And after several trial runs, the Steinsvik machine – which briefly washes the salmon in warm water, thus killing a large proportion of the lice – is reported to operating effectively.
“In several cases, we have noticed that certain individual cages have the greatest lice numbers so you need to keep a look out so that the other cages don't get infected with lice,” Erlend Haugarvoll, CEO of Lingalaks, explains.
They have managed to treat up to 600 tonnes of fish through the machine in a day.
“It is reckoned that it should be possible to run 50-80 tonnes per hour, so it is very effective and with very low risk of mortality compared to hydrogen peroxide. The most important thing for us is to make certain that the fish welfare and the environment are safe and protected, and that there is little risk related to the treatment,” he adds.
Haugarvoll says that the farmers have an agreement on the use of the machine, but when the owners are not using the equipment the machine will be rented out.
“There is a big demand for this type of delousing,” says Captain Edward Bakke.
Bakke has long experience working with wellboats and service boats for the industry. He owns the boat Seivika, which was used in the thermolicer treatment. He will operate the boat and equipment.
Tombre Fiskeanlegg was the first of the three companies that tested the machine and says that they already have seen good results.
“We assessed different methods, but decided to go with the Thermolicer. One of the nicest things we already have seen is that the mucous layer on the fish is still functioning well after delousing,” says Tombre’s CEO, Håkon Tombre.