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Regulations Need Adapting for Cleaning Fish

13 February 2012, at 12:00am

NORWAY - The Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Ministry has circulated a proposal to change the rules on cleaning fish so that it is better adapted to farming, storage and use of wrasse.

Cleaning Fish is a well-functioning, environmentally friendly and useful supplement to chemical delousing agent. There are currently many farms using wrasse to clean fish and it is expected that this increase with time.

The regulations today are not designed for fish cleaning, where wrasse are caught, not farmed. It is therefore important that the rules are adapted to the farming of fish cleaning, storage and use, both in terms of fish welfare and fish health and with regard to the protection of wild stocks.

In 2010 between 10 and 20 million wild wrasse for use on Norwegian fish farms were caught. With fish cleaning set to increase, the extensive future use of wild-caught wrasse will have destructive consequences on the species.

Given the level of lice in the aquaculture industry today, there is reason to believe that the demand for clean fish will not diminish soon.

The Ministry therefore proposes minor changes in aquaculture regulations, so that meeting the future need for cleaning fish can be met. The Consultation deadline is 9 May 2012.

"The changes we propose will contribute to the protection of natural diversity and wild populations, and show clean fish as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical delousing agent in the salmon farming industry," says State Secretary Kristine Gramstad.

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The Health and Welfare of Atlantic Salmon.

It is vital that fish farm operatives who are responsible for farmed fish are trained in their health and welfare. This will help to ensure that fish are free from disease and suffering whilst at the same time promote good productivity and comply with legislation.

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