Wester Ross Fisheries: “This is the single biggest advance that has ever been made in salmon farming”

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Salmon farmer doesn’t use medicinal treatments to treat lice anymore.

One of the oldest independent salmon farms has been lauding the use of locally caught wrasse fish, according to the Scotsman.

The farm told the publication that the roll out of the cleaner fish accross its sites was so successful that now all medicinal treatments previously used to battle the parasites have been stopped. Gilpin Bradley, managing director of Wester Ross Fisheries, said: “This is the single biggest advance that has ever been made in salmon farming – finding that cleaner fish work.”

The firm uses ballan wrasse caught in the waters around Loch Broom, near Ullapool, to clean its salmon.

“We are genuinely maintaining a sustainable level of catches,” Bradley told the news site. “We are only taking medium-sized wrasse, small ones are returned. Big ones are put back because that’s the breeding stock, that’s important.

“Cleaner fish are the gold standard because they are completely all natural,” he added.

The humble ballan wrasse is now Europe’s most expensive fish at £17.50 a pop. PHOTO: WikipediaLumpfish that are used to clean nets, pens and salmon of sea lice, a pest affecting both wild and farmed salmon

The firm uses ballan wrasse caught in the waters around Loch Broom, near Ullapool, to clean its salmon. Last year, the company bought about 65,000 live ballan wrasse, including 18,000 from Weymouth and Portland and 6,500 from Cornwall, at £17.50 per fish.

“We are genuinely maintaining a sustainable level of catches,” Bradley said. “We are only taking medium-sized wrasse, small ones are returned. Big ones are put back because that’s the breeding stock, that’s important.

“Cleaner fish are the gold standard because they are completely all natural.”

David Harley, head of water and planning at the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, told the news site that he welcomed the use of cleaner fish, saying: He said: “Our Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan is ambitious in its aspirations for an industry where in the future the sector is a world-leading innovator of ways to minimise the environmental footprint of food production and supply.“We support the industry using alternative methods, which reduce the amount of medicine being discharged into the environment.”

“We support the industry using alternative methods, which reduce the amount of medicine being discharged into the environment,” he added.