Drug-free ‘hydrolicer’ treatment a success for Marine Harvest

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“It’s the first time the hydrolicer has been used on the West Coast” according to the salmon farmer.

Marine Harvest Canada says it has successfully treated fish in a net-pen Atlantic salmon farm near Campbell River with a drug and chemical free method for controlling lice according to the vancouversun.

Hydrolicers use water pressure to pry lice off. It mechanically flushes water through closed columns called fish pumps. The fish then ‘swim’ through the system and a jet of water rinses the lice off of the fish.The move ultimately could reduce Hydrogen peroxide treatments, which are seen as problematic in the long-term.

“Our veterinarians and operations people say the treatment went very well and so it is now part of our integrated pest-management system,” said company spokesman Jeremy Dunn. “It’s the first time the hydrolicer has been used on the West Coast.”

However the unit is most effective on fish through the middle of their growth cycle. “It doesn’t work on very big fish and it doesn’t work on very small fish,” said Dunn.

The Hydrolicer was invented by Norwegians, Frank Øren and Odd Einar Grøntvedt, and developed in cooperation with Cflow Fish Handling and Marine Harvest. The first prototype was tested for Marine Harvest Norway, Scotland and Faroe Island in 2015.

The strategy will helps the company to meet standards set by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, a certification system that Marine Harvest has committed to achieve at all regions by 2020.