The idea behind the LiceTube is that fish are attracted into one end by special lighting and swim through into a smaller chamber where their health status is examined with camera technology and lice are removed.
The LiceTube has been undergoing a test in a salmon cage at Norway’s Marine Research Institute at Matre, around 50 miles north of Bergen. It is being conducted by the LiceTube’s maker, CLT Solutions AS, in collaboration with subcontractors, and is being filmed continuously.
“We have been through a fantastic positive test in rented facilities,” CLT general manager and LiceTube inventor Henry Helgheim told Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian sister site, Kyst.no.
Helgheim said CLT chose a cage that had a fish density that was the same as in a commercial cage. The purpose is to test the LiceTube in an environment where farmed fish live, so that CLT gets as much of a real-world test as possible.
“The big question is whether we could manage to catch enough fish continuously and shift them to the treatment room, day and night. We clearly have,” said Helgheim.
The company will complete the test tomorrow and is extremely pleased with the results achieved.
“This is just completely indescribable relief to me as an inventor and owner of LiceTube. I am completely overwhelmed and need to pinch my arm a little. An incredibly demanding period is over. Now I have to decide who I will work with for the future,” said Helgheim.
The commercial LiceTube is scheduled to be cast in fiberglass, but there is still plenty of work to be done.
“We hope to complete everything in one year’s time. We have not yet decided which method to use for delousing. Here we have looked at many possibilities, and there are many opportunities when you get the fish one-to-one,” Helgheim added.
Helgheim told Kyst.no that it has been incredibly intense and hectic lately, and that he will now take a short break.
“I will make a summary film, as well as inform those who have also contributed financially, Lerøy and Innovation Norway. Now is also the time for us to get a relevant company that can take the commercial part in every country. This is not something I want to or can take on myself,” he added.
LiceTube works by using proprietary specialty lights at attract fish inside.
Once inside the tube, a fish is led into a smaller tube, it is dazzled with special light so that it is paralysed like a rabbit in headlights and stays still while being scanned and analysed.
The information gathered will include everything from length and weight, to injuries and deformities and whether the fish has lice. If it has lice, they are detected quickly and efficiently and removed.
The lice-free fish is then released at the exit of the tube.