New research to study salmon lice, improved aquaculture vaccinations


Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on
March 27, 2015

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Center (SAIC) has announced it is issuing grants worth almost GBP 950,000 (USD 1.4 million, EUR 1.3 million) to two major salmon farming research projects proposed by leading farmed salmon companies on sea lice and salmon vaccinations.

The grants will partly fund the projects, which are expected to be worth a total of more than GBP 3.4 million (USD 5.1 million, EUR 4.7 million) in combined contributions from industry and academia.

“The Innovation Centres are Scotland’s distinctive approach to nurturing real-world collaboration between industry and academia that have the potential to create long-term economic growth,” said John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland. “This announcement by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre encapsulates that approach. Through its support for these two important projects for the Scottish aquaculture sector, it has generated substantial investment and ambition from industry and researchers.”

One project, proposed by Marine Harvest Seafood, Scottish Sea Farms and Biomar, with additional funding from the University of Stirling, will concern improvements of farmed wrasse, a fish used as a “cleaner” to control sea lice in salmon pens.

Alan Sutherland, Managing Director of Marine Harvest (Scotland) Ltd, said: “There is sound evidence that wrasse are extremely effective at controlling sea lice and this collaboration will greatly benefit the whole Scottish industry,” said Alan Sutherland, managing director of Marine Harvest (Scotland). “Using wrasse is set to revolutionize the aquaculture industry and will become standard practice for all salmon farmers in the future, generating significant commercial and economic benefits for the whole industry.”

The other project, proposed by Aqualife and Scottish Sea Farms, will concern improvement of fish vaccinations and also be conducted at the University of Stirling. Both projects will begin at a later date to be announced.

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