General manager of the Norwegian technology company, Steinsvik, Bjornar Apeland, believes the focus should be on preventive measures against salmon lice.
“When one is forced to delouse, one is in principle already too late. Having said that, it is at this time impossible to avoid delousing, so it’s important to have benign tools with sufficient capacity,” Apeland tells SalmonBusiness from the company’s headquarters in Forresfjorden, outside Haugesund in Norway.
Steinsvik’s Thermolicer product has been a highly sought after chemical- and drug-free lice-removing device. Now, the company is working on a new and improved product, which Apeland says has attracted great customer interest.
Must understand the biology
“In the longer perspective, new methods of delousing are not the way to go, it is about methods that decrease the amount of delousing needed. In the short term, however, there is a great need for gentle methods of delousing,” Apeland says.
The aquaculture industry is in great technological development, and we’ll always be reading about companies telling about new groundbreaking technology that will revolutionize salmon farming. Nevertheless, Apeland thinks that there is one thing that must get stronger focus when technological development occurs.
“It’s one thing to find good technological solutions, but it’s also about understanding the biology in the best possible way. Our target is to reduce escapes, lice and other fish health related challenges, and there are plenty of ways to go, but it will take time,” he says.
More and more technology
His company delivers solutions to both the offshore and aquaculture industries. Apeland thinks it’s good that both knowledge and technology are transferable.
“There is a good synergy between the industries, but the biology is the key. The focus has to be on the fish when new technologies are being developed.”
“The aquaculture industry has not always been as attractive as the oil industry. Technology companies have not seen the potential that is in aquaculture, and therefore it has taken some time. The ability to do pivotal technological development in the industry has not been there, but now I can see that they invest more in advanced technology. It may have taken a little too long, but it’s coming more and more,” Apeland says.
Steinsvik has about 600 employees, distributed among departments in Norway, Chile, Vietnam, Scotland, Canada, Turkey, Faroe Islands, Estonia, Iceland and Oceania.
“Norway is the pioneering country. This is where new technology is developed, and the technology must be adapted locally. There are also smart solutions abroad, but Norway is definitely exporting more than we are importing”, Apeland concludes.