The first laser shot cost €3.4m; now it kills 2-3 lice per second

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The Norwegian company Stingray sells equipment that kills salmon lice continuously.

According to Norwegian magazine Teknisk Ukeblad, there is more to come.

“There is no doubt that we have technology that works. And it will only get better and better each day, without having to go to the cage or open and modify the equipment,” General Manager of Stingray, John A. Breivik told TU .

The goal is to help the aquaculture industry increase day to day automation.

Automated everyday life
The equipment he’s referring to consists of a cable suspended from a buoy over the cage. A probe around 150 centimeters long is lowered to variable height in the cage via the cable. The probe scans the fish, finds lice and kills them using laser.

Over the past three years, over 500 million laser pulses have zapped salmon lice, without a single salmon being reported hurt.

€3.4m laser hot
The development of the equipment started in 2010, and the first successful “live test” was not cheap.

“We spent €3.4m killing the first louse that was sitting on a fish swimming in the cage,” says Breivik.

The company, based in Oslo, follows the cages “live” in a control room consisting of large wall screens in addition to PC monitors. From this control room, the probe can be remotely controlled.

The data collected from the cages is valuable in order to improve the software.

Offers lice count and biomass measurement
According to general manager John A. Breivik, the company offers both lice counting and biomass measurement. This is thanks to hardware improvement and utilization of the data they have already collected and interpreted.

Breivik says it would be a big improvement for farmers to count and report the lice semi-automatically from images on screen. According to him, it will provide more accurate counts and save the fish from the additional stress of handling.

Stingray sells a node and 4-year operating agreement for €138,500, or €34,625 per year. Breivik says the annual price is about the same as an alternative delousing cost per cage.