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Kjetil Rugland, Karoline Sjødal Olsen, Lars-Kristian Opstad and Gry Løkke are behind the company Blue Lice. Photo: Private.
Kjetil Rugland, Karoline Sjødal Olsen, Lars-Kristian Opstad and Gry Løkke are behind the company Blue Lice. Photo: Private.

A new company is aiming to change the way the salmon industry combats sea lice with a device that attracts and captures the parasites before they reach fish cages.

Norwegian start-up Blue Lice has already completed prototype testing of the unit in Stavanger, earlier this year, with good results.

“This test gave us such a good indication that this can work that the next step is to run a larger pilot test in cooperation with a farming company and, more preferably, a research institution,” Blue Lice chief executive Karoline Sjødal Olsen, a marine engineering graduate, told

Olsen explained that the system consists of a device positioned outside the cage. This has several components that attract lice away from the salmon.

Unknown to the industry

“There have been tests carried out on similar concepts with some of the factors previously, but it is the combination of these that makes our solution work and makes it unique. Some attraction factors are known and some unknown to the industry,” she said.

As the company is still working on patenting its concept, Olsen said she cannot say any more about the device or the factors that attract lice, but promised these would be revealed as things fall into place.

“We have so far received funding for testing from Innovation Norway, and have dialogue with two breeders for the pilot.”

Promising results

Olsen says they are now working hard to speed up the project after the summer holidays.

“Our solution does not affect the environment or the fish in any way. Following the promising results we have had with the prototype, we want to move on as soon as possible. The future will probably be exciting,” she added.

Olsen established Blue Lice along with Gry Løkke, Lars-Kristian Opstad and Kjetil Rugland, who all have experience in the oil and gas industry, after they took part in the “Tomorrow’s Aquaculture” accelerator programme run by X2 Labs in Stavanger in February.

Intensive development

Forty selected candidates divided into 10 groups of four spent four weeks intensively developing ideas for the aquaculture industry, after which four companies had been formed, with a fifth in progress.

The other projects are focused on a monitoring and warning system against algae, cleaning of tanks in the industry, automated lice counting and the survival of wrasse.