Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Salmon Farming Companies Invest in Natural Solution to Sea Lice

Two of the largest salmon farming companies in Scotland are currently in negotiations to invest massive amounts on research into a natural way to combat sea lice infections at salmon farms.  Each company is planning to invest £450,000 ($710,000 USD) over the next three years to develop and research wrasse, a group of fish that naturally eat the external parasites off other fish in the ocean. Wrasse represent a completely organic method of removing sea lice from salmon, without the use of chemicals or medicinal feed additives.  Of course there are certain challenges associated with culturing another species in the same growing environment as the salmon, but by mimicking the natural ecosystem and creating food-web structures within the confines of the farm, these companies are taking steps towards the increased sustainability of the industry.

For more information on wrasse see my article "Cleaner Wrasse: Biological Pesticides to Combat Sea Lice" below (dated November 2010).

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