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Skretting Start Trails with Sea Lice Nutraceutical

NORWAY - The world's largest manufacture of salmon and trout feed has is ploughing NOK6 million into a deal with Calanus AS to develop a nutritional product that could counteract sea-lice infestation in farmed fish.

The nutritional product, derived from marine zooplankton Calanus finmarchicus, is based on the similarities that the zooplankton has at the pelagic stages of development and the infective stage of salmon-lice. Both organisms have common ancestry and share biochemical and immunological similarities.

Induce Immune Response

Subject to appropriate preparation and use, the Calanus-derived product could induce both adaptive and innate immune-responses towards lice in salmon. Also, Calanus finmarchicus is an important part of the natural diet for wild salmon and sea-trout, a food that farmed salmon cannot usually have access.

Sea-lice infection is a major problem for the fish-farming industry in both Chile, Canada and Norway. Current thinking also believes it to posing a serious threat to wild stocks of salmon and sea-trout.

Skretting is now testing the Calanus AS product on selected commercial sites in Chile and Norway. Pending these results, the product will be launched commercially use in 2009.

The development of new, alternative salmon lice treatments is important. Although the outcome of this project is unknown, we believe the idea is too good not to try it out,” said David Knudsen, Skretting’s international product manager raw materials.

Exclusivity

Under the agreement, Skretting has committed up to NOK 6 million to develop documentation in field-trials in Chile and Norway. In exchange, Calanus has granted Skretting exclusive rights to distribute the product for five years, with an option to renew the arrangement, if specific targets are achieved.

Gunnar Rørstad, Calanus CEO, said his company was extremely pleased to have an agreement with Skretting.

"We are very impressed by the fact that Skretting is willing to invest significant resources in an attempt to help the fish-farmers solve a serious problem, based on what at present is just a little more than a well-defined hypothesis”, says Gunnar Rørstad, Calanus CEO.

For more information on Calanus and its products click here

Ellen Hardy

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