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Salmar has deployed 21,500 cleaner fish after lice were detected at Ocean Farm 1. Image: Salmar
Salmar has deployed 21,500 cleaner fish after lice were detected at Ocean Farm 1. Image: Salmar

Ocean Farm 1, the experimental offshore cage farm operated by Scottish Sea Farms co-owner Salmar, has had 21,500 cleaner fish added to combat sea lice.

Earlier this week, Salmar chief executive Trond Williksen announced during the presentation of the company's third-quarter report that the operations of Ocean Farm 1 were progressing as planned after six weeks of operation.

"We are in the early stages, and the fish are thriving. It has been tried out in bad weather, but we now see that it works. The growth is good, and so far we have not seen any lice," he said.

Situation has changed

But lice figures reported on the BarentsWatch website this week show the situation has changed, with 0.06 adult females on average in the Håbranden locaility, where Ocean Farm 1 is the only farm.

With one million fish in the facility, that equates to 60,000 adult females in the cage this week.

The average for adult females in the whole of the Sor-Trondelag area last week was 0.08 adult females.

BarentsWatch also reported that 21,500 lumpfish had been set out in Håbranden.

The sea temperature at the locality was 11 degrees last week, and has this week dropped to 9.7 degrees.