Mowi to test first-of-its-kind water purification system
Tony Boyd and Joshua Holder from Benchmark Animal Health with Dougie Hunter
Mowi is pleased to be involved in a trial supported by the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture and the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), which will test the efficacy of CleanTreat in removing traces of medicine used to treat sea lice from the water.
CleanTreat is an innovative water purification system developed by aquaculture biotechnology company Benchmark. Salmosan Vet is a leading treatment for sea lice and has been approved for use in Scotland since the early 1990s. The trial will determine how and in what quantities the medicine can be filtered from treatment water.
The trial could be a major boost for fish health and wellbeing because introducing CleanTreat could allow fish farmers to respond more quickly to sea lice challenges, be more precise and effective with treatment, and improve the process of treating fish for farmers.
By using the purification system, it is hoped that producers will be able to treat multiple pens within a shorter timeframe and, therefore, a greater number of fish can receive the medicine, preventing the spread of infection and enhancing site-wide sea lice control. CleanTreat also has the added benefit of removing organic material from the treatment water, including sea lice and sea lice egg strings, to help prevent development of resistance against the medicine.
Traditionally, salmon have been treated with Salmosan Vet within a closed tarpaulin placed inside a net pen. It is intended that salmon will instead be guided into a bespoke vessel for treatment, with the fish returned to the net pen and the water transferred to the CleanTreat system. The medicine is then removed, along with any organic matter caught in the filtration process, and the purified water is released into the sea.
Dougie Hunter, Technical Director and Managing Director for Ocean Matters at Mowi, explained: “As a salmon producer, the health and wellbeing of our fish is of paramount importance. We take a number of different approaches to supporting their welfare, including the use of medicines. However, we are always conscious of any potential environmental impact and the introduction of CleanTreat could help alleviate some of the current limitations of Salmosan Vet. This could be a significant boost to fish health and welfare across our sites.”