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Skretting tests marine zooplankton against lice

Skretting has entered into a contract with Calanus AS for the development and documentation of a product based on the marine zooplankton Calanus finmarchicus to counteract sea-lice infestations in salmon and trout

April 15, 2008

Skretting tests marine zooplankton against lice

Skretting has entered into a contract with Calanus AS for the development and documentation of a product based on the marine zooplankton Calanus finmarchicus to counteract sea-lice infestations in salmon and trout. Commercial scale field trials by selected farmers in Chile and Norway are now starting.

Pelagic stages of Calanus finmarchicus and the infective stage of salmon lice are derived from a common ancestor and have many similarities. Therefore they may share what researchers call immunological structures. The trials will test whether it is possible to achieve higher protection from salmon lice by stimulating the immune system of the salmon with this new zooplankton product.
It is known that the immune system of mammals can be stimulated to improve protection against external parasites. It has also been documented that the immune system of salmon can be improved to repel lice attacks.

Pelagic stages of Calanus finmarchicus and the infective stage of salmon lice are derived from a common ancestor and have many similarities. Therefore they may share what researchers call immunological structures. The trials will test whether it is possible to achieve higher protection from salmon lice by stimulating the immune system of the salmon with this new zooplankton product.

It is known that the immune system of mammals can be stimulated to improve protection against external parasites. It has also been documented that the immune system of salmon can be improved to repel lice attacks.

“The development of new, alternative salmon lice treatments is important. Although the outcome of this project is unknown, we believe the idea is too good not to try it out,” said David Knudsen, Skretting’s International Product Manager Raw Materials.

Sea-lice infection is a major problem for the fish-farming industry in Chile, Canada, UK and Norway. If the test results are sufficiently positive, the product will be launched for commercial use.

“We are very pleased with the agreement and that Skretting is willing to invest significant resources to test our product on a commercial scale, in an attempt to help the fish farmers solve a serious problem, says Gunnar Rørstad, Managing Director, Calanus AS.

Skretting is the world leader in the production and supply of feed for farmed fish. Total annual production of high quality feeds is more than 1.3 million tonnes. Skretting has operating companies on five continents to produce and deliver feeds from hatching to harvest for more than 50 species of farmed fish. Skretting is a part of Nutreco; an international company in the animal nutrition and fish feed markets.

Calanus AS is a company focusing on the harvesting and utilization of the abundant north-Atlantic zooplankton Calanus finmarchicus. The company and its partners have designed and implemented effective and ecologically sustainable harvesting methods using a unique first generation trawling concept. Moreover, Calanus holds exclusive rights to patented second-generation harvesting technology now being developed.

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