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Scottish farmed salmon sector delivers second lowest year on record for sea lice

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Sea lice averages for the Scottish farmed salmon sector were 0.52 adult female lice per salmon for 2020 that represents a fall on 2019’s average of 0.54. 2020 is the second-best year on record for sea lice averages after 2018’s 0.46, according to Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO). 

The Scottish salmon sector is committed to successfully pursuing its “prevention over cure” strategy with regards to controlling the naturally occurring parasite through innovations such as the use of cleaner fish and mechanical treatments. 

Tavish Scott, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation said that “fish health and welfare will always be our members’ top priority. The Scottish salmon sector continues to invest and innovate in the management of such challenges as sea lice. These figures - the second lowest in eight years - remain at consistently low levels thanks to the considerable efforts of farmers.”

Sea lice are naturally occurring ectoparasitic copepods that can affect both wild and farmed fish populations. Aside from the direct damage to fish’s skin caused by sea lice, infestations can result in an increased potential for secondary infections.

 

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