquaculture industry to get better remedies for lice. The model can, among other things, be used to test different feed types with active ingredients that prevent against lice infestation.

Nofima and Tromsø Aquaculture Research Station have had many requests from within the industry asking for tests to be carried out against salmon lice.

“Consequently, we have taken steps to accommodate the industry,” says Senior Advisor Heidi Mikalsen, who is responsible for this work. “We have purchased lice from the Institute of Marine Research which we are sure are not resistant to existing lice remedies.”

The scientists will test the lice in all its growth phases. Salmon in land-based tanks will be challenged to lice in the early growth phase, and depending on the water temperature the lice develop into an adult phase involving sexual maturity and eggs.

The trials are taking place at the Tromsø Aquaculture Research Station. “So far it looks very promising,” says Mikalsen. “We hope to move to the next stage as early as the autumn with large-scale trials.”