Thermolicer. Image: Linn Therese Skaar Hosteland.

Thermolicer trials kick off

The first Thermolicer to be deployed in Scotland is currently being trialled by Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) in Shetland.

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The results of the £4 million investment, which detaches lice from salmon with the use of warm water, are going to be shared by SSF in a bid to increase the use of non-medicinal treatments against the parasites.

Ralph Bickerdike, Scottish Sea Farms Head of Fish Health, commented: “Sea lice is a challenge for all fish farmers in most salmon producing areas. At Scottish Sea Farms we intend being part of the solution to this challenge. Our work with SAIC and other industry partners in this area has already reaped huge benefits through our work with wrasse and lumpfish.

“The Thermolicer is the latest step in developing alternative tools to maintain a sustainable solution to fish health management.”

Heather Jones, CEO of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), said: “We are delighted to see this level of innovation and collaboration happening in Scotland. The industry is tackling the biological issues it faces with energy and initiative, and with a strong commitment to sustainable practices. Scottish Sea Farms is leading the way, allowing the learning from deploying this new equipment being trialled to be shared with other operators in Shetland.”

Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, said: “Scotland’s salmon farmers have always been at the forefront of new inventions creating technological solutions as needs have evolved. Collaboration and sharing knowledge and skills have been paramount in enhancing fish welfare. It also reinforces our commitment to environmental and industry sustainability – crucial in driving our industry forward. We look forward to hearing the results and seeing how it can integrate with established health management strategies to the benefit of the whole industry.”