Lumpfish breeder gets over £ 1 million funding boost in the fight against sea lice

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The North Wales-based company, Ocean Matters, breeds lumpsucker cleaner fish.

The Development Bank of Wales has provided a GDP 500 thousand in funding as well as the same amount from HSBC (amounting to EUR 1,12 million) to the company according to Walesonline.

Ocean Matters was formed in 2015 and started trading at the end of 2016. It breeds lumpfish that are used to clean nets, pens and salmon of sea lice, a pest affecting both wild and farmed salmon.

According to the Marine Harvest Lumpfish Project research at Swansea University, sea lice treatment costs the salmon industry in the region of €300m every year and £30m every year in the UK alone. The cleaner fish represent a biological and a more environmentally friendly solution to the issue.

With the new funding, Ocean Matters plan to double its current lumpfish production capacity at Penmon, Anglesey, from two million to four million.

Co-founder and director John Callaghan told the publication: “We’ve had great success to date, but the additional investment capital will allow us to not only continue improving existing systems but also support expansion construction that enables us to address the growing needs of our customers.”