Ulf Sunde, Erlend Grøntvedt and Ståle Fjukstad in action during a treatment. Image: OEM Aquaservice.

2,000 tonnes deloused in a day

OEM’s Hydrolicer has now been shown to be capable of removing lice from up to 2,000 tonnes of salmon in a single day. 

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According to Odd Einar Grøntvedt, CEO of OEM Aquaservice, which is responsible for operating and optimizing the device, it’s a question of timing.

Odd Einar Grøntvedt, CEO of OEM Aquaservice, developed the device, which removes lice with the use of fresh water. The early devices were trialed by Marine Harvest Northern Region with co-operation with Henrik Trengereid and Frank Øren. Image: OEM Aquaservice.

“We are now working to optimize the equipment we have. Getting into the treatment at the right time is the alpha and omega in the fight against lice,” Grøntvedt told kyst.no.

Grøntvedt is an industry veteran who has worked in wellboats, the service industry and as a fish farmer. He currently employs 30 people in OEM, the company which was founded in 2014 and oversaw the development of the novel treatment system.

Grøntvedt noted long ago that drug treatments levels were a growing problem for the aquaculture industry and he sought to develop a delousing system that would be would be good for both the fish and the environment.

This week Grøntvedt and his son Martin travel to Scotland to assist with the preparation and commissioning of a Hydrolicer for Marine Harvest. In Norway the company already operates machines for Marine Harvest, Salmar and Midt-Norsk Havbruk.

OEM Aquaservice has two partner companies: Hydrolicer Operations and Hydrolicer Production – the former operates and mans the barges/equipment, the latter deals with development and sales.

The concept was first drawn up in 2013, while the development and testing of prototypes in collaboration with Marine Harvest began last year.

The rate of delousing depends on a number of factors – the size of fish cages, weather conditions, the number of lines that run on the device. For example, a Hydrolicer with six lines has the capacity to delouse 200 tonnes of 4kg fish per hour.

“Over 24 hours we have managed to delouse more than 2,000 tonnes,” Grøntvedt said.