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Weekly Overview: Canada Invests in New Process to Battle Sea Lice

19 September 2016, at 1:00am

ANALYSIS - The Canadian government is investing C$3.2 million in the development of an environmentally friendly and economical process to remove sea lice from farmed salmon which is being undertaken by Cooke Aquaculture.

The Government of Canada will invest C$3 million through the ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund and C$247,000 will come from Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Programme.

The investment will help further develop a device and process that uses warm water to remove sea lice from farmed salmon, achieving a 95 per cent removal rate of the sea lice, which are then filtered, collected, and brought ashore for disposal.

By using this green alternative to costly therapeutants, this device and warm water process will significantly benefit the industry by reducing costs and by providing salmon farmers with an additional, sustainable treatment option to a major fish health challenge.

“Managing fish health has always been of paramount importance to our family’s fish farming business. That means working with our in-house scientists, veterinarians and engineers to explore innovative new ways of doing things. It also means partnering with science organizations and with our government to develop effective solutions for farming challenges like managing sea lice. Today’s announcement is a major step forward, not just for our company, but for Canada’s aquaculture industry,” commented Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Aquaculture.

In other news, the UK government has pledged to continue the fight against antimicrobial resistance to drugs by working together with other countries to create a global strategy to tackle the problem and investing in research to find new antibiotic substances.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has committed to a reduction in antibiotic use in livestock and fish farmed for food to a multispecies average of 50mg/kg by 2018 (down from the most recent 2014 figure of 62mg/kg). Sector-specific targets will also be set by 2017.

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