Journal article

'Snorkel' lice barrier technology reduced two co-occurring parasites, the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) and the amoebic gill disease causing agent (Neoparamoeba perurans), in commercial salmon sea-cages

DW Wright, LH Stien, T Dempster, T Vagseth, V Nola, J-E Fosseidengen, F Oppedal



Diverse chemical-free parasite controls are gaining status in Atlantic salmon sea-cage farming. Yet, the intricacies of their use at commercial scale, including effects on co-occurring parasites, are seldom reported. A new salmon lice prevention method involves installing a deep net roof and 'snorkel' lice barrier in cages to shelter salmon from free-living infective larvae which concentrate at shallow depths, and allows salmon to jump and re- inflate their buoyancy-regulating swim bladder by swallowing air. We document use of snorkel cages (10m deep barrier) in commercial farms, where their effects on salmon lice levels, amoebic gill disease (AGD)-related gill scores, the cage environment, ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Norwegian Research Council

Awarded by Norwegian Seafood Fund

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Bremnes Seashore, Marine Harvest, Geir Magne Knutsen, Jarle Langvik, Bernhard Ostebovik and farm staff for commercial salmon farm operations and access, and Samantha Bui for field work assistance. Funding was provided by farmers, the Norwegian Research Council (CREATE 841005), the VRI fund and the Norwegian Seafood Fund (900884). The work was conducted in accordance with regulations set by the authority of the Norwegian ethics committee towards research involving animals, approved by the Norwegian food safety authority.