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Research into Wrasse to Combat Sea Lice

NORWAY - A new NKK26 million research project is looking at the commercial farming ballan wrasse so that they can be used in salmon farming to reduce the numbers of sea lice.

The Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF) is behind the reseach that will last just over three years.

The project will develop the necessary knowledge and experience to achieve a stable and predictable commercial production of wrasse species ballan wrasse.

"The initiative is just starting and it is unique in both Norwegian and international context," said Arne E. Karlsen, Managing Director of FHF.

"Norway is the only one of the salmon-producing countries that use wrasse on a large scale to combat lice."

There are currently four commercial farms for ballan wrasse under development.

The owners are including Marine Harvest, Salmar, Nova Sea, Mid-Norwegian aquaculture, Sinkaberg Hansen, Leroy Seafood Group, Bremnes Seas Whore and Grieg Seafood. Each of the four plants has a representative participating in the research project's steering group.

Harald Sveier, Manager of the Seafood Group and leader of the project's steering group said the team was working together with a high level of transparency.

"This is not an area where we will compete with each other," he said.

"We have been conscious of keeping an open dialogue with all stakeholder groups since lice are a common challenge," added Espen Grøtan, project manager at Marine Harvest Labrus.

"Both the industry, wild salmon, local communities, environment and government are served by the most open exchange of information around these challenges."

the Fish Site Editor

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