Aquaculture for all

Non-medicinal lice treatments on vets' agenda


A run-through of the latest developments in non-medicinal sea lice treatments is likely to be among the highlights of next weeks Fish Vet Society Spring Conference.

Taking place at the Norton House Hotel, near Edinburgh, on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th March, the conference is being organised by Matthijs Metselaar, Product Development Officer at Benchmark Animal Health, who told The Fish Site that the event is an extremely practical affair.

“It’s a very friendly get-together between researchers and industry practitioners, where pressing issues can be discussed in a manner that allows for effective application of the latest science in the field,” he reflects.

“It falls somewhere between commercial events such as the Aquaculture UK exhibition and purely scientific ones such as the European Association of Fish Pathologists (EAFP),” he observes.

He flags up the session on non-therapeutic control of sea lice as being a particularly pertinent topic at the moment, at a time when more and more operators are utilizing a growing range of alternative treatment methods. This trend is set to be covered in detail on the afternoon of the 28th, with talks scheduled from the manufacturers of the Skamic fish wash, Steinsvik’s Thermolicer, Hydrolicer Production’s Hydrolicer and Stingray’s louse laser.

He anticipates that another highlight will be the talk, via video link, by Dr Avi Aldar from the Israeli Government lab, on tilapia lake virus. This is a particularly hot topic at the moment: just this week, researchers have published results showing that it has been discovered in Egypt for the first time, prompting speculation that it might account for the recent surge in “summer sickness”, which now accounts for 9.2% mortality rates in the world’s third largest tilapia producing nation.

Other topics are set to include environmental management, crustacean welfare and the impact of Brexit on medicine availability – with a broad range of academic experts and industry players amongst the speakers.

Matthijs is also keen to emphasise the participation of students – something that is aided by the event’s sponsors.

“One of our key objectives is to encourage the brightest and best veterinarian students to enter our young industry and we are therefore sponsoring ten students to come and present posters to the conference – this year we have one from Aberdeen, one from Bristol and eight from Stirling,” he explains.

As well as Benchmark Animal Health, the event is also sponsored by Aqua Pharma, Elanco, SAIC, Pharmaq, Merk, Pulcea and Europharma.

This year’s event has also been coordinated to precede the annual gathering of the Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA), which is holding its own conference the following day at the same venue and is – appropriately – going to be very much fish-themed, bearing the title “All you ever wanted to know about fish anaesthesia but were afraid to ask”.

Registration and further details can be found at and

To see the full programme click here.

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