“Mechanical lumpfish” enters testing phase

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Radical delousing unit Licetube will soon be tested for three months in a cage in Norway.

It has been described as a “mechanical lumpfish” by its inventor Henry Helgheim.

It works by luring salmon into a chamber by means of special light and counter current. Inside the chamber, one fish goes through a process where the lice are removed by suction plugs.

A smaller pilot version of the invention has been put through a testing phase at the Aquarium in Bergen. According to Helgheim, the experiment was successful and gave good indications on what kind of light fish are calmed down or paralyzed by, reported Bergensavisen.

Now the Licetube – christened “Harald T” after Norway’s fisheries minister Harald T. Nesvik – is ready to be tested in a cage on Austevoll, Western Norway, where it will be calculated how many fish it manages to get through the system per day. According to Helgheim, lice removal takes place in the next phase.

“When we get the fish into the pre-chamber, one at a time, there are plenty of methods that effectively remove lice in a gentle way. We do not remove any lice now in the first stage. In this phase, it is the capacity to be tested,” said Henry Helgheim.

Helgheim stated that his company, CLT Solutions, which has a patent on the solution, will also explore how light, offset and closing of the rear hatch work in cages.

According to Helgheim, Licetube has cost a hundred thousand euros to develop and is partly financed by the Lerøy Seafood Group, which has first right of usage.

“Now it remains to document the capacity in the first place. How many fish can go through the system per day is crucial,” said Lerøy technical manager Harald Sveier.