As a founding member of a SeaPact, Seattle Fish Co is dedicated to Fishery Improvement and Aquaculture Improvement Projects. SeaPact’s recent round of grants included funds to support research around battling sea lice in farmed salmon using perch in place of chemicals. Read more below!
Vancouver Aquarium – An examination of the use of kelp perch and pile perch to control sea lice infections in farmed Atlantic salmon in British Columbia.
Sea lice infections of farmed Atlantic salmon are a major issue for the aquaculture industry. Current approaches to controlling sea lice infection rely heavily on chemical treatments. Wrasse and lumpfish are being used in Norway to delouse farmed Atlantic salmon, with significant reductions in sea lice infections and less reliance upon chemicals. These fish species are not native to British Columbia’s waters, however, and reports in the literature and results from a preliminary study performed at the Vancouver Aquarium indicate that kelp and pile perch have potential to be used as biological controls for sea lice in BC farmed Atlantic Salmon. The proposed research will determine the effectiveness of these perch in delousing infected salmon. Results from this project will subsequently be applied to the design and development of field trials, whereby perch will be placed in net pens with farmed Atlantic salmon to further examine the use of perch as a native biological controls for sea lice in BC, helping to develop an environmentally-friendly, sustainable alternative to chemical control of sea lice, and reduce the potential impacts of net pen farmed salmon on wild stocks.