“Some people now have complete control over lice situation, while others see that the challenges emerging from time to time, even with the laser installed,” admits John Arne Breivik, the general manager of Stingray Marine Solutions, which developed the device.
Breivik says that while the laser manages to remove most of the lice from within a cage, it cannot keep up at sites where large numbers of lice are continually appearing.
“Stingray’s customers are located all along the coast and have a good geographical spread. This also means that the lice levels are very different for the various breeders,” Breivik tells Kyst.no.
“On the operational side, we see clearly that those breeders who involve themselves most and have closely monitored the Stingray are also those who get the best results. Both breeders and Stingray have potential for improvement, and it is important to discuss any problems so we can systematically address any challenges that arise,” he adds.
He elaborates that the demand for the Stingray is so great that the company has a huge order backlog.
“This means that we are now upscaling production to cope with the ever-increasing amount of orders. From producing approximately 50 units this year we are planning to build 150-200 units in 2016.
“The high numbers of lice this summer have given us good demand, and farmers appreciate having a continuous preventive method to keep louse numbers down, but we should be able to handle both present and future demand.”
He said that they are now working together with several other non-chemical methods, such as cleaner fish, to help combat lice and the company currently has several projects under way to test and optimize the combination with other anti-louse tools.
“It is crucial that we focus on methods that are both non-chemical and don’t generate resistance. If we can achieve this then we are confident that the industry will be in control of lice levels in a year or two”, says Breivik.
The company is now ready to meet demand from other markets.
“We have tested conditions in both Scotland and the Faroe Islands and hope to start working with several clients in Scotland in the New Year,” Breivik concludes.