The Aqua Service, fitted with the SFI delousing system, has begun work for Cermaq Canada. Photo: Cermaq / Facebook.

New delousing vessel starts work for Cermaq Canada

A newly arrived vessel fitted with a patented delousing system has started work in British Columbia for Cermaq Canada.

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The Aqua Service, which belongs to Norway-headquartered AquaShip AS, is fitted with the Sea Farm Innovation (SFI) System, which uses sea water to flush lice off farmed salmon.

The system is built by Sea Farm Innovations in the Faroe Islands, and is already in use by Cermaq in Chile. According to Sea Farm Innovations, the treatment time of fish in the patented SFI System is less than 0.2 seconds, ensuring minimal stress and mortality.

It says that less stress ensures that the fish regain their appetite more quickly after treatment and the fasting period prior to treatment can also be very short.

Fine tuning

In a Facebook post, Cermaq Canada said the Aqua Service spent the last week off the west coast of Vancouver Island at some of the company’s farms off Tofino, where fine tuning of the delousing equipment was carried out before delousing activities began on Wednesday.

“The team and new equipment completed the first official day of mechanical delousing at our Westside farm,” said Cermaq in the post last night.

“They were able to successfully start delousing activities in several pens and remove thousands of sea lice and eggs from the environment. Well done team!” 

Support services

AquaShip was formed by the merger of Shetland-based Johnson Marine and Norwegian company GripShip in July 2018, and the subsequent acquisition of Artic Shipping AS. The Aqua Service is a 24m x 11m service vessel built last year and registered in Lerwick, Shetland.

Meanwhile, Comox Valley company Diveco Marine (2007) Ltd has been contracted by Cermaq Canada as its main supplier of mechanical delouser support services, and will subcontract some services to Inlet Navigation, a marine supply delivery company based in Campbell River, Vancouver Island.

“Diveco Marine has provided us with excellent service and support for years, and we are excited to have them join Cermaq and share their expertise and services with us in a formal capacity,” said Cermaq.